To be held this month, TEDxLahore will be bringing eight incredible speakers to its acclaimed platform on the 29th of July.
From conservation to climate change, the power of advertising to legal reform, and more, this year’s TEDxLahore theme bases itself on ‘Future Now’ – bringing to light crucial questions rarely ever asked.
“We’re extremely excited to curate the next edition of TEDxLahore,” states Irteza Ubaid, the curator of the oldest TEDx platform in the country, “Since we wanted the focus of our talks to be on the present and the way forward, hence the theme, ‘Future Now,’ which incorporates how we as a nation are preparing for our future and what we can do collectively to get there.”
“I think events like TEDxLahore are so important for our youth,” Sonya Rehman, TEDxLahore’s co-curator says, “As per a UNDP report this year, 64% of Pakistan’s population is under the age of 30! Given the statistics, our youth are in dire need of direction and inspiration, that’s why platforms and events like TEDxLahore can help encourage young Pakistanis to be proactive, mindful citizens by exposing them to dynamic change-makers in the country.”
Dr. Ajaz Anwar
Dr. Ajaz Anwar is a well-known artist known for his vibrant, dreamy water colour paintings that feature Lahore’s pre-partition buildings and heritage sites, amidst the hubbub of city life. A recipient of the President’s Pride of Performance Award in Painting, Dr. Ajaz Anwar’s pieces have been showcased at eminent galleries and exhibitions across the globe over the years.
Having retired as the Director of the Gallery at the National College of Arts (NCA), he currently leads the Lahore Conservation Society where he has laboured and lobbied to preserve Lahore’s cultural identity and heritage, which has become a personal crusade for him.
Hira Mohibullah and Moiz Khan
With over 75 international awards and twelve years of advertising experience between the two of them, Hira Mohibullah and Moiz Khan have led powerful socially-focused campaigns that have charged movements and brought about cultural change in Pakistan. They currently work at BBDO Pakistan, a creative agency that they have helped promote to second place in the entire MENA-PAK region. Their shared belief in advertising for good has not only impacted millions of people within the country, but has also made ripples overseas; putting Pakistan on the international map of advertising.
Dr. Uzma Khan
Dr. Uzma Khan is wildlife biologist, currently leading the Global River Dolphin
Initiative of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), along with other environment consulting assignments. She specializes in endangered species management and has more than 18 years of field conservation and research experience. She has a Masters degree in Animal
Behaviour and Welfare from the University of Edinburgh, UK, and completed her doctorate on the ecology of the common leopard in Pakistan from the University of Siena, Italy. She has written numerous articles on the subject of wildlife conservation, both nationally and internationally, in addition to leading many community-based wildlife conservation projects for endangered species in Pakistan.
Abid Omar sees the air pollution emergency in Pakistan as a silver lining – an opportunity to drive environmental awareness and change that will clean up Pakistan for good. He founded the Pakistan Air Quality Initiative in 2016 to engage the community in key cities of Pakistan to collect and share data using a network of real-time air quality sensors. This data has immense potential to impact environmental change. He has trained as an Engineer, and currently works as an entrepreneur by day in the fashion and textile industry.
Amna Naqvi is the founder of AAN Foundation and AAN Collection. She is an avid art collector, philanthropist, publisher, supporter and collaborator of art projects and initiatives. These projects have led to the development of the contemporary Pakistani art space both locally as well as globally over the last fifteen years. The AAN Collection comprises of over 800 works of art ranging from 3rd Century Gandhara sculptures, 17th Century Mughal miniatures and contemporary art. Works from the collection have been part of major exhibitions at institutions such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, The Venice Biennial and The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. The collection is complimented by the AAN Foundation which supports art exhibitions and projects in Asia as well as globally.
A significant part of the AAN Foundation’s aim is to provide support at the very initial stages to projects which could become platforms for further strengthening the artistic space in their own areas and geographies.
Along with her art projects and initiatives, Amna Naqvi also owns the cricket team, Islamabad United. The team is the winner of the Pakistan Super League Championship in 2018 as well as the winner of the inaugural Pakistan Super League Championship in 2016. Having completed her MBA from the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), she previously worked as a banker and describes herself as an avid reader and an intrepid traveler.
Mudassar Aqil is the CEO of FINCA Microfinance Bank, in Pakistan, since 2011. He has overseen the bank’s transformation over the last 7 years from a small micro lender to one of Pakistan’s fastest growing bank’s with a new foundation as a digital bank.
FINCA is a leading global operator of microfinance banks and institutions across 20 countries. In Pakistan, FINCA has helped more than half a million small enterprises by disbursing more than PKR 60 billion in small loans. The bank has also pioneered a free payments digital wallet, SIMSIM, which allows a digital bank account to be opened on smart phone under a minute.
Prior to joining FINCA, Mudassar spent 14 years with leading commercial banks in the United States and Pakistan.
Mudassar holds an MBA from Salisbury University, Maryland, and is a frequent presenter in conferences on banking innovation and transformation.
Taimur Malik is a Barrister who advises governments and clients across Pakistan, the Middle East and Africa. He is also the Founder of Pakistan’s multi-dimensional law and justice initiative, Courting the Law, and is behind many technology enabled access to justice initiatives such as www.Mohtasib.pk. He has studied Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford and International Law at The Hague Academy.
Shahzeb Khan has taught at various Pakistani universities over the course of eighteen years. During this time he has facilitated scores of students to think for themselves and not become victims of ‘received wisdom.’
With an MPhil in Postcolonial Literature and a PhD (currently in its final phase), he aligns his research with his teaching objectives and digs deep into the history of the present. His columns, which highlight the need for decolonization, have appeared in Dawn and The News, among others. In universities where he has taught and researched, Shahzeb Khan has promoted the movement of decoloniality. With colleagues at Punjab University, in 2016, he established an intellectual forum called Indigenizing Knowledge Forum (InK Forum) which aimed to decolonize knowledge systems entrenched in Pakistani universities. The forum has, since then, regularly arranged discussions on topics ranging from Geopolitics of Philosophy to Colonial Construction of Indian History. Through his academic activism, Shahzeb Khan aims to develop human-centric curricula and subjectivities.