TEDxLahore 2017 to be held on 22nd of October

Lahore, Pakistan: After the immense success of TEDxLahore 2016 and TEDxLahoreWomen (also held last year), Irteza Ubaid, the curator of TEDxLahore and the official Pakistan Ambassador for TEDx events in the country, will be hosting TEDxLahore 2017 on the 22nd of October.

With a speaker list of seven incredible changemakers, the theme of the event will focus on the way forward for Pakistan: what does the future hold? And, most importantly, where do we go from here?

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia. TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self- organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter (http://twitter.com/TEDTalks), or on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/TED).


Speaker Profiles

Usama Khilji is rights activist, writer, and researcher based in Islamabad. He was a 2016 Chevening scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Science where he pursued an MSc in Comparative Politics, and is currently the Director of Bolo Bhi, a policy, advocacy, and research organisation focusing on speech and privacy rights on the internet and civic education, and Advisor to the London-based Refugee Rights Data Project.

Usama has seven years of experience teaching debating and history, and recently designed a university curriculum on fundamental rights in Pakistan’s constitution. He regularly speaks in national and international media on rights issues in Pakistan, in addition to writing on a freelance basis.

Jannat Ali is a well-known transgender activist, performing artist and the first transgender Project Manager at the Khawaja Sira Society, (a community-building organisation) led by the transgender community for human rights and advocacy in Pakistan.

Having been awarded a gold medal during her MBA program, Jannat is also a professional Kathak performer and stands as one of six women who was part of the well-known theatre production, ‘The Third Line’ (based on the lives of transgenders), that was performed across Pakistan in addition to overseas; in Denmark and the United States, in 2016.

Having represented Pakistan’s transgender community in over seven countries for a number of training sessions, workshops and seminars, Jannat’s travels encouraged her to implement similar trainings for her community in her own home country.

She has delivered lectures at Copenhagen Pride in 2015 and a year later, in the winter of 2016, Jannat was selected to work and speak with 400 students across ten schools about gender, society and performance art in Denmark.

In addition, Jannat was the Art Director and Project Coordinator at the AKS Festival (a festival that promotes awareness and dialogue on minorities and marginalised groups) in Copenhagen (in 2015), and the AKS Festival in Pakistan (in 2016).

She recently played an important role in putting forward the first transgender protection bill in the Senate, which has now been presented in Pakistan’s National Assembly.

Nadia Naviwala is a Wilson Centre Global Fellow and an independent American writer and researcher based in Islamabad. She investigates and writes about foreign aid, local philanthropy, civil society, and education in Pakistan.

Nadia moved to the capital in 2012 as the Pakistan Country Representative for the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). At USIP, she started the Peace Innovations Fund to give small, flexible support to social startups. Prior, she served as a Pakistan Desk Officer at USAID and a National Security Aide in the U.S. Senate.

In 2002 as a college student, Nadia started the internship program at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, DC.

She has also taught U.S. foreign policy at the National Defense University in Islamabad in 2014.

Nadia holds a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, where she was an International and Global Affairs Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, a Public Service Fellow, and an associate with the Carr Center Program on State-Building and Human Rights in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She holds a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Zohaib Kazi’s diverse body of work includes creating music, producing digital series and authoring a graphic novel, ‘Ismail Ka Urdu Sheher.’

Zohaib’s immensely successful digital series for Patari, ‘Fanoos’ is an attempt towards re-discovering Pakistani roots, by scouting regional talent across all corners of Pakistan and packaging them in an urban capsule to amplify the talent’s reach in the digital universe.

Through the understanding of various cultures in music, ‘Fanoos’ successfully attempted to blur the provincial boundaries in an attempt to reunite Pakistanis by allowing them to see and experience the sounds of their country on a macro, holistic level.

‘Ismail Ka Urdu Sheher,’ Zohaib’s debut graphic novel and music album, is a narrative that merges his curiosity in the field of science, literature and graphic design, in an attempt to make the world aware of several concepts in a form that is both informative and entertaining.

In addition, Zohaib is the former General Manager and Associate Producer for Coke Studio Pakistan.

Dr. Noreen Zafar is a well-known healthcare specialist who has been working in Pakistan since 1999, offering high quality gynecological care and empowering Pakistani women to become emancipated and independent decision-makers regarding their health.

She is also the founder of the Girls & Women Health Initiative (GWHI), an NGO that has initiated numerous taboo-breaking campaigns to increase the usage of contraception to reduce deaths caused by unsafe abortions.

Dr. Noreen Zafar’s extensive work experience also includes persistent efforts to end abuse, gender bias and to help women overcome depression and anxiety.

She has also set up numerous free medical camps in the country; holding awareness sessions and regularly training midwives and paramedics to perform safe deliveries, in addition to providing safe post-partum care.

Kamran Lashari is the Director General of the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) where he has been heavily involved in numerous conservation projects over the years that have gone a long way in the restoration of art and culture in the vibrant city of Lahore.

Some of his most well-known conservation projects – in collaboration with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture –  include the Wazir Khan Mosque, the Shahi Hammam, and the walled city of Lahore (as a whole), to name a few. Lashari also introduced street tourism to Lahore’s Old City, tourist rides via the popular ‘Rangeela Rickshaws’ and trained a number of walled city residents as tour guides.

Apart from his focus on the restoration of Lahore’s heritage sites, Kamran has organized a number of festivals and events – from culinary competitions, to performing arts festivals and a yearly photography exhibition (called ‘Wekh Lahore’).

Yusra Amjad is a poet, writer and stand-up comedian from Lahore. She organises and performs with the Auratnaak Lahore troupe and has been published at Crossed Genres, The Rising Phoenix Press, Mongrel Books, The Missing Slate and others.

Yusra is also involved with Girls at Dhabas, a collective aiming to reclaim public space for women. She believes in cultivating creative communities, in spoken word poetry, and in using both the written word and performing arts to subvert social hierarchies.


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