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TED Announces Speakers For First Ever TEDxSummit in Doha

May 10, 2012

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Doha, April 11, 2012 – More than 600 TEDx organizers from around the world will gather in Doha for the first ever TEDx summit from April 16-20 for a week of workshops, collaborative projects, regional and cross-regional brainstorming, talks, special events and cultural activities.

TED, the nonprofit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading,” announced the details of the inaugural ‘TEDxSummit: The Power of x’ and said the first night is to be open to the public so people from across Doha and the region will get the chance to hear speakers from the Arab world and beyond.

The TEDxSummit Opening Night will be called “The Power of Reframing”. It takes place on Monday, April 16, from 7-9:30pm at the Katara Amphitheater and is the only event during the summit that is open to the public.

“TEDxSummit Opening Night is a front row seat to powerful ideas from many fields, presented in the classic TED format,” says Bruno Giussani, TED’s European Director, who is curating the event. “The event will take place in a spectacular venue where, together with hundreds of passionate TEDx organizers and the Doha public, we will explore a range of global topics that push boundaries and cross cultures.”

Amanda Palmer, Executive Director of DFI, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting this exciting event that showcases some fantastically talented thinkers from our region as well as respected speakers from different parts of the world. The event will be another step towards building a strong knowledge economy in Qatar and establishing the country as a thinker’s capital. We hope locals and expatriates from all walks of life will come along to the opening night and be stimulated by the passion and creativity of those taking the stage at this informative and entertaining event.”

TEDxSummit Opening Night speakers include:

Zain Awad – With a musical mastery that began at the age of four, the Jordanian singer and pianist evolved into a performer who touches listeners with songs about humanitarian issues.

Maz Jobrani – As the “Axis of Evil Comedy Tour” toured the Middle East and a number of international venues, the Iranian-American actor and comedian became renowned for his unique style and message.

Wolfgang Kessling –A respected physicist and director of Transsolar, Kessling and his team helped with Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid.

Raghava KK – An Indian artist whose work spans painting, installation and film,Raghava will share his “200-year plan” and will explain how we are becoming self-curators of our own experiences and memories.

William Noel – The curator of manuscripts and rare books at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Noel has used a particle accelerator to read ancient works and pioneered open-source collaborative research.

Nesrim Ozlap – A pioneering scientist and the director of the Sustainable Energy Lab at Doha’s Texas A&M University, Nersim works on a technology enabling a solar-powered process, called “solar cracking,” to split natural gas and make it cleaner.

Hans Rosling – The audience will be treated to a rare analysis of the relationship between economic development and fertility across different cultures and religions from Rosling, one of TED’s most popular speakers renowned for his presentation of data on health and economics.

Fahad Bin Mohammed Al-Attiya – Chairman of the Qatar National Food Security Programme, Al-Attiya is leading the development of a model for sustainable, environmentally friendly agriculture in arid regions, to achieve food security in dry land countries.

“TEDxSummit is the first time that this incredible global community of TEDx organizers is coming together in person to share their vision for the future of the TEDx program,” says TEDx Director Lara Stein. “TEDxSummit Opening Night is an exciting way to start off the week’s events and to celebrate the third anniversary of the TEDx program.”

TEDx events are independently organized local events that inspire communities to discuss big ideas in a wide range of subjects – education, health, community, science, design, technology, entertainment and more. Nearly 3,500 TEDx events have taken place in three years, in 1,000 cities, in more than 125 countries.

The TEDx Summit is proud to be supported by: Principal partner Katara Cultural Village; Official hotel partner Kempinski Residences & Suites, Doha; Official Technology partners- Fifty One East and Sony, Official Digital Partner Google; Official Carrier partner Qatar Airways; Contributing partner Qatar Museums Authority and Official Host Broadcaster Al Jazeera Network. Media Partners for the event include International Herald Tribune and Time Out Doha.

For more information about TEDxSummit, please visit

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, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. 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 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Long Beach, California, along with the TEDActive simulcast in Palm Springs. The annual TEDGlobal conference is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED’s media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide, the educational initiative TED-Ed, and TEDBooks, short e-books by speakers that elaborate on a single idea originally presented on TED’s stage. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

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