TEDxAUBG 2017: Sharing Ideas “Across Imagination”

April 21, 2017

Speakers from nine different countries came to AUBG to share their stories and inspire the audience at TEDxAUBG on April 8. Eleven speakers portrayed their visions in front of AUBG students and Blagoevgrad citizens under the this year‘s TEDxAUBG slogan “Across Imagination.“

The talks included community psychology, fashion, building a successful life, entrepreneurship economics, and social media.

Ronald Harvey, Assistant Professor in Psychology at AUBG, opened the conference with his speech on community psychology and how it affects individuals. Harvey also shared the findings about Oxford Houses system, as means of helping people with addictions, mentioning the House he opened in Varna, Bulgaria.

Milena Stoycheva, the CEO of Junior Achievement Bulgaria delivered the next talk. Stoycheva shared her thoughts on disruptive innovations in education and the motivation behind learning.

Jeanine Gloyer is the co-founder of the fashion label “Jyoti- Fair Works,” which aims to bring fair wages to employees in production industries. Gloyer’s story started when she volunteered in India in 2008, meeting with women working in the textile industry. Gloyer talked about the behind-the-scene of fashion industries, how it affects workers, and the role of women in the production industry.

Madina Demirbash, a family relationship expert and psychologist, gave answers to the most common relationship question and shared her personal story. She introduced the practice of the chair – a theory of sharing space and life with the partner, and developing the personal “self”.

Jovanny Varela-Ferreyra is the founder of Artidote, a storytelling social media platform, where anyone can share their art, tell a story and find help. Varela-Ferreyra explained the idea of the platform by showing a real-life example of how his project saved a young woman from committing suicide.

Santra, a Bulgarian hip hop singer, talked about the importance of individuality. Santra emphasized accepting one’s own self is more important than trying to correspond to society’s perspectives.

Andras Baneth, a strategic communications and public affairs expert, shared his ideas about the side effects of innovation and the importance of being aware of the innovations.

Kerim Ture, the co-founder and CEO of Modanisa, a Muslim women fashion website, delivered the next talk. Ture is developing the new fashion for Muslim women – colorful and divided into age groups. The reason behind the creation of the company is empowering women and making them feel confident, he said.

Mile Grncarov, a second-year AUBG student from Macedonia, continued the conference with the trending topic of fake news. Grncarov showed how easy fake news can be created and shared and how many people are misled. He also emphasized that the majority of young people cannot distinguish fake news and shared tips on how to spot lies.

Vu Nguyen, co-founder of multiple tech companies, spoke about his experience of pursuing the American dream and living happily. He adviced to not be afraid of change and do what you are passionate about.

Mieke Meurs, a professor at American University in Washington D.C., an Executive VP of the International Association for Feminist Economics, and a visiting AUBG economics professor, talked about how economics should consider people as social humans and not as rational ones. Meurs pointed out how this approach will allow having a more stable economy.

During the lunch breaks, the audience could enjoy refreshments provided by the TEDxAUBG team and chat with the speakers. Some of the sponsors of the event included AUBG, Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria, A Data Pro, VR, PWC,, and Bloomberg TV Bulgaria. 

Story by Xenia Cotlearova
Photo courtesy of TEDxAUBG

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