The third TEDxKAUST event at KAUST took place on Saturday, April 10, 2021, under the theme True Grit. This event was produced by the Office of Enrichment Programs with the support of a student committee and the Office of the Arts. The talks and performances are available on TEDx's YouTube channel. Visit the TEDxKAUST website to learn more about this event, or contact Guiomar Duarte, event licensee, and lead organizer, at guiomar.duarte@kaust.edu.sa.

Photos of the Event

The photos of the event are available on this Flickr album.

Watch the TEDxKAUST 2021 Talks and Performances

The Perseverance Triangle | Ameerah Bokhari 

  Ameerah Bokhari shares strategies to go through life's ups and downs when the downs seem to last longer than we can endure. KAUST alumna Dr. Ameerah Bokhari (MS ‘11, Ph.D.‘ 18) earned her Ph.D. in the Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering division in June 2018. She is published in high impact factor journals such as Scientific Reports and Nucleic Acid Research. Dr. Bokhari joined Saudi Aramco in March 2019 and received the prestigious 2019 EXPEC ARC’s Exceptional Newcomer Award for her outstanding contributions. She enjoys art and design in addition to reading in self-development and psychology during her free time. Her passion for helping others motivated her to share her True GRIT idea in TEDx KAUST.

Overcoming Adversity Towards Academic Success | Carlos Santamarina 

  Professor Carlos Santamarina interviewed more than 300 people for data to figure out the role of true grit on academic achievements and life satisfaction. J. Carlos Santamarina (Professor - KAUST) graduated from Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and completed graduate studies at the University of Maryland and Purdue University. Santamarina’s Ph.D research in artificial intelligence led to research sidelines that include creativity and analyses of the events that can both hinder and enhance excellence (true grit). The core of his research centers on the science of geomaterials and engineering solutions to address global energy challenges. Santamarina is a frequent keynote lecturer at international conferences; his former group members are faculty members at more than forty universities, researchers at national laboratories, and practicing engineers at leading organizations. 

Brand Your Mission | Dawood Mohanna 

  Dawood Mohanna talks about his branding strategy to bring goals to life, so they don't get forgotten in a notepad far away from the real world. Dawood works at the KAUST Entrepreneurship Centre as a Creative Consultant and Content Developer as part of the Online Learning Program team. He has over 16 years of experience in the fields of Marketing Communications, Advertising, and Organization Development. As a trainer, Dawood specializes in Brand Building, Creative Ideation, and Idea Pitching for startups. Dawood has a major passion for beekeeping, camping and voice acting.

 Discovering the Obvious | William McDonnough 

  Nature doesn't seem to have a design problem; people do. In this talk, the Globally recognized leader in sustainable design, William McDonough talks about using sustainability and grit to find solutions to our design problems. William McDonough is a globally recognized leader in sustainable design. His 2002 book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, is widely recognized as a seminal text of sustainability. He is an architect, counsels corporate and government leaders, and co-created the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Products Program. His academic history includes professorships at KAUST, Stanford University, and Cornell University, and he was Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia. Time magazine recognized him as a “Hero for the Planet,” noting: “His utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that-in demonstrable and practical ways—is changing the design of the world.”

 Breathing Life From the Yoga Mat | Nimisha Rajawat 

  NOTE FROM TED: While some viewers may find this talk helpful as a complementary approach, please do not look to this talk for medical advice. This talk only represents the speaker's personal views and understanding of yoga and healing which lacks sufficient scientific evidence. We've flagged this talk because it falls outside the content guidelines TED gives TEDx organizers. TEDx events are independently organized by volunteers. The guidelines we give TEDx organizers are described in more detail here: http://storage.ted.com/tedx/manuals/t... Nimisha Rajawat tells us how true Yoga can become your ally through moments of hardship, not only for you as a person but also as part of a community. Nimisha was born and grew up in a small town of India. Her father was a farmer. She got a Masters in museology and later a postgraduate degree in Early Childhood Education from Canada. But these degrees couldn’t not divert her from pursuing the true purpose of her life-Yoga. Nimisha has been a Certified Registered yoga and mindful teacher for the last 11yrs. Her purpose and goal in life to bring the powerful practice of yoga to benefit people’s lives. 5 years ago she self-started Garage Yoga for the People in her garage at KAUST. She is the mother of two gorgeous young children. Nimisha loves to cook for her friends and family, is a passionate weight lifter and Thai boxer. She believes movement is the way to live life to its fullest—helping us to thrive in both physical health and mental well-being.
 Let it Be | A. Henriques, N. Demille, J. Tulley, K. Gorenflot, P. Diglin & D. Keyes 

   A cover of a famous Beatles' song played by Suite 16 - a musical ensemble that was born during the lockdown, when a group of colleagues that used to work together in the same building (Building 16) united virtually to play music. Antonio Henriques, born in Lisbon in 1976, studied both Jazz and Classical double bass in the Lisbon Hot Clube and the Lisbon Conservatoire, simultaneously, he played in rock bands and youth orchestras. He also became a member of the Lisbon Chamber Choir. After taking a degree in music education, Antonio started teaching music in schools and soon moved to Saudi Arabia in 2007 where he became the Head of Music of the British International School Al Khobar and an active member of the musical community in the Eastern Province and Bahrain. Antonio recently joined KAUST, as a music specialist, working for the Office of the Arts. Nicholas Demille is a Senior Advisor for Corporate Communications at KAUST University. James Tulley is an HR specialist at KAUST and drums player Katja Gorenflot started learning the piano at the age of four and entered a prestigious junior conservatoire when she was eleven years old. During this period, she was a piano major with a minor in flute and received intensive practical and theoretical music training. She holds an ABRSM diploma in piano performance and is a piano and flute teacher working for over a decade in Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan. Peter Diglin is a music teacher and saxophone player David Keyes is a Professor in Computational mathematics and statistics at KAUST; high-performance computing, and piano player.

 No Reality but Me | Afra Khan, Summeya Ali & Alicia Ali 

   Poetic vocals conceived by Alicia Ali during a time of mandatory self-isolation on the KAUST campus, “No Reality but me”, turns into a fellowship piece with the addition of Summeya Ali’s voice and Afra Khan’s audio-visual journey. Afra Khan is a music producer, live controllerist, lyricist, new media artist and DJ. Growing up between places, with a majority of her formative years spent in Saudi Arabia, she finds the notions of conformity, belonging, and identity very illusionary and dangerous ideas that reflect in the versatile sound of her performances. 15-year-old high school student turned author and entrepreneur rocks-literally and walks the talk with her totally trendy Fools Paradise clothing brand successfully launched at age 14. Her motivation to create a meaningful message on self-love stems from her passion to deliver a hard talk for youth by youth which she clearly feels is least emphasized in today’s world. Alicia is a published author and her upcoming seven-volume book of poetic outpourings is soon to be released. She carefully selected poetic themes on love, consciousness, separation, union, and soul phenomenon to name a few, address matters of the heart and the human condition.

The University's second TEDx event took place on Saturday, August 31, 2019. TEDxKAUST featured six inspiring speakers, including faculty, staff, students, and community members, and was sponsored by the Office of Enrichment Programs. The theme, Driving Force, focused on pioneering, inspiring ideas by exceptional individuals in their communities. The talks presented aimed at encouraging our audience and viewers to unleash their potential for the betterment of the world. 
TEDxKAUST 2019. 

Visit the TEDxKAUST website to learn more about this event.


If you have questions, please email guiomar.duarte@kaust.edu.sa