Connecting communities from Kazakhstan to Valladolid: Announcing the new class of TEDx Ambassadors

The 2016 class of TEDx Ambassadors

The 2016 class of TEDx Ambassadors

TEDx Ambassadors are veteran TEDx organizers who guide, support and connect other TEDx organizers in their region. TEDx Ambassadors serve as connectors of communities — fostering relationships between veteran and first-time organizers, answering questions from TEDx’ers both new and experienced, providing mentorship, attending events, organizing workshops and more within their region.

Today, we announce our new class of TEDx Ambassadors — six outstanding members of the TEDx global community dedicated to Ideas Worth Spreading in their local communities.

Belén Viloria, TEDxValladolid
Valladolid, Spain

Belén Viloria at TEDxValladolid

Belén Viloria at TEDxValladolid

Her TEDx story: I heard about TED and TEDx from my business partner and friend Juan. As strategic consultants, we used to use TED Talks to explain some concepts and one day he told me about some local TEDx events. I attended an event and the magic happened: I fell in love immediately with the experience, ideas, atmosphere, people and all the inspiration I received this day. After that, no question, I decided I would do it at home! Now I hold TEDx events to invigorate, open and enrich my community and to make a difference in the world.

What she does in her spare time when you’re she’s not organizing an event: I love drawing, growing my orchard, mentoring young entrepreneurs and working with social and cultural organizations developing innovative business models.

What she wants to bring to the TEDx community: My best, as always.

Changkun Shen, TEDxChongqing
Chongqing, China

Changkun Shen at TEDxChongqing

Changkun Shen at TEDxChongqing

His TEDx story: In the winter of 2010, I found a TEDx talk from the founder of my master’s degree program, Karl Henrik Robert, which was filmed at TEDxMälaren in Sweden and inspired me. From then on, I was interested in TEDx … I actively searched for and participated in several TEDx events in Beijing in-person … and finally became a TEDx organizer myself in 2012.

At the very beginning, it was just to satisfy my curiosity to see if I could meet the challenge of creating a cross-border multi-disciplinary event, which rarely happened all around my region; in the end, it turned out to go extremely well — we were all truly inspired. Soon our events became more regular and of a bigger size and surely impacted more people, then we found many fascinating ideas and connections coming from our own community. All of those things were enough to encourage and trigger me to keep on with TEDx.

What he does in his spare time when he’s not organizing an event: I am the co-founder and director of BM4 Lab, a social enterprise focusing on sustainable business consulting as well as youth leadership development (mainly through climate science outreach and maker camps). I am also active in climate advocacy wotk and take part in several NGO projects relating to climate change and poverty alleviation.

What he wants to bring to the TEDx community: At first, I would like to continuously search out local and Chinese-language ideas worth spreading. I am also excited to share my experiences, skills and capabilities to empower and encourage the TEDx community in China. Last, but not least, I am looking forward to being the witness for more and more innovations generated from our platform.

Fatiha Hajjat, TEDxLyon
Lyon, France

Fatiha Hajjat at TEDxLyon (Photo: Laurent Assouad)

Fatiha Hajjat at TEDxLyon (Photo: Laurent Assouad)

Her TEDx story: I first found TED back in 2010 while browsing the web. I organize [TEDxLyon] because I believe ideas have the power to change the world; because I feel it is my responsibility to be active in my community and try to make my city a better place; because it’s an incredible personal and collective journey.

What she does in her spare time when she’s not organizing an event: I read; I dance; I travel; I hike.

What she wants to bring to the TEDx community: Five years of practicing TEDx, my energy and my love!

Felipe Spath, TEDxGuatavita
Guatavita, Colombia

Felipe Spath (far right) at TEDxGuatavita

Felipe Spath (far right) at TEDxGuatavita

His TEDx story: I was invited several years ago to attend TEDxCeiba as a friend organized it (that was the first TEDx event in Colombia). I was totally amazed by the experience and inspiration. A few years later, Juan Pablo, the organizer of that and other TEDx events, ignited the idea of doing that first TEDx at a rural location in Colombia. The idea to organize TEDxGuatavita was born! I believe TEDx is a very powerful tool for social transformation. When you gather inspiring ideas, with chang makers, mentors and resources, you have a perfect recipe for change!

What he does in his spare time when he’s not organizing an event: I farm, cook, walk through the mountains, travel with my wife, and work on inspiring people to change our world. I have a design thinking lab where we ideate, prototype and scale ideas that can bring transformation. I am devoted to built a vibrant countryside, a place where rural youth can thrive, plant and harvest our future.

What he wants to bring to the TEDx community: I want to bring inspiration. To tell stories about the power of TEDx when it is taken to unusual places, such as as rural or peripheral locations. I want to share how you plant a TEDx at such locations, how you nurture it, and then harvest unthinkable results. I want to share our view of TEDx events as not the goal, or end, but the beginning of great things. I want to tell how we connect personal purposes with the purpose of a TEDx event and hence build connected and purposeful communities.

Larissa Pak, TEDxAlmaty
Almaty, Kazakhstan

Larissa Pak at TEDxAlmaty

Larissa Pak at TEDxAlmaty

Her TEDx story: In 2009, I started feeling the hunger for insightful and meaningful dialogue in [Almaty], which happened to be bound for social stagnation dominated by the political oppression. I first started organizing a 10-15 people informal “nerd meetings” to talk about everything in the world, things like: How do you measure success, what is creativity, is there life on Mars. While prepping for the a meeting, I found a [TED Talk] by Elizabeth Gilbert and … boom … I discovered the whole world of TED. It was the big bang in my world. Soon after that, I realized that I couldn’t keep it to myself and to even just the 15 people of my “nerds club.” The idea of TED fit 100% of my inner mission –- to spread ideas and bring people together around them.

In 2010, I organized the first TEDxAlmaty event and went to TEDGlobal. Since then my life has changed … I see the inspiration growing in the community … that’s why I do TEDx.

What she does in her spare time when she’s not organizing an event: I have now 20 years of professional experience working for private and non-profit sector in marketing and corporate communications, eight of which I was the managing director at the largest retail bank in the country. I then spent a year traveling around the world and interviewing “x-gene” people (an invented term where “x”- stands for open-minded and courageous). I have now returned to Kazakhstan to enthusiastically continue the development of the TEDx movement.

What she wants to bring to the TEDx community: My biggest motivation is the very idea of TED. It clicks with me on all levels. I believe that ideas can and do change our world for better; I believe in the technology that helps these ideas spread so rapidly; I believe in the greater good that TED is incrementally bringing to society at large through the effect of an idea sneaked and settled into one’s mind. TEDx is a universal platform which helps generate these ideas in every part of the world.

Piotr Wojciechowski, TEDxLublin
Lublin, Poland

Piotr Wojciechowski at TEDxLublin

Piotr Wojciechowski at TEDxLublin

His TEDx story: I went to TEDxKrakow 2012 as a participant and I got the “TEDx virus.” It connects me with amazing people with whom I can make ideas happen and have an positive impact on my community.

What he does in his spare time when he’s not organizing an event: I am taking care of my company called FUZERS – Powering Innovation.

What he wants to bring to the TEDx community: Experience, enthusiasm and a lot of ideas for future activities.


  1. Kat Haber

    Xtreme Xploration & Xpressions as you serve your region’s TEDx’s!

  2. Luis Antonio Botero

    Congratulations to all of them. I wish them hard work and lots of rewards

  3. Gilberto Uribe

    Cogratulations Pipe
    Good FOR YOU
    I see YOU

  4. This is such a great, and needed, program. Congrats, Ambassadors!

  5. Amir Noureddini

    Congratulations to all!
    If there was any ongoing post about MENA region, you should consider Iran as well. There is a hot vibe rising in this country. I felt a lot in common with these 6 people.

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