The World Inside Your Head



TEDxDuke: February 27, 2016

Hear new ideas, stretch your mind and get involved-this is an opportunity you cannot afford to miss.

Last year’s TEDxDuke event was our largest and most ambitious event on record; we’re proud to say that the TEDx program at Duke has exploded over the last few years and with a broader horizon comes a plethora of greater challenges. Whilst thinking about how we would tackle the issues of taking TEDx to the next level on the Duke campus, we considered how we could explore the world inside our heads to help share ideas worth spreading.

We all see different ways to create and contribute to society based on our personal perspectives and the "world inside our head", and we decided that this event was the perfect opportunity to open the floor up to hearing how Duke and the larger Durham community view the things around them, and why.

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Past Talks

  • Suhani Jalota at TEDxDuke 2015

  • Rence at TEDxDuke 2015

  • Dr. Jeffrey H. Lawson at TEDxDuke 2014

  • Alana Jackson at TEDxDuke 2014


    Thabit Pulak

    Occupation: Student, Duke University

    Talk Topic: Producing Water Filters for Bangladesh as an example of taking steps to change your world (Title TBD)

    Thabit is currently a sophomore at Duke, majoring in Environmental Sciences and Policy. Thabit is interested in working to solve environmental problems in the developing world, with a particular emphasis on solving public health problems. He currently runs a non-profit organization called iKormi, which aims to provide clean and affordable drinking water for villages in Bangladesh through the manufacturing of sustainably built water filters made with local labor and materials. He is also the head coordinator of water filter operations at the Sabrina Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Bangladesh which works on improving the state of a variety of causes, ranging from education to public health. Thabit was a 2014 Texan of the Year finalist (alongside people like Ted Cruz and George Bush) , as well as one of 40 finalists nationwide of the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search.

  • Thabit Pulak

  • Jaehoon Sung

    Jaehoon Sung

    Occupation: Student, Duke University

    Talk Title: Creating Technology With Community in Mind

    Jaehoon Sung is a first-year student from South Korea studying in the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University. As a student who has a hearing impairment, he dreams of making better medical technologies for people like him. He spent a good portion of his high school life familiarizing himself with the deaf community, navigating around both humanities and the Engineering world. His goal for TEDxDuke? To share why his engineering dreams and connection to the people of the deaf community go hand in hand.

  • Jaehoon Sung

  • Jessica Ruhle

    Occupation: Manager of Public Programs at the Nasher Museum of Art

    Talk Topic: Using Art to help Alzheimer's Patients

    Jessica established and directs Reflections: The Nasher Museum’s Alzheimer’s Project. Started in 2014, this program provides engaging and interactive museum tours to visitors with memory loss and their care partners. Jessica presented the Reflections program internationally in Belfast at IdeasLab 2015 on the topic “Dementia, Arts and Culture.” She was also named “North Carolina Art Museum Educator of the Year, 2014-2015” by the NC Art Education Association. This annual award recognizes museum educators who creatively engage all museum visitors.

    Jessica has worked at the Nasher Museum of Art since 2010. Prior to being at the Nasher Museum, she worked in Museum Education across the Triangle at the NC Museum of History, the NC Museum of Art, and Marbles Kids Museum. Before arriving in NC, Jessica worked at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in DC.

  • 07

    Jessica Ruhle

  • Adam Chandler

    Occupation: Lawyer and Speechwriter at the US Department of Justice

    Talk Title: Changing The Way Choose Our Leaders

    In addition to briefing and arguing appeals in antitrust cases, Chandler has vetted fifteen of President Obama’s judicial nominees and prepped them for Senate confirmation hearings. Forbes named Chandler one of its “30 Under 30 in Law & Policy” in 2014, and in 2013, Chandler published a widely circulated coming-out essay in the New York Times. Chandler earned his J.D. from Yale Law School in 2011; a master’s degree from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar; and a B.S. in mathematics from Duke University.

  • 04

    Adam Chandler

  • Pooja Mehta

    Occupation/Title: Student, Duke University

    Talk Topic: Mental Health Awareness and the Importance of Empathy (Title TBD)

    Pooja is a junior, majoring in Biology and Global Health. In Global Health, she is focusing on mental health and hopes to get a degree in Psychiatric Epidemiology (Pooja's Note: "yes, that's a thing"). Currently, she is running a small business called Cupcake Remake, and the rest of her time goes to advocating for Mental Health and well-being, and for Mental Illness awareness. She is a founder of Duke’s NAMI chapter, and serves as a senator on Duke Student Government for Equity and Outreach, with a focus on improving mental well-being and psychiatric resources on campus. Her goal is to reduce and remove the misconceptions and stigma that surrounds mental illnesses, and pioneer a societal change that prioritizes physical and mental well-being and facilitates a healthier environment for all.

  • Pooja Mehta

  • Dr. Benjamin Reese Jr.

    Benjamin Reese Jr.

    Occupation: Vice President, Office of Institutional Equity at Duke University

    Talk Title: "I Treat Everyone Fairly..."

    For the last 40 years, Dr. Reese has served as a consultant to educational institutions, profit and not-for-profit corporations, and healthcare organizations in the areas of organizational change, conflict resolution, race relations, cross-cultural education and diversity. He is highly regarded as a senior diversity practitioner with a national reputation.

    Before moving to North Carolina, he was the Associate Executive Director of the Fifth Ave Center for Counseling and Psychotherapy in New York City, the Ombudsperson for the Rockefeller Foundation, and founder and director of The Institute for the Study of Culture and Ethnicity in Manhattan. He has represented both the International Council of Psychologists and the World Federation for Mental Health (Non-Governmental Organizations) at the United Nations. He is the co-founder of the North Carolina Diversity and Inclusion Partners in Higher Education and a trustee of the Wake Technical Community College in North Carolina.

  • 11

    Benjamin Reese Jr.

  • Alison Adcock

    Alison Adcock

    Occupation: Core Faculty, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience & Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Talk Title: "Auto-Placebo: Using Thoughts to Control Brain Circuits and Neurochemistry"

    Dr. Adcock received her MD and PhD from Yale University. She completed a residency in psychiatry and a postdoctoral fellowship at University of California San Francisco, and is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She currently works at Duke University, researching motivated memory

  • 08

    Alison Adcock

  • Ted Yavuzkurt

    Occupation/Title: Student, Duke University

    Talk Title: The Stories We Tell Ourselves

    Ted Yavuzkurt is a Duke University Senior dual majoring in Public Policy and Computer Science. He previously had two false starts at Duke, eventually leaving as a junior. He then took several years away from campus to work and search for a better approach to life. Since returning, he spends his time on academics, writing for the Duke Chronicle, and working on a social entrepreneurship project developed at the 2016 Winter Forum. Outside of school, Ted’s interests include piano, technology, and mindfulness. He is a pragmatic idealist, always seeking achievable ways to improve the world.

  • 03

    Ted Yavuzkurt

  • Jonathan Anomaly

    Jonathan Anomaly

    Occupation: Professor, Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill

    Talk Title: Moral Obligation and Rational Ignorance

    Professor Anomaly is a core faculty member in the Philosophy, Politics, & Economics program at Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill. He works mostly on issues at the intersection of ethics and economics, including how we should respond to the under-consumption of vaccines and the over-consumption of antibiotics, and whether the market for biomedical enhancements should be regulated in any way. More generally, his research focuses on collective action problems.

  • 12

    Jonathan Anomaly

Meet Our Executive Team

    Nayib Gloria


    Nayib Gloria's ideal major involved equal parts molecular biology, big data analysis, and Westerosi public policy study. Once that last part was rejected, he settled for studying Cell & Molecular Biology and Computer Science.

    He joined TEDxDuke his freshman year because he appreciated the concept of providing a platform for "Ideas Worth Spreading" on campus, and sees the conference as an opportunity to both provide the community a voice and spur new points of conversation. Now on the Executive Board, he hopes to help deliver a quality event that makes people think and grow intellectually.

  • team1

    Nayib Gloria

  • Morgan Irons


    Bio: Coming Soon!

  • team2

    Morgan Irons

  • Shade Adeyemo


    Shade Adeyemo is a Trinity junior from Nashville, TN studying International Comparative Studies, Visual and Media Studies, and English. Past TEDxDuke experience includes Marketing Committee for TEDxDuke 2014: Challenge Accepted and Co-Set Designer for TEDxDuke 2015: Building Energy. When she isn’t working on TEDxDuke conferences, Shade is sharing “the world inside her head” with Hoof ‘n’ Horn, Duke’s student-run musical theater troupe.

  • team3

    Shade Adeyemo

  • Anne Driscoll


    Bio: Coming Soon!

  • team6

    Anne Driscoll

  • Yuming Shi


    Bio: Coming Soon!

  • team7

    Yuming Shi

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 conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with many initiatives.

At a TED conference, the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less. TED speakers have included Roger Ebert, Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Gates, Elizabeth Gilbert, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, NgoziOkonjo-Iweala, Brian Greene, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Three major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Vancouver, Canada, simultaneous with TEDActive, in Whistler, BC; and the TEDGlobal Conference takes place each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

On, talks from TED conferences are shared with the world for free as TED Talks videos. A new TED Talk is posted every weekday. Through the Open Translation Project, TED Talks are subtitled by volunteers worldwide into more than 90 languages. Through our distribution networks, TED Talks are shared on TV, radio, Netflix and many websites.

The TEDx initiative grants free licenses to people around the world to organize TED-style events in their communities with TED Talks and live speakers. More than 5,000 TEDx events have been held, and selected talks from these events are also turned into TED Talks videos.

The annual TED Prize grants $1 million to an exceptional individual with a wish to change the world. The TED Fellows program helps 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. TED-Ed creates short video lessons by pairing master teachers with animators, for use in classroom instruction or independent learning.

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