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In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

Our event is called TEDxKL, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxKL event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized

Bibop G. Gresta

Transportation, Finance & Startups Maven

Bibop Gresta is the chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies since 2014.

With a team of more than 500 professionals in 42 countries, their quest is to build the Hyperloop™ Transportation System — the next generation of travel — by utilising existing infrastructures, it will save construction costs of railway projects and reduce travel time.

Hyperloop is a pod that levitates inside of a low pressure tube environment, propelled forward by a compressor at a speed of 760mph. Energy-sufficient and consuming little resources, solar panels placed along the track will fuel the entire system and create a net excess of energy. The climate-controlled capsule travels inside of a reinforced “tube” pathway, rendering the Hyperloop weather-independent and earthquake-safe, thanks to the use of their pylons.

With expertise ranging from the fields of startups, transportation, media and finance, Bibop specializes in mass market community building and project design. He is also on the board of several humanitarian efforts including Cure Aids Project, Project Happiness and Project Peace on Earth, and supports transhumanism and ethical entrepreneurship.

Starting off in software developing, he was a media personality in Italy hosting and producing various TV shows. He then founded Bibop in 1995, a successful production company and agency focused on content distribution with 56 active clients among the top 50 brands, which later hit the news on its own when he sold 40 percent of the company to Telecom Italia for 11 billion Lira.

In 2001, he founded the Digital Magics Group, a digital media incubator and started up more than 68 companies. He then pioneered the venture capital market with two stock listed company in the UK and Germany investing more than 70 million Pounds.

He then relocated to the US in 2011 to focus his energies on building Digital Magics and the award-winning Yottio multimedia platform which expands audience engagement through real-time fully moderated video participation.

Rajeev Peshawaria

Thought Leader

CEO of the Iclif Leadership & Governance Centre, author of Too Many Bosses, Too Few Leaders, co-author of Be the Change and a regular writer for Forbes, Rajeev Peshawaria has extensive global experience in leadership and human capital consulting.

He began his professional life as a banker and currency trader. Very soon thereafter he became disillusioned with the fact that a lot of young people joined the workforce full of hope and enthusiasm, only to be crushed into cynicism by bosses who do not care enough to develop and nurture them. He could not understand the work-life balance debate, and struggled with questions like: Why are work and life considered so different and opposite from each other? Why don’t people feel a sense of excitement coming to work every day? He also noticed that while technological advances were changing life and work at a pace never experienced before, certain management practice was still stuck in the 1930s.

Unable to discard these thoughts from his mind, Rajeev began to self-educate himself on the mysteries of human behaviour, and eventually abandoned the highly lucrative field of trading for a career in human resources – something that was considered suicidal at that time. He concluded that many people and organizations under-achieve their potential because of poor leadership, or at times, no leadership at all. He has since dedicated his life to redefining leadership, thereby helping individuals in enriching their lives, and organizations in achieving their full potential.

Rajeev has provided speaking and consulting services globally. His clients include Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Mitsubishi, Johnson & Johnson, MetLife, The World Bank, US Treasury, US Securities & Exchange Commission, Indian Railways, Sinarmas, Allianz, Permata Bank, PwC, Nestle, Mohammad bin Rashid School of Government, Prudential, Maybank, Great Eastern, Citibank and many more.

He has also served as guest faculty at leading business schools in the US, Europe and Asia. Prior to joining Iclif, he has been Chief Learning Officer of both Coca-Cola and Morgan Stanley, and has held senior positions at American Express and Goldman Sachs.

Rajeev has been featured on various media channels including Bloomberg TV and radio, National Public Radio (NPR), Harvard Business Review, CNBC, Fast Company, Forbes, Leader to Leader, American Management Association and Leadership Excellence magazines, The Times of India, The National Dubai and The Mint.


Izmir Yamin

Rocket Scientist

Izmir Yamin is the founder and Chief Executive of two technology-based companies, Independence-X Aerospace and Pulsar UAV.

Independent-X is the first Malaysian and only Southeast Asian team — out of 16 teams worldwide that made it into the finals of the Google Lunar XPRIZE — with the mission to launch a rover to the moon by 2017. The GLXP challenges innovators from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration.

Since college, Izmir has been working on aerospace propulsion system, namely chemical and electric propulsion technologies. He has also developed electric fuel cell systems. His interest in propulsion, orbital mechanics and control system provides the know-how and experiences to contribute towards the planning for the lunar mission.

He was also a project engineer at a British aerospace firm based in Malaysia working on Airbus engineering projects.

Izmir holds a BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering degree and a Diploma in Aerospace Engineering from the MARA University of Technology in Shah Alam, Malaysia. He did his Business Administration studies in Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, USA and later pursued his Masters of Engineering studies at University Malaya focusing on “Biomimetic Flapping Winged Micro Aerial Vehicle (Robotic Dragonfly)”.

Izmir was also a nominee at the New York World Technology Awards, among other tech luminaries.

Anne Deguerry

Bio-conversion Advocate

Anne Deguerry is a lawyer by training who holds two master’s degrees, one in management and the other in commercial law, as well as a postgraduate diploma in European law.

As a traveller, she sailed around the world for six years before settling down in Madagascar where she founded and managed a law firm that specializes in corporate law and land law.

Having a strong commitment to social and environmental responsibility, Anne held the position as the secretary general of Femmes Environnement Majunga, a non-governmental organisation which promotes, in a sustainable way, the economic development and empowerment of the women community in the Majunga area through weaving and natural dyes.

After leaving Madagascar for Malaysia in 2011, she switched her focus to marketing, art and design development. She was involved at the onset of the development of Entofood, a bio-conversion technology company that produces insect-based products as a sustainable solution for animal nutrition and organic fertilizer.

She is currently in charge of marketing, ethical development and communications for Entofood and strongly advocates environmentally-friendly practices and sustainability.

Fabrice Schnoller

Engineer, Acoustic Researcher

Ten years ago, after a life-changing experience with a pod of whales, Fabrice Schnoller, a French engineer, freelance biologist and acoustic researcher founded the Darewin Project: a research program dedicated to whales and dolphins communication.

Using freediving (diving without oxygen) to capture 360° underwater video and audio to analyse these intelligent creatures’ behaviours, Fabrice and his associates at Click Research invented breakthrough virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) tools and set the standards for new research and media paradigms.

The project’s main endeavour was to understand these smart species, their dialects and communications attempts with humans, as well as sharing the experiences and emotions of their eye-to-eye encounters through virtual reality.

The data collected is available in an open-source platform and free-of-charge to scientists, and professional researchers interested in the better understanding of cetacean echolocation and click communication.

Darewin Project’s recent collaboration with the New York Times Op-Doc series, Vrse.works and Annapurna Pictures resulted in the production of The Click Effect, one of the first VR films to be shot directly underwater capturing the freediving experiences in the oceans with whales and dolphins. Created based on a book “Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves” by journalist James Nestor and filmmaker Sandy Smolan, the film was selected for screening at the Sundance, Tribeca and Cannes film festivals.

Bernard Goh

Artistic Director

A graduate from the Malaysian Institute of Art, Bernard Goh is the founder and artistic director of Hands Percussion (HANDS) which has been a major part of the Malaysian performing arts.

He was among the first batch of students studying under master Tan Hooi Song who was the founder of ’24 Festive Drumming’ troupe — each drum represents one of the 24 solar terms of the agricultural seasons in the Chinese calendar.

Bernard founded Hands Percussion with Eric Ch’ng in 1997, and later started travelling internationally with the team members. He brought in the group’s first deaf member in 2007 and has since taught and coached several hearing-impaired students who have performed in numerous shows with the group.

He further promoted the drumming culture when he was appointed chairman of the ’24 festive drumming’ promotions department in the cultural consultative committee of the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Hua Zong).

Anne Tham

Education Reformist

With almost 30 years in education, founder and group CEO Anne Tham and her team at ACE EdVenture are paving the way for education. During her time teaching at KDU College and Taylor’s College, Anne made a stark observation that a majority of school leavers starting college lacked (and still do) fundamental critical thinking skills needed to meet the demands of the workplace. Even more so, was their poor English proficiency especially if they wanted to excel on a global stage.

In 1995, Anne set off to change the learning paradigm for school students by incorporating methods that engage the many facets of learning into her curriculum. Known as the ACE EdVenture Programme, she incorporated the “Oh! Effect” of learning instead of the traditional “memorize, spit out and forget the next day” method. The programme that prides itself on offering “an education which doesn’t end when the classes do” is an educational experience that challenges students’ critical thinking; allowing them to learn the dynamics of teamwork and leadership as they develop excellent work ethics as individuals.

ACE EdVenture has evolved into a multitude of learning centres and two international schools: Sri Emas International School and Malaysia’s first entrepreneurial school, Dwi Emas International School.

Together with their project partner Jakarta-based Artoncode, ACE EdVenture Studio created what is claimed to be the world’s first Chemistry-learning role-playing game called the ChemCaper.

Mathavan Chandran

Group Chief Executive Officer, InfoValley Group of Companies

An entrepreneur with keen interest in management, biotechnology and informatics, Mathavan Chandran (or Matt as he is fondly known as) founded InfoValley® in 2000 and has since held the position of Group Chief Executive Officer of InfoValley Group, which has its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and its global business office in London.

The group has broad interests in life sciences, and are continuously generating new ideas and translating them into meaningful and saleable technologies with high value applications. The business applications are primarily grouped into two verticals i.e biotechnologies and advance medical informatics.

In the managerial domain, Matt serves as the Managing Consultant of InfoValley Business Management Sdn. Bhd., a boutique business management consultancy company. His current passion is in working out a framework that will bring out the best of management, science and technology in innovation and business value creation.

During his employment years, Matt served at Metacorp as a research and development chemist and held other senior positions before being promoted to the position of factory manager. Subsequently, he was  the regional business manager (chemical sector) for Peregrine Direct Investment, Hong Kong and was based at a few international locations. After that, he was the regional manager specialty chemicals business units at UCB Chemicals Asia Pacific.

Rajiv Bhanot

Doctor, Social Entrepreneur

A medical practitioner by profession, Dr Rajiv Bhanot moved on to pursue the path of social entrepreneurship after having spent some years working at a government hospital. Over a five-year period, he has helped build up a few different startup companies and converted them into high-growth sustainable businesses.

He is currently the managing director of H2O Saver, a technology-based company that works on providing a cutting-edge solution to water filtration that he believes will eventually be able to end water poverty. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Face Factors Clinic – a premier aesthetic and wellness clinic located in Kuala Lumpur.

Besides his involvement in the corporate sector, he is also active in various non-governmental organizations, namely as chairman of FORWARD – an NGO that works on tackling issues related to education and poverty faced by numerous Malaysian communities. He is also the chairman of Maruma which is an organization that connects Malaysians who have studied or are looking at venturing into the Russian Federation.

As Dr Rajiv was planning his mother’s 60th birthday in 2015, he realised that there was a huge vacuum in the market, for people in his position especially, having spent hours of his time visiting potential venues much to his frustration. When the idea of having a platform to efficiently source venues, manage, and plan out events was put forward to him, Dr Rajiv immediately jumped on board and the company Venuescape was born.

His simple philosophy in life is if you start doing something, do it with 100% commitment, reach for the unreachable while protecting the fun and joy that should come from doing it.

Hands Percussion

Malaysian Drumming & Musical Group

Since its inception in 1997, Hands Percussion’s highly acclaimed spellbinding performances have wowed audiences in the country and at drumming competitions, music and cultural festivals around the world and won them several Malaysian arts awards and a special performance award in Dijon, France.

With a rich and colourful Malaysian cultural background among its group members, the varied influences have been incorporated into their energetic creative performances. HANDS main acts comprise of contemporary theatrical drumming infused with beats from the Shigu drums and accompanied by diverse South-east Asian musical instruments. They put a spin into this art form by combining various artistic elements into their performances.

The musical group leading members have coached more than 8,000 students in the art form at various schools and drumming camps. The “Balik Kampung” (back to hometown) projects are an extension of the drumming camps where HANDS brings the ’24 festive drumming’ culture to the villages and small towns where children lack the opportunities to enjoy and experience the performing arts.

Saidah Rastam

Musician, Composer, Author

Saidah Rastam has composed music for for gamelan, martial artists, opera singers, choral groups, jazz ensembles, western orchestras and electronic music. Her music is often cross-cultural: Indian classical instruments and jazz in Scintillations, Malay poetry and western classical voices in Lapangan Ya-ya-ya;  Chinese opera singers and a jazz quartet in Spirits; folk music from six Asian countries in Prism, traditional Chinese instruments and Malay gamelan in Keras Bila Dipadu. In M! the Opera, Saidah combined Malay traditional instruments and asli singing with a western orchestra and SATB vocal arrangements.

Her work as music director of large-scale theatre and events includes Cabaret at Singapore’s Esplanade Theatre; Prism which went on a six- nation tour, and, the launch of the Petronas Twin Towers. She also composed film soundtracks for Wong Hoy Cheong’s
Re:Looking (shown at the 50th Venice Biennale), Khir Rahman’s transgender drama “…Dalam Botol”, and Amir Muhammad’s indie film Lips to Lips.

As a music producer for commercials, Saidah worked with many different types of music ranging from Gregorian chants to electronica. Collaborations with dancers include Aida Redza’s Feast of Fools and AWAS! with Akademi Seni Kebangsaan. Besides Malaysia, her music has been performed in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and the USA.

Chuck the Duck and Lapangan Ya-Ya-Ya, both commissioned by the Australian Song Company, have become part of their standard repertoire and has been performed worldwide.

Malam Terang Bulan, a show she created, wrote and directed, was staged in 2014 and in 2015 at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (Philharmonic Hall) to popular and critical acclaim. It was, as described by actress and director Jo Kukathas, “[The] story of Malayan music, the story of the birth of our national anthem and a much deeper, moving narrative about what we dream and what is borne to us on the wind. Part orchestral majesty, part bangsawan, part vaudeville…”.

In 2014, as part of a preservation project on Malayan music recordings, manuscripts and oral history, Saidah wrote Rosalie and Other Love Songs, a book that “…may turn out to be the single most important volume written so far on Malaysian musical history” (Tunku Abidin Muhriz, The Malay Mail, October 2014).

Trained as a barrister at Gray’s Inn, Saidah practiced as a litigation lawyer for several years. She studied contemporary music composition and film-scoring at New York University and has also studied audio engineering. She has taught at the Multimedia University, University Teknologi Mara, Akademi Seni Kebangsaan (National Arts Academy) and CENFAD (the Centre for Advanced Design), and has been a mentor for the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra’s Composers’ Forum. She was an original member and music director of the satirical group The Instant Café Theatre Company.


Alena Murang

Borneo Art Forms Pioneer

Alena Murang has learnt the traditional art forms of the Kelabit, Kenyah and Penan people since the age of six, including dancing, weaving, design, singing and playing music instruments. Presently she is a full-time practitioner and pioneer of art forms from Borneo, seeking to learn from tribal elders in the Ulu Baram (the upper Baram river near the Malaysian – Indonesian border) villages.

Some of the songs she learns are remembered by only a handful of elders from her grandparents’ generation. Alena is also one of the first and few women to play, perform and teach a traditional lute instrument, the sape’, and started Kelas Sape’ KL in 2015 with the support from the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Her artwork is also inspired by the indigenous communities and the natural environment of Borneo, where she grew up in. Using paint and music as her main mediums, she seeks to tell the stories of her ancestors, who hold the knowledge of the rainforests, age-old myths, and a simple and honest way of life, as well as the stories of the hardships they face today.

Honor Harger


Hailing from New Zealand, Honor Harger has an exceptional interest in the artistic uses of science and technologies. Before she took on her present position as the Executive Director at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore in 2014, she was the artistic director of Lighthouse in Brighton, UK where she curated projects that displayed the cultural impact of scientific ideas.

Honor has directed the AV Festival, also known as the UK’s largest biennial of electronic art, moving image and music. She was also the first curator of webcasting for Tate, where she was involved in events and concerts of art and technology at the Tate Modern art gallery.

She has curated exhibitions and events around the world, including art.net.uk/now in India in 2002 and “Dots & Lines” for the BBC in 2005. She has worked for the Bauhaus Dessau in Germany, the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) in Australia and Artspace and Radio One in New Zealand.

Under the artistic collective label  r a d i o q u a l i a, one of the main projects that she produced with co-founder Adam Hyde was Radio Astronomy, a radio station broadcasting sounds from space.

A TED speaker, Harger has lectured at notable places such as LIFT (a key event about innovation and digital technologies) in Geneva, the European Space Agency, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the California Institute of Arts and the American Film Institute.

Usman Riaz

TED Fellow, Artist, Composer

Usman Riaz is an artist and Pakistani musician making a worldwide mark with his astonishing and fun-to-listen-to technique. Influenced by percussive guitarists — who move beyond strumming to striking, treating their fret board like the soundboard of a piano — he makes a sound that feels larger than the instrument itself, with a compelling pattern of repetition and variation that harkens to mystical music traditions.

In 2011, a viral video for his song “Fire Fly” helped bring his sound from the small-but-thriving Pakistani music community to a global audience. He has also collaborated with other musicians in Pakistan and worked on an album of original music.

Currently directing Pakistan’s first hand-drawn animated film The Glassworker (funded by supporters through Kickstarter) through Mano Animation Studios which he leads, Usman is working with a team of talented animators from his home country, UK, South Africa and Malaysia.

Usman continues to be the youngest TED Senior Fellow and is a current pupil of Berklee College of Music.

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