Speakers for TEDxTbilisi 2016!

Here are the speakers for TEDxTbilisi 2016: 

Shota Adamashvili is Georgia’s only country-western singer and songwriter. Sydney Pollack’s film “The Electric Horseman” opened a window on a music world that eighteen-year-old Shota Adamashvili instantly fell in love with. Ten years on, Shota is Georgia’s sole country western musician, performing covers of classic and contemporary country music as well as his own original songs. Shota, originally from Bolnisi, a small village in southern Georgia, has never been to the places where his musical genre originates. He started learning English at the end of high school upon moving to the capital Tbilisi to study journalism until he decided to dedicate himself totally to his music. At TEDx Tbilisi "the urban cowboy" will tell us - in words and music - that there is a space for him in the other Georgia.

Timothy Blauvelt is an American historian who specialises in former Soviet Union. Timothy is associate professor of Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies at Ilia State University in Tbilisi and country director of the American Councils for International Education, and has published numerous scholarly articles about the Caucasus and the former Soviet Union. Looking at a specific case from Georgia Timothy will talk about the perpetrators, rather than the victims, of the Stalin repression.

Tekuna Gachechiladze, well know as one of Georgia’s leading and most innovative chefs, will speak at‪#‎TEDxTbilisi2016‬. Having trained in New York, Tekuna served as head chef at several restaurants in Tbilisi before opening her own restaurants. Tekuna regularly promotes Georgian cuisine and culture at home and abroad and is the creator of the “Supra Nova” concept. Tekuna’s talk, on the theme of food as you might expect, focuses on Georgia’s nouvelle cuisine.

Simon Janashia is an education researcher and education reform promoter who has led key education reforms in his native Georgia – curriculum, textbook, and teachers’ development – and coordinated the development of BA and MA programs for teachers and education administration specialists at the Ilia State University in Tbilisi. Simon advocates for schools to active learning environments where children develop an understanding of the world they live and operate in through their dynamic involvement.

Natali Kenkadze is a social entrepreneur and co-founder of social enterprise Generatori 9.8.  Natali has been long interested in the concept of shared economy and social entrepreneurship. In 2014 after graduating in non-profit management in Rome, Italy, she returned to her native Tbilisi determined to develop a model of social enterprise in the Georgian context. With a group of other young professionals, she co-founded Generatori 9.8, an innovative model of co-working space and social bar which was awarded Georgia’s most innovative social enterprise by the Ministry of Sports and Youth. She also co-founded the youth organization International Centre for Peace and Integration and has been involved in youth-led conflict dialogue activities for over a decade.

Boris Kiknadze is a young entrepreneur passionate about social entrepreneurship. Boris has worked on and set up a series of start-ups focusing on community development – MusicPro, BeActive, Rest Group. He co-founded WeHelp.ge, a crowd-funding and innovative charity platform, which raises money for people in critical medical conditions. Boris is also regional representative of the San Francisco-based Kairos Society, a global network of young people seeking to foster innovation-driven social entrepreneurship. At ‪#‎TEDxTbilisi2016‬ Boris will talk about the challenges of building trust and how technology can make a difference.

Eric Livny will tell the story from a small village in central Georgia as an example of how we can change the approach to sustainable development . Eric is an economist who has worked for 20 years at the interface of economics education, research and policy. He is the founding director of the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET) and the affiliated ISET Policy Institute (ISET-PI), the first university-based economic policy think tank in the South Caucasus. Eric helped design and managed the implementation of numerous research projects focusing on a broad range of issues.

Maya Todua has been passionate about astronomy and space-earth connection since she was a child growing up in Sukhumi, Abkhazia. Today she is an astronomer specialising in atmospheric physics and solar-terrestrial coupling and heads Georgia's Abastubani Astrophysical Observatory. The former Soviet Union's first mountain observatory, Abastubani's scientists have been working on the observational and theoretical solar physics as well as numerical fluid dynamics since 1932, but the institutions struggled to keep the pace after the fall of the USSR. At TEDx Tbilisi 2016 Maya will highlight the potential that the forgotten knowledge from those year could unlock today.

Iain Webb is a teacher of mathematics whose goal it to get people passionate about the subject. A graduate with an MA in mathematics from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, Iain has taught at universities and schools in Great Britain, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Georgia. He has previously co-authored courses for students taking non-mathematical academic routes and he aims to show people, and specifically his students, the hidden number-related patterns around us.