Speakers: TEDxDhaka 2014 “Breaking barriers”

techAbrar Jawad and Safwan Rahman

Abrar Jawad and Safwan Rahman are Students/ Education and R&D apprentices at “The Tech School”. Abrar is 9 years old and Safwan is 11. Abrar specializes in programming in the Arduino IDE(coding in electronics, mechatronics and robotics projects.) Safwan specializes in circuit, mechanic and the hardware development. Together they turn into an amazing team of makers.

1x1Arild Klokkerhaug and Syeda Gulshan Ferdous Jana

Syeda Gulshan Ferdous Jana and Arild Klokkerhaug are the Founders of Somewhere in…, the first social media company in Bangladesh. Partners in life, in work and in vision, their dynamic teamwork started a blogging revolution in Bangladesh from 2005. Their popular platform somewhereinblog.net brought the Bangla language online and enabled hundreds of thousands to express themselves freely online, in their own mother language. Bloggers of their platform has repeatedly mobilized a collaborative force so strong that local and national issues has been massively influenced by their opinions.

iqbal haibib 2

Iqbal Habib

Iqbal Habib is among the most known environmental activists and architects of the country. He is the Joint Secretary of ‘Bangladesh Environment Movement’ (বাংলাদেশ পরিবেশ আন্দোলন – বাপা), active organiser and a public voice of some of the pressing environmental and urban issues. He is the Managing Director and one of the principal architects of the award winning architectural firm VITTI Sthapati Brindo Ltd. that designed ‘‘Hatirjheel–Begunbari Integrated Development Project’, Dhanmondi Lake Development Project, Asian University for Women (Local consultant), HQ of the Institute of Architects Bangladesh etc. Iqbal Habib comes with some new ideas of breaking barriers in Dhaka’s urban issues and housing problems.

monira rahmanMonira Rahman

Monira is a strong voice to end gender discrimination and violence against women. Last 25 years she has devoted herself to build a society free from the fear of violence. Being first employee of the Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) Monira developed bio-psychosocial model which transformed hundred of acid victims to an active change agent. Under her leadership, the Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) became world’s leader in combating acid attacks, brought change in policy, laws, system and services to protect rights of the survivors and reduced the number of acid attacks significantly (from 500 in 2002 to bellow hundred in 2013). Before ASF, she worked for the rights of the homeless people and sex workers. Her new organisation Innovation for Wellbeing is promoting mental health equity.

Anisul KarimMohammad Anisul Karim

Anisul Karim is a doctor, health and nutrition researcher. After clinical internships, he wanted to scale preventive measures for the masses and joined ICDDR’B as a Research Fellow, in order to leverage his efforts to combat one of the scourges of the developing world – childhood undernutrition. Currently evaluating several cost-effective interventions, the Transform Nutrition consortium, where he is one of the co-investigators, will generate high quality evidence over the next 5 or 6 years that will help shape future national and international public health policies around the world.

sayan realFarzana Wahid Shayan

Farzana Wahid, popularly known as Shayan is an eclectic musician, lyricist and composer who can only be described in one word as ‘different’! Each of Shayan’s songs is born out of a story or an idea that picks your brain and moves your emotions, they talk of random tales, politics, freedom, art or culture. Often her songs are more of statements of an activist rather than popular numbers. They keep breaking barriers and transcending from music to literature, to slogans and posters.

M1x1oktadir Dewan Shanto

Being one of the few artists who love to go beyond the instruments and musical experiments, we introduce Shanto, an acappella enthusiast and a beatboxer. Having experienced music of different genres like hip-hop and metal, performing with the likes of Arbovirus & Chirkutt and being previously part of versatile bands like GrooveTrap, Old School and presently in Blunderware, Shanto has experimented with his beatboxing skills in various forms throughout his journey. He believes the human voice in itself is a gifted instrument of chords and he loves experimenting with it. He is a self-made artist who was and always is willing to take it a step ahead.

IMG_9236Manik And Ratan

Young cartoonists, graphic artists and animator duo Manik & Ratan started drawing cartoons at a very young age during late nineties and got regularly featured in almost every major newspaper and magazine in Bangladesh, that includes Unmad, Bhorer Kajog, Prothom-Alo, Daily Star and more. They are coming with the stories of breaking barriers of one visual media to another, along with some of their brilliant works!

iftekher_maqsudIftekhar Enayetullah and Maqsood Sinha

Iftekhar Enayetullah, a civil/environmental engineer, urban-planner, and Maqsood Sinha, an architect-urban planner are co-founders of Waste Concern. They have been working and also conducting research and managing projects in the fields of solid waste management, industrial pollution control, urban environmental management, clean energy, inclusive business development and social innovation for more than twenty-two years. They are actively involved in planning, designing and implementation of several decentralised waste management projects in Bangladesh as well as in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Nepal. Recently, they have been involved in designing, financing and implementation of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects based waste management and energy projects in Bangladesh and other developing countries.

kkkkRini Eshan Khushboo and Rakib Reza

Roboticists and Entrepreneurs, even being in the difficult scenario of robotics and mechanical engineering in Bangladesh, they kept on working to create a platform for the enthusiasts who are fond of Robotics and trained hundreds of them already. They are also working on producing robots locally for real life use with commercial applications.


Nina Smith HeadshotNina Smith

Nina Smith is the executive director of GoodWeave International, which works to end child labor in the carpet industry in South Asia and replicate its market-driven model in new industries. Since 1999 Nina has developed and lead GoodWeave’s operations, which include market development; product certification, inspection and monitoring of informal supply chains; removal and rehabilitation of child laborers, and a range of worker protection programs. Nina is a winner of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and the EXCEL Award for excellence in chief executive leadership. Recently the founder of GoodWeave International, Kailash Satyarthi won the Nobel Peace Prize.

1x1Peter Eigen

Prof. Dr. Peter Eigen founded Transparency International (TI), a non-governmental organization promoting transparency and accountability in international development. From 1993 to 2005 he was Chair of TI and is now Chair of its Advisory Council. Dr. Eigen has worked in economic development and governance for  decades and has led initiatives for better global governance and the fight against corruption.

1x1Rosey Hurst

Rosey Hurst is the founder and director of Impactt. She has 17 years’ experience in ethical trade and labour standards and has been working in China since 2001. Impactt works with brands, retailers, producers and manufactures in international supply chains to improve working conditions in supply chains in a way that brings clear business benefits to both ends of the chain. Hurst has led many innovations in ethical trade, founding Sedex and the Local Resources Network, pioneering the use of participatory techniques in China and leading the Benefits for Business and Workers Programme which delivers better quality jobs and more productive and engaged workers in China, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

1x1Tanzeem Choudhury

Tanzeem Choudhury is an associate professor in Computing and Information Science at Cornell University. She directs the People-Aware Computing group, which is inventing technology to support individuals with serious mental illness and shaping the future of technology-assisted wellbeing. Tanzeem received her PhD from MIT Media Lab and was named one of the MIT Technology Review’s top 35 innovators under 35 in 2008. She is a Poptech Science Fellow, Public Leadership Fellow and a TED Fellow. Tanzeem’s work has been featured in the Economist, New York Times, BBC, and other popular press. Tanzeem is passionate about breaking gender stereotypes about women in technology.

1x1Shehzad Noor Taus

Taus is a high school student, software developer and entrepreneur based in Dhaka. Starting to code computers at age 10, he’s been involved in founding a few tech startups so far. He is the Founder and President of ITTW Conferences and the National Olympiad in Software Innovation (NOSI) through which he promotes computer programming and entrepreneurship in IT amongst high school, college and university students. Beside that, he is also the co-founder and CEO of a tech startup called Incogmito, that focuses on anonymous social networking.

Munem Wasif by Sarker ProtickMunem Wasif

Munem Wasif is an eminent documentary photographer. He has been represented by Agence Vu in Paris since 2008. Wasif has won several awards, including the City of Perpignan Young Reporter’s Award at Visa pour l’image, Prixpictet commission and the F25 Award for Concerned Photography from Fabrica. He had exhibitions worldwide including, Musee de elysee & Fotomuseam Winterthur in Switzerland, Kunsthal museum & Noordelicht festival in Netherlands, Whitechappel Gallery in England and Palais de Tokyo in France. He was one of the curators of Chobi Mela, International Festival of Photography and currently teaches at Pathshala, South Asian Media Institute.

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