WHAT IS TEDx

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

WHAT IS TEDxYangon

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized event bringing people together to share a TED-like experience. The Myanmar event is called TEDxYangon where x = independently organized TED event under license from TED. At TEDxYangon, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark conversation, connection and community.

Our Speakers

April Khin

Civil servant, student, aspiring professional development trainer

April Khin

April Khin

Civil servant, student, aspiring professional development trainer

Talk title: A Life: Alive
April was born and raised in Myanmar. Having relocated to Australia in 2011 with her family, she has since served various roles for the Northern Territory Government and is currently working as Information Analyst with the Department of Territory Families. 
She is committed to continuous learning and started her second part-time degree in Humanitarian and Community Studies in 2015. She shares knowledge gained through her studies on social media and conducts face-to-face coaching sessions whenever she returns to Yangon. Her dream is to move back to Myanmar and contribute to the community as a professional development trainer.

Aung Naing Oo

C­o-Founder and Director at Myanmar STEM Education Association (MSEA), Director at Engineering For Kids Myanmar

Aung Naing Oo

Aung Naing Oo

C­o-Founder and Director at Myanmar STEM Education Association (MSEA), Director at Engineering For Kids Myanmar

Talk title: STEM for a Competitive Myanmar Workforce​

Aung Naing Oo is the Co-­Founder and Director at Myanmar STEM Education Association (MSEA), a social enterprise which works with schools, universities, and educators, to provide excellent and affordable Science and Technology lessons to Myanmar public schools. This is being done with the aim of helping learners develop creative, critical thinking and hands-­on skills. 
He also works as a Director at Engineering For Kids Myanmar, a well-­known STEM school in Myanmar. Aung loves to inspire kids and, at the same time, loves to learn from kids. He is a firm believer that Myanmar kids have the potential to excel in Science and Technology, and via Innovation, contributing to national development and economic growth when they grow up.

Professor Aung Than Batu

Award-winning medical researcher, former Director-General, Medical Research, Ministry of Health

Professor Aung Than Batu

Professor Aung Than Batu

Award-winning medical researcher, former Director-General, Medical Research, Ministry of Health

Talk title: Innovations at the Intersection of Medical Science with Other Sciences

Professor Aung Than Batu is a Member of the Myanmar Academy of Medical Science and holds the title of "Emeritus Medical Researcher”.  In his long career, he performed research at the Hebrew University, Israel, the Burma Medical Research Institute (1963); and was Professor of Medicine and Consultant Physician of the Institute of Medicine 2, Yangon. He was Director-General of the Department of Medical Research (1977) and Regional Advisor in Medical Research and then Director (Research & Human Resources) of the World Health Organization until 1995.
He holds an MBBS from the Institute of Medicine, Rangoon (1955) and is a member of the Royal College of Physicians (1960) and the Fellowship (1970) after post-graduate studies in Edinburgh and London.

Aye Thiri Kyaw

Writer, researcher and activist

Aye Thiri Kyaw

Aye Thiri Kyaw

Writer, researcher and activist

Talk title: #MeToo Myanmar: Men of Quality for Women Equality

Aye Thiri Kyaw actively contributes to public debates on sexual violence, domestic violence and abuse in Myanmar. Her publications have appeared in Gender & Society, New Mandela, Tea Circle Oxford and The Irrawaddy.  Aye Thiri’s research focuses on violence against women. 
She began her research career in 2012, when she examined experiences of domestic violence among the Myanmar migrant community along the Thailand-Myanmar border. She worked as a researcher with the Gender Equality Network (GEN) in Myanmar. Aye Thiri’s own experiences of gender discrimination drive her passion to promote women’s rights in Myanmar. Rejected from the Medical University of Myanmar based on her gender (as many women were), Aye Thiri completed her education at the University of Pharmacy.

Eaint Wut Yee May Moe (Precious Moe)

Student, activist

Eaint Wut Yee May Moe (Precious Moe)

Eaint Wut Yee May Moe (Precious Moe)

Student, activist

Talk title: Youth Group: Our Dreams for Tomorrow

Precious, 16, will be doing her A-levels at Network International School, after which she hopes to be part of the generation that brings change to the future of her country. As a student fortunate enough to have been able to receive an international education while simultaneously residing in Myanmar, Precious has learned to be aware of both the international and traditional perspectives of topics, and has developed an enthusiasm for learning about different social issues such as education, equality, and LGBTQ+ rights. 
Precious looks forward to taking this opportunity to share her knowledge and ideas, learning from all her fellow speakers, and she encourages you all to stay woke.

Elearzar Char

Teacher, noodle shop owner

Elearzar Char

Elearzar Char

Teacher, noodle shop owner

Talk title: Fostering National Spirit

Born and raised in small Myanmar town Mogok, Elearzar strives to be a man of justice, peace, freedom, and love. Inspired by life experiences, he decided to be a Christian counsellor to support and lift the spirits of those in need. 
He also works as a project manager and teaches part-time at the Myanmar Institute of Theology. He strives to contribute to Myanmar’s nation building process and hopes that a peaceful, safe and developed country will be left to the next generation.

The Dance Lab

Dance Group

The Dance Lab

The Dance Lab

Dance Group

Performance: A Source of Pureness

The Dance Lab is a Street Dance studio founded in 2016 by dancer Jimmy Ko Ko with the intention to explore and widen Street Dance culture in Myanmar. The group promotes knowledge about hip hop culture and dance as an art form.
The Dance Lab has founded a number of dance crews and brought performers overseas to widen their perspectives when it comes to dance.

Hal Bosher

Frontier Markets Banker, FinTech Enthusiast

Hal Bosher

Hal Bosher

Frontier Markets Banker, FinTech Enthusiast

Talk title: One Country, Two Systems: Myanmar’s Financial Market​

Hal moved with his family to Yangon in the fall of 2012 from Hong Kong. He spent the previous ten years with the World Bank Group mobilizing investment into frontier markets in Africa, the Middle East and Asia while living in Mauritius, Indonesia, Washington D.C. and Spain.
A Canadian, Hal is Advisor to the Chairman and CEO of Yoma Bank as well as a co-founder of Wave Money, Myanmar’s largest mobile money business. He believes that financial technology (FinTech) will have a huge development impact in Myanmar.

Hannah Kyaw Thaung

Clinical Psychologist and Clinic Director, Marble Psychological Services

Hannah Kyaw Thaung

Hannah Kyaw Thaung

Clinical Psychologist and Clinic Director, Marble Psychological Services

Talk title: Opening the Doors to Emotion

Fuelled by her passion to support people through difficulties faced in their lives, Hannah founded Marble Psychological Services in 2015 where she leads a team off therapists in the provision of the highest standard of psychological services. As a Clinical Psychologist, she works with adults, adolescents and couples to overcome anxiety and manage low mood by working towards their own goals for change and moving towards a life they desire. She also has particular expertise in working with children and adolescents who experience unresolved trauma or grief.

Henriette Ceyrac

Development consultant, social entrepreneur

Henriette Ceyrac

Henriette Ceyrac

Development consultant, social entrepreneur

Talk title: We Need to Talk About Menstruation

Hailing from France, Henriette moved to Myanmar two years ago. While living in Myanmar and travelling around the country, she realized the vast majority of Myanmar’s 15 million women of reproductive age lack basic knowledge and safe equipment to manage their menstruation, and that the local socio-cultural norms around menstruation are harmful to their mental health and self-esteem. She founded social enterprise Pan Ka Lay in 2018, with the aim of equipping girls and women with education, products and positive values around menstruation.

Kit Young

Pianist, composer, co-founder of Gitameit Music Institute

Kit Young

Kit Young

Pianist, composer, co-founder of Gitameit Music Institute

Talk title: Listening with a Borderless Ear

American pianist-composer Kit Young (aka Sandaya Khin Khin Lei) heard magic in traditional Myanmar music on her first listen as a visitor to the Rangoon of 1972. When residing in Thailand in the 1990’s, she visited Yangon often to study sandaya with U Yi Nwe and Gita Lulin U Ko Ko. In 2003, Gitameit Music Institute was born in Yangon. The school offered new ways of absorbing  Myanmar and Western musical cultures which have developed creative opportunities for young musicians in Myanmar.

Dr. Kyaw Moe Tun

Founder & executive director, Parami Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. Kyaw Moe Tun

Dr. Kyaw Moe Tun

Founder & executive director, Parami Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Talk title: Preparing Today’s Youth for Tomorrow’s Future

Dr. Kyaw Moe Tun founded Parami Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences as the first step of his journey to establish a not-for-profit liberal arts and sciences university in Myanmar.
Educated at Bard College at Simon’s Rock (USA), Oxford University (UK) and Yale University (USA), Dr. Kyaw Moe Tun believes that education at all levels is a universal right, rather than a privilege. He is committed to create and share high quality education opportunities available and accessible to Myanmar youth. This commitment forms the basis of his journey towards rebuilding Myanmar through a transformative education.

Lach Baniya

Co-founder of Icarus Media

Lach Baniya

Lach Baniya

Co-founder of Icarus Media

Talk title: A Mentally Fit Digital Generation in Myanmar

Lach Baniya is the co-founder of Icarus Media and its subsidiaries GandaWin Magazine and GandaWin Telly. After completing her MBA at Murdoch University in 2014, Lach saw a need to educate and empower the young women of Myanmar. She started GandaWin to deliver quality articles that influence women, society and the country positively. Since then, she has launched GandaWin Telly to further uplift the morale of modern women, to give lifestyle tips, and essential lessons through videos. In addition to running GandaWin properties, Lach also advises clients on social media marketing and etiquette.

Little Dragons

Sports charity arm of The Yangon Dragons, Myanmar’s first rugby club

Little Dragons

Little Dragons

Sports charity arm of The Yangon Dragons, Myanmar’s first rugby club

Talk title: How to Train a Little Dragon

The Little Dragons is a charity organisation based in North Dagon that works with young children to encourage them to participate in sporting activities. The four focuses are to empower young people, promote gender equality, educate and prepare young adults for the world of work. The organisation was co-founded in 2015 by Aung Kyaw Linn, who is now one of the lead coaches, local teacher and university student. He is a strong advocate for education and specifically strives to improve the standard of the beautiful game of rugby in his local township. Joshua Peck and Brad Edwards, international teachers at BSY and Network School, share Aung Kyaw Linn’s passion and value the importance of this vision. They are currently working alongside AKL to help coach and implement the core values of the Little Dragons.

Michael Lwin

Co-founder and CEO of Koe Koe Tech

Michael Lwin

Michael Lwin

Co-founder and CEO of Koe Koe Tech

Talk title: How Myanmar Can Embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Michael is the son of two Myanmar doctors who moved to the United States. In 2012, he formed Koe Koe Tech in Myanmar with his cousin, Dr. Yar Zar Minn Htoo. Today Koe Koe Tech has 80 employees, 77 Myanmar nationals (66% women), and 40 software developers, all Myanmar nationals (50% women). Koe Koe Tech does not believe that developing countries should use obsolete software, and trains its team in the latest technologies to bring Myanmar into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Koe Koe Tech is building the fundamental software systems for Myanmar in health, law, and fintech. Michael believes that government and development aid should empower the talented young people of Myanmar, providing them with the financing, the opportunities, and the flexibility to allow them to improve their country.

Nang Ei Ei Mon

Founder and CEO of ‘How She Did It’

Nang Ei Ei Mon

Nang Ei Ei Mon

Founder and CEO of ‘How She Did It’

Talk title: In the Name of Motherhood

Nang Ei Ei Mon is the Founder and CEO of ‘How She Did It’, Career Development Platform specializing in building women talent pipeline to power Myanmar. Her platform focuses on upskilling women in career break and career changes, and transitioning them into workforce as highly competent professionals.
Her past experience in Domestic Violence counselling and research inspire her to write about the twist and turns of women’s journey in balancing motherhood and ambition. As a life coach, Nang is passionate about helping individuals realizing their potential and expanding their mind into possibility thinking.
When she’s not working, you can find her exploring the town with her toddler daughter.

Nyan Kyal Say

Animation artist, Co-founder and production director of Pencell Animation Studio

Nyan Kyal Say

Nyan Kyal Say

Animation artist, Co-founder and production director of Pencell Animation Studio

Talk title: Animate Your Dream

Nyan Kyal Say is the co-founder and production director of Pencell Animation Studio. He started learning and practicing animation since he was 10 years old. In 2015, he was introduced to the public with his debut award-winning short animated film “I Wanna Go to School”.
In 2016, he made another short-animated film, “My Life I Don’t Want”, which won 39 awards and over 140 official selections from international film festivals, that is the national record. The film was screened together with Oscar winning and nominated films around the world. Currently, while he is producing more animated shorts together with Pencell Animation Studio, he is also trying to produce animated features and series.

Phyu Hninn Nyein

General Manager of Farm Advisory Services at Proximity Designs

Phyu Hninn Nyein

Phyu Hninn Nyein

General Manager of Farm Advisory Services at Proximity Designs

Talk title: Big Data for Small Farmers Across Rural Myanmar

Phyu Hninn Nyein currently leads the Yetagon Farm Advisory Business Unit at Proximity Designs, a social enterprise working to improve the income and resilience of rural smallholder farmers in Myanmar. Hninn's business unit provides these smallholders with advisory and diagnostics services that promote best-fit and climate-smart farming knowledge through diverse set of channels from technique dissemination at grassroot levels to digital platforms. Over the last 3 years, Hninn's business unit has provided advisory services to over 150,000 farmers in rural Myanmar. Hninn recently received the “Women of the Future – South East Asia Award” in the public service category for her work with smallholder farmers in Myanmar.

Phyo Thura Htay

Academic Officer of YTU Students' Union

Phyo Thura Htay

Phyo Thura Htay

Academic Officer of YTU Students' Union

Talk title: Youth Group: Our Dreams for Tomorrow

Phyo Thura Htay is a science and technology enthusiast who is highly passionate about delivering quality education to Myanmar students. He co-founded a virtual academy named Scholar Mentors, tutoring English lessons and online courses for scholarly purposes.
He has worked with a number of local and international NGOs, including the UNICEF and UNESCO, and serves as Academic Officer of YTU Students’ Union.

Pyone Thet Thet Kyaw

Founder and head designer of start-up Virya Myanmar

Pyone Thet Thet Kyaw

Pyone Thet Thet Kyaw

Founder and head designer of start-up Virya Myanmar

Talk title: Why Should Fashion Industry in Myanmar Become More Ethical?

Pyone is the founder of Virya Myanmar, an ethical clothing brand based in Yangon. Her passion for ethical fashion originated from her personal experience at very young age when she witnessed exploitation in the industry. Since then she has been determined that she would one day establish a socially minded clothing brand, which is now called Virya, a social business committed to empowering young women from underprivileged backgrounds. Prior to being an entrepreneur, Pyone spent more than 10 years in development field as a Governance Adviser at UKAid in Yangon and a number of other professional positions in the development field. She studied in Canada as a Jeanne Sauve Scholar and in the United Kingdom as a Chevening Scholar.

Shin Thant @ Aung Thant

LGBT rights advocate

Shin Thant @ Aung Thant

Shin Thant @ Aung Thant

LGBT rights advocate

Talk title: Equal Right

Shin Thant became active in LGBT and human rights after severe police brutality towards transgender individuals in Mandalay, raising wide public awareness of the issues.  She herself experienced a life of discrimination, emotional and sexual abuse as a gay person.  She publicly changed her gender identity from a man to a woman in 2012.
Contributing to public debate and active with a number of rights organisations, she also served as the Yangon Division’s representative on the drafting committee on the Myanmar Youth Policy.  She is lobbying for the abolishing of Article 377 of Myanmar’s Penal Code.
Shin Thant was born in Mandalay and holds a B.A. Business Sciences and also studied business in Japan in after receiving a government scholarship.

Singpi

Medical doctor

Singpi

Singpi

Medical doctor

Talk title: I Have a Dream:  Myanmar People will be Tall One Day!

Singpi worked as a medical officer with an INGO named Mother, Newborn and Child Health & Food and Nutrition Security (MNCH & FNS) in Eastern Shan State. Having witnessed the nutritional status of the communities in the region, Singpi's passion to promote nutrition security intensified and he has since been serving as an active advocate for nutrition. 
He is currently reading his post graduate diploma course in Political Science at the University of Yangon and looks forward to participating in public policy-related engagements specifically on healthcare and nutrition in the future. He thirsts for social innovations, and is a big fan of TED talks.  He loves to read and write articles on health, social issues.  He is a big believer in the positive side of Myanmar’s future and is preparing to be part of that change.

Soe Soe Lynn

Transman

Soe Soe Lynn

Soe Soe Lynn

Transman

Talk title: Youth Group: Our Dreams for Tomorrow

Soe Soe Lynn worked as a researcher for NGOs since 2011 and is now a Research Project Manager at the Myanmar Women Journalists Society. Soe Soe Lynn believes in promoting gender equality and to break the social and cultural norms which create barriers for both women and men in Myanmar.

Tharaphi Min

Student

Tharaphi Min

Tharaphi Min

Student

Talk title: Youth Group: Our Dreams for Tomorrow

Tharaphi is a final-year medical student, with the experience of leading projects for education, health care and other related sustainable development goals. She also plays initiative roles in youth empowerment programs many times. She has been selected and or invited to the international forums and conferences to present youth voice and youth influence including gender equality and migrant workers’ rights. With her knowledge and passion, she works at an education startup as science subject consultant. During her holidays, she travels and views the nature at its best.

Thurein Tint

Just another gay son

Thurein Tint

Thurein Tint

Just another gay son

Talk title: Youth Group: Our Dreams for Tomorrow

Thurein Tint is a fresh graduate from the Pre-Collegiate Program of Yangon, currently working at iDiscover and Hla Day. Accepting himself as a gay person at the age of 13, he struggled to fit in with society and was eventually confronted by his parents. He believes that the topic of being gay should be addressed in public.

Tin Nilar Aye @ Nicole

Youth employment activist

Tin Nilar Aye @ Nicole

Tin Nilar Aye @ Nicole

Youth employment activist

Talk title: Youth Group: Our Dreams for Tomorrow

Nicole is a youth empowerment activist with a focus on training, content creation and blog writing about youth employment. A runner-up at the Mekong Business Model Challenge sponsored by McKinsey & Co. and Google in 2015, Nicole is currently working as a partnership development officer at Centre of Excellence for Business Skills Development (CEBSD), a partnership initiative between UNESCO, Ministry of Education and PepsiCo.
In her role, she implements skill development programmes and workshops to increase the capacity of Myanmar youth and to create employment and workplace learning opportunities for them.

Ye Htut Win @ Mr. Sharky

Master butcher, baker, cheesemaker, organic farmer and founder of Sharky's

Ye Htut Win @ Mr. Sharky

Ye Htut Win @ Mr. Sharky

Master butcher, baker, cheesemaker, organic farmer and founder of Sharky's

Talk title: Food and Passion - Quality Proudly Made in Myanmar

Ye Htut Win, ‘Sharky’, is a master butcher, baker, cheesemaker and organic farmer.  The son of a Myanmar diplomat, Ye had a peripatetic childhood, moving from Israel to London and later Sri Lanka. He spent decades in Switzerland running successful restaurant franchises and cocktail bars, eventually founding his own company before returning to Myanmar in 1996 to begin cultivating vegetables and selling artisanal foods from a small stall on the porch of his mother's house in Golden Valley.
His Sharky’s restaurant and food brand is a ‘Farm to Table’ pioneer, employing over three hundred staff and creating over three hundred artisanal food products for homes, hotels and restaurants across the country.  He is also a judge on the inaugural MasterChef Myanmar TV show.

Zaw Lin Myat

Architect

Zaw Lin Myat

Zaw Lin Myat

Architect

Talk Title: Architecture Tomorrow: Developing Our Identities in Buildings for Myanmar

Zaw Lin Myat is an environmental-conscious designer who prioritizes sustainability and human comfort in building designs. He received M.Arch and MSc. Historic Preservation at Columbia University in New York and BA. Arch at University of California, Berkeley. At Columbia, his thesis titled “Heritage in the Myanmar Frontier: Shan State, Haws and Conditions for Public Participation” explored potential processes for public engagement in the conservation of minority heritage in Myanmar. Previously, he worked at EYP in New York, where he experienced projects in higher education sector. While practicing architecture, he volunteers at Yangon Heritage Trust, and serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Pre-Collegiate Program of Yangon and the Board of Advisors at U Thant House Trust.

Sponsors

We would like to thank all of our sponsors for their support of TEDxYangon.

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