‘TEDxZayedUniversity’ highlights local innovation during times of change

DUBAI, 6th March, 2019 (WAM) — Zayed University recently hosted ‘TEDxZayedUniversity’ in Dubai, showcasing talents of students, alumni and faculty from the University along with a select group of guest speakers from across the UAE.

A collaborative effort, the event was organised by Zayed University’s College of Communications and Media Sciences and the Government Communications Department and maintained a strong student-centred focus.

Inspired by the theme of ‘Changing Frontiers, Evolving Journeys’, 13 inspirational speakers tackled a broad range of topics, including the Arabic language, innovation, empowerment, science, law, leadership, mental health, volunteerism, people of determination (persons with disabilities) and tolerance.

With an audience of over 800 attendees, this year’s TEDxZayedUniversity was largest event held at the university to date, coinciding with the UAE’s Innovation Month, and embracing the Year of Tolerance.

Zainab Ali Dawood, a Psychology and Human Services Major at Zayed University and a mental health advocate, explored the concept of mental health stigma in the UAE with a moving talk discussing her personal experience. “The realisation of others who are not brave enough to admit they have a mental health problem, which could often lead on to various serious problems, made me study psychology to be able to help them.”

Examining the reality of social media in today’s world, Ayesha AlHajeri, an Integrated Strategic Communications Major at Zayed University, gave a talk entitled, ‘Comfortable being you, and Take off the mask!’, that explored the current culture of social media norms and the dangers of unauthentic representations or “fake life profiles” that exist simply to impress others and hide their true nature behind a “mask”.

ZU alumna Aysha Saif Al Hemrani of ‘@Mnawrah’ shared with the audience her own recipe for bringing out the best in a person. Other students showcased their personal journeys and overcoming obstacles to get where they are today.

Focusing on the UAE’s fauna, Dr. Brigitte Howarth, an ecologist with extensive experience in desert ecology discussed how over 400 odd species have been discovered in the UAE recently.

Lynnette Eleanor Harper, Learning Commons Supervisor at Zayed University, captivated the audience with a soaring story of her time at the South Pole, detailing the harsh realities, but also the positive outcomes of her experience.

TEDx is a leading international non-profit organisation dedicated to furthering understanding of today’s biggest issues and encouraging the spread of ideas by providing a platform for speakers to give short talks on wide-ranging topics. The highly anticipated TEDx events bring together thousands of students, professionals, experts and members of the public annually in cities across the globe.

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