TEDxEroilor seeks to follow the tradition of TED, bringing together a diversity of innovators, industry leaders, and other speakers of diverse backgrounds who educate, inspire, and stimulate change in technology, entertainment and design.
Dare to Fail
Stelian strives to be an impact agent, working together with like-minded people to change the way our communities are shaped. With an experience of more than 8 years in volunteering, he is currently a councilor in the European Development Council of JCI Europe, actively seeking to develop the organization in current and also new countries. With a passion for cooking, we recently started a start-up in the field of food equipment and events management.
His favorite motto is: “Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” – D. Frost
Member of the European Parliament, former Minister of Justice in Romania
Monica Macovei is a member of the European Parliament (EP), in the European People’s Party, having been chosen in Romania in 2009, and in 2014, for a second mandate. In the EP she is a member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) and the Budgetary Control Committee (CONT), an alternate member of the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) and the Chair of the EP Delegation within the Parliamentary Committee EU-Albania. In September 2012 she received the “MEP 2012” prize for her activity in the field of justice and civil liberties. Currently, she is the rapporteur of the EP for the Statute regarding the European Prosecutor’s Office.
Macovei was Minister of Justice in Romania from 2005 to 2007, being internationally recognized and receiving awards for her anti-corruption initiatives and her justice reforms, which allowed Romania to join the European Union. Die Welt wrote: “22 million Romanians can thank Monica Macovei for their country entering (…) the European Union on the 1st of January”, and Financial Times wrote: “For her Brussels admirers, Monica Macovei is a hero who led Romania’s transformation from one of the most corrupt parts of Europe to a credible candidate for joining the EU”. In 2013, Le Monde was describing Macovei in these words: “an icon of liberties in Romania: this former Romanian Minister of Justice is at the origin of a “clean hands” operation in her country. (…) She continues the fight against corruption in the European Parliament”.
Macovei was a legal expert for the Council of Europe and for other international organizations, she has worked in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, she has successfully represented Romanians at the ECtHR, she was the president of ADHRR – HC for Human Rights and has published articles on justice and human rights. Macovei is a Board Member of the Central European University, of the Platform for European Remembrance and Conscience, of the European Council on Foreign Relations; she is an Eisenhower Fellow, a charter member of Transparency International – Romania and a member of other NGOs. Since 2015 she is the President of the M10 Association for democracy, liberties, transparency and good governance.
Tudor Marcu is a young man from Cluj who discovered his passion for cooking at the age of 12. Since then, gastronomy became an art for him and he treats it as such. He gets his inspiration from the whole world, from life, from what is surrounding him; he makes up recipes without scheduling that, he cooks with passion and he is a strong example for a lot of youngsters. He stepped on the land of MasterChef preselections to get out of his comfort zone and to prove that self-command can take you to big achievements. He got into the finals and now he loves to share inspiration and motivation everywhere.
High school student, member of YouthBank and Learnity
Adrian has had two different mindsets with which he’s looked at the learning process and at the way he sets goals. They come with a few stories about how a kid copes (or not) with the fear of failure and how it makes him try (or not) his best.
Currently, Adrian is a member of YouthBank and Learnity. YouthBank is a fund raised by high school students, for other high school students, through fundraising events. The money collected is being invested in youth projects. Learnity is a learning community for high school students, which will grow to become the first alternative democratic high school in the country. Both have had a major impact on his story.
Mentalist, winner of Romania’s Got Talent
CRISTIAN GOG is a Romanian mentalist, better known for winning the second season of Romania’s Got Talent. Born in Câmpeni, Alba county, he developed from an early age a true passion for magic tricks. He finished school in Baia de Arieş and then moved to Alba Iulia for college. It was there that he became interested in mentalism, a form of theatrical trickery that is different from magic tricks. In 2012, he took part in the live-broadcasted talent show Romania’s Got Talent, where he impressed the jury and the audience, defeated his opponents, and won the prize of 120.000 €.
Iulia Romana Pop
Blogger, journalism student
Iulia Romana Pop (21) is an almost graduate journalism student. Since her last important life choice – enrolling in this field of study – and until the present moment, she has done quite some stuff. She launched projects such as Ideea 3 or RoFacts.ro, she studied abroad for a semester, traveled around Europe with little money and wrote about all these experiences on her blog. A month ago she found herself in front of another big decision: what to do next? And most importantly, where? This is why, at TEDxEroilor – Dare to Fail she will speak about why it is so freaking hard to decide whether to stay or leave the country when you are 21.
Executive Director of the Center for Independent Journalism
Ioana Avădani is the Executive Director of the Center for Independent Journalism in Bucharest, Romania. In 2013 she was awarded the European Citizen of the Year prize by the European Parliament. She has an experience of over 20 years in the media field, having worked as a news agency deputy-in-chief editor, a TV editor and a media developer with CIJ.
As CIJ director, Avădani coordinated programs ranging from professional training for journalists to targeted assistance for media operations, from advocacy for transparency, press freedom and protection of journalists to curricula development and strengthening the journalists associations in Romania. She was instrumental in the passing of critical legislation, such as Access to Information and sunshine laws, Broadcast law, Public Broadcast Services and public procurement legislation. She has also been central to the media self-regulation in Romania.
Between 2004 and 2006, she served two successive mandates as the President of the South East European Network for the Professionalization of the Media, a network gathering 18 training centers and media institutes in 10 countries in the South-Eastern Europe. She is a member of Team Europe, a group of independent experts in EU issues, created by the European Commission.
Avădani published numerous articles and studies dedicated to the media developments in Romania and SEE region. She was a Visiting Fellow with the Media and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe Program, St. Antony College, University of Oxford. She appeared as a speaker in many national and international events and taught numerous courses for various audiences. She is also active in literature translation from English.
Director of Jazz in the Park Festival
Alin was born in Cluj-Napoca 25 years ago. Starting with his high school years he got involved in projects that focus on giving back to the community and during this volunteering period he discover his passion for organizing events.
Since then, he initiated several projects and was part of many more. At the age of 18, he started Miraje Festival, a cultural event dedicated to young people with disabilities, who are passionate about music, theater and dance. In 2009, he organized Ufest90, a 3 days event that marked 90 years from the founding of the Universitatea Cluj Football Club. When he was 22, he organized the inauguration event of the Cluj Arena Stadium.
Being passionate about offering unforgettable experiences to people, in 2012 he joined Fapte and started Jazz in the Park.The festival aims at bringing the people from the community together and promotes culture. In 2014, the festival was voted one of the best 10 small festivals in Europe at the Europe Festival Awards.
With an experience of 9 years in event management, he is one of the people in the community that managed to prove that young people are indeed a resource for community development and changing mentalities.
Banker, General Manager of Agricover Credit IFN, former General Manager of Banca Transilvania
With 25 years of banking experience, Robert Rekkers – Dutch, married with 4 children, and living in Bucharest – is a seasoned banker, well respected in the Romanian financial sector. He was more than 9 years General Manager of Banca Transilvania and brought the bank from a small regional player to a top 3 position in Romania. Before that, he worked 16 years for ABN AMRO, in different senior management positions, in 7 countries.
Since July 2012, Mr. Rekkers joined the Board of the Agricover Group and became General Manager of Agricover Credit IFN. His objective is to grow this financial institution into one of the leaders in agricultural and farmers financing for its region.
Whether he is working, relaxing, cooking or riding his motorcycle, Răzvan tries to do everything as well as possible. Although from this introduction he may seem an ambitious guy, Răzvan is rather just careful not to waste time doing things badly. “There is time enough, but none to spare.“, said Charles W. Chestnut. In a hurried world, with perhaps too much competition, Răzvan knows that a failure is not wasted time, so, thoughtfully, he schedules some time for failures in his agenda.
Răzvan is a young architect who spent his first school years in Cluj and finished his Master studies in Clermont-Ferrand, France. In 2014, he returned to Cluj-Napoca and now wants to share with us an original way to start a business in architecture.
7th grade student, web designer and programmer
Petru is a 7th grade student at the „Samuel von Brukenthal” National College in Sibiu. He was initiated into the computer science field through the activities of the IT club within the Children’s Palace in Sibiu, as early as 3rd grade, with the help of his teacher, Mrs. Doina Solomon. That’s when he won 1st place at the regional computer studies competition Top Info. Starting with 5th grade he followed web design courses privately, having Marius Amza as a teacher. The first website designed by Petru was that of the Children’s Palace in Sibiu, and it brought him a web designer certificate from Haute École Arc, Switzerland, in June 2013. He wanted this first website to not only be an abstract exercise, but a useful, functional one. The web programming course, the website of „Samuel von Brukenthal” National College, and the second web developer certificate from Haute École Arc, Switzerland, in June 2014 followed. Recently he has also won the special prize at the National Computer Studies Conference for Students: Programming, Communication, Imagination, Design (PCID) 2015. He is currently following web expert courses and aims to improve his qualities in the web design field, a field which evolves at a high speed.
Lala Panait, Silviu Medeșan, Diana Galoș
Lala (upper right) – philologist and urban anthropologist, Silviu (left) and Diana (lower right) – architects
Silviu and Lala met in 2010 when they cooperated for the Superbia exposition for the Architecture Biennale in Venice, continuing to work together until now, for projects questioning the public space (Orașul Vizibil, La Terenuri – Spațiu Comun în Mănăștur). Diana joined them in 2013, when she was invited, together with COOP pe Stradă, to create the recycled furniture objects for the La Terenuri – Spațiu Comun în Mănăștur project. The trio’s first project is Aproape de Someș – an initiative aiming to activate the river’s banks through a raft designed as a platform for community events. This raft will be moved along the river, following its vital points: the La Butuci area, the Hungarian Opera, Parcul Feroviarilor or the industrial zone near Oszer.
President and CEO of CHIMICA Group, Management Board Member at Transilvania Construcții, Business and Management Consultant
Alin is a dynamic and effective leader with over 20 years’ experience in a variety of roles in different sectors (healthcare, food; FMCG, transport, engineering, construction; industrial production; management consulting) and diverse business cultures (American, British, French, Indian, Italian, Czech, Romanian). He has a consistent record of delivering extraordinary results in growth, revenue, operational performance and profitability with different companies, small and large organizations. Seen as a development specialist, capable of resolving multiple and complex issues (sales, marketing, operational, financial, human resources, logistic), Alin is able to utilize deep analysis, team and market approach to drive organizational improvements and implementation of best practices.
Throughout his career, he gained solid experience in a variety of positions, with increasing responsibilities, from sales representative to CEO. His experience is complemented by comprehensive business education in British and American schools and programs, but also internal executive programs of multinational companies. His education process was focused on modern management principles: human behavior, business administration, and global executive leadership.
This combination of comprehensive education and broad experience gives a unique and modern perspective on business that is focused not only on the effects of decisions in the market and its evolution, but also on choices and public preferences (clients, colleagues, partners, shareholders) which describes the sources of economic movements and potential development of the company.
Tudor is a law graduate. In 2005, before graduating, he founded Elevate, a niche start-up company in the advertising field (advertising in elevators). In 2006, Tudor started another business, “Dor de Bucovina”, a hostel in the Bucovina historical area of Romania, tourism being another one of his passions.
As a result of his work he was awarded the title Volunteer of the Year in 2004 and the Most Creative Young Entrepreneur in 2006, by the Leaders Foundation, as well as the Creative Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2007, by Junior Chamber International (JCI) Romania. In 2008 he received the title “Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year” from Junior Achievement Romania.
In 2007 and 2008 he founded two online portals and in 2009 cofounded an online marketing agency. From 2012 he continued developing the tourism area with Peaches, another hostel in Bucharest, awarded the Trip Advisor winner prize. In 2013 he opened three other hostels, two more in Bucharest, Floreasca, and Little Bucharest and Pura Vida at the seaside. In the same season he built a beach bar business, Pura Vida, and founded a touring agency, Young Tours. All travel activities are part of the Pura Vida network, www.puravidahostels.ro.
Tudor is an active entrepreneur with a lot of energy for developing new start-ups. He writes about entrepreneurship on www.tudormaxim.ro and about travel on www.lovealwayssummer.com and www.facebook.com/lovealwaysummer.
CEO and co-founder of Teach for Romania
A Romanian-born American-raised professional with more than 10 years of global experience in financial services, management consulting and education, Ionuţ is the CEO and co-founder of Teach for Romania. He was previously a Senior Associate for McKinsey and Company and an Investment Analyst for the Health and Education Department at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), where he developed innovative student loan and school financing facilities in partnership with local banks in Mexico, Egypt, Ghana and Kenya. Prior to that, Ionuţ worked in investment banking for Lehman Brothers in New York. Ionuţ also founded StreetWise Partners DC, a mentorship program pairing young professionals with low income job-seekers. Ionuţ has an MBA from the Harvard Business School, an MPA/ID from the Harvard Kennedy School and a BA from Columbia University.
Technologist, communication expert, co-founder of Simplon Romania
Roxana Rugină is a technologist and communication expert engaged in social and disruptive innovation. She is passionate about new technology, remix culture and innovation in education. Her working experience with NGOs, international companies, governmental institutions, agencies and start-ups brought her to Simplon.co France. Enrolled in the first promo of Simplon.co she has been learning Ruby & Ruby on Rails for 6 months. Today she is managing various web projects and mobile applications. On the long term she believes that everyone should learn how computers work and how we can use technology to build new businesses. Her entrepreneurial drive determined her to move to Cluj, where she co-founded Simplon Romania, the Romanian branch of the French start-up Simplon.co (simplon.co). After 6 years of experience in web, marketing and communication, she wants to help more people and children to learn how to code, develop digital & entrepreneurial skills to solve real problems with long term positive impact on societies.
After he enrolled at the Alternative University, Maximilian became more and more preoccupied with the learning process. He had invested more than 5000 hours in football trainings, so he asked himself how can training sessions be transformed into useful and memorable learning experiences for children.
Maximilian has been working for almost two years with children, on the sports field, and he focuses on cultivating 5 attitudes: Cooperation, Fairness, Joy of playing, Self-control, and Perseverance. This is why he likes to say about himself that he’s rather an educator on the sports field.
Graphic designer, travel blogger and writer
Matei likes to call himself a “full-time dreamer”, although he realizes there is so much to work on it. He’s a graphic designer who really loves cycling and travelling; he enjoys reading and going on mountains trips, but there is so much left to say about his passions, anyway. He studied for 2 years at the Technical University of Bucharest and realized that it was not for him. From then on he has been trying to find his way by combining work with pleasure and hobbies, and enjoying every step that he takes.
Liviu deeply believes in shared learning and the force represented by offering support to each other at the right moment. Briefly, Liviu believes in the power resulting from involved and passionate mind which unite, connect, and work together.
He graduated the Faculty of Automatics and Computers in Bucharest, in 2012. During his student years, a conference in the field of education made him realize that this would be his major interest area, in which he would like to get involved during the following years.
He started as a simple participant at courses and conferences. Afterwards, he got involved as moderator for the professional mentoring platform GOmentorship, where he discovered the idea of training. So, during the following years, he started doing this first at LEAP (Link Education And Practice), then for various NGOs or projects.
The most recent part of his life, until now, has been marked by the coordination of communities such as InvataSa, where through his own workshops, Liviu has supported others in sharing their passions. Currently, he is the main coordinator for the “guides” of the Alternative University, he holds courses at AIESEC and is working on a new social platform for learning.
Andreea Liana Buzea
During 12 years of civic and social projects, Liana had the honor, but sometimes the challenge as well, to work with passionate people, equally dedicated to the cause, but also very different from her. Together they have organized clean-ups in protected areas, informative campaigns on environmental protection themes in universities and high schools, a campaign to raise the awareness of the members of the Romanian Parliament with regards to urban green spaces, and mobilized 200.000 people for the first one-day long country clean-up – „Let’s Do It, Romania!” 2010. In her free time, Liana enjoys writing, jogging, practicing fitness or tai chi, as well as watching documentaries on astronomy, psychology or spirituality.
Film director, screenwriter
Iulia was born in Bucharest in 1982. She studied film directing at the National University of Theatre and Film in Bucharest. She also pursued a master degree at the same university. The short films she directed during her school years (Hi Cristina! Bye Cristina!, Friday around Eleven) were screened at international film festivals in Oberhausen, Ludwigsburg, Munich, Trieste or Brussels. In 2009 Iulia received a grant from the Sarajevo Film Festival and wrote and directed the short film Museum of Broken Relationships. During her master studies, she directed the medium length film Stuck on Christmas, her most awarded film, which screened in festivals such as Rencontres Henri Lenglois – Poitiers, Early Bird – Sofia, La Cabina – Valencia, Off Plus Camera – Krakow, Encounters – Bristol and others.
In 2010 Iulia started collaborating with the acting school and production company Actoriedefilm.ro, which resulted in shooting 3 short films, featuring unprofessional actors: Raluca+1 (2010), Sink (2011), Dying From A Wound Of Love (2014). In 2013 she completed her first feature film Love Building, awarded with the special mention of the FIPRESCI jury at the Warsaw Film Festival. The film was a great box office success, coming in second in the Romanian 2013 box office. In 2014, Iulia directed the sequel, Another Love Building. For all these films, Iulia co-wrote the script, together with Ana Agopian and Oana Răsuceanu. Most of them, she also edited. She is now in production with an animation short film (Skugos) and in pre-production with her third feature film, Breaking News.
Apart from filmmaking, starting with 2007 Iulia was actively involved in the film related cultural management. She was part of the organizing team of Transilvania International Film Festival, NexT Film Festival, Anim’est Film Festival. Between 2011 and 2012 she spent 3 and 4 months respectively in Doha, Qatar, where she worked for Doha International Film Festival.
For 2 years, between 2009 and 2011, she was a university assistant in the screenwriting department of the National University of Theatre and Film. In 2009 she co-founded Control N Cultural Association, dedicated to film education and film promotion among unprofessionals.
Trainer, speaker, Managing Partner at Improvizaţie.ro
Bogdan Grigore is an experienced trainer and speaker, delivering high quality trainings for over 9 years. Nowadays, he’s a managing partner at Improvizaţie.ro, the first Romanian company offering business-applied improvisation trainings designed to develop people’s abilities (teams and companies included).
Furthermore, Bogdan was involved in BiblioNet (an IREX project used in Romania for managing Bill Gates’ $27 M donation), through which he contributed to the development of the Romanian public libraries system.
Bogdan has moderated many conferences, the most popular being ChangeMakers and Forbes Heroes, and has also spoken at a few tens of such conferences on subjects like: business improvisation, innovation, public speaking, motivational speaking, marketing, charisma and NLP. Some of the above mentioned experiences were also a true strating-point for Bogdan’s career as coach for other speakers and moderators, for conferences like CIO Conference 2014 and Human Synergistics: Change to Perform – Culture or Structure?.
As a speaker, Bogdan stands out from the crowd because he likes to challenge his audience, involving it in experiential activities. This TEDxEroilor 2015 speaker strongly believes that success comes from asumming our own role in our lives, both professionally and personally. Furthermore, he thinks that good things come to those who are happy with themselves and who are part of efficient teams.
Dentist, surgeon, student, and associate teacher
Aim towards 120% and you’ll be disapointed when you realize you can only make it to 98%. Aim towards 20% and you’ll be very satisfied if by change you get to 25%. Still, capping doesn’t lead to personal progress or, even less so, to the progress of society. If Avram had to choose a motto to describe him best, it would probably be this: “Nobody remembers who came in second”. For this reason, already since college, he’s tried to bring something new and better to his profession, which also happens to be his passion. Something new can only come once you know well both the past and the present, so he didn’t rush into developing any idea until he realized in which direction he wanted to grow, what attracted him the most from the medical field and where he thought he would have the highest chances of excelling.
The chosen path was maxilla-facial surgery and implantology. Consequently, he started developing a dental implant he had imagined many years ago, an idea which resurfaced frequently in the present, due to the necessity of its existence in practice. Although there are numerous types of dental implants, of various forms and materials, although functionality and survival results are satisfying, there was still a big difference between these implants and natural teeth: the lack of damping of the masticatory forces transmitted towards the peri-implant bone, a task fulfilled by the periodontium in the case of teeth. Just as the aerospace industry is once again turning its attention to the flight of birds in order to obtain better results than the current ones (used by an increased number of people in very good conditions), Avram and his partner also thought they could improve something which is good, but not perfect, by going one step closer to nature.
He is currently a dentist, a resident specialized in oral and maxilla-facial surgery, a student of the Faculty of General Medicine within the “Iuliu Haţieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca, an associate teacher at the Faculty of Dentistry within the same university, and a PhD student. All of these occupations facilitate access to information and help perform research work.
Granted the existence of an optimal framework for development and a very competitive team of which Avram is proud to be part, he’s convinced that this implant, as well as other ideas they might have, will get to be put into practice and have a real impact in their field and, especially, among the patients who will benefit from them.
PR Manager at Electric Castle Festival
Andi was born in Braşov, on a rainy November day, following a smooth birth. He was the quiet and shy kid for the first part of his life. In March 2008, after a crazy night spent in Cluj’s Irish Music Pub, he decides he wants to be a student here. The plan was simple: he gets admitted to the Communication & PR department at the ‘College of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences’, gets hired in an advertising agency and wins a Cannes Lion. So, he sabotages his admission in Braşov (just to be sure), becomes a student at the Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj and lives his first college year in a dorm. It was a little bit of luck and the entire Universe that conspired in order for him to meet some amazing and visionary people that were about to start a project called Booha College. From there followed the unconventional Boiler Events, the legendary Electric Castle and the newest kid on the block, Electric City. It was only a matter of time and lots of passion for this young bloke to have it all by the age of 26.
Dor Geta Popescu
Professional Mountain Climber
Dor Geta Popescu is 11 years old, practices mountaineering and climbing at a professional level, as a member of the Altitude Moutain Sport Club. She is part of the National Team for Climbing – children section, being a multi-champion at national level, with podium rankings at Balkan competitions and European grand slam contests. Since the age of 10 she has been representing Romania in expeditions on high mountains, establishing, at the moment of the climbs, world records for age for Mt. Ararat (5165 m), Sabalan (4811 m), Damavand (5671 m), as member of the Altitude Expeditions Team. Her preparation for performances is done in climbing gyms and during summer and winter climbs of the 7 Mountains Circuit from the Carpathian Garden, training coordinated by the Romanian Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing.
Cornel Marian Hoza
President of Beard Brothers
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. – Thomas A. Edison
Cornel Marian Hoza is one of the founding members and the president of Beard Brothers organization, probably the most non-conformist organization in Romania. In his one year and a half of activity with the organization he successfully managed to fulfill everything he sat his mind on, and he is always involved in at least one project. His ideas to change the mentalities of people and make the world a better place are targeted not only at helping people, but at educating them to help themselves. Everyone can be a big change for this world, all you need is determination. Cornel not only thinks, but lives the idea that nothing is impossible to achieve and there are no problems, only solutions. He always keeps in touch with his creative side, being a graphic designer. This helps keeping his mind open and looking at an idea from a lot of point of views. Setting plans will get you there as long as you are willing to fight for what you believe in and have a clear perspective of what you wish for.
Alin Uhlmann Useriu
There is a point in life when you realize that going to bed because you are tired is infinitely better and more satisfying than going to bed because you are bored. And that is when you start your day early in the morning planning for that moment at sunset.” The person to whom this idea belongs is Alin Useriu Uhlmann , coordinator of the fascinating project “Tasuleasa Social”.
And probably with this idea in his mind, in 2001, when he came back to Romania, Alin started building a volunteers’ wonderland in Bistrita, called “Tasuleasa Social”. 13 years later, it has grown in one of the most prolific and novel green NGOs in Romania: 20 000 volunteers, over 200 000 planted trees, 200 tons of garbage collected from the woods, 10 renovated and fully equipped schools, medicine worth of 1 million euros donated to the sick and poor, one ecological water treatment plant and 3 hectares of “Pedagogical Forest”, a space in which children can learn about the importance of clean waters and forests and about the connection between humans and those two. And these are just a few of the many things Tasuleasa can be proud of.
Joep van de Vlasakker
Joep has worked and lived in many countries in the Northern Hemisphere. Born in the Netherlands, he was raised among falcons, hawks, hunting dogs, horses and other animals, as his father practises falconry. It was the enjoyment of being out in the field working together with hawks and dogs that started his interest in nature and in predators; especially the wolf, still heavily persecuted at that time. He studied Forestry and Nature management and already as a student showed great interest in wilderness and giving more freedom to nature. After graduation in 1984 he worked for different governmental and non-governmental organisations in the Netherlands, but they could not offer work in his field of interest – the restoration of the role of large mammals, both large carnivores and large herbivores and protecting and restoring areas untouched by man.
Over the years he worked on many bison projects and is still involved in several bison reintroduction projects. For Rewilding Euriope he will write the Rewilding Bison Action Plan. In Rewilding Europe, both his interests and experience come perfectly together. Joep is very keen to help the Rewilding team with putting a fantastic concept into practise and sharing a dream together; creating true wilderness areas in Europe, not managed by the hands of man but by the mouths of thousands of large herbivores, to be enjoyed by people and benefiting many generations to come.
Luis Alvarado Martinez
Luis is a 24 year old social change activist, originally from the Canary Islands and currently living and working in Brussels. Speaks Spanish, English, French and Italian.
Graduating in the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) in Spain and Université Jean Moulin Lyon III in France.
Luis has a long experience in volunteering projects in the fields of youth, education and participation.
He is currently working in Brussels as the President of AEGEE-Europe/European Students’ Forum which is the biggest interdisciplinary student organization in the continent, empowering university students to take active part in the European integration process as well as representing their interests and voices towards European and international decision makers.
He works very closely representing student voice in the European Commission, European Parliament and the United Nations, and other Civil Society Platforms such as the European Movement International, the European Youth Forum, the European Civic Forum and others.
He is also currently Member of the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe mainstreaming and ensuring a strong youth voice int he institutions of the Council of Europe, and is very involved in the work of the European Youth Forum and its advocacy processes towards decision makers and the policies which affect the lives of young people in Europe.
Luis has worked in the past as a trainer, developing new generations of young leaders and NGO managers, and leading different projects, campaigns and initiatives from local, to regional, national, European and global-UN levels. In 2013 him and his team won the European Charlemagne Youth Prize 2013 from the European Parliament for the project “Europe on Track”.
He is currently very involved, through his participation in the ” Y Vote 2014″ campaign in promoting the European Parliament elections in May 2014, and empowering students to take an active and informed choice in them.
Silviu Matu is a young researcher associated with the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at Babeş-Bolyai University, in Cluj-Napoca. He is passionate about people and how technology can help us extend our potential. He conducted research on emotion and on how we could manage our own emotions by changing perspectives over the events in our lives. At the present moment he is working in one of the most advanced research platforms in virtual reality and robotics-based psychotherapy, investigating new ways of helping people to prevent or overcome emotional problems.
I received a PhD title in psychology and I am specialized in Autism Spectrum Disorders. After graduating university, together with a group of colleagues we set up the Cluj-Napoca branch of Hans Spalinger Association. I am a trainer and president of the Romanian Curative Education Federation and since 2009 I became a specialist in aviation psychology.
I researched on dynamic and functional evaluation of autistic and severely mentally disabled children.
The study of neurocognitive functioning and joint attention mechanism offered me the opportunity of working under the guidance of several people whom I profoundly respect: Oana Benga, Felicia Iftene, Nicolae Jurcău. I will soon finish writing an intervention manual for parents of children with severe disabilities and the book David, beyond autism…
Two years ago, when I was 30, something in my life ”clicked” and I understood that, sooner or later, I will have to give up the hope for a better past. That was also the moment I started my training as a positive psychotherapist under the guidance of Gabriela Hum, a true mentor. I find flying fascinating, but now I know that no matter how beautiful this experience might be, life is what happens when you are down to earth, literally.
Andrei D. Mihalca is a vet, researcher, parasitologist and photographer based in Cluj Napoca since he was born, in 1978. Family, friends and colleagues call him Andi. He is the husband of Linda and the father of Mihai and David.
Since childhood he was interested in the life of animals and his plans were to become a biologist. However, he decided to follow the courses of the Veterinary Faculty in Cluj-Napoca, which he graduated in 2002. His main research topics include parasite ecology, wildlife health, vector-borne diseases and tropical parasitology.
Since 2006 he is conducting research in various tropical countries focused on the parasite diversity of domestic animals and wildlife. Together with colleagues from Czech Republic, he is responsible for the implementation of preventive veterinary programs in remote, tribal areas of Kenya. Since 2012, he is the coordinator of the European Network for Neglected Vectors and Vector-Borne Diseases. He has published more than 40 papers in impacted peer-reviewed journals and over 100 in various other journals and conference proceedings.
He is currently associate professor and vice-rector of the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca. As a photographer, he has published in National Geographic Magazine and National Geographic Traveler and he was invited in various photo exhibitions.
i am happy to be a sculptor
the whole world is a gallery with sculptures
in order to create a three dimensional form
I have to take a piece of material from nature
i start working
when my hands touch the marble or the granite or the wood
when my hands deepen in soft clay,
i touch God’s hands
God’s hands are there waiting for me
i feel them, i try to see, i try to listen…
this is how, resculpting His sculptures,
I tie myself, day by day, to the universe
this is how, resculpting His sculptures
i understand, day by day, how inadequate I am
i am a sculptor, but much more than that: I am a sculpture
i call myself in the way I was named: liviu mocan
Andrei Ruse was born in December, 1985 in Bucharest. At the early age of 22, he launched his debut novel „Soni”, that soon became a bestseller and one of the most appreciated teen books. He also distinguished himself by the innovative methods of book promotion. In 2011, he published „Dilăr pentru o zi” (Dealer for a day), and in 2014, he launched his most recent book, „Zaraza”. All the books were published by Polirom Publishing House.
Over the years, he has initiated several online cultural projects, the most recent one being Hyperliteratura.ro magazine that is among the most popular literary projects. He has collaborated with many other websites, has run various book promotion campaigns and has organised and participated in numerous events, debates and public lectures.
Andrei Ruse is also well known for the first Romanian book trailer, for his video-poems, video- interviews and other documentaries, videos and video experiments.
He has participated in many public lectures and numerous events abroad (Berlin, Stuttgart, Leipzig); excerpts from his books and short prose were published in European literary magazines/renowned anthologies; in 2012, he won the Jean-Jacques Rousseau fellowship for his novel ”Zaraza”, being artist-in-residence at the Akademie Schloss Solitude.
Discovery Networks Program Director
Ada joined Discovery Networks in the position of Channel Manager for Romania in January 2008. In 2009, she was appointed Program Director of Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia, and in January 2011 she became Program Director of South-East Europe, being responsible for content and image of the Discovery channels in 9 countries, including Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Slovenia.
Before joining the team at Discovery Channel, she was Director of Procurement, Sales, Subtitle and programs at the National Romanian Television. Throughout the years she has also worked at National TV and Prima TV. Her career in the media industry however, began as a radio presenter for Pro FM.
Ada is also a respected film critic, contributing over the years to the production of many radio and TV programs about the film industry. She is regularly invited as an expert at numerous major film events of Romania and she is a lecturer at the University of Bucharest.
Ada graduated from the Faculty of Chemistry part of the University of Bucharest and holds an MChem in anorganic chemistry.
Founder Ecoruralis and WWOOF
Willy Schuster is a passionate supporter of the cause of peasant agriculture in Romania and abroad. That is precisely why he is one of the founders of Ecoruralis, an association that encourages and supports Romanian peasants to switch to organic farming.
He owns himself an organic farm in Moşna, Sibiu, and its cheeses are well known and appreciated in the region. Willy believes that a return to simple and natural things is the best way to live and knows that for a substantial impact, peasant communities must work together. In the spirit of this belief, he founded, together with other organic farmers in the area, Biocoop Cooperative (the first store in the country with products exclusively from certified organic farms) for the joint exploitation of peasant bio-products.
Together with his family, he was also the initiator of the project WWOOF Romania, a network of organic farms around the world, trying to bring public interest to the villages. His passion has materialized in real efforts to change the agricultural landscape by facilitating meetings, discussions, and experience exchanges between peasants from all over the world and the ones living and working in Romanian villages.
Octavian Segărceanu (Sega) worked in advertising for 11 years. He was a copywriter, then a deputy creative director at McCann Erickson Romania, then he did commercials as a freelance director. He gained social status, money, prizes and fame, but on the 11th of June 2008 he gave up everything, stuffed his unanswered questions in a backpack and left for India.
During one year he considered initiatic, Sega wandered from Osho’s ashram in Pune to the birthplace of Buddha in Nepal, from the Tibetan north of India to its scorching south. Back from the edge of the world, he started to write a book.
The first NAMASTE volume, a spiritual adventure novel iDiscovery Networks Program Directorn India, was released last summer by Humanitas publishing house, being one of its bestsellers in 2012. The second NAMASTE volume, a spiritual adventure novel in Nepal, is in preparation at the same publishing house.
Dr. Melissa Lee Price
New Media Professor
Melissa Lee Price is a self-confessed gadget geek who even as a little girl on long road trips with her family in America dreamed of a device that would control the car so the driver could sit back and enjoy the trip.
She bought her first computer in 1984, when Apple started selling the Macintosh, and she’s been ‘wired-in and online’ ever since. Dr. Price completed her Ph.D. at the University of South Carolina where she focused on the use of technology in teaching and learning; and she taught her first online class in 1994, just months after the first web browser was invented.
She fell in love with Romania when she and her husband spent their honeymoon in Cluj and she’s been coming back to visit ever since. Dr. Price is currently a Visiting Professor in the Department of Theatre and Television at Babeş-Bolyai University.
I was born exactly 50 years ago, sharing my birthday with Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Theodor Aman, George Topârceanu, Henrik Ibsen and Napoleon III. I grew up with Pink Floyd, Jean Michel Jarre, Kraftwerk, Chopin and Mozart, the love for the English language and my passion for airplanes and motorcars. I studied at the Polytechnic Institute because I really wanted to be an engineer. I hugely respected my parents and they have always respected my decisions.
I got into television 22 years ago. I have done news, reportage, entertainment, years and years of live shows in both public and commercial TV. People watched (I got high ratings for all my shows), juries appreciated (3 times winner of APTR, Mediafest, twice TeleVest), and that’s how I got smart and had a lot of fun!
I got trained in the UK and the USA and now I’m teaching others how to do good TV. I have a great family and I’ve always had the chance to work with good people. I don’t agree that the audience wants bad television. They got used to it because that’s what they’ve been offered, since it was handy and cheap. People deserve something better. And if it’s smart, dynamic and well done, careful, they might like it!
President of Habitat for Humanity Cluj
Andrei Aroneț loves communication in all its forms; that’s why he explored journalism, public relations & blogging, three areas in which he has been active up to this day. However, there came a moment when he felt like stepping out and making change happen: “I was asked to help Habitat for Humanity by creating a leaflet. I said «it’s gonna take me two hours tops!». Twelve years later, I am still a Habitat volunteer, serving as president of the local board of directors. More importantly, I’ve worked with great people and learned a lot about changing lives and creating real-word impact by using PR & social media tools”, Andrei says.
As a blogger, he initiated the campaign to raise awareness about the difficult situation faced by the Pharmacy Museum in Cluj, a campaign which involved other bloggers & journalists, tripled the number of real-life visitors and generated heavy media coverage for an issue that had been ignored until then.
Andrei blogs on www.aronet.ro as often as possible and says that, although social media is a passion, nothing beats smiles offered in person: “I look forward to meeting the people of TEDx Eroilor and share ideas about how to take change beyond the realm of the online world and impact our daily lives. If we want dreams to come true, it’s a good idea to wake up and start working on them”!
Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology
Andrei’s interest in the brain was sparked by having learned, during a first year undergraduate course, that new neurons are born in the adult brain. While following his curiosity on this topic, Andrei discovered the fascinating field of neuroscience, with its enthusiastic pioneers, exuberant diversity of methods bridging biomedicine and psychology, and rapid empirical development, which gave him the impression that he might miss a breakthrough if he turned his head.
He didn’t turn it away, and thanks to two professors who supported his increasing enthusiasm in neuroscience, he started a research and teaching career in this field that was largely unknown in Romania at the end of the 1990s.
Currently, Andrei Miu is Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology, Babeș-Bolyai University. He is the director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, and he teaches cognitive neuroscience and behavioral genetics courses for undergraduate and graduate students in Psychology. His research has focused on emotions, using behavioral, electrophysiological and molecular genetic methods. His track record includes publications in many influential international scientific journals, important fellowships from Fulbright, IBRO and FENS, as well as memberships in the editorial boards of scientific journals of the American Psychological Association and Springer.
Senior Editor Decât o Revistă
Lavinia came across journalism by chance. In 2006 she was 22 years old, had a business school diploma and no interest in the business field whatsoever and was preoccupied with all the existential dilemmas fit for a young adult without a clue about the future. Storytelling came as a revelation. It allowed her to search, get to know and learn about different people, who live and think so differently, to find out true stories and share them.
In 2009, together with a few fellow journalists and a wonderful graphic designer, motivated by the dissatisfaction with the Romanian magazine market and by the belief that things could be better, she worked on starting the independent quarterly Decât o Revistă.
Today she reports, writes, edits and coordinates stories about the lives, ideas and plans of people around us. All very different stories and all true.
was our HOST for this edition.
” I am a man who feeds on stories. I love to listen or to read them, I love to be there when they happen, I love to tell, to write and to sing about stories. I like the people who truly live their stories, be they stories of life, of love, of pain or of joy. I look for people who have the courage to assume their story. They are the only ones who make me respond, or wish to respond. The stories made me become a journalist. I stared my career on the radio, I went on with the radio and also started writing for the press, and since about a year and a half ago I have worked for the television. I have worked for BBC Romania, and then Europa FM. I have written for Adevarul, Dilema Veche and on my own blog. And now, I am a TV producer for Transilvania L!VE. My biggest professional achievements are the stories that I love to listen, read or see even now, after years since they have been published. I am a communicator that learns every day how to listen. This is why I have accepted to be the host of TEDxEroilor. I will have the privilege of presenting and listening to people who have a story to tell, a story that I find interesting.”
Alina S. Rusu (biologist and psychologist) has received her PhD title in Ethology (the study of Animal Behaviour) in 2004, at University of Zürich, Switzerland. After a training course in Animal Assisted Therapy and Activities (Delta Society and University of Northern-Texas, USA), Alina Rusu has initiated for the first time in Romania a post-graduate course in Animal Assisted Activities and Therapy, with applicability at level of increasing the quality of life in humans and animals. Currently, Alina Rusu is Associate Professor at Faculty of Psychology and Sciences of Education (Babe?-Bolyai University). In terms of profession, she combines ideas and models from animal life with knowledge about human emotions and behavior, through interdisciplinary courses, such as Animal Psychology, Psychobiology of Sexuality and Evolutionary Psychology.
“I believe in change and evolution and I am passionate about finding ways to start, fuel and rush this process. So my whole life, until now, has been a continuos search for the best place where I could support change most efficiently. This is how I came to be, in turn, a student leader, an university teacher, a counsellor for the President of the Romanian Parliament, the youngest Member of the European Parliament, the founder of Think Outside the Box – an online news platform promoting constructive approaches – and the director of WWF Romania. All stages in my life lasted exactly 2 years, but maybe WWF will be the one to change my pattern.”
Dorin Marchiş is President of Romanian Aikido Aikikai Fundation, organization recognized by Japan Aikikai Foundation – which coordinates the development and promotion of Aikido in the world. He is leading an organisation with 2500 members and branches in over 30 cities in Romania, being invited to teach Aikido in international seminars in many countries. He is also the President of the Center for Japanese Art and Culture, he loves and he promotes the Japanese culture. He practices martial arts since 1983, currently being master of Aikido Dan grade 5.
“Aikido creates people with a certain inner light, it shapes characters. With the practice of aikido, spiritual perfection is achieved. You can learn to master your energy to control and, moreover, to transform negative energy, which is assaulting you, in positive energy. Try to imagine what would happen if people could control all negative energy and, with a little effort, to turn it into positive energy? In this case, how would the world be evolving? Aikido is a martial art, no doubt, and can be practiced by anyone, the child: to form his spirit, the young: to shape it and the adult: to temper it. So, this way, I think we can all be better and more sympathetic. If I would need to define this art, I would say that Aikido is moving mediation.
Is involved in creating and developing educational projects in partnership with corporations which have a strategic aim to have a positive impact on education in Romania. President and founder of “Şcoala de Valori”, Ştefan helped design the national educational program GROW launched in 2010 and awarded in 2011 with three national awards including best youth program in Romania. “I understand that only by bringing together passionate people, more expertise and many years of work can produce a transformation on the education in Romania and my children will be able to live in a country as they wish. More important than my experience in professional and volunteer activities, travels, shipping and weddings, my passion remains vivid towards leaving something behind and changing dramatically in the Romanian society.“
Elena Basso Stănescu
Elena Basso Stănescu is a designer, artist and lecturer – PhD in Visual Arts at the Fashion-Design Department, University of Art and Design Cluj-Napoca. She is a member of Artists Union of Romania, winner of UAP Design Award and other honors in the field of fashion design, fine arts and decorative. Personal paths, both in design, as well as those belonging to the decorative arts have spawned iconic images that speak of tradition, identity, paths, dreams, rituals, beliefs. The creative activity accompanies the teaching activity, the two dimensions being complementary. This “dialogue” is essential to define the original vision, generating new openings to the professional environment in this field. Elena is the initiator of UAD Graduates Fashion Design Gala, complex event relevant to higher education art, which reached its eighteenth edition, becoming an important platform of promotion for students and graduates.
Dumitru Popescu is for 13 years the founder and the coordinator of ARCA team, that has become the leading organization in the aerospace field in Romania. With an exceptional ability to mobilize, coordinate and focus people, Dumitru and his team, ARCA, has made big projects for Romania, from the Demonstrator 2B rocket, Helen 2 space rocket continuing and culminating with the IAR-111 supersonic plane for the American competition Google Lunar X Prize.
Cristina Pardanschi and Cornel Răileanu
Within twelve years of teaching theater in university, we have developed our own experiments, a cumulus of exercises that have formed generations of actors viable and competitive. As often happens, on other meridians of the world, this method was already established. We refer here to two great personalities oversea: Neva Boyd and Viola Spolin, to whom we fully recognize their competence. Confirmation that we chose a just and verified way, has produced great satisfaction, and we decided to implement this study in the social sphere. Our approach is a pioneering in the social, cultural and educational Romanian landscape, and results in a complementary form of education.”
Voicu Bojan is editor, translator and, sometimes, freelance photographer. He has published pictures and stories in several publications, most significant being Traveler, National Geographic, Romania, Esquire Romania and LensWork, U.S. He is the initiator of Diafragma 9. This project includes a photography course and workshops held with a very small group of friends. He is taking care of a book collection that aims to help photographers think more and trigger less. Details on www.diafragma9.ro
Cornel Vîlcu, assistant professor, PhD at the Faculty of Letters (UBB Cluj), works in the field of general linguistics and semiotics. These are, or at least seem to be, extremely theoretical areas; however, in recent months, our speaker has become a civic and environmental activist, particularly involved in the “Save Rosia Montana” campaign. Since this other field is a very practical, empirical one, we can ask ourselves: how do these two territories reconcile, what can they ‘say’ to each other, to what extent do they interfere – with positive or negative effects? What do theory of language and semiotics have in common with participating in social communication, forming public opinion, taking stand as a citizen? An 18 minute “reflection” which raises the question of how we see and manage the relationship between abstract and concrete, between principles and facts.
If I were to name the one trait that would best describe me, I would be “the one who starts”. I have an insatiable hunger for innovation and transforming people and things. In 2007, I started the Center for Health Policy and Public Health (CHPPH), at the Babeş-Bolyai University, who’s Executive Director I’ve been since. Within CHPPH, together with the people I have invested in, I ran more than 20 projects in Public Health, contributing to the development of this field in Romania. I have proved that Public Health, which is an established field abroad, can be developed effectively even in poor-resource settings, if you are enough passionate, creative and consistent with your vision. This way, I introduced the concept of “Guerilla Public Health”, which has never been used before. Moreover, I initiated the only English-taught Bachelor Program in Public Health from Central and Eastern Europe, which will start this fall. Therefore, my unique expertise as a researcher, leader and manager led to my selection as a national Expert Evaluator for the European Commission.