TEDxEroilor Heroes

TEDxEroilor is a non-profit event that aims to be a catalyst for the progress of our/the community.

Surrounded by smart, innovative people and with the best ideas to make a social change and have a real impact, both us and participants, we'll make a step forward to the concept of bringing people together: doers, dreamers, makers and innovators.

We believe in changes that start with a sparkling ideas, enthusiasm and courage. TEDx Eroilor will bring forward the most appropriate speakers and a community ready to take actions, a community that gathers students, young professionals and people that are willing to make a difference and contribute to our society.

Our goal is to promote Romanian leaders with ideas worth spreading and a strong background and experience. We started doing this with TEDxEroilor and now we proudly organise also: TEDxEroilorWomen, TEDxYouthEroilor, TEDxOradea, TEDxAlbaIulia, TEDxTarguMures and much more to come.

Stelian Burduhos

Stelian Burduhos is a strong fan of quality people and ideas worth spreading. After a consistent background in volunteering for different NGOs, he is currently involved in an educational project and a private business in the HoReCa industry, with the goal of supporting young people to reach and discover their hidden potential, through fun career alternatives. Donning a classy red and white (definitely not pink) jacket, he was also the entertaining host of last year’s TEDxEroilor edition, Dare to Fail.

Blanilla & Solartis Quartet

PERFORMERS Blanilla & Solartis Quartet is a project of fusion between electronic and classical music. Practically, the synthetic rhythms and sounds of electronic music are complemented by the organic, natural sounds of the string quartet, resulting in a unique and complex sound. All tracks from their performances are 100% original compositions. Angel Rusu (Blanilla) writes the electronic part, while Sabin Penea orchestrates the tunes for the quartet. Blanilla is one of Romania’s most appreciated producers and DJs, being a regular of electronic music festivals from Romania and from abroad. Solartis Quartet take part regularly in Romania’s most prestigious classical music festival, the George Enescu Festival, but also in recitals abroad. Together with Blanilla, they hope to create a bridge between lovers of classical music and those of electronic music.

Ehsan Mashadi

PERFORMER Ehsan Mashadi is an Iranian-American filmmaker, musician and former taxi driver, currently living in Romania. His music project “BadMashadi” started in Chicago with a group he put together in 2011. Most of the music is originally composed and written, with influences from Persian and Balkan music that focuses on his experiences as a Middle Eastern immigrant and the social undertones of American culture through the lens of a taxi driver. Ehsan travelled to Romania in 2013 to learn more about “lăutari” and Romani music, particularly of Clejani. In 2014, after living there with the family of the late great violinist Nicolae Neacşu, he produced an album for the Clejani family of musicians, titled “Bahto Delo Delo”. He also collaborated with them on some of his own songs that were released in 2016, in his album “Taxidriving under-City”. Ehsan has transformed his BadMashadi music project into a solo act, incorporating electronic music that allows him to travel and perform alone, and to collaborate with various musicians along the way.

Alexandru Manda & Andrei Botescu

ENTREPRENEURS Alexandru Manda and Andrei Botescu are two entrepreneurs who have managed to revive Pegas bicycles, the most famous and beloved brand of bicycles that used to exist in Romania during communist times. However, they are not only working to build bicycles, but wish to recreate an urban Romanian identity and a reinvented national pride, in a country where occidental influences have diminished the perceived value of local products.

Roxana Damaschin-Ţecu

PORTFOLIO DIRECTOR AT NESST Roxana is Portfolio Director for NESsT, working with social enterprises from Central and Eastern Europe and South America. She responds for the way social enterprises in which NESst invests are supported and for measuring their performance, related to the area of social impact (work places for disadvantaged individuals) and financial results. Being an economist, she received a master’s degree in social sciences and, in 2012, she became an Eisenhower Fellow for Romania.

Andrei Ceclan

ENERGY MANAGER FOR CLUJ-NAPOCA Andrei Ceclan is active in the field of energy efficiency for industries and buildings, through his passionate involvement and the competencies he possesses and puts into practice. Since 2005, within the company for energy services Servelect, he performs energy evaluations and implementations of solutions for the whole energy chain, from production, transport and distribution to the actual use of energy. Through the scientific research and dissemination projects he is involved in at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, together with the team he is part of, he contributes to the informing and professional training of architecture, construction, installations and buildings energetics specialists, as well as to the promotion and implementation of such concepts as buildings with an almost equal to zero energy consumption (nZEB) or the optimization of the “demand response” type of load curve. In 2010 he received his PhD title in Electrical Engineering, and since 2007 he is a qualified Energy Auditor and Manager. Recently, he has taken on the role of Energy Manager for the city of Cluj-Napoca, in an ambitious team, formed through the association of the Cluj-Napoca City Hall with the Technical University and the Resources Center for Energy Efficiency and Climate Changes. Their project sets out to gradually decarbonize the energy imprint of the city and its local urban community. The personal values which best describe Andrei are passion, courage for development, respect for well-being and inclination towards durable solutions. These values guide his vision, actions, work methods and results.

Augusta Bianca Ene

PHYSICIST As a passionate physicist, Augusta Bianca Ene could have been part of an experts group in spectroscopy or a member of different research institutes working on topics like superconductor research or space re-entry simulations. After analyzing the catalytic reaction of benzene with oxygen to phenol on a molecular level she obtained her PhD with “Summa cum laude” from the University of Stuttgart. But no, in 2011, Augusta decided to join Bosch, a multinational company in Germany, Reutlingen, in the automotive industry. There, she deeply engaged in the semiconductor manufacturing processes, developing new plasma etching processes and implementing different automatisation and fault detection systems. Today she is back in Romania, since 2015. Why? Because the same company for which she was working for the past 6 years decided to start the Industry 4.0 “revolution”. That was the moment when she decided to join the newly opened research and development center in Cluj and set up the Analytics Service Center. The focus of her work is to provide associates in Cluj with the chance to work on cutting-edge technologies, in full-responsibility research projects, fighting the extended workbench trend of the market. Through the highly interesting topic on which she focuses, she has managed to attract people who want to return from abroad without loosing the quality of their work or their titles and expertise. Augusta is one of those people who want to bring Romanians who are valuable for our country back home.

Jacob Medrea

PERFORMER Jacob Medrea is a one-man-orchestra: Saxophone, Beatbox, Vocals, Drums, Keys, Percussion and a shot of comedy combined with a storm of digital effects provide for entertainment in an urban avant-garde style. His versatility reaches from House, Drum’n’Bass, Dubstep to Dub & Reggae, Hip-Hop, Funk and even Jazz. Through exploiting the most modern technologies, loop-artist Jacob Medrea takes improvisation to another level and carries handmade live music to the electro dominated Millennium.

Oana Băluţă

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AND FEMINIST ACTIVIST Oana Băluţă has a double belonging: academic and civic. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Bucharest and she is also a feminist activist. After more than eight years of experience leading a nongovernmental organization, in 2013 she chose to become a “freelance feminist”. Understanding the sources of women’s oppression, and working as a female public intellectual to promote the protection and empowerment of women has long been her vocation. She truly believes there is no room for compromise when it comes to combating violence against women and granting access to sexual and reproductive rights. She joins those who long before her argued that the struggle for women’s rights is without end, and that while there are achievements, they are always fragile. We thus need to critically reflect on and question all the political and economic decisions that render human beings vulnerable, just as we need to work in the public sphere to make human beings less vulnerable.

Alexander Penzias

URBAN FARMER AND CO-FOUNDER OF PONIX SYSTEMS Urban farmer and co-founder of Ponix Systems, Alex has the vision of changing the way we think about our food. He wants to break the geographical and psychological distance between consumers and food producers by bringing food production to everyone’s doorstep. He studied Business Administration at the University of Vienna and worked for several years as a management consultant in the UAE. Feeling tired of the daily rut, he moved back to Vienna and co-founded Ponix Systems, an indoor farming startup, whose aim is to bring the joy of urban farming to each house in the world. Together with his co-founder, they combine modern, smart technology with hydroponics to minimize the land, water and energy used in farming. The ultimate goal is to make indoor farming simple and clean, and enable everyone to do it at home.

Elena Calistru

CHAIR AND FOUNDER OF FUNKY CITIZENS Elena Calistru is the chair and founder of Funky Citizens, a Romanian-based NGO. Funky Citizens builds research-based, data-driven advocacy tools. Their aim is to be educational and actionable, encouraging citizens to engage in accountability and government responsibility initiatives in which they can see an impact. Elena has more than 5 years of experience in civil society projects, both at national and international level. Her expertise is mainly in the area of good governance, transparency, public finance and advocacy. She strongly believes that data and online tools can empower citizens to influence public sector reform.

Claudiu Butacu

PRESIDENT OF SOLAR DECATLON BUCHAREST Claudiu Butacu, the president of Solar Decatlon Bucharest, is 27 years old and in the last three years has contributed to the implementation of the EFdeN project, an initiative involving the construction of a solar house. Being as efficient and energy independent as possible, the house has been awarded nationally and internationally. Claudiu is a “Professional Energy Manager” (certified by the Institute of Energy Professionals), a “Sustainability Manager” (achieved through ECQA – the LEAD SUS program), a member of the Future Energy Leaders 100 program, run by the World Energy Council, representing Romania. Moreover, late last year, he received the “Young Energy Professional” distinction at the Energynomics Awards gala and became the Personal Advisor of Secretary of State Cristian Busu, within the Ministry of Energy. The house made by the team which Claudiu Butacu leads became the first research center in Romania for comfort conditions.

Mircea Popa

COFOUNDER OF SKINVISION Mircea Popa is the cofounder of SkinVision, a company which developed a mobile app detecting melanoma with an accuracy of 80%, based only on a photo, using a technology called fractal geometry. This technology is developed through an algorithm on which the team is continuously working, in order to enhance it. The company was founded in Bucharest and the original team members are still working side by side to bring innovation and safety for people everywhere. As cofounder of SkinVision, Mircea is also responsible with developing and implementing a teledermatology solution for the Romanian market. He is devoted to the team’s mission, taking on several responsibilities – from product and research, to business development and trying to constantly raise awareness of the issue.

George Jiglău

POLITICAL SCIENCE LECTURER AND RESEARCHER George Jiglău is a lecturer at the Political Science Department of the Babeş-Bolyai University, and a researcher at the Center for the Study of Democracy, a think tank aiming to make a contribution to the improvement of legislation in the area of education, citizens’ rights and their participation in the political life, national security, and the political system as a whole. Together with a group of professors and students, he initiated, in 2013, the “Warm Meal” program for a group of 50 persons with difficulties in procuring food. Today, the program, developed exclusively through volunteering, serves over 400 beneficiaries in four Romanian cities.

Mihaela Drăgan

ACTRESS, ACTIVIST AND PLAYWRIGHT Mihaela Drăgan (n. 1986) is a Roma actress, activist and playwright, who lives and works in Bucharest. Her performances focus on the connection between theatre, Roma identity and social justice. She is the president of the Roma Actors Association and the president of the board of E-Romnja – The Association for Promoting Roma Women’s Rights. In 2014, she founded Giuvlipen Theatre Company, the first Roma feminist theatre group, formed by professional actresses of Roma origins in Bucharest. Their latest performance, Gadjo Dildo, talks about sexuality, love, queerness and exotization of Roma women. She studied acting and Romani language and collaborated over the years with Logos Theatre and Theatre for Few in projects that focused on expressionism, eurhythmics and acrobatics.

Dan Perjovschi

ARTIST, WRITER AND JOURNALIST Dan Perjovschi lives in Bucharest and Sibiu. He has had personal exhibitions at Tate Modern in London, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACRO) in Rome, at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, at the Reykyavik Art Museum, at the Brukenthal National Museum in Sibiu or at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki, as well as group exhibitions at Centre Pompidou in Paris, at Tate Liverpool, at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, at Castello di Rivoli in Torino, at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, at the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico, at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, or at the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova in Ljubljana. He took part in the following art biennials: Manifesta, Istanbul, Venice, São Paulo, Moscow, Sydney, Lyon, Dublin, and Jakarta. His first retrospective took place at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, in 2007, while his second was hosted at the Centre de Création Contemporaine in Tours, in 2012. He received the George Maciunas Award in 2004, and, together with Lia Perjovschi, the European Cultural Foundation Princess Margriet Award, in 2012.

Kai Brand-Jacobsen

DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PEACE OPERATIONS OF PATRIR Kai Brand-Jacobsen has been described as “one of the leading pioneers, innovators and practitioners in the field of peacebuilding and dealing with conflicts and crisis in the world today.” For 20 years he has worked across all continents and many of the most challenging war zones and crisis situations in the world. He is the Director of the Department of Peace Operations of PATRIR and the UN supported Nineveh Paths to Peace project in Nineveh, Iraq (KRG), one of the areas worst affected by the ongoing war with ISIS, and a subject of the film “In Pursuit of Peace”.

Ştefania Druga

FOUNDER OF HACKIDEMIA Innately curious and passionate about creating and testing new learning models, instructional designer by training, Ştefania evolved into a learning architect and is currently a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab Lifelong Kindergarten. She is also a former Googler and has graduated from an international Erasmus Mundus master in Media Engineering for Education (France, Spain, Portugal). In the summer of 2012, she was also the Education Teaching Fellow at Singularity University where she advised and coached 80 students from 36 countries. Currently, she is leading the organization HacKidemia (a mobile lab for Maker Education, present in 40 countries), Afrimakers (a community of Maker projects in 10 African countries), and MakerCamp (global camps for learning how to build and run makerspaces). Ştefania is also an ambassador for global Maker Faire in Berlin and Shenzhen, and a collaborator for digital fabrication at Samsung Research.