TEDxUTAustin brings nine prominent locals to the stage

The annual conference is in its seventh year, bringing Austinites like conservationist Merlin Tuttle, chef Kareem El-Ghayesh, and P. Terry’s co-founder Kathy Terry to the stage.

A theater lit with blue and purple lights with a crowd of people looking toward a stage, which has the letters "TEDxUTAustin" on top.

Last year’s TEDxUTAustin theme was “How & Why,” centering around understanding the process of setting a goal.

Photo courtesy TEDxUTAustin

If you’re looking to get to know your community a little better, we’ve got the conference for you: TEDxUTAustin.

The seventh annual edition of the conference, which is student-organized, will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 23 at UT’s Hogg Memorial Auditorium, 2300 Whitis Ave. Community members can enjoy the conference for $40 and students can get tickets for $20.

This year’s theme is “mosaic,” centering around how folks of all shapes, sizes, and walks of life can create something new when they come together. Without further ado, let’s get to know the nine Central Texans who will take the stage.

Merlin Tuttle | An ecologist, National Geographic-featured wildlife photographer, and conservationist, Tuttle founded Bat Conservation International in 1982.

Melody Afkami | The Melody DanceFit CEO and founder built her fitness business around the healing power of dance, and has since been named ClassPass “Instructor Of The Year.”

Nahid Siamdoust | A Middle East studies assistant professor at UT Austin, Siamdoust has covered news in Iran with Time Magazine and Al Jazeera International.

Bavu Blakes | Blakes advocates for dynamic education through his educational agency, Hip Hop Grew Up, as a musician and “Scholar Emcee.”

Kareem El-Ghayesh standing in front of his black barbecue food truck, KGBBQ.

Kareem El-Ghayesh of KG BBQ came all the way from Cairo for his love of BBQ.

Photo by ATXtoday

Kareem El-Ghayesh | With a passion for smoked meats, the KG BBQ chef and founder moved all the way from Cairo to make his dream a reality.

Kathy Terry | Since 2005, the P. Terry’s co-founder and her husband have opened 30+ health-conscious fast-food stands in Austin.

Caroline Rose | Rose, a 13-year cancer survivor, is now a public speaker and motivational storyteller.

Dr. Richard Reddick | An award-winning teacher, Dr. Reddick is the inaugural Senior Vice Provost and Dean of the Undergraduate College at UT.

Dr. Heather Morgan | The Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas Chief of Staff + Strategy was recently named one of the Top 50 Women in Global Cinema.

Read more about the speakers.

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