TEDxGeorgiaTech Brings Diverse Speaker Set

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The 2019 TEDxGeorgiaTech Conference will be held on April 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Variety Playhouse. This year’s theme is “Momentum” and will showcase eight guest speakers from around the country.

The speakers come from diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise. Read about each below. If you plan to attend, be sure to get your tickets by Sunday, March 31.

Samuel Broder, M.D.: “The Viral Impact of HIV/AIDS”

Dr. Broder’s work specializes in combating cancer and HIV/AIDS, for which he has received numerous scientific awards. From serving as the director of the National Cancer Institute to being part of the team that helped sequence and assemble the human genome, he has no shortage of experience to back up his words.

Laura Pennington: “Flip the Script: Empowering the Freelance Generation”

Laura Pennington managed to scale her business to the six-figure level in 18 months after leaving her teaching job to become a writer. She works as a freelance writer, virtual assistant, and project manager and tries to encourage people to become freelancers themselves. She sees freelancing as an economic social movement that allows people to lead more fulfilling lives.

Daisy Jing: “A Tragedy Called Perfection”

While struggling with acne, Daisy Jing realized the products promising to help were actually making her condition worse. So, she created her own remedy in her kitchen. Today she runs Banish, a multimillion-dollar online skin care company. She is both a Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient and Inc 500 entrepreneur.

Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur

Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur is the head of the Georgia Muslim Voter Project and works with African heads of state to improve women’s and children’s health in sub-Saharan Africa. She is also one of the organizers of the Women Led Prayer in New York City, which opened up a nationwide conversation about how Muslim women participate in various communities.

Kevin J. DeBruin: “Without Space We Die”

Kevin J. DeBruin is a Georgia Tech graduate and former NASA rocket scientist with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is also a two-time American Ninja Warrior and tries to educate others about both science and the important of a healthy lifestyle in a fun way. He has been described as a mix between Bill Nye the Science Guy and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Monica Khant

Monica Khant is executive director of the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network, or GAIN. She works from both the legal and business sides, overseeing and mentoring prospective pro bono immigration lawyers while also fundraising and working with outreach initiatives for GAIN. She is an adjunct professor at Georgia State University, teaching a class called Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery.

John DeGarmo, Ed.D.: “Children in Need. Children Ignored.”

John DeGarmo and his wife are the parents of nine children. Six of them are adopted or biological, while the other three are foster children. DeGarmo is trying to bring insight into society about all things foster care — and it’s safe to say that he’s speaking from experience.

Osama Sakhi: “Compound Interest: How Instilling Drive Goes a Long Way”

After serving as the instructor on Artificial Intelligence at Duke’s TIP program, computer science master’s student Osama Sakhi saw the power of young minds when they’ve been inspired. He plans on using his time at the TEDxGeorgiaTech Conference to inspire people to instill drive in others, as those small actions compound over time to benefit society.

Tickets for this year’s conference include food, swag, and an opportunity to talk to the speakers. They can be purchased through the official TEDxGeorgiaTech ticketing page. Free Lyft codes that give you 20 percent off your ride can also be selected when you buy a ticket.



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    Kristen Bailey
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