TEDxJHU is excited to announce the theme for our 2019 main event: Connect·the·Dots.

April 13, 2019

Bloomberg 272, 1-4pm

In such a time, the bold designs of those daring enough to assemble ideas in a novel way while reaching across disciplines give us a glimpse of what a more cohesive future could hold.


As the world becomes increasingly complex - in information, ideas, and challenges - we often find ourselves in silos with very little extending across the divide. This feels especially relevant when we consider our communities and politics today, as it often seems like there is more that separates rather than unites us. In such a time, the bold designs of those daring enough to assemble ideas in a novel way while reaching across disciplines give us a glimpse of what a more cohesive future could hold. Our theme for this year’s TEDxJHU event was developed with the goal to celebrate and showcase a group of remarkable individuals who have challenged conventions by weaving together pieces that embody their unique vision to improve the world we live in. By harnessing the power of collaboration and creating connections that have not traditionally existed, they have developed the solutions necessary to tackle the complicated issues of our time. Whether the work is focused locally in Baltimore city or globally, we hope this theme will serve a reflection of all that has been achieved by those who have discovered common threads buried in accepted thought and possessed the persistence to pull. By questioning the boundaries which have confined us for so long, we too can join as these innovators and trailblazers connect the dots.


At TEDx conferences around the world, speakers share “ideas worth spreading” - those that have the power to challenge attitudes, touch lives, and change the world. This year’s TEDxJHU event continues to embrace this vision, as we have invited an incredible lineup of speakers who have bridged seemingly disparate disciplines and areas of thought to transform the communities around them. While these researchers, physicians, activists, and local leaders occupy diverse fields, they are all unified through the promise and power of collaboration to tackle the urgent challenges of today. In hearing their stories, we hope this event will inspire and spark your own ideas while creating the connections of tomorrow. We truly look forward to welcoming you to the historic Johns Hopkins Homewood Campus and are excited for you to join us in April.

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Mohammed Khalid


On the outside, Mohammed looks like a completely normal college student, but underneath there is a incredible amount of story, struggles overcome, and lessons learned. His story, featured in VICE News, the Guardian, and more (links below) is anything but ordinary- at 15, he was the youngest person ever prosecuted for terrorism offenses in the US. So how did he go from that to fighting religious extremism in America?

Ian McCulloh


What do Facebook, the military, online dating, and strep throat have in common? Social networks. Dr. Ian McCulloh’s research in graph theory shows us just how versatile social network analysis can be as he applies it to healthcare, engineering health support forums, tracing sexual partners, and operating healthcare organizations. 

He is currently the chief data scientist for Accenture Federal Services and his current work focuses on the application of artificial intelligence to improve democracy and government services. He also maintains adjunct faculty appointments at Johns Hopkins University in the Bloomberg School of Public health and the Whiting School of Engineering.

Aisha Al Fadhalah


As an immigrant from Kuwait, Aisha sought a sense of family and community in the United States. By founding Mera Kitchen, not only did she do this, but she also found a way to empower female immigrants and refugees through their mutual passion: cooking. By choosing a unique system called a "co-op", Aisha knows that she has given immigrant women the tools to contribute to society, gain wealth, and most importantly, find a family through delicious and innovative meals.

Kwame Rose


Having lived only 5 minutes away from Freddie Gray, Kwame Rose was in the thick of a heated time. He had two highly educated parents and mentors in his life that encouraged him to dream as far as he wanted. After the death of Freddie Gray, Kwame spoke out to a reporter and became viral overnight. 

Since then, Kwame has been a crucial player in the Black Lives Matter movement and has been featured in the HBO documentary “Baltimore Rising.” This social activist dedicates his life to bettering the lives of youth in Baltimore because he strongly believes that true change starts with them.

Pava LaPere


Pava is a senior at Hopkins studying Sociology who has revolutionized the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Hopkins and is doing groundbreaking work in the city. She is the cofounder and President of TCO Labs, Inc., a nonprofit organization she started as a first-year JHU student to foster undergraduate entrepreneurship at Johns Hopkins University. Since then, she has gone on to establish an Incubator and Accelerator within TCO and create 2 new start ups (Innov8MD and EcoMaps) within Baltimore. Pava will share a refreshing take on entrepeneurship, including the "unsexy" moments of starting a venture, and her motivations in building sustainable ecosystems that puts their community members first.



“I just find things in my line of work that piss me off, and I try to fix them.” That’s exactly what he did in his efforts to legalize HIV-to-HIV transplants. Following his journey from clinical trials, lobbying in Congress, to his team being photographed with President Obama, Dr. Segev worked throughout various realms of society. His work in the operating room has revolutionized transplant surgery, making history last week by carrying out the first ever living donor HIV-HIV kidney transplant. As a champion swing dancer promoting engagement with the arts in Baltimore, he truly connects the dots while offering hope of a better future to millions around the world.