TEDxNYU: Re-Vision

We invite you to the 8th Annual TEDxNYU Conference: Re-Vision. This year's theme invites us to look at the world around us and reflect on the direction our society is heading. What is the future we envision
and are we on the path to get there? This year, our speakers will bring you into the paths they have forged to achieve their re-vision of the world. Together, let's reflect and ask ourselves: are we happy with what we see?

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Meet Our Speakers

John Ross Rizzo

Assistant Professor at NYU Langone Medical School

John-Ross (JR) Rizzo, M.D., M.S.C.I., is a physician-scientist at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Rehabilitation, where he is an Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with a cross-appointment in the Department of Neurology and the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (NYU-Tandon School of Engineering). He leads the Visuomotor Integration Laboratory (VMIL), where his team focuses on eye-hand coordination, as it relates to acquired brain injury (ABI), and the REACTIV Laboratory (Rehabilitation Engineering Alliance and Center Transforming Low Vision), where his team focuses on advanced wearables for the sensory deprived and benefits from his own personal experiences with vision loss. He is also the Founder and Chief Medical Advisor of Tactile Navigation Tools, LLC, where he and his team work incessantly to disrupt the assistive technology space for those with visual impairments of all kinds, enhancing human capabilities.

Kennedy Gachiri

Founder of Superstar Agenda

Kennedy Gachiri is the creator of Superstar Agenda (www.SuperstarAgenda.com). Superstar Agenda is a comprehensive talent platform focused on content development and elite coaching. The digital magazine showcases individuals who are having a transformative impact in their communities and social systems by expressing their natural creativity through art or some form of entrepreneurship. Superstar Agenda has previously featured the co-founder of Venmo, the creator the Burberry and Tiffany fragrances, and other acclaimed change agents and creators. Kennedy is also authoring a book by that name, The Superstar Agenda. In a previous life, Kennedy did time as a management consultant, development advisor, corporate lawyer, and investment banker. He holds degrees from Yale Law School, The Wharton School, and the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing. Kennedy is fluent in Swahili and French; and is also a certified personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. In his free time, he plays the alto saxophone.

Ayman Mukerji

Mindfulness teacher, and neuroscience researcher at NYU Langone Medical School

Ayman Mukerji Househam is on a mission to create a mindful world by demystifying the biological benefits of mindfulness. Ayman is a former Wall Street executive. She is a long time meditator, and now teaches mindfulness to families, corporations and individuals. With a degree in Physics, Ayman has always tried to answer life’s questions using quantum physics. With her research on mindfulness physiology (or as the academics call it - “psychoneuroimmunology”!), she finds answers to some of those questions. Her recent scientific publications unravel how mindfulness practice changes our immune system, gut and even our genes! She wants the world to hear the science behind the buzzword. Ayman hopes to propagate mindfulness and eventually create a peace movement. Ayman teaches mindfulness workshops at the Rubin Museum of Art, the Tibet House, to corporate clients and individuals. A clinical therapist in-training, Ayman combines Eastern meditation with Western therapeutic techniques. She spends half of her time publishing scientific papers to show the efficacy of mindfulness as an intervention. She is an active speaker on the topic. Ayman is an author of a book on the neural underpinnings of autism spectrum disorder. She works with children diagnosed with autism and ADHD.

Stefanie Giglio

Student, NYU Wagner School of Public Policy

Stefanie Giglio recently received her Master's degree in Public Policy from NYU Wagner, where she focused her studies on the intersection of Climate Change and Urban Planning. She received her undergraduate degree in International Communications and Media Production from Franklin University Switzerland. She has worked as a staff reporter and freelance photographer in the US, Europe, and Africa and has traveled to 27 countries.

Jon Stepanian

President & CEO of Community Solidarity Inc

Jon Stepanian is the President & CEO of Community Solidarity the largest vegetarian hunger relief program in the United States. Sharing millions of pounds of vegetarian groceries, hot vegan meals and clothing with tens of thousands each month is only part of Jon's job description. The other part is creating long-term solutions to end poverty; namely by developing community inter-dependence, promoting a balanced nutritious diet and fighting for social justice. Jon is also the Co-founder of Long Island Food Not Bombs, the community that gave birth to Community Solidarity and notably the largest Food Not Bombs chapter in the world! He has worked in advisory positions at the United Nations and the New York Civil Liberties Union. His commentary on issues of US Poverty can be found in publications like the Times Tribune, Change.org, CNN.comand the Huffington Post. It can also be heard at symposiums and forums across the tristate area where he advocates for grassroots problem solving over the mainstream nonprofit hierarchical models. Recently, The Long Island Press has rank Jon as one of the 50 most influential people on Long Island. He was named one of News 12's "12 Making a Difference" for 2015, he received the "Deed Before Creed" award by the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island and was awarded the 2013 Kairos Award by The Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives.

RJ Khalaf

Student, President of the NYU Muslim Students Association

RJ is a senior at New York University pursuing a degree in Global Liberal Studies with a concentration in Politics, Rights, and Development a minor in Social Entrepreneurship. Recently named as one of NYU's most influential students by Washington Square News, he is the President of the NYU Muslim Students Association and has been selected as a Dalai Lama Fellow. RJ is a former NYU Leadership Fellow and is also the founder and director of LEAD Palestine, an organization that aims to inspire, motivate, and empower the next generation of Palestines youth through a hands-on and fun leadership-based summer camp. He was born in raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, loves his two cats, and is passionate about coffee.

Sam Chase

Sam Chase Yoga

Sam Chase designs and delivers programs in mindfulness, yoga and resilience for organizations nationwide. He specializes in working with communities that serve in high-stress circumstances. He has developed programs for world leaders at the United Nations, service members in the National Guard, medical students at Columbia University, educators at the New York City Department of Education, and the over 1000 yoga teachers he has trained throughout the last decade. His role as an interpreter and bridge-builder in the conversation between Eastern contemplative traditions and Western scientific research led to the 2015 publication of the book Yoga & The Pursuit of Happiness, a down-to-earth guide to the philosophy and science behind yoga and meditation. Sam holds a master’s degree from Harvard, and certificates in Yoga and in Positive Psychology from Kripalu, where he currently serves as the Lead Facilitator for RISE, Kripalu’s evidence-based resilience training program.


A huge thank you to Mr. John Bates and Executive Speaking Success for the pro bono involvement in our speaker curation! John has trained hundreds of TED / TEDx speakers all over the world and also works with C level executives at top companies to make their communications “TED-Worthy.” Executives from organizations like Johnson & Johnson, Accenture, NASA, IBM, Boston Scientific and more recommend him to their colleagues as the best leadership communication trainer working today. John is passionate about people and loves making a difference for those who make a difference. Thank you John for helping bring out the best in our speakers! https://executivespeakingsuccess.com/