Fellows in the News

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Sat Aug 21, 2021

Here's the 30-second summary of this month's TED Fellows news items:
  • July and August were busy months for Fellows making movies. Wanuri Kahiu and Bassam Tariq were tapped by Netflix and Marvel to direct major films. Nanfu Wang's new documentary In the Same Breath premiered on HBO and HBO Max. And the olympian Shiva Keshavan is having a biopic made about him.
  • Kyrsten Sinema, who spoke about bipartisanship from the TED stage in 2012, played a central role in passing the US's historic infrastructure deal.
  • Photographer Kiana Hayeri's courageous coverage of Afghanistan has been featured in the Times and other outlets. She spoke with National Geographic about her emergency evacuation this week.
  • Camille Brown made modern Broadway history by becoming the first black woman in 65 years to serve as both director and choreographer of a Broadway production.
  • Hakeem Oluyesi shared an intriguing origin story: his name used to be James Plummer Jr.

Awards & Accolades

Anastasia Taylor-Lind won a Wellcome Photography Prize.

Mavis Nduchwa won the SEED Award for her sustainable bee farming company.

Matthew Mazzotta is a 2021 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow.

Jedidah Isler is joining the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy in a STEM Leadership role.

Essam Daod will speak at the 2021 Oslo Freedom Forum.


Bassam Tariq beat out "dozens of candidates" to direct Marvel Studios' Blade starring Mahershala Ali as the iconic vampire hunter.

Saeed el Farouky’s A Thousand Fires was selected to open Critics' Week at Locarno Film Festival.

Softie, the documentary about Kenyan activist Boniface Mwangi, won Best Documentary at The Zanzibar International Film Festival.

Nanfu Wang’s new documentary In The Same Breath chronicling the earliest days of COVID-19 in Wuhan premiered on HBO and HBO Max.

Wanuri Kahiu will direct Netflix's romantic comedy “Plus/ Minus" starring Nia Long.

Shiva Keshavan is called "India's fastest man on the ice” and will be the subject of a new biopic produced by the Indian actor Kunal Kapoor.

Alexis Gambis’ Son of Monarchs is now available to stream exclusively through the Berkeley Art Museum’s Pacific Film Archive.


Kyrsten Sinema played a central role in passing the US’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the largest infrastructure deal since the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s.

Rye Barcott said that national service can heal the US's partisan's divides.

Boniface Mwangi announced that he will not be running again for public office in Kenya.

Rohan Pavuluri co-wrote an op-ed about access to legal services with Congressman Joe Kennedy III.

Bright Simons questioned recent energy investment decisions made by Ghana's Ministry of Energy.


Kheyti, the ag-tech company founded by Sathya Ragu, announced a partnership to deliver micro-greenhouses to farmers in the next 5 years.

Fotokite, the tethered drone company founded by Sergei Lupashin, announced a joint venture to keep firefighters safe and successful.

Panther TherapeuticsLaura Indolfi's biotech tackling pancreatic cancer, received approval to open a Phase 1 clinical trial in Australia.

IIXDurreen Shahnaz's social impact investment fund, announced that they helped support 450,000 women through their Women Livelihood Bond.

Aquaconnect, Raj Somasundaram’s aquaculture startup, was accepted into the fifth cohort of Google’s Accelerator Program.

Gotham Greens, founded by Viraj Puri, launched a new line of plant-based, dairy-free salad dressings at retailers nationwide.

Mobius Motors, the Kenyan auto manufacturer founded by Joel Jackson, launched a new car.


CoworkerJess Kutch’s nonprofit, helped to launch a fund to support tech workers for organizing.

The Digital Rights Foundation, founded by Nighat Dad to advocate for victims of online harassment or violence in Pakistan, has now extended its service to support the people of Afghanistan.

ArmmanAparna Hegde's digital health nonprofit, has provided over 300,000 women and 800,000 health workers with critical information on COVID-19.

Magic Bus, the education nonprofit founded by Matthew Spacie, announced a partnership to ensure learning continuity of one million children across India.

Justice DefendersAlexander McLean's legal nonprofit, pivoted its approach during COVID.

Photo & Journalism

Kiana Hayeri has been on the frontlines in Afghanistan for the last 7 years. Read the gripping story of her evacuation earlier this week.

Isadora Kosofsky’s photographs of new COVID-19 outbreaks have been continually featured in the New York Times this past month.

Smita Sharma reported on a controversial ban on commercial surrogacy in India that could harm women living in poverty.

Ed Ou showed us how Taiwan held off Covid-19, until it didn’t.

Camille Seaman witnessed firsthand the massive changes in Antarctica over the last 5 years.

Camille Seaman’s iconic photographs of the Antarctic sunset have been installed inside the new Facebook headquarters.

LaToya Ruby Frazer’s aerial photographs of her hometown Braddock, PA were featured at The Smart Museum.

Design & Architecture

Brandon Clifford's design firm built a post-pandemic classroom.

Gabriella Gomez Mont said that cities need a fierce spirit of experimentation.

Amruta Patil spoke with GQ India about being India's first female graphic novelist.

Matthew Mazzotta spoke to NPR about how to use dog waste to light city parks.

Skylar Tibbits' new book about material innovation was included in MIT's recommended reading list.

Mitch Joachim’s cricket shelter will be featured at the Museum of Design Atlanta.

Fine Arts

Jim Chuchu gave a TED Talk about his work tracking and restoring Kenya's stolen art and artifacts.

Jeffrey Gibson is giving traditional monuments a dramatic overhaul inspired by Indigenous art.

Manasi Prasad announced the reopening of the Indian Music Experience museum in Mumbai.

Angelo Vermeulen launched a new nature/tech installation at the Saint John's Hospital museum in Bruges, Belgium.

Damon Davis’s All Hands on Deck will be on view at The Saint Louis Art Museum.

Paul Rucker created a giant-size 78 rpm record player in Seattle made of concrete, granite and steel.

Performing Arts

Camille Brown will be the first Black woman to serve as both director and choreographer on a Broadway production in more than 65 years.

Joshua Roman sang "Hallelujah" at a recent San Francisco concert. Check out a different rendition of "Hallelujah" here.

Kyra Gaunt said that the cultural history of twerking is misunderstood.

Adong Judith will direct Subira, a new play that recently premiered at the Kenyan National Theater.

Vijay Gupta announced the release of his album When The Violin.


Elizabeth Wayne and Kaitlyn Sadtler teamed up to explain how mRNA vaccines help your immune system fight viral infections.

Ivana Gadjanski Stanic is kickstarting Serbia's homegrown cultivated meat movement (with the help of Bruce Friedrich's Good Food Institute).

Andrew Pelling said that his biology lab at University of Ottawa looks like a farmers market.

Janet Iwasa continues to publish important molecular animations of the lifecycle of SAR-CoV-2.

Fellows in the Field

Asha de Vos set up a “nurdle tracker” in Sri Lanka to monitor the plastic building up along the coast that are killing turtles.

Moreangels Mbizah is empowering local communities to save Africa's lions.

Francis de los Reyes shared a brief history of toilets.

Shubhendu Sharma grows forests outside his window to beat the summer heat in India.

Kartick Satyanarayan rescued an Indian rock python after it was found entwined inside an air conditioning unit.

Bonus Origin Stories

Keenan Scott II's competitive nature drove him to pursue a career in poetry and writing.

Hakeem Oluyesi's name used to be James Plummer Jr.

Fred Swaniker went from child refugee to McKinsey management consultant, before founding the African Leadership Academy.

Antionette Carroll's nonprofit Creative Reaction Lab was inspired in part by the Ferguson protests.

Patricia Medici's intense love of nature as a child in Brazil led to her career as a tapir conservationist.

Jun 15, 2021

Fellows Winning Pulitzers 🏅

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Hi TED Fellows,

On Wednesday at 1p ET we're hosting a special press briefing call featuring four of the newest TED Fellows. Want to listen in? Please sign up HERE and we'll add you to the list. 

Fellows Winning Pulitzers

Last week, not one but two TED Fellows won Pulitzer Prizes:

Alison Killing, for revealing a vast infrastructure of prisons and mass internment camps secretly built by China to detain thousands of persecuted Muslim minorities.

And Mitchell Jackson, who wrote a “deeply affecting account” of the death of Ahmaud Arbery for Runner’s World.

Congratulations, Mitchell and Alison!

Arts & Design 

Paul Rucker spoke to NPR Morning Edition about his Black Wall Street project commemorating Tulsa 100 years ago.

Lucy McRae debuted “Heavy Duty Love” at the Venice Biennial of Architecture 2021. 

Anab Jain also debuted a major project at the Venice Biennial of Architecture: “Refuge for Resurgence.”

In early May, Sanford Biggers installed more than 100 pieces throughout the public spaces of Rockefeller Center.


Movies, shows and books 

Hakeem Oluyesi’s memoir, A Quantum Life, will be released this week. 

Jennifer Brea’s 2017 documentary on chronic fatigue syndrome, Unrest, is now on Netflix.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is directing two episodes of Disney+’s “Ms. Marvel” series, both shot in Thailand.

Nizar Ibrahim is the first spokesperson for DinoMAYnia, National Geographic Kids’s “Shark Week” for dinosaurs.

Michael Twitty appeared on High on the Hog, a new Netflix series on how African American cuisine transformed America.

Madeline Sayet’s one-woman show Where We Belong opens this month at the Wooly Mammoth Theater in D.C.

▶️Nicole Amarteifio spoke out about African and African-American representation in Hollywood. (Her portion starts at the 7 minute mark.)

Awards and accolades 

Aparna Hegde was named one of Fortune’s “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.”

Shivani Siroya’s TALA was named to CNBC’s “Disruptor 50” list.

Carl Schoonover published a neuroscience paper in Nature that was was covered by Ed Yong of The Atlantic

Jonathan Home will lead research for the development of the next generation of quantum computers.

Laura Dunn’s work advocating for victims of sexual assault was featured on Good Morning America.

Pandemic Pivot Update 

In last month's newsletter, classical conductor Daniela Candellari shared that she decided to pause all live performances due to the shutdown. This month, Daniela has a very significant update to share: she'll be making her Metropolitan Opera debut this coming December!

Have a great week.


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Apr 10, 2021

And here’s the latest news from the TED Fellows community:

  1. TED announced its newest class of Fellows, bringing the total head count up to 512 Fellows representing 100 countries.
  2. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy launched Pakistan’s first ever digital platform for minorities.
  3. VICE called Shalini Kantayya’s new Netflix documentary Coded Bias “the most important film about AI you can watch today.”
  4. Itamar Mann is taking his client’s case, a Syrian asylum-seeker, directly to the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee, reframing migrant abuses as “enforced disappearances.”
  5. Gerry Douglas launched a COVID response initiative in Malawi to repair and restore much-needed oxygen concentrators in hospitals.
  6. David Hertz, the chef and social entrepreneur fighting food insecurity, was profiled in the Christian Science Monitor.
  7. The New York Times Style Magazine published a major profile of LaToya Ruby Frazier, exploring her far-reaching work and “radical empathy”.
  8. Erik Hersman was interviewed by basketball legend Michael Redd about technological and entrepreneurial innovation in Africa.
  9. Jedidah Isler’s research was the cover story in the research journal Genealogy. This was the first peer-reviewed article ever published about Jedidah’s organization VanguardSTEM.


  1. Negin Farsad plays Meredith the Mindtaker, a star of the brand new Adult Swim series Birdgirl.
  2. High-tech magician Seth Raphael will appear later today on Penn & Teller’s “Fool Us”.
  3. Renée Hložek has been awarded the Harvey B. Richer Gold Medal by the Canadian Astronomical Society.
  4. Bright Simons is emerging as a leading voice for stabilizing Ghana’s national debt, which has grown to 85% of the country’s GDP.
  5. Asha de Vos spoke to The Atlantic about parachute science and the need to empower local researchers to conduct conservation research.
  6. Sarah Parcak received the key to her hometown of Bangor, Maine.
  7. Jinha Lee’s company Spatial was named one of the 10 most innovative augmented and virtual reality reality companies by Fast Company.
  8. Michael Twitty spoke to Religion News about his love for combining his African ancestry and his Jewish faith in his Passover cooking.
  9. Sanford Biggers’ sculpture Lady Interbellum can now be seen at the SCAD Museum of Art.

Mar 16, 2021

Awards & recognition

  1. Asha de Vos was named one of five inaugural Maxwell-Hanrahan Fellows in Field Biology and was also named Scubadiving Magazine's Sea Hero of the Year.
  2. Alicia Eggert's neon sign sculpture, This Present Moment, was acquired by the Smithsonian.
  3. Rohan Pavuluri was named to the TIME100 Next List for Upsolve, his startup that has helped to relieve more than $300 million in financial debt.
  4. Danielle Lee was named to the Explorers Club 50. (Forbes)
  5. Aziz Abu Sarah was named to the Muslim 500.
  6. Madeline Sayet accepted a faculty position with Arizona State University's English Department.
  7. Blitz The Ambassador received a medallion from the Grammy Awards for his work as a co-director of Beyonce’s visual album Black Is King.
  8. Boniface Mwangi was named by Monocle as a member of a "new generation of bright and brave politicians, activists and educators" fighting for reform across Africa.
Ideas worth spreading
  1. Amanda Nguyen's viral video has sparked a huge wave of press coverage to highlight anti-Asian racism.
  2. Keolu Fox's exhibit challenging scientific racism in Hawaii was featured in the New York Times.
  3. Aomowa Shields wrote in Inside Higher Ed about how she found her voice to speak truth about systemic racism and exclusion.
  4. Bianca Tylek's nonprofit Worth Rises launched The Curriculum, a comprehensive, free public course on the prison industry.
  5. Genevieve von Petzinger may have uncovered the earliest form of graphic communication on paleolithic rock paintings. (CBC)
  6. Lucianne Walkowicz co-authored an article for Scientific American calling for the renaming of the James Webb Space Telescope.
  7. Peter Schwartzstein argued that it is time to expand traditional definitions of national security policy to embrace environmental protection and climate action.
  8. Kaitlyn Sadtler authored a study in February suggesting millions of infections last year went undiagnosed. (CBS News)
More links worth clicking
  1. This essay by Anjan Sundaram in New York Review of Books on his father and being "raised as an immigrant".
  2. This animation by Janet Iwasa showing how SARS-CoV-2 gets into human cells.
  3. This 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper and Alexander McLean.
  4. This short film by glaciologist M Jackson.
  5. This interview with Damon Davis about post-disciplinary art.
  6. This beautiful set of music featuring Abigail Washburn, Bela Fleck and the largest banjo you've ever seen.
Take care, Ben

Dec 17, 2020

Hi friends,

As we round out the year, we’re thinking about all the things that have happened in our community, big and small. We are filled with hope for the coming year as we take a moment to look back and remember some of the impact TED Fellows had on their own communities in 2020. So in classic end-of-year fashion, here is a listicle (in no particular order) of TEN-ish wonderful TED Fellows moments to cherish: 

Image of Katie Mack holding a sphere.

Katie Mack’s new book, The End of Everything, was named as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, and Publishers Weekly. 

Phone with Upsolve app open.

Upsolve, Rohan Pavuluri’s organization, was named one of the Best Inventions of 2020 by Time.

LaToya Ruby Frazier took these portraits of Breonna Taylor’s family for Vanity Fair -- they’re as heart-wrenching as they are beautiful.

Image of "The Rules of Contagion" book cover. Green with dominos falling.
Adam Kucharski debuted a prescient book early this year about how contagion spreads...
Portrait of DeAndrea Salvador

DeAndrea Salvador was elected to the North Carolina State Senate.

Portrait of Jomama Jones

What do we do when everything feels broken? Jomama Jones (Daniel Alexander Jones’ alter ego) taught us how coming undone can be the first step toward transformation. (Well, we’ve done the coming undone part, now we are hoping we transform into butterflies.)

Portrait of Nanfu Wang in the woods

Nanfu Wang was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her work examining the impact of authoritarian governance, corruption, and lack of accountability on people’s lives.

Image of women boxing

Muthoni Drummer Queen dropped her latest and greatest anthem: POWER.

Image of eL Seeds digital gathering art piece

eL Seed held a digital gathering of 49 friends to create a beautiful piece of digital calligraffiti, since he can’t quite go out and paint walls yet.

Image of (from left to right) Sanford, Blitz and Sarah

Sarah Parcak, Blitz Bazawule, and Sanford Biggers were each awarded a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship!

Jinha Lee’s virtual collaboration tool, Spatial, took working from home to a whole new level.

Christine Sun Kim’s The Sound of Temperature Rising Forever. The heavy smog in the images is a combination of both the usual LA pollution and the lingering smoke from the Bobcat fire that is still burning in the national forest near the city.

TED Fellows debuted 10 public art pieces in 10 cities across the globe to raise awareness of the climate crisis, in partnership with Countdown and FineActs. 

Our wish for you, for this community, and for your deeper and broader communities, is that in the coming year we are ready to meet whatever is next, and that we do it together, with love, care, and courage.

- The TED Fellows Team

Dec 14, 2020

Awards & recognition:

  1. Somi was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category. 
  2. DeAndrea Salvador was elected to the North Carolina State Senate.
  3. Ivonne Roman has been named the 2020 American Society of Criminology’s Division of Policing Police Practitioner of the year.
  4. Aziz Abu Sarah’s MEJDI Tours won the top award in the Meaningful Connections category in the World Responsible Tourism Awards.
  5. Hijo de Monarcas, a film by by Alexis Gambiswas presented at the Morelia International Film Festival
  6. Adam Kucharski's The Rules of Contagion was selected by The Guardian as one of the best science books of 2020.
  7. Taghi Amirani's Coup 53 was named by The Washington Post one of the best five documentaries of the year.
  8. Daniela Candillari is a finalist for "Best Conductor" in the Broadway World Regional Awards. And she's currently in third place. Vote for her here!

Ideas worth spreading:

  1. Sarah Parcak responded to the WSJ's recent controversial op-ed about Dr. Jill Biden. 
  2. The New York Times interviewed M Jackson about an iceberg the size of Delaware that could threaten wildlife of a sub-antarctic island. 
  3. Rye Barcott published an opinion piece in Fortune on expanding the US's Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.
  4. Trang Trang was featured in a South China Morning Post article on green agriculture entrepreneurship in Asia.
  5. Shohini Ghose contributed a commentary to the Harvard Business Review on quantum computing.
  6. Armando Azua-Bustos published research in Nature Scientific Reports about new evidence of potential life on Mars.

Have a great week!


Sat Oct 31, 2020

Don't miss the PR webinar with Maria Streshinsky, executive editor of WIRED magazine. RSVP here.

Hi TED Fellows, Our last PR webinar with Dr Katie Mack was dynamite. The key takeaway? The point of PR is not press coverage. The point is to contribute to a public conversation that you care deeply about. Next up is Maria Streshinsky, the executive editor of WIRED. On Thursday November 12 at 9a PT, Maria will join us for a conversation about the difference between a "topic" and a "story". RSVP here. Please note: this webinar is exclusive to TED Fellows. And here are the latest Fellows in the news:

  • Nanfu Wang won a MacArthur Genius grant. (USA Today)
  • Sarah Parcak published an essay in the New York Times about how we find grace in impossible times. (New York Times)
  • Human Rights lawyer Itamar Mann was in the Guardian for his new report uncovering “the most egregious violations of refugee law that we have seen in Europe, basically, ever." (The Guardian)
  • Andrew Pelling is in the New York Times Magazine and was shortlisted for the Beazley Design of the Year for his provocative project Ourochef, for “growing steaks from your own cells”. (New York Times)
  • Political Scientist Sophal Ear has been in the news voicing the dangers of vaccine nationalism. (Asia Global)
  • Sam Stranks shares how his company’s new solar and lighting technology could propel a renewable energy transformation. (The Conversation)
  • Juliana Machado, executive director of Freeland Brasil, just launched a new initiative called Wildlife Trafficking Observatory, in which they list the most relevant seizures of the week.
  • Claire Simeone, in partnership with UCSF, successfully completed the first ever MGE cell transplant in the brain of a sea lion suffering from domoic acid toxicosis--a new plague of epilepsy caused by climate change. (New York Times)
  • Isadora Kosofsky’s latest series for the New York Times offers a rare glimpse inside a COVID nursing home. (New York Times)
  • Multidisciplinary artist, designer and historian Bahia Shehab has been named a  finalist for the Tällberg Eliasson Global Leadership Prize. (Eliasson Global Leadership)
  • In addition, Shangri La Museum in Hawaii is projecting Bahia’s “No” work (No to Hatred/No to Racism/No to Fascism/No to War) on their external walls, from Indigenous People’s Day through November 3rd. (Shangri La Hawaii)
  • Karim Abouelnaga was featured in a Forbes article on Black entrepreneurs working to dismantle harmful systems of power. (Forbes)
  • Anjan Sundaram appeared on CNN’s Amanpour, to discuss the shocking twist in the extraordinary story of Paul Rusesabagina, who was suspiciously taken to Rwanda to stand trial on terrorism charges. (CNN)

Have a PR question? Feel free to drop me or Jill Siegel (jill@bwkpr.com) a line. All best, Ben

Fri Oct 2, 2020

Fellows in the news Last but not least...

  • Marine biologist Mike Gil published research showing how fish social networks could save coral reefs. (WIRED)
  • ...and artist Colleen Flanigan’s work designing coral reefs using VR was featured by CNN.
  • Both Rola Hallam and Esra’a al Shafei were featured in a new book featuring women leaders from around the world.
  • Sarah Parcak won the Phi Beta Kappa book award for Best Science Writing 2020.
  • Yasin Kakande was interviewed in the London Economic about the intersection between BLM and African Migrations.
  • Check out the CBC’s profile of Matthew Mazzotta, whose "Park Spark" project in Cambridge, Mass transforms the methane from dog poop into a park light.
  • Sheref Mansy developed ‘smart cells’ with potential to treat illness at cellular level.
  • Laura Boushnak’s photos of a hermitic beekeeper in North Macedonia were featured in the New York Times.
  • Prosanta Chakrabarty is a co-principal investigator of a new study suggesting at least 11 fish species are capable of walking.
  • And for your listening pleasure: check out one of Joshua Roman's latest cello tracks.

Fri Aug 28, 2020

Hi TED Fellows, Just to set the record straight... In the last newsletter, I said that in the month of July there were six articles about TED Fellows in the New York Times.  I was wrong.  There were at least nine: Adam Kucharski (7/9), Premesh Chandran (7/12), Kiana Hayeri (7/14), Latoya Ruby Frazier (7/20), Kyra Gaunt (7/21), Somi 1 (7/22), Somi 2 (7/24), Mitchell Jackson (7/25) and Katie Mack (7/31). In other news... Two new Fellows’ TED talks have gone live: Daniel Alexander Jones (What to do when everything feels broken) and Kiran Gandhi (Why we must stop dancing to the sound of our own oppression). More Fellows news coverage for the month of August: #1: LaToya Ruby Frazier traveled to Louisville to photograph Breona Taylor’s family for Vanity Fair's September cover story. #2: Photojournalist Ed Ou shared his experience of being attacked by police officers in Minneapolis. (Amnesty International) #3: Parmesh Shahani was featured in GQ India for his new book Queeristan. #4: Jessica Green’s company Phylagen debuted their consumer COVID-19 testing kit on The TODAY Show. (Back story: Jessica met her Phylagen co-founder right after giving her microbiome TED Talk at TED2013.) #5: Rohan Pavuluri’s company Upsolve, which helps the poor eliminate debt for free, was featured in Rohan’s hometown newspaper, the Chicago Sun-Times. #6: Asha de Vos shared her perspective and personal story with Scientific American on “the problem of colonial science.” #7: Katie Hill also published an article in Scientific American about one key reason Africa hasn’t gone digital: a lack of reliable, affordable electricity. #8: The New York Times interviewed Sanford Biggers (pictured above) in advance of his exhibition “Codeswitch”, debuting this Fall at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. #9: Alison Killing helped lead a BuzzFeed News investigation based on thousands of satellite images revealing a vast, growing infrastructure for long-term detention and incarceration. #10: Nikhil Pahwa was profiled by OneZero (and many others) for his efforts to take on Facebook and voice concerns that “digital nationalism has gone too far.” #11: Karen Eng interviewed Nassim Assefi about what it’s like to be a “global nomad” during the shutdown. (Medium’s World) #12: Bahia Shehab is part of an initiative to create a “Li Beirut” typeface to support victims of the blast in Beirut. (Dezeen) #13: Check out Ayah Bdeir’s  Daleel Thawra for ways that you can donate and help victims of the Beirut explosion. Also read more about them in Newsweek. And here's a PR opportunity for TED Fellows: On Wednesday September 16 at 1p ET, we’ll host a special press briefing for TED Fellows. Apply here if you’re interested and have a timely story you'd like to share. (You can check out the live transcripts of our recent previous briefings here.) Have a great weekend. Ben *Have a PR question or want to book a PR coaching session? Please feel free to send an email to Jill Siegel (jill@bwkpr.com).*

Fri Jul 27, 2020

Christine Sun Kim's artwork is featured in the "Enough of Trump" campaign, alongside fellow TED Fellow Latoya Ruby Frazier and other luminaries like Shepard Fairey and Carrie Mae Weems. Read more in The New York Times. Hello Fellows!

Hope you’re all doing well. Four things to share with you on this fine Friday afternoon:

  1. 1: TED Fellows have taken over the New York Times. This is great. In the month of July, the New York Times featured not one, not two, not three, not four... but FIVE different TED Fellows: Premesh Chandran on July 12, Kiana Hayeri on July 14, Latoya Ruby Frazier on July 20, Kyra Gaunt on July 21, and Mitchell Jackson on July 25 in the Saturday edition. Not to mention Katie Mack, whose new book got a mention in yesterday's edition.
  1. 2: Listen to the new Fellows pitch their amazing work. We just wrapped up an incredible series of press briefing calls featuring the newest class of TED Fellows and Senior Fellows. We were joined by an enthusiastic group of reporters representing top news outlets like WIRED, NPR, Cosmo, Washington Post, Newsweek, Fortune and more. And the good news for you is we recorded and transcribed each of the sessions. You can check them out here.
  1. 3: Got a story? Please drop it here. Want to get your story in front of the TED team, including editorial and social media? Submit it here. In addition, we’ll also share the best story submissions with our network of top reporters. Deadline for August submissions is next Friday, August 7.

#4: Meet Jill! Jill Siegel is a veteran publicist who has been working with me to support the newest class of TED Fellows these past few months. She’s represented cultural icons like Muhammad Ali, Leonard Nimoy and now… you! She is great and is very eager to work with you all in the months ahead. Feel free to drop her a note to say hello.

That’s it for now. Have a great weekend! Ben

Mon Apr 27, 2020

Mon Apr 27, 2020 Fellows in the News.

Fri Feb 21, 2020

Now onto the news:

1. Christine Sun Kim performed the national anthem in sign language at the opening of the Super Bowl and then shared her experience in the opinion section of the New York Times. "I Performed at the Super Bowl. You Might Have Missed Me."

2. Beyoncé (yes, that Beyoncé) included Jedidah Isler in a blog post entitled "This Is Black History".

3. Danielle Lee looks at how humans and mice interact in rural and urban areas in this National Geographic educational video for K-12 classrooms.

4. Could the gut-brain connection help us treat autism? Check out the NIH Director’s Blog's story on Diego Bohórquez's research.

5. Stanford Thompson is launching a new national effort aiming to level the playing field for aspiring musicians of color.

6. Speak French? Check out Miho Janvier’s national French radio interview on the upcoming NASA/ESA mission. "Solar Orbiter!"

7. Romain Lacombe’s air quality data platform announced a partnership with AccuWeather to incorporate air quality information into weather forecasts for every location around the world.

8. Check out this Boston Globe opinion article co-written by Eric Berlow, Chris Ategeka and David Shenk on the next frontier in digital privacy.

9. Investigacion y Sciencia published a profile about Armando Azua-Bustos’s quest to find life in the Atacama desert.

10. Read Variety's coverage of the new documentary "Softie", chronicling Boniface Mwangi’s first campaign in a regional Kenyan election.

Bonus: Read The National's profile of Laura Boushnak and how she is celebrating Arab women challenging norms.

Fri Jan 31, 2020

“Leila had a vision about bringing the dignity of work and the promise of a living wage to the world’s most vulnerable.” Read more in the New York Times.

We are all deeply saddened by the tragic loss of TED Fellow Leila Janah. Leila was a social entrepreneur whose life was marked by an unyielding commitment to helping others. By the age of 37, Leila had launched three companies, in diverse fields ranging from technology and digital freelancing to skincare — each and all with an underlying mission of creating opportunity for low income people around the globe. ⁣

This week's newsletter is dedicated to Leila.

You can read more about Leila's inspiring life in thoughtful articles from TechCrunch and The New York Times. In addition, I'll reshare here this beautiful blog post by Leila on the topic of emotional resilience.

Fri Jan 17, 2020

1. Check out Esra'a Al Shafei’s new podcast, “Philanthropi$$ed,” a series challenging the current norms of philanthropy and featuring the voices of other TED Fellows. The first episode features Nighat Dad!

2. Shiva Keshavan shares his first Christmas experience in the Alps on the Olympic Channel.

3. Nanfu Wang, who co-directed the doc “One Child Nation” exploring China’s one-child policy, writes about how state media has scrubbed mentions of her film in The Daily Beast.

4. “Rafiki,” a film by Wanuri Kahiu, made the NBC News list of best LGBTQ-inclusive TV shows and films of 2019.

5. Business Insider called “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” the true story about the life of William Kamkwamba, the top movie to watch in the new year for inspiration.

6. The Bangkok Times wrote a story on Asia’s largest urban rooftop farm, designed by Kotchakorn Voraakhom.

7. Shivani Siroya’s unicorn fintech startup Tala was covered in a feature by CNBC.

8. Check out a foundational explanation of how quantum computing works by Shohini Ghose on the Big Tech podcast.

9. Usman Riaz speaks with Instep Today about his work directing Pakistan’s first hand-drawn animated film, The Glassworker.

10. Ola Brown writes in CNN Health about skin bleaching and its social implications.

Note: If you find any of these stories exciting, please share them on social media. And if you have a PR question, please feel free to drop me a line. Thanks! Have a great weekend. Ben