New Aula – Polytechnics University, Bucharest

Metamorphosis | 16 – 17 November 2019

A change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one. This is a metamorphosis. When we chose it as the theme for our 11th annual event, we had you in mind: our multi-generational community of participative seekers, thinkers and doers. It’s been more than a decade since we’ve been sharing ideas worth spreading. From 1 to 11, we have changed. It was time for a collective metamorphosis heralding the start of a new decade together. We took stock of how far we had come, while shining a spotlight on new luminaries, able to guide us further on the road to evolution.
#Metamorphosis was our 2 day accelerator of change creating a culture of possibilities.

11th edition

In short

2 days
23 speakers
5 performances
+1000 attendees

See how it looked


For our 11th annual event we made sure there was plenty of wonder and inspiration to change your world. 20+ local and international speakers & performers created live on stage this experience: from contemporary dance, AI and VR, executive coaching, to architecture, wellness and leadership, hacking, sustainability, creativity, and many more.


Christophe Debard

Christophe is an innovator who decided to embrace disability and change the way people see it.

Help Yourself by Helping Others

What are the things that make us take actions that drive the change of society? For Christophe Debard, it was cancer and disability. His optimism and the lessons learnt from this experience, made him realize that altruism is key to transforming adversity into opportunity. He created an initiative called “Humanity Lab“ to empower his colleagues at Airbus become volunteers helping other human beings.


Refael Bitton

Refael is a Googler for over 11 years, increasing your satisfaction with their online experience.

In Love With My Cell

Smartphones are now ten years old and they have changed the world we live in. Consumers became more empowered as ever, they know what they want & they want it now.
We live in a mobile-first world where constantly connected consumers are demanding and impatient. So what? You think you’ve got your mobile strategy down? Think again! Find how you can win the hearts of mobile users by creating the great experiences that matters to them.


Jeffrey Eggers

Jeffrey leads research and client training on human and organisational performance.

The Strength in Weak Leaders

Given that humility is praised as a virtue in leadership, why is it that narcissists are vastly over-represented among senior leaders? Jeff Eggers is a retired Navy SEAL and co-author of the national best-seller Leaders: Myth and Reality. In this provocative and personal talk, Jeff explores the many paradoxes of leadership, and offers a unique perspective on the true nature of leadership, why we so often find it to be so frustrating, and a powerful suggestion for those looking to do more with their leadership.


Mariana Popescu

The architect passionate about fabrication processes, use of materials in unusual contexts and experimentation.

Knitting Architecture: Be Smart about Building Concrete Structures

The building and construction sector is one of the largest contributors to climate change. Using computational tools, we can design intelligent, climate-aware buildings with structural performance in the architectural geometry. As of 2015, Mariana is a Ph.D. researcher at the Block Research Group and part of the NCCR Digital Fabrication. Her research focuses on the development of KnitCrete, a novel, material-saving, labor-reducing, cost-effective formwork system for casting of doubly curved geometries in concrete. In 2019 Mariana has been named to MIT Technology Review’s prestigious annual list of Innovators Under 35 as a Pioneer.


Alex Dima

His investigations expose the hidden truths of our society and make us say ‘no more’.

Change is Only One Brick Away

Alex Dima’s passion for changing his community and the world around him is perfectly captured in this insightful, inspiring and moving talk, where he highlights how we can build change, within and around us, if we only look closer to the needs right in front of us. If we only find reasons around us to change things to the better.


Silent Strike

Ioan Titu (STS) is the creative soul behind the soundtrack of Hackerville and one very special performer.

DERERUMNATURA | Analog Cube Performance

This stunning visual and audio performance put on stage by Silent Strike, with visuals performed live by Dan Basu, is a testimony of how technology and electrical finesse can build and deconstruct sounds into a mesmerizing yet powerful construct. Silent Strike, a musician and sound artist, performs this piece live on stage by operating his “qb“ device, a custom case analogue instrument processing soundwaves and electrical inputs and outputs.


Charles Michel

His work innovates in community building, food innovation, hospitality, and experiential art.

Delicious evolution

Food plays a central role in the evolution of humans, and civilization. As we enter a new geological era – the Anthropocene, the age of humans- we realize our consumption habits are one of the main causes of environmental degradation and climate change.
Charles takes us on a journey from the emergence of life on Earth, to the birth of civilization, agriculture and cities, and how the way we eat can either lead us to our demise, or can shape a brighter future for us, and the planet. Sharing a “Guide to Conscious Eating“, Charles highlights that eating and cooking are powerful political acts, and that eating consciously could be one of the keys to meet the 2030 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.


Dex Torricke-Barton

This Silicon Valley communications leader is the brain behind nowadays masterminds’ speeches.

How to Change the World – A Practical Guide

Never in history have so many people had the means and the will to give back to the world. But changing the world is hard, and most change-makers spend their lives struggling to achieve their full potential. What common lessons can we learn from the most successful leaders and organizations at the heart of global change? Dex Torricke-Barton, adviser for more than a decade to leaders from the United Nations, Google, Facebook and other global pioneers, presents some of the most powerful and surprising insights from his career than can offer a practical guide for all of us to use as we take on the world.


Annastiina Hintsa

Annastiina is the one who knows how to offset high performance, holistic well-being and happiness.

Optimizing for a Better Life

Annastiina shows us in this insightful talk how a better life leads to better performance. It’s all about building the foundation, not about something you achieve or maintain on the side. She challenges us to better understand how we can live our life purposely but also healthier.
If you were to ask yourself “What are you optimizing for, and are you headed the right direction?“ what would your answer be?



Challenge: how would you feel to be the one in charge of other people’s lives?

Feedback | Audience Interactive Performance

A special play idea, involving the live audience’s reaction conducting the on-stage performers’ actions and storyline. Inspired by the notorious Netflix Bandersnatch special. The play was created and written by Tinu Bazga and performed by actors Cosmina Stratan, Tudor Istodor & Alex Călin, especially for the TEDxBucharest event, showing how new mediums of communicating and interaction between audience and performers can create a metamorphosis in classical acting.


Tijana Tamburic

Former model, turned into a storyteller, a tough freelancer and the co-founder of a creative agency.

When My Masculine Met My Feminine

After a modeling agency suddenly dropped her for not being “thin enough”, Tijana co-founded Female Narratives with associate model Franziska Klein. An overnight idea, a creative agency that operates to connect brands to real female freelancers & real stories began. Her stories come in many different forms: a branding concept, an experiential marketing strategy, a social media campaign or a travel/culture article. In her powerful #metamorphosis speech, Tijana Tamburic argued for changing the narrative about how we perceive and fit within the perceived boundaries of femininity and masculinity, thus helping us evolve and reach our full potential.


Jorge Castellanos

Passionate about music & sounds, currently working on the concept & development of audio wearables.

The Future of Sound Wearables and their Impact in our Lives

Is technology distracting us from enjoying our lives, or is it enriching our lives and helping us enjoy them more? In his talk, Jorge explores the rapid advances in sound wearables and the effects of having always-on devices with unlimited content fed to our ears is having at a social level.


Olya Kudina

Tech and tech ethics enthusiast, human rights activist, AI aficionada and a postdoctoral researcher.

Technological Mediation of Morality

This talk shows how technologies play an active role in our everyday lives, including in morality. Olya focuses on the moral side of this technological mediation, explaining how technologies help to form our moral inclinations, actions and even change our values, giving references to modern-day examples, such as voice assistants, Snapchat and Instagram, the sex selection technology.



We got a remedy for the connection between you and culture: a unique sketch.

Improvisation Sketch

This amusing yet deep-meaning sketch moves viewers through a series of feelings, from happy and amused to thoughtful and provocative, creating impactful and immersive vibes. RECUL is the main project of “Teatrul Nostru“ Association, an independent theatre that aims to order everyday life in new relevant forms with the help of performing arts: theatre, improv, sketch-comedy, musicals.



This talk-performance gives you a glimpse into inner space through an auditory experience.

The Global State of Awe

The Global State of Awe is an experience – talk aiming to give insight into the awe-inducing event and mindset shift that astronauts undergo when looking at Earth from space. This is known as the overview effect. Astronauts who have seen Earth from space report an explosion of awareness that triggers a new relationship between one’s self, others and the environment.


Alex Bocunescu

Learn the science of face muscles and their correlation with emotional responses and behaviors.

Full speech soon to be uploaded | Unlocking the Secrets of your Face

Alex shares his insights into how understanding and interpreting the face keys we all have can lead to a better understanding and communication of our family, friends or acquaintances. Whether adapting our conversation to better accommodate the others’ feelings, quickly grasping how one might behave in certain circumstances or just discovering how your facial muscles and features denote certain personality traits.


Mihai Toader-Pasti

Mihai is a professional who sets sustainability at the core of everything he does.

Who Builds the World You Want to Live In?

Through a personal story of grit, inspiration and willingness to power through external factors, Mihai shares how we are the drivers of our own “cars“, and that our own fears are the enemies of our metamorphosis, as individuals and as a society. By fighting the “impossible“, on task at a time, Mihai shares how we can build hope and courage around us and transform our communities.


Taraf de Caliu

The stage was filled with the sound of authentic traditional music from Southern Romania.

Traditional Romanian Music | Performance

The story of Taraf de Caliu is a metamorphosis in itself. After more than three decades of relentlessly touring all over the world, the founding members of Taraf de Haidouks came back home to Romania and started this new project.


Ana Maria Lucaciu

Ana Maria is a Romanian freelance choreographer and performing artist based in New York City.

Agents of a Wonderful Chaos

Ana Maria Lucaciu, brilliant and renowned performer and choreographer, shows us how with a little courage and a few tools, we can allow the chaos of dance improvisation to put us in a better mood, make our bodies feel better, spark our creativity and provide us with deeper insight into ourselves. Ana Maria Lucaciu is a freelance choreographer and performing artist based in New York City.


Cătălin Ciupală

Cătălin will show you the magic of numbers and make you fall in love with maths.

Making Students Fall in Love with Education

This engaging talk on education gives us a glimpse on how a passionate educator can create ideas, tools and modern approaches to classroom teaching, while making students love their time spent on solving math exercises. Catalin tells how using movies, VR or AR approaches can boost students’ engagement and understanding. Trainer of future overachievers with a revolutionary mindset and alternative methods, Catalin Ciupala is the math teacher we all wish we had.


Florica Zaharia

Dr. Florica Zaharia left NY skyscrapers to open the first textiles museum in Romania.

From Apuseni Mountains to The Metropolitan Museum of Art &Back

Florica Zaharia takes us on a circular personal journey, from a small village in Apuseni mountains to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, centering her talk around her love and passion for textiles and heritage. She gives a powerful example of how understanding and respecting your roots and being passionate about what you do can lead to a life of purpose and fulfillment.


Alex Coteț

Alex is a self-taught professional that credits YouTube as his sole source of education.

The Age of Validation

In this informative and entertaining talk, Alex is giving us a glimpse into how information is losing economical value, but rather gaining social value. An insight into how content has become a means to an end and how its democratization has taken us to the point where there is an equal playing field for both brands and people, with the only difference lying in the fact that our only product is ourselves. In the validation age, the product becomes us.


Antonia Bonello

Antonia works with brands to create engaging content on BuzzFeed’s platforms

Innovation Comes from Individuality

By putting her passion at work relentlessly, and having the grit to stick to what she loved doing, Antonia discovered how true innovation comes from your individuality. Now it’s the time more than ever to just keep doing the things that you love to do and embrace change where it fits right for you, to be curious and keep learning. In her view, all these new innovative ides and medium of communicating are just an ever growing play box for experimenting with and telling more stories.


William Richard

William is co-leading LAIF, an Oxford Computational Neuroscience Laboratory spin-off.

The Gift of AI is to Rediscover Ourselves

“Where did I come from? Why am I here? How should I live? Where am I going?“
These are the tough questions that each person must face, and that will shape our future as we learn to co-habitate with AI (Artificial Intelligence). Following an unexpected brain injury, William decided to explore AI in the hope of finding better answers. Join him on a journey into the realm of AI, and back to ourselves, to witness the greatest gift that AI could bring us: that of rediscovering ourselves.


Sofia Scarlat

Sofia works to offer a platform for teenagers to advocate for equal opportunities.

When Subjectivity Ends, Teen Activism Begins

Within the framework of her favorite novel – Murakami’s “Kafka on the Shore“ – teen activist and gender equality advocate Sofia Scarlat recounts her personal experience with overcoming subjectivity and reconnecting with the issues in her community, and explains why our world needs everyone to do the same.


Alex Găvan

How to use the world’s highest summits to advance environmental & social causes.

The planet does not need salvation. We do.

The race against time of Alex Găvan and his team to save the asprete, the rarest fish in Europe and probably in the whole world, is ongoing. In this powerful speech, Alex urges us to look at how saving the asprete is actually a greater metaphor for saving ourselves and growing into our role of custodians of our planet, responsibly and mindfully.

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