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TEDxChange – September 20th, 2010

Welcome to TEDxChange 2010

Ten years ago, global leaders set forth eight bold goals for the new millennium. From the outset, it was clear that meeting the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 would be no small challenge. The work is complex, and progress can be difficult to measure.

The Future We Make

On September 20, 2010, more than 150 of the world’s leading thinkers and doers came together in New York for TEDxChange. Convened by Melinda French Gates on the 10th anniversary of the Millennium Development Goals, this event explored what the future holds for health and development around the world. What changes have taken place in the last decade? And what more needs be done to ensure the health and well-being of future generations?

Hosted by TED curator Chris Anderson, a global audience was participating on September 20 as TEDx communities around the world, including TEDxGeneva, hosting events around the live webcast. To learn more, visit

Confirmed Speakers from New York via Live Webcast

Hans Rosling is professor of international health at Karolinska Institute and co-founder of the Gapminder Foundation. He began his wide-ranging career as a physician, spending many years in rural Africa tracking and discovering the cause of the rare paralytic disease konzo. Research throughout his career has focused on links between economic development, agriculture, poverty, and health in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Rosling has served as health adviser to various aid agencies, including the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Through his work at Gapminder, he co-developed the breakthrough software Trendalyzer, which converts international statistics into moving, interactive graphics representing global development trends.

Melinda Gates serves as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She helps shape and approve foundation strategies, review results, advocate for foundation issues, and set the overall direction of the organization. She received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University in 1986 and a master’s degree in business administration from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in 1987. Since retiring from Microsoft in 1996, she has dedicated her energy toward the nonprofit world.

Mechai Viravaidya is the founder and chairman of the Population and Community Development Association (PDA). He is a widely acclaimed leader in the fields of public health, education, and community development. Since 1974, he has initiated community-based family planning services, innovative poverty reduction and rural education programs, large-scale rural development and environmental programs, and groundbreaking HIV/AIDS prevention activities throughout Southeast Asia.

Graça Machel is a renowned international advocate for women’s and children’s rights and has been a social and political activist for decades. She is president of the Foundation for Community Development, which makes grants to civil society organizations to strengthen communities, facilitate social and economic justice, and assist in the reconstruction and development of post-war Mozambique. Following its independence in 1975, she served as Mozambique’s Minister of Education and Culture and was subsequently appointed as the expert in charge of producing the groundbreaking United Nations Report on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children. In 2007, along with Nelson Mandela and other members, including Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, and Jimmy Carter, Machel helped found The Elders, a group of world leaders convened to contribute their wisdom, leadership, and integrity to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems.

We will also enjoy the screening of a short film based on the documentary film “The Revolutionary Optimists”, following an after-school group, The Daredevils, on a polio vaccination drive in Rishi Aurobindo Colony, Calcutta.

And we will hear music from the hip-hop group Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew, originally from Sierra Leone and known for speaking out against political and social injustices.

Confirmed Speakers in Geneva

Dr Robert D. Newman is a pediatrician and the director of the Global Malaria Programme at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. As director of a maternal and child health NGO in Mozambique in the late 1990s, he was astounded at the human toll of malaria in Africa. He has dedicated the last 10 years to combating the disease, first at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and more recently at WHO. He believes that through relentless investment in scaling-up the malaria tools we have today, developing new tools for tomorrow, and fostering leadership in affected countries, this ancient foe can be defeated. (More…)

Cheryl Hicks is an independent special advisor on sustainability, focused on making sustainability easy for people, businesses, governments and markets. She has 15 years of cross-sector business experience, including working with leading multi-national companies on collaborative action projects for sustainable development with The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) as the focal point for work on sustainable consumption and sustainable finance. Before this she focused on the health agenda. Cheryl is the co-founder of two networks of professionals focused on CSR, sustainability and sustainable finance in Geneva: CSR Geneva (founded in 2005) and Sustainable Finance Geneva (founded in 2007). (More…)

Patrick Keenan became a programmer seeing the potential for the net to change the world. Learning that technology needs persuasion and beauty, he became a designer. Disappointed in the relegation of design to solving marketing problems, he co-founded a design agency dedicated to changing the world for the better. Through the years of technical, design, and business experience, Patrick is optimistic as ever in the potential for business to be an active force in improving human life.. (More…)

Gillian Martin Mehers is (as her Twitter profile describes) a “learning practitioner, proselytic blogger, sustainability advocate, and student of productivity” with 17 years of work across the various social platforms she uses to help the sustainability community engage with more considered learning processes.  As described in her blog (, from her previous positions including Head of Learning at the International Union of Conservation of Nature (the oldest and largest global conservation network) to her current one as founder of the social enterprise Bright Green Learning, she helps NGOs leverage their impact through learning. (More…)

All participants will additionally engage in sharing reflections and ideas for The Future We Make  in an hour-long world café-inspired ( conversation.

When? Where?

TEDxGeneva: The Future We Make took place on September 20th, 2010, from 4.45 to 8.45pm.

The event is now closed.


You can find details of pre-registered participants that agreed we could share their names in our online participants list here.  Please note that this event is open to pre-registered participants only and pre-registration is now closed.

With special thanks to…

All who will participate and to our sponsors, especially

The Hub Geneva
The Hub Geneva providing people time and energy,

École Hôtelière de Lausanne
L’Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne sponsoring refreshments and nibbles,

Domaine de la Côte d’Or, Gavillet & Fils sponsoring the evening’s wine, and

Turbain providing filming services.

Flickr “The Future We Make” Campaign

As part of TEDxChange, TED is launching a fun project through their Flickr channel. We’re asking people around the world to tell us about the future THEY want to see. What MDG do YOU want to see accomplished?

It’s quick and easy to participate: Go to the photo campaign page to submit your photograph (note: you must join the Flickr group to upload your photo).