Salons - TEDxCambridgeUniversity
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Thank you to everyone who joined us in our Salons this year



Tuesday 20th October 2020, 7pm-10pm at Airmeet

The world as we know it has fundamentally changed. How have our institutions, communities and nations come undone? How are we adapting to such rapid changes?

Rakoen Maertens

Rakoen Maertens is a PhD Candidate in Social Psychology at Downing College (University of Cambridge) and Head Delegate to the UN of the World Esperanto Youth Organisation. In both his research and his UN projects he aims to create a better understanding between people and across polarised groups.

Peter Kirkham

Peter Kirkham is more widely known as the grateful gardener. Since 2007, he has been using his position as a Cambridge college gardener to inspire people to walk on the grass and pick the flowers. In January this year he had major heart surgery to correct a congenital valve defect. What followed was a long recovery, aided by daily walks around his neighbourhood, and an obsession with Cambridge-city front gardens. Under lockdown, flowers, gardens and rainbows became an important part of his healing process.

Lili Carr & Feifei Zhou

Feral Atlas is a collective work of more than a hundred scientists, humanists and artists, united in examining the non-designed effects of human infrastructures. Feral Atlas is curated and edited by anthropologist Anna Tsing, visual anthropologist Jennifer Deger, environmental anthropologist Alder Keleman Saxena and architect Feifei Zhou, in collaboration with architect Lili Carr and an international network of makers. It is developed in association with AURA (Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene) and James Cook University, Australia and will be available, open-access, from Stanford University Press digital publications at in November 2020.


Feifei Zhou is a Chinese-born artist and architect. She holds an MA in architecture from the Royal College of Art and currently lives and works in London.


Lili Carr is an architect with an undergraduate background in physics. She holds an MArch from the Architectural Association and currently lives and works in Amsterdam.

Pietro Liò

Pietro Liò is a Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on developing Artificial Intelligence and Computational Biology models to understand diseases complexity and address personalised and precision medicine. He is currently focused on Graph Neural Network modelling.



Tuesday 19th November 2020, 7pm-10pm at The Cambridge Brewhouse

Dealing with dilemmas and difficulties is an arduous balancing act, involving inevitable trade-offs and tough decisions. Can we be confident in every step we take, without falling off the rope?

Puria Radmard

Puria Radmard is a third year undergraduate reading information engineering at Cambridge. His interests lie in technological solutions to the climate crisis, particularly through data science for public policy. 

Sebastian Ahnert

Sebastian Ahnert is a physicist working on the interface of physics, biology, mathematics, and computer science. Currently he is a Lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute.

Keyi Yu

Keyi Yu is a second year Land Economist at Pembroke College Cambridge, brimming with curiosity and intellectual veracity. She is currently the Vice President at the Cambridge Consulting Network and also co-founded the Cambridge University Business Negotiation Society in summer 2019. She is a creative writer, 13-year Guzheng player and passionate about figure skating.

Zohra Hamidi

Zohra has close to five years of experience in UK Higher Education finance and is an ACCA member. She has completed her MSc in Professional Accountancy, where her research paper was on a new business venture delivering professional services to organisations and individuals. She is passionate about the concept of ‘Women in leadership’ and has secured a place at Cambridge Judge Business school to undertake the Rising Women leaders programme. She invests time in supporting individuals developing their skills and is currently a registered mentor for an award-winning mentoring scheme. She is a strong believer of ‘grit’ and she will tell us how you can turn obstacles into opportunities to reach your goals. 



 Tuesday 2th February 2021, 7pm-10pm

The world has changed dramatically merely within the span of a year. We always hope for everything to return to “normal” as soon as possible, but does that exist anymore? Perhaps we have to reimagine the way we connect and adapt to a “new normal”…


Sabilah Eboo Alwani is a Doctoral Candidate at Cambridge’s Faculty of Education, examining the effect of parental engagement on young children’s learning and development during the Covid-19 crisis. She is particularly interested in how parents play with their children, and listening to real parents talk about their attitudes and experiences of being their child’s “first teacher”. Sabilah is also writing a book on early childhood development and the new science of parenting.

Aqil Jaigirdar

As a second-year medical student, Aqil witnessed a cesarean section in rural Bangladesh that ended with the expectant mother bleeding to death, a new-born baby denied his first breath and a family fracturing in front of his eyes. Aqil returned to his studies and founded a UK registered grass-roots charity called Maternal Aid Association (MAA), with the aim to revolutionise maternal healthcare.

Sulaiman Iqbal

After his first year at Cambridge, Sulaiman returned to his council estate in Southall, West London, to build Team UPside – a grass-roots community organisation focused on tackling opportunity and resource gaps for young people in socio-economically disadvantaged areas of the UK. Sulaiman is a firm believer in the idea that local problems are most effectively addressed by local actors with local solutions.

Joana Baptista

Joana is a multi-award-winning social entrepreneur, public speaker, activist, and student at the University of Oxford. Her social enterprise, She., originally started as a school project aimed at reversing prejudice by rewriting classic fairytales and has gone on to reach 15 countries and receive endorsements from the likes of Peter Tatchell and Miriam Margolyes OBE. She is a 2-time TEDx Speaker, advisor for the Institute of Future Work in the House of Common and ambassador #iWill and the Queens Commonwealth Trust, among others. Most recently, she co-founded UniPear, an access initiative at the University of Oxford.