TEDxFulbright 2012, Frankfurt, Germany



On establishing the Fulbright Scholarship Program, Senator J.W. Fulbright expressed that “Perhaps the greatest power of such intellectual exchange is to convert nations into peoples and to translate ideologies into human aspirations.” Significance and Singularity explores this concept of the richness and depth of a single point of data, the power of a particular idea for societal progress, and the potential of an inspirational and courageous leader.


Speakers and Performers


Dan Drollette is a Freelance Science Journalist who generally focuses on stories about science, technology and the environment. He is currently completing a book on endangered species Gold Rush in the Jungle: The Race to Find—and Possibly Save—the Rarest Animals of Vietnam‘s “Lost World” , writing stories for the new ‘Future’ section of the BBC International website, as well as keeping busy freelancing and editing. His previous experience includes being an editor of the International Science Grid This Week at CERN, writing a wide range of diverse articles (from shark research to electric boats) for publications like the MIT Technology Review, Discovery Channel Online and the New Scientist. Dan spent his Fulbright Postgraduate Fellowship at the Australian National University.


Isabel Torres de Noronha recently worked as a Program Specialist for the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, where she also served as the Coordinator the IOC Fellowship Program. Often called to advise Environmental Policy, she has quickly become a leader in the field of Ocean Governance. As the current Program Director of InventAr, Portugal, Dr. Torres de Noronha continues her commitment to strategic planning in the areas of Climate Change, Maritime Policy, and Coastal Zone Management.



Sang-Hyun Song has been a judge at the International Criminal Court since March 2003, and president of the court since March 2009. For more than thirty years, he was a professor of law at Seoul National University Law School. Judge Song has extensive practical and academic expertise in court management, civil and criminal procedure, the law of evidence, relevant areas of international law concerning international humanitarian law and human rights law. He is co-founder of the Legal Aid Centre for Women, and of the Childhood Leukemia Foundation in Seoul, and the President of UNICEF/KOREA. Judge Song is also the respected author of several publications on relevant legal issues, and the recipient of the highest decoration of the Korean Government (MUNGUNGHWA, 2011). In 1968, Judge Song attended Tulane University Law School as a Fulbright Fellow.


George Stoffan is a current Fulbright Award recipient serving as an artist-in-residence at the Janacek Academy of Music in Brno, Czech Republic through January 2013. In the U.S., he is Associate Professor of Clarinet at Oakland University and Principal Clarinetist of the Oakland Symphony. He has served as Principal Clarinetist and Concert-master of the United States Air Force Band in Washington DC, a group with whom he made 14 recordings. Mr. Stoffan’s recording, A Postcard from Europe, featuring contemporary East European clarinet music, in addition to the Brahms Sonata No. 2, Op. 120, in E-flat Major, was released this past February.


Joes Segal is a Professor of Cultural History at Utrecht University whose work concentrates on the history of modern art, cultural history, cultural boundaries and identity constructions with reference to the common grounds between art and politics in Europe, the US, the Soviet Union and China since 1945. He is the Author of East German Material Culture and the Power of Memory (2011) and Divided Dreamworlds? The Cultural Cold War in East and West (2012). Joes was the recipient of a Senior Research Grant and was based at the Wende Museum, as a guest curator, and UCLA, as a guest professor.


Özgür Bolat is a researcher and faculty member at Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi, a researcher at the Leadership for Learning Center at the University of Cambridge, a columnist at the Hürriyet Newspaper and a project coordinator at the Turkish Education Foundation. His Ph.D. was in Educational Leadership and School improvement, at the University of Cambridge, U.K., and included a placement at the MIT Sloan School of Management conducting research on leadership and organizational culture. He received a Fulbright and Turkish Education Foundation scholarship to study at Harvard University Graduate School of Education for his Master’s degree.



Hassan Mekouar is a Professor of American Literature at the Faculty of Letters, University Mohammed C, Rabat, and Former President of the University Mohamed I of Oujda. Hassan Mekouar is one of the most prolific Moroccan poets writing in English. He is the author of several collections of poetry written in English which include The Future Remains, The Wings of the Walrus, and Stories in (Very) Free Verse and 7. Hassaan was a Fulbright Fellow to the USA in 1968 and 1973.


Born in Delft, Michèle Van de Roer is a contemporary French artist: a painter, designer, photographer, and engraver. The central theme in her artistic expression is the use of light to suggest both depth and motion through space. She is also driven to reveal figurative elements in part through the use of light layers. After initially studying with Pierre Buraglio, Jacques Clerc, and Pierre Soulages at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Valence, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1982 to study fine arts in New York at Pratt Institute. Her first group show while attending the Pratt Institute was with Robert Rauschenberg and other artists at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery in New York. After graduating in 2006 from the Ecole Nationale Superieure du Paysage de Versailles Master’s program in landscape design, she was invited to serve as an Adjunct Professor at the Versailles school, offering instruction in the use of space, perspective, and light in the drafting and design of plans.


Nathan Wolek is an Audio Artist, Researcher and Associate Professor of Digital Arts and Chair of the Creative Arts Department at Stetson University in DeLand, FL. He is currently a Fulbright Scholar spending 6 months in Bergen, Norway. Nathan Wolek is the music director of the new media collective MPG: mobile performance group, which was founded by video artist Matt Roberts. The group is dedicated to the ideal of presenting audiovisual art outside of traditional venues. They engage the public using laptops, video projection, camcorders, mp3 recorders, wireless routers, mobile phones and other technologies.



John Sargent is one of the founders of BroadReach Healthcare, a global healthcare solutions company that provides consulting, implementation and program management services improving medical access and practice in the developing world. Of particular note is his work designing and implementing, on a national scale, one of the first public private partnership models for public sector patient, delivering antiretroviral treatment in South Africa. John Sargent was recognized with one of Devex’s 40 under 40 leaders in international development. He received his master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology as a Fulbright Scholar from Oxford University, and his MD from Harvard Medical School.


Marika Hedin is the director of the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. Between 1992 and 1998, Dr. Hedin taught history at Stockholm University, and was the assistant editor of the Swedish Historical Association’s journal, Historisk tidskrift. She joined the inaugural team of the Nobel Museum, Stockholm in 1998, designing and setting up the museum for the Nobel Prize Centennial in 2001. In 2003, she left the museum to become Director of the Swedish Commission on Whiplash-Related Injuries which led to policy changes in Swedish healthcare and insurance. She returned to the Nobel Museum in 2005–2009 acting as Head of Public Programming. She is currently on the board of the Centre for Maritime Studies at Stockholm University and a member of the creative advisory committee for the Nobel Museum. Dr. Hedin is a board member of the Fulbright Commission in Sweden and attended the University of Notre Dame as a Fulbright Scholar.


Juliane Kronen studied business administration at the University of Cologne, was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Missouri, and completed her doctoral degree at the University of Cologne in 1994. Her career began in strategy consulting, working with The Boston Consulting Group on worldwide assignments from 1994 to 2010, from 2002 on as a partner and managing director. She specialized in aligning business and information technology strategy. She has been the global sector head for information technology in the telecommunications industry and served as the European head of BCG´s global Women Initiative from 2004 to 2007, which aimed to sustainably increase the share of female consultants by improving recruiting and retention measures.Together with her sister, Juliane Kronen owns and runs a small family business in the third generation and dedicates a considerable part of her capacity to develop various charitable organizations by providing her skills and experience. She has served as an advisor on strategic and organizational issues to the board of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation from 2007 until 2010, when she was appointed as a Trustee.


Musical Interlude, performed by George Stoffan


Wings for solo clarinet (1981) by Joan Tower


Joan Tower is a Grammy-winning contemporary American composer, concert pianist and conductor. Lauded by the New Yorker as “one of the most successful woman composers of all time”, her bold and energetic compositions have been performed in concert halls around the world. She returned to the U.S. as a young woman to study music after many years of living in Bolivia, first at Bennington College, then at Columbia University, where she was awarded her doctorate in composition. It was during her time as a pianist with the trio Da Capo Chamber Players that Tower received the prestigious Guggenheim fellowship (1976), one of the significant awards an artist may receive for his or her work. She is currently the Asher B. Edelman Professor of Music at Bard College, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and serves on the Artistic Advisory panel of the BMI Foundation.


Wings was composed in 1981 for the clarinetist Laura Flax. The piece is based upon flight, and in this specific case, the flight of falcons. Her earlier influences from the serial tradition are evident in the groupings of note patterns and rhythms throughout the entire work. However, she utilizes the full range of the instrument and entire scope of dynamic possibilities in hinting at the more colorful and impressionistic writing to come in her later works. The images of flight, in its many forms, are evocative in this nine-minute work.



David Patrician is a American journalist who has worked in Germany for the past six years. He began his career with the Voice of America in Washington, DC. In 2006 he participated in the Fulbright young journalist exchange program in Cologne Germany, filing reports for Deutsche Welle and the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR). Some of his assignments included being embedded with the German Bundeswehr in Afghanistan, reporting on the 2006 World Cup and interviewing a variety of German political and cultural personalities. Currently he is a moderator for Delta Radio in Hamburg.



The award-winning German Architecture Museum is located in the Museum District of Frankfurt along the Main River. The house-within-a-house structure was adapted from the notable estate rich in the city’s history. The museum is dedicated to educating visitors about the role architecture plays in guiding and facilitating meaningful human interactions. Our relationships with structures large and small are brought to life at this beautiful institution.



The Fulbright Academy of Science & Technology is an independent organization established by the global community of Fulbright alumni. The Academy creates opportunities for collaboration among alumni and their institutions, and its programs are a catalyst for progress in many fields.


John Bates, of Executive Speaking Success, has worked with early stage companies as a Founder and has been instrumental in raising millions of dollars in Venture Capital. He Co-Founded BIGWORDS.com and is a part owner of Goldstar.com. John has been asked to speak at events ranging from Web Attack to the Leiden Veerstichting conference for Global Leaders, TEDActive twice, and many TEDx events.


Janice Tomich, founder of Calculated Presentations, helps busy executives and professionals improve their public speaking skills by guiding and collaborating with them to create winning presentation content. She then coaches them to deliver their presentation so that it enchants and persuades…whether to their board, investors, employees, or to the marketplace.


SchoggiMAIL was established by Fulbright alumnus Markus Hess to provide Swiss and international customers with delicious chocolate to match a thoughtful message by post mail. He has led the organization to foremost cherish new and creative ideas in its pursuit of encouraging positive connections between friends, family, and colleagues.


TEDxFulbright Organizers

Julianne McCall
A neuroscientist at Heidelberg University, Germany, her passion for developing therapies is perpetuated by both the challenge of using nature’s ingenuity to overcome its own diseased processes and the moral obligation to treat unfortunate patients for their maladies. She currently leads the International Brain Bee neuroscience education program, an organization that engages students across 25 countries in learning about the brain. Julianne has established four independent science outreach organizations, currently serves as the Director of Youth Education for a European-wide ethics society, and recently sat on the Extended Board of the German Fulbright Alumni Association. Fulbright to Sweden, 2006.


Roselin van der Torren
After concluding Biomedical Sciences and Medicine at Leiden University, the Netherlands, Roselin received a Fulbright scholarship to investigate causes of migraine headache at UCLA, Los Angeles and currently continues this path in Leiden in a PhD fellowship combining fundamental research with a close connection to the clinic. During her student years, she was involved in redesigning the (bio)medical curricula and became founder and editor-in-chief of a research journal for and by (bio)medical students. Now, every year, she teaches high school students about scientific research during a lab internship. Roselin is a board member of the Netherlands Fulbright Alumni Association and organizer of TEDxFulbright.


Lorcan Walsh is a postdoctoral research fellow and biomedical engineer specialising in developing technological interventions to support active and healthy ageing. He is the founder and licence holder for TEDxFulbrightDublin, and founder of the Irish Fulbright Researchers’ Mentoring Network.


Jan Anderssen
A linguist working on semantic and psycholinguistics, formerly a Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT Department of Linguistics and Philosophy Department, currently working with Idealo in Berlin, Germany.


Sarah Lowe is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design in the School of Art at the University of Tennessee. She spent the 2012-2013 academic year working on a Fulbright as a visiting researcher with InterMedia at the University of Oslo. Her current work focuses on the development of mobile platforms designed to interpret sites of cultural heritage, building upon a career of researching and developing digital content for the cultural heritage sector. She has extensive experience working with cultural institutions including The National Park Service, The United States Holocaust Museum, and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation.


Nancy Birkhölzer
As the Managing Partner at IXDS, Nancy connects academic research, industrial product development and insights gained through artistic work to develop innovative and interactive products and services. Before becoming a partner at IXDS in 2012, Nancy established Fjord’s Service Design Academy. In her global leadership role she focused on thought-leadership, training and organisational transformation across Fjord teams and within client organisations, building on her experience from developing and managing Fjord’s Berlin studio for four years. Nancy co-hosted this years National Service Design Network Conference, frequently teaches & lectures on Service Design and was recently recognised as one of the “100 Women of the Future” by Deutschland – Land der Ideen, a joint initiative between the German government and German business and industry leaders.


Aytac Atac is 28 years old and born in Turkey. After getting hic bachelor degree in Electronics Engineering in Turkey, he joined Georgia Institute of Technology as a Fulbright Scholar. He achieved his Master’s degree from Gatech with high honors in 2009. During his time in the US, he became a member of the board of directors in Gatech Turkish Student Organization, a member of Gatech Turkish Folk Dance Group and the editor of a monthly published Campus Magazine. After completing his degree, he started his doctoral studies on Smart Wireless System Design at RWTH Aachen University in Germany. During his Phd. he has been the head organizer for an international IEEE Conference and a Germanwide Engineering


Panos Pantelidis currently works as an IS Business Analyst for the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany and is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland where he completed his Fulbright towards a MSc. degree in Information Management. He likes participating in community service initiatives. In the past, those included a trip to the Bahamas to raise awareness about environmental degradation and a trip to Honduras to explore micro-finance business practices. He grew up in Naoussa, Greece and graduated college in a Greek island. In his free time he enjoys catching up with friends, cycling, skiing … and watching TED talks!


Eric Howard is the Corporate and Outreach Manager for the NSF Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing, based at Northeastern University. He has been active in education and information for more than twenty years. He is a long-time member of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication and has facilitated information exchange among alumni of the Fulbright Exchange Program since 2004.


Alice Adams is the founder of ASquared Conference Production and is passionate about designing and executing conference content that meet the professional development and educational needs of attendees. Alice has more than 8 years of experience producing events and running successful conferences, exhibits and tradeshows for a variety of industries. She was a Fulbrighter to Germany in 2001-2002. You can reach Alice at alice@ascp.co or on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=3062093&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile


Saeb Ahsan is fascinated by the intersection of science and business with diplomacy and social welfare. He is currently an analyst for Accenture and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services in Raleigh, where he is also a board member of the North Carolina Fulbright Association, and a fellow of the Chicago based Center for Healthcare Innovation, a pharmaceutical and life sciences think-tank. Saeb is a graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and spent his 2010-2011 Fulbright in Istanbul, researching Turkish entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility at Koç University.


Agatha Brzezinski graduated cum laude from the University of Portland, Oregon in May 2010. She is a current US Student Fulbright grantee to Poland, where she is studying pediatric rheumatology at the Medical University of Warsaw. Her interests include global health, immunology, infectious diseases, Polish, Spanish, Japanese, and Germany.


Elizabeth Gabster is a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Poland during the 2010-11 academic year. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Rocherster in 2010. Her interests include Central and Eastern European affairs, Russian affairs, writing and editing, English tutoring, foreign assistance and development, online marketing and social media, German, American Sign Language, and Polish. Last year, she was a participant in a course on the International Protection of Human Rights – Protection of National Minorities at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland.


Matthias Pauthner is a Ph.D. student in Immunology conducting research on adaptive immunity within the DFG Graduate School at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. He was a Fulbright scholar in 2009-’10, during which he obtained a master’s degree at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Together with a team of fellow Fulbrighters, Matthias co-founded the Soapeace project during the Fulbright enrichment seminar on social entrepreneurship in Nashville in 2010.