TEDxRiga 2012 Speakers

Session I, Science for Life

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The medicine for tomorrow: memories of the future


Cardiologist Aris Lācis devoted his life to treating children. The receipient of the Tree Star Order and the golden medal of the Latvian Science Academy, Aris has over many years persistently worked to develop a new methodology to raise the quality standards of the Latvian child cardiology even higher. He has also devoted himself to the in-depth study of stem cell implantation research.

The medical methods that Aris developed, demanding on himself and others, have stood the test of time and are now being gradually integrated into the foreign practice. Aris is a keen traveller and a leisure-time gardener.

A cardiologist and the chevalier of the Three Star Order, Andrejs Ērglis has been serving in his position for over 25 years. Currently he is a widely known expert in his field, who’s team has colleagues from all around the world coming to learn from. He has gained aknowledgement both in his academic achievements, along with his medical practise, eveloped innovative surgical methods and put Latvian cardiological breakthroughs on the world map, having participated in all the major researches.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2COXHXlocuM&feature=share&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch their talk on YouTube[/button] [/one_half_last] [team_member id=”andris-strazds” column=”one-fourth”][three_fourth_last][infobox]

Don’t bury the annual performance review


An economist, financier and teacher Andris Strazds is one of the independent economists, whose opinion is important for the specialists in many industries. Andris is known for his ability to justify the opinions, even if they oppose the views prevalent in the society. With his witty and simple explanations of apparantly difficult economic concepts, Andris is able to engage people who are strangers to economics.

Elegantly climbing over the borders of the usual, Andris Strazds demonstrates how one can look at the common in an unconventional way, and that one doesn’t have to be a scientist to understand the fine processes and functions of the markets.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2Cn8LWLdak&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch his talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last] [team_member id=”daina-taimina” column=”one-fourth”][three_fourth_last][infobox]

Crocheting hyperbolic planes


A mathematician, artist and lecturer at the Cornell University, USA, Daina Taimiņa one day picked up a crochet hook, bright crochets and visualied apparently very complicated mathematical concepts that prior to Daina’s artwork were only understood by highly experienced mathematicians.

Playing with the crotchets, Daina has created an entirely different understanding of the hyperbolic planes and has created a tangible way for the young scholars to master it. Daina is passionate about art, travelling and the geometry in the ornaments of various cultures.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1TBZhd-sN0&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch her talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last] [team_member id=”marcis-auzins” column=”one-fourth”][three_fourth_last][infobox]

God does not play dice. Does he?


A physicist and the Rector of the University of Latvia Marcis Auziņš is the citizen of the world, who has not only studies in Latvia, China and Canada, but also lectured at various world-class universities such as the University of California, University of Oklahoma and Sussex University.

Being one of the youngest Latvian academic professors with innumerable academic achievemtnts, scientific publications and participation in the international conferences, Mārcis Auziņš has proven himself as a bright multidisciplinary expert with a powerful analytical mind and encyclopedic memory. It looks like there are no questions that Mārcis wouldn’t have a comprehensive and surprising answer and explanation for.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lU1I-u1LOv4&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch his talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last] [team_member id=”laima-jansone” column=”one-fourth”][three_fourth_last][infobox]

Moment of improvisation (performance)


Laima Jansone is the most accomplished and the most promising Latvian traditional kokle player, who is especially gifted in the demanding art of improvisation. Currently Laima is the Ethnographical Music student of J.Vītols Latvian Music Academy.

Laima entreprets traditional kokle in her own signature manner of playing, which combines both swiftness and impulsivity, and calmness and the desire to look inside onself. The key part of Laima’s performance is improvisation, it is always something exceptional – a surprise and an adventure both for the listener and for the musician.

Laima plays the electro-acoustic kokle, which allows for the use of various effects, and was made especially for her.
[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjz8LOTonF8&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch her performance on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last] [team_member id=”valdis-krebs” column=”one-fourth”][three_fourth_last][infobox]

Ending up on the Wrong Side of the Tracks

When participating on the internet we leave behind footprints and tracks, some intentional, some not. What we often do not realize is that these tracks can be valuable to others, for both good, and bad. What do the paths we take, the choices we make, and the tracks we leave in our wake, tell others about ourselves?[/infobox]

The name of American-Latvian Valdis Krebs is written into the global corporate network, where he has become an influential player by developing innovative social network analysis and visualisation method.

Having worked with many Fortune 500 companies, Valdis was able to break the traditional stereotypes on the corporate structure and internal communication ecosystems, proving that they operate according to other rules from those written in the official corporate structure documents.

Included in Valdis’ achievement list is his work on complicated information distribution structures, such as corruption and terrorist network identification and analysis. He is a wizard of the Information Age.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-y71DEMZHc&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch his talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last]

Session II, Creativity beats Capital

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The New New Wave Experience (performance)


Latvian underground music artist Kodek has just returned from Blip festival in New York and Mutek in Montreal, gaining recognition and support. Kodek uses old computers and video game consoles in his performances, creating sounds that don’t fit into any known genres.

At TEDxRiga Kodek will perform with his colleague VJ – TV Maskava.
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The importance of failing


Viesturs studied medicine, but felt uncalled for in the field. Having developed his knowledge of business administration in London, Viesturs became the co-owner of Real Sound Lab, the company that has developed the unique automatic speaker adjustment technology, the so-called equalisers that regulate the amplitude and frequency of the signal.

Over the last 5 years Viesturs Sosars has been managing a business innovation and consultation company Eureka, has several times acted as a business angel and helped technology start-ups.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnMzhyoKv_0&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch his talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last] [team_member id=”elina-dobele” column=”one-fourth”][three_fourth_last][infobox]

Architecting a shoe


Latvian literary legend Rainis once wrote: “That will remain, what will change”, and Elīna Dobele is a living example how with persistance one can make a successful debut in a seemingly unfamiliar field.

Elīna Dobele trained as an architect, but over the last years has skillfully and brilliantly introduced her fashion shoe brand ZoFA and has collaborated with other prominent on the Latvian market designers such as KatyaKatyaShehurina, QooQoo, Agnese Narņicka and a Latvian designer living in the UK, Keita.

Elīna is excited about the dynamics of modern life, and how the changing society, architecture, fashion related to it and vividly reflected in Elīna’s brand’s dynamic development, as well as in the pace of her own life.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK7cP_8KSOc&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch her talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last] [team_member id=”voldemars-dudums” column=”one-fourth”][three_fourth_last][infobox]

(Un)screw the machines


Voldemārs Dūdums is creative to the point that it is impossible to put him under any label. As a child he would dig the tulip bulbs, sell cigarettes, manage a rockgroup, study cinema in Denmark and has once even cooked goat cheese for the royal Swedish family.

Upon enrolling into Miami Ad School has dedicated him to advertising and is keen on coming up with some weird things to face the challenge of creating solutions and ways to implement them. Recently his Hungry Birds Twitter project, that only cost him 150 euros, got into Webby awards finals next to the ten million dollar projects.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPRh0Thr0H8&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch his talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last] [team_member id=”aiva-rozenberga” column=”one-fourth”][three_fourth_last][infobox]

Capital of Culture – 57°/24° Charm

Without culture and relative freedom, even apparently ideal society is nothing more than a jungle. Any new authentic cultural work is an investment in the better future.[/infobox]

Already in 2014 Riga will become the culture capital of Europe, the creative content of which is carefully cherished by Aiva Rozenberga. She gained experience working for the former president of the state Vaira Vīķes-Freiberga’s communications office, NATO summit organisational group, Latvian song and dance festival communications group and as a Latvia’s 90th anniversary celebration workgroup consultant.

Currently Aiva is the artistic board coordinator of the Riga 2014 programme, where she uses her knowledge to apply cultural influence on the development of the city and the quality of living in the capital.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mceR_QTZ0fA&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch her talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last] [team_member id=”eriks-stendzenieks” column=”one-fourth”][three_fourth_last][infobox]

Wrinkles. What is left when the fashion wears off.


Art and creativity are in Ēriks Stendzenieks’ blood. From childhood closely in touch with artists and their creative expressions, Ēriks has developed his unique style and various talents, which he decided to invest in advertising, successfully founding the most award-winning advertising agency in the Baltics, becoming acknowledged locally and internationally at the international creative festivals.

One-man orchestra, as he combines the love for words with the understanding of effective visual communication, ability to create inspiring stories and campaigns, and, surprisingly, the sense of discipline developed in the army.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulOOhZqzDLs&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch his talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last]

Session III, The Power of Diversity

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Fortune tellers, cards and genetics


Doctor of biology Edvīns Miklašēvičs has dedicated his work and attention to cancer and gene research, working as a lecturer and the head of CL molecular biology and genetics laboratory at the Pauls Stradiņš clinical university hospital. In his research has touched such themes as malignant tumors and its diagnostics, breast cancer, biomedicine and therapy effectiveness assessment.

When not working on cancerogenetics, Edvīns enjoys attending opera, playing tennis and cycling.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkquuVm4JpY&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch his talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last] [team_member id=”toms-kokins” column=”one-fourth”][three_fourth_last][infobox]

Cats in space

Toms will speak about ways to effectively use public space.[/infobox]

A trained architect Toms Kokins has established himself as the defender of innovative ideas, with the goal to improve public space in order to raise the quality of life, because we build and develop cities for our long-term well-being.

Toms, a socialy responsible citizen, sees design and architecture as competitiveness enhancing instrument of social integration, and passionately defends an idea of public space as an indispensable part influencing the quality of life, it’s change and utilisation. A city has to be bright, dynamic, functional and pleasant.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_UEAsYnMsw&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch his talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last] [team_member id=”artis-svece” column=”one-fourth”][three_fourth_last][infobox]

Content design: can humanities be practical?


Educated at the Newfoundland Memorial University in Canada, Artis Svece has written and published more than 300 various articles in popular and academic magazines. For many years he has worked as a lecturer, participated in multimedia projects, and among his broad range of interests, the perception of animals in the Western culture captivates his mind the most.

Each lecture that Artis gives exposes his sharp analytical mind. A perfectionist, when it comes to structuring and expressing thoughts and perceptions.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFz98JPwkCQ&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch his talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last] [team_member id=”goran-gora” column=”one-fourth”][three_fourth_last][infobox]

Challenge accepted (performance)

Goran Gora will share his personal experience of creating music.[/infobox]

“Rarely can you feel at home playing at any venue in other countries. Our listeners are able to create such atmosphere”, – says Latvian songwriter Goran Gorna from Baldone. Influenced by Depeche Mode, U2, Tom Waits, Islandic music.

In music since 2000, most recently the score composer for the new production of Rudolfs Blaumanis play Indrāni at the M. Chekhov theatre.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_T0cA4jkYM&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch his talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last] [team_member id=”kerli-gabrilovica” column=”one-fourth”][three_fourth_last][infobox]

Becoming instead of being


A Latvian Estonian, who upon graduating from the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga decided to settle in the Latvian capital. Over the years she has become fluent in Latvian, proved herself as a successful businesswoman with remarkable strategic thinking and grasp of change management.

In addition to achievements in the corporate environment, Kerli is a wonderful mother of two small children.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcGPk2D47Ck&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch her talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last] [team_member id=”daniels-pavluts” column=”one-fourth”][three_fourth_last][infobox]

The importance of learning. Learning what exactly?


Daniels Pavļuts received his Bachelour of Arts degree in Piano Performance at the Latvian Music academy, but his Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) at Harvard University.

Daniels is a former secretary of state at the Ministry of Culture, has worked at various establishments as the board member and has served in several administrations. Held a private consultancy practice. In 2011 became the Minister of Economics in Valdis Dombrovskis government.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XE-l-z0TLM&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch his talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last]

Session IV, Generation to Generation

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Handshake of generations


Adriāna Roze represents the new generation of directors. She started her career as news moderator, quickly realised that in creating stories both content and form are equally important for her. She started gradually developing herself until growing to become a TV programme director, manager and author.

Adriāna graduated from Rīgas Doma Kora school’s Modern Rhythm music programme, majoring in jazz vocals, and as a student often performed at Riga’s clubs. Today music plays a significant part in her video works, enhancing the mood of the stories. For Adriāna her work is her biggest passion, she’s always looking for new stories to share.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi19Q9lM4lc&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch her talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last] [team_member id=”zane-olina” column=”one-fourth”][three_fourth_last][infobox]

From inner to systems change


Teaching and education methodology doctor Zane Oliņa has been working in the field of education for over 20 years. Zane has invested her enormous experience, gained working as a professor, teacher trainer and teaching programme developer, in founding and managing Mission Possible, a programme which aim is to increase the educational opportunities delivered to children and to allow the high-achieving graduates grow and develop into the leaders of the future.

Zane’s professional interests include teaching sophisticaed skills, evaluation of learning process and effective professional development.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzzvB6B0mHk&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch her talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last] [team_member id=”gas-of-latvia” column=”one-fourth”][three_fourth_last][infobox]

Centrefūga (performance)


Gas of Latvia are doers, not speakers. The author of music, Andris Indāns, and the author of video, Katrīna Neiburga, will participate in TEDxRiga with the audiovisual composition Centrefūga.

Gas of Latvia have since 1996 released more than 10 albums, and have performed numerous concerts in Latvia and Europe.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV5Tj_bYRgE&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch their performance on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last] [team_member id=”karina-petersone” column=”one-fourth”][three_fourth_last][notice]Unfortunately, Karina Pētersone was not able to perform due to health condition. This talk was cancelled.[/notice][infobox]

Like a camel through needle’s eye


An intrepreter, translator and English language teacher at Latvian University, Karina Pētersone has in the beginning of the 1990’s been invited to join the public sector to work in the foreign affair field. Over the years Karina gained substantial diplomatic experience working as the Minister of Culture, the Minister of Social Integration, an on of the European Affair and Budget managing comittees. Once was nominated as the presidential candidate.

Karina is awarded with Three Star Order of the third degree, received awards from the states of Denmark and Malta, acknowledgements from the President and Prime Minister of the State. Translated several British and American plays and novels, published aricles on literary history and political topics, loves reflecting on the recent history of Latvia, and watching her granddaughters grow.
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Running virus: from shame to fame


Aigars Nords has been working in Latvian public relations sphere for over 10 years, during which he has consulted and helped to develop some of the most well-known and most valuable Latvian brands.

Referred to as the father of running for a reason, because with his persistance has not only introduced a new tradition, Riga marathon, but also convinced thousands of people to start a new habit, a new kind of a sport – running. Aigars has run marathons in Chicago, New York, Paris, Rome, loves jazz, plays saxophone and in his spare time is a connoisseur of fine wines.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cux3wNRZixM&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch his talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last] [team_member id=”gustavs-butelis” column=”one-fourth”][three_fourth_last][infobox]

Kurš kuru kodē?

(Who is coding who?)


In the music world Gustavs Butelis or Gustavo became known to wider public in 1995, as he founded FACT, one of the first hip-hop music groups in Latvia. Through the years Gustavo has authored the music and lyrics of many songs, released four solo albums, and produced the Prāta Vētra (Brainstorm) 2008 album “Tur kaut kam ir jābūt”.

Gustavo has also succeeded in other artforms, having in 2004 dubbed Shark Tale animation film into Latvian. Gustavo is one of the Karaliskais Improvizācijas Teātris (Royal Improvisation Theatre) members. Gustavo has received the annual Latvian Music Recording award five times.

[button size=”medium” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNPsvfXn34c&list=EC62CC0C3754EF415F” target=”_blank”]Watch his talk on YouTube[/button] [/three_fourth_last]


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