New feminist heroes: 4 TEDx speakers named feminist icons of today

TEDxTeen speaker Tavi Gevinson (via Refinery29)

Refinery29 recently put a face to the future of feminism, honoring “17 thinkers, activists, and creatives taking up the mantle of women’s rights” right now.

We’re absolutely thrilled that 4 TEDx speakers have made the list (including one of our coworkers!). Below, 4 TEDx Talks on feminism for a new generation:

Contraception is not controversial: Melinda Gates at TEDxChange
Contraception. The topic has become controversial in recent years. But should it be? In her talk at TEDxChange, listmaker Melinda Gates talks about how ensuring that women are able to control their rate of having children is a crucial aspect to many of the world’s social change issues, and makes the case for the world to re-examine an issue she intends to lend her voice to for the next decade.

Violence against women — it’s a men’s issue: Jackson Katz at TEDxFiDiWomen
Activist Jackson Katz made a splash with his TEDx talk challenging why domestic violence and sexual abuse are often called “women’s issues,” when, really, they are issues that affect us all — men included. In this bold, blunt talk, he breaks down this stigma and puts a call out for men to fight against conceptions of manhood that glorify sexual harassment, violence, and abuse, before asking everyone, men and women, to be leaders of change.

A teen just trying to figure it out: Tavi Gevinson at TEDxTeen
The talk that provided the very quotable “Just be Stevie Nicks,” Tavi Gevinson’s talk at TEDxTeen sheds light on how hard it can be to find strong, female role models in the media when you’re 15 and trying to figure yourself out. Faced with this problem, Tavi created Rookie, a web magazine for and by teen girls, where bright young thinkers can share the things they really want to talk about — conversations that put a new, unapologetically uncertain and richly complex face on modern feminism.

How I became a feminist: Jamia Wilson at TEDxYouth@Hewitt
We might be totally biased, but we at TEDx are super excited that Jamia made this list of feminist leaders, as we get to see her every day at work. Right now, Jamia is a storyteller for TED’s TED Prize, and in her talk at TEDxYouth@Hewitt she talks about her journey to becoming a feminist activist, overcoming assertions that she needed to be thinner, have lighter skin, and straighter hair to be a force in the media, and her work to make sure everyone realizes that womanhood — and feminism — doesn’t come in one type.

Three reasons to watch TEDxChange tomorrow

imageMelinda Gates speaks at TEDxChange 2012

TEDxChange, happening this Wednesday, April 3, is a global conversation on some of the most pressing and intractable health and equity issues in our world today — like access to clean water, to schools, to medicine, to technology and to information. Overall, the event will deliver inspiration to those who have the courage to believe that change is possible.

The event, hosted by Melinda Gates, will begin at 9 am (PDT) at the Gates Foundation Campus in Seattle, Washington. The 90 minute program will stream live online at and

Why should you be one of the many people watching TEDxChange live?

The theme: Positive Disruption. We all want our world to be a better place to live in. But most of us know that sometimes that’s easier said than done. Sometimes, it takes a shake-up to our assumptions, our traditions, our schedules, our values and our communities to get us to spring to action and make real change happen. This is where TEDxChange comes in. It’s that (positive) disruption to your regularly-scheduled program. RSVP to watch »

You won’t be alone. More than 200 TEDxChange events will be bring together folks around the world in their schools, homes and businesses as they watch the TEDxChange livestream and discuss the ideas they hear in it. Find an event near you »

The speakers.  Melinda Gates has traveled the world seeking out great speakers with bold ideas for change. Here is the speaker lineup:

  • Julie Dixon, director of Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication
  • Spoken-word poet David Fasanya
  • Halimatu Hima, Niger’s first Youth Parliament president
  • M. Cathleen Kaveny, a professor of law and of theology at the University of Notre Dame
  • Salim Shekh and Sikha Patra, 15-year-olds working to eradicate polio from their communities
  • Roger Thurow, author of the book Enough: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty

Tune in tomorrow at 9:00 am (PDT) to watch TEDxChange »

Or find a TEDxChange livestream event near you »

Why you should attend a TEDxChange event near you


TEDxChange, taking place this Wednesday and hosted by Melinda Gates, will focus on the power of “Positive Disruption” to activate change in the world — the small (or big) disruptions to our everyday lives that force us to look at the world we live in and the problems we face in new and interesting ways.

And while TEDxChange takes over Seattle, people all over the world will be gathering in schools, homes, community centers, and auditoriums to watch TEDxChange live at TEDx livestreaming events -- and you should be one of them.

204 TEDxChange events in 65 countries will be participating, and if you still need a reason to drive, walk, run or ride to one of them, we asked some TEDxChange organizers to finish the sentence: “Why my TEDxChange event will be great…” Here are their answers:

Why my TEDxChange event will be great:

"TEDxYerevanChange, the first TEDxChange event in Armenia, will take place at a retreat center nestled in the picturesque slopes of Mt. Ararat. The center grows much of the food they serve and a garden fresh lunch will be served on a scenic terrace, overlooking Mt. Ararat and its plain.”
Gohar Khachatryan, TEDxYerevanChange, Armenia. Learn more about this event.

"We will be hosting TEDxGuatavitaChange at a rural school in the central mountains of Colombia, South America. We aim at providing TEDx inspiration to populations that normally don’t have access to this kind of events. Inspiration with a powerful platform, as the one provided by TEDx can generate meaningful transformation of this region."
Felipe Spath, TEDxGuatavitaChange, Colombia. Learn more about this event.

"Our event will be a cozy gathering at my home watching the event live and having an open debate after it."
Patricia Zougheib, TEDxSKEChange, Lebanon. Learn more about this event.

"Our event is going to be great because our island just went through a sort of uprising. We see this event as an opportunity to expound on exactly what a "Positive Disruption" means to our island."
Brent Norris, TEDxHiloChange, Hawaii, US. Learn more about this event.

"Our event will be great because it will be fully centered on Melinda and her speakers. All the attention will go there. And then the audience in the room will take the control, and attendees will be free to discuss what they have just seen with the help of a great moderator, Gonzalo Fanjul. He is a journalist and global health researcher, and author of a very famous blog, 3500 Millones, where he posts every day a disruptive solution against poverty…But most importantly, it will be great because the audience will include 300 committed NGO, foundation, and development experts and citizens who’d love to see a better word and want their voices to be heard.”
Antonella Broglia, TEDxMadridChange, Spain. Learn more about this event.

There are:

  • 55 events in North America
  • 42 events in Europe
  • 46 events in Asia/Australia/New Zealand
  • 21 events in Central America/Latin America
  • 36 events in the Middle East/Africa

On April 3rd, TEDxChange will begin at 9 am (PDT) at the Gates Foundation Campus in Seattle and will stream live online at and The program will run for 90 minutes.
Find a TEDxChange livestreaming event near you here.