Thanks for coming to my TED talk!

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I can’t believe that I have been working at TED as the Editorial Director of The Audacious Project for almost a year now! It’s been an exhilarating ride figuring out ways to amplify the work of the extraordinary social impact organizations funded through this initiative.

Each year the announcement of the funded projects happens during the annual TED conference in Vancouver, and it’s always a much-anticipated highlight of the week. So when it became clear that due to COVID, we couldn’t have an in-person event, it was decided that we would pivot to an 8-week online experience. This was pretty daunting for the whole organization. Having to convert an event designed for the live stage (one of the most famous in the world) into a compelling online program is no joke!

Luckily for the Audacious team, we had some digital-friendly content already in the bag, because pre lockdowns I had traveled to Rwanda and Kenya to shoot two mini-documentaries highlighting the work of Audacious grantees. Both ended up being selected for the mainstage session at TED2020 held virtually in June!

One of the videos features SNHU’s GEM program, which provides access to Bachelor’s degrees to refugees.  Spending time with Saida, a refugee student from Kakuma camp in Kenya, and sharing her story and those of many other displaced communities was life-changing. 

The story is now up on, and I couldn’t be prouder to share it. Check it out here.

Saida Aden Said, a SNHU student, living in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya

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