TEDxIE Madrid 2023: Connecting the Dots


On May 31st, the auditorium at IE Tower was filled with students, faculty, staff members, alumni, and guests from outside the university. A hundred attendees gathered for one reason: the annual TEDxIE Madrid conference. This year’s edition was significant due to its theme, Connecting the Dots.

The main heroes of the conference, speakers from different backgrounds, made TEDxIE Madrid 2023 particularly fascinating. Sticking to the event’s theme, they built their speeches around finding solutions and connecting the dots. Considering that anyone could apply for the speaker’s position, there were not only members of the IE community but also international keynotes as well. The speakers’ list consisted of Yelyzaveta Pidopryhora, an IE Masters student and social innovation enthusiast; Harvey Seifter, one of the world’s leading authorities on organizational creativity; Wanjiku Thiong’o, an IE student and social impact enthusiast; Claudia Warias, a certified mind coach; Wintson Reid, CEO of the software technology company Alvin; and Romie Carillo, Head of Operations at Yoloop. Each of them shared their own stories, adventures and academic findings that motivated and taught the audience. For instance, Romie Carillo opened up about her successful path: from working as a nanny and a housekeeper in Spain to making it big in tech with a position in a Silicon Valley company.

“Every obstacle is an essential piece of a puzzle that shapes your future”

Carillo in her speech
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Photo by Inés Arcones

Between the speakers’ performances, the event was hosted by Masters of Ceremonies Tancrède Thoma and Esther-Gail Fraser, IE students who managed to keep the audience entertained and engaged.

“This year I had the privilege to be one of the masters of ceremony, and it was lovely to see how we were able to ‘connect the dots’’ during the talks and during the transitions,” shared Esther-Gail Fraser.

TEDxIE Madrid 2023 was fully organized by IE students and alumni, with broad help from Campus Life and IE Foundation. The organizing team was divided into departments like Branding, Audience Experience, and others. The preparations started in January, and the big chunk of work done by everyone for five months was paid off by the great success of the conference. The senior advisor and license-holder of the TEDx event, Doris Menard, who is an IE alumnus, as well as co-director Togzhan Kapenova, a Bachelor student, told The Stork more about the behind-the-scenes process.

What motivated you to request the TEDx license and the reason for hosting a TEDx conference?

Doris Menard: TED has a special meaning to me because some talks have completely changed my perspective on life and have even helped me get through my darkest times. I can confirm firsthand the impact this content can have on people’s lives. Thus, I wanted to share and make those inspirational lessons more accessible to a wider audience.

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Photo by Kyle Vincent Rosario

What is the key to the success of the TEDxIE Madrid conference?

Togzhan Kapenova: The key to the success of the TEDxIE Madrid conference lies in the collective efforts of our exceptional team. Each year, our dedicated and passionate team members come together to create an extraordinary event. With six teams working tirelessly, we ensure that every aspect of the conference is meticulously planned and executed.

Ultimately, it is the combined dedication, passion, and expertise of our team members that fuel the success of TEDxIE Madrid. Their unwavering commitment to creating an exceptional conference experience contributes to its lasting impact on attendees and the broader community.

Photo by Amèlie Motard

What is your favorite part of preparing for the event and the day of the event?

Doris Menard: My favorite part of preparing for the event is curating the speaker lineup. Identifying speakers who possess unique insights, fascinating stories, and thought-provoking ideas is an exhilarating process. It’s a joy to connect with these individuals and work closely with them to shape their talks, ensuring they resonate deeply with the audience. Witnessing the transformation of their ideas into captivating presentations is incredibly rewarding.

What is the hardest part of organizing the event?

Togzhan Kapenova: One of the most challenging yet favorite parts of organizing the event is the inherent unpredictability that comes with live events. As the saying goes, “Murphy’s Law” often applies, meaning that if something can go wrong, it sometimes does. However, it is precisely during these moments of adversity that a sense of exhilaration and fulfillment emerges.

Even if something doesn’t go according to plan, the resilience and resourcefulness of the team often lead to creative solutions and alternative approaches. It is through these moments of adaptation and problem-solving that the true spirit of collaboration shines, ultimately resulting in an event that exceeds expectations.

Eight times, TEDxIE Madrid has proven to be a success, and the ninth edition in 2023 was no exception. This conference serves as a remarkable example of how student-organized events can effectively engage various segments of the IE community and make a significant impact. In the coming year, any one of you could have the opportunity to participate in this sensational annual event.

Featured photo by Inés Arcones.

Jasmine Sharapova
Jasmine Sharapova
A proud Tatar from Russia with love for art museums and walks in Retiro and passion for giving voices to people by interviewing them.

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