Across the Globe

FLEX Alumni Featured as TEDxYerevan Speakers

February 06, 2014
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The fourth annual TEDxYerevan, themed Entrepreneurship of Big Dreams, took place at the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies in Armenia last fall.

The fourth annual TEDxYerevan, themed Entrepreneurship of Big Dreams, took place at the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies in Armenia last fall. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDxYerevan brought about 300 people together for an amazing lineup of 14 speakers, including two Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program alumni.

Irina Ghaplanyan

An avid researcher and explorer, Irina travels the world to pursue her studies and work, and eventually plans to return to her native Yerevan. Irina recently earned her PhD at the University of Cambridge having successfully defended her thesis examining post-Soviet Armenian political leadership and how the latter shaped the national discourse.Her thesis examines post-Soviet Armenian political leadership and how the latter shaped the national discourse. Irina's academic research and civic activism, combined her strong interest in the environment and conservation, led her to cofound and run The Green Bean Coffee Shop, Armenia's and perhaps the region's first sustainable coffee shop. Also a certified wine expert, Irina finds refuge from her academic and green challenges in discovering the world of wine and promoting wine-appreciation in Armenia. Irina currently resides in Yerevan, Armenia with her husband, and their four-year-old son.

Lilit Asatryan

Lilit is a FLEX program alumna of 2007. After receiving a diploma with honors from William Horlick High, followed by a BA in linguistics from Yerevan State Linguistic University, Lilit is grateful to have fallen into the sphere of the IT industry. Lilit, a true believer in the power of charity through volunteering as her X-factor, has been involved in numerous volunteer programs, which includes: building houses with Habitat for Humanity in Chicago; teaching in Sunday School at St. Mesrob Armenian church in the US; interpreting for World Vision USA; helping FLEX organize the first tour in the "PYUNIK" Organization for disabled scholars; interpreting for human right defenders during an International Conference organized by the International Foundation of Human Rights; and other ventures. During her exchange year, Lilit contributed over 100 hours of volunteer work; for which she was honored to receive a pin and a certificate from the President of the United States at the White House. Today, Lilit stands at the head of the Help Armenian Children charitable NGO, founded in 2012. This charitable NGO started as a Facebook group in 2011 and has since grown to help more than 13 kids suffering from different diseases and supplied over 200 low-income families with clothing, medicine, food, and other services.

Click here to learn more about the FLEX Program.

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