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TEDx Talks Announces Six Speakers To Explore Hindsight At University Of Malta

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The six speakers for the next TEDxUniversityofMalta 2021 have been announced.

Exploring the theme of hindsight, the poignant talks will take place on Friday 5th November at 6.30pm in the Valletta Campus Theatre at the University of Malta.

You can find the event here – but first, find out more about the six speakers and what themes they’ll be exploring in their talks.

1. Iggy Fenech

Iggy Fenech is an editor, writer, and blogger for local newspapers, magazines, and news websites. Focusing on culture, art, lifestyle, and fashion, Iggy helped set up one of Malta’s most respected cultural PR agencies, served as a theatre reviewer for The Times of Malta, and edited the Sunday Circle between 2019 and 2020.

Iggy has also made a name for himself in local fashion circles, particularly through the incorporation of vintage accessories and items of clothing, as well as historically inspired elements, into his outfits.

Theme: Making Yesteryear’s Fashions Hot Again

Ruffs made from 100-year-old Maltese lace, a 20th-century għonnella, an oversized silver filigree ear brooch, a 1970s blue velvet blazer, high necklines and oversized shoulders. Iggy Fenech has been seen wearing some rather thought-provoking outfits over the past five years, yet he has managed to toe the line between costume and fashion.

In this TEDxUniversityofMalta talk, Iggy explains why history and art have been major influences on his style and sartorial choices, and why he believes that antique items of clothing and accessories should be given a chance to play their part in the modern world.

2. Roberta Rizzo

Roberta Rizzo is a UK and European Registered Genetic Counsellor. The work involves counselling families affected by genetic conditions and familial cancer. She currently works in Southampton Hospital, having previously gained experience in London. Her special interests include oculogenetics and psychiatric genetic counselling.

She is a member on the committee for the UK Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors (AGNC) where she works with national bodies to promote and safeguard the work of genetic counsellors. She is also working with the Department of Health and Mater Dei to establish genetic counselling as a service in Malta.

Theme: Hindsight Can Be A Powerful Thing 

If you could have a test to identify a genetic condition in yourself, would you want to know? We possibly all have an instinctive answer, but let’s question that instinct. What conditions would you want to know, and which would you rather keep hidden?

When genetics aren’t personal, can you ever make an individual choice about wanting to know? Who has the right not to know? At what cost? A genetic counsellor uses her experience to explore a client’s personal and family narrative to guide them towards an informed choice.

3. Maria Theuma

Maria Theuma is a researcher and writer. She has studied at the University of Malta and Goldsmiths, University of London and holds a PhD in English. Her research interests include posthumanism, literary theory, comparative literature and visual cultures. Her poetry, both in Maltese and English, has appeared on various literary platforms such as The Rumpus and Isles of the Left and is set to be included in Scintillas: New Maltese Writing 1 (Praspar Press, London, UK) to be published later this year.

Her work has also appeared in various collaborative multimedia projects, with her latest collaborative project being Transformations and Translations, commissioned by and presented at Malta’s Three Palaces Festival in November 2020 and shortlisted for a Premju għall-Arti 2021.

Theme: My Own Girlhood, In Hindsight

I would like to specifically meditate on the ways in which I, alongside my peers as well as countless other girls who came before and after, at various occasions, found ourselves subjected to the perceptions of a society that dismissed, invalidated and ridiculed our thoughts, feelings and lived experiences.

I wish to argue that, in my adulthood, the same hackneyed logic that equates girlishness with illegitimacy and naiveté spills over into a culture that is driven by irony, indifference and an overall suspicion of honesty, earnestness and tenderness. In my talk, I try to address the problem of the sincerity of feeling and why it is that, now more than ever, our culture seems to turn away from it, embarrassed by how platitudinal it can be and how enigmatic its inferences remain.

4. Jonathan Mizzi

Jonathan Mizzi is a Maltese-British architect and designer, who runs Mizzi Studio: a multidisciplinary practice specialising in Bioarchitecture and Biophilic design, dedicated to making the world a better place through inventive, climate-responsive design solutions.

Powered by optimism, driven by context, inspired by nature and science, and brought to life through ecologically friendly construction; the studio’s mission is to reconnect humanity with the natural world. Their projects embrace experimentation and see adaptability as a means of mapping out an exciting, resilient, sustainable future.

It is their pledge to Mother Nature to treat planet Earth as their primary client and their clients also include The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, The Royal

Parks and The Science Museum. Whether it be for respite, care, mobility or education, their work looks to inspire people to live environmentally socially responsible lives with a determined and positive spirit, fulfilling our time on earth with meaning and leaving it in a better place for the collective progress and prosperity of humanity and planet earth.

Their work has been acknowledged by numerous awards including being finalists for Building Designs’ Architect of the Year (2020), Dezeen’s Emerging Architecture Studio (2021) whilst winning the FX International Breakthrough Talent Award (2017) amongst others.

Theme: Designing Humanity Out Of A Climate Crisis

Mizzi talks about humanity’s greatest challenge – the climate crisis – and how we can design our way out of it. Jonathan will unpack the legacy of our planet’s most pressing and pervasive episode: the twin catastrophe of climate change and biodiversity erosion. In diagnosing and tracing back to the root of the complex, multi-dimensional crisis, he will survey the role of technology, innovation and design throughout the history of the climate emergency, discussing the ways in which all three along with a paradigm shift to a circular economy are key to solving it.

Drawing on experiences of both his personal life and life in practice, Jonathan will oscillate between the ‘local’ and ‘global’ vis-a-vis the impact of a changing climate, illustrating the interconnectedness between the two scales whilst presenting adaptive multi-modal green infrastructure proposals and the resultant opportunities of rewilding our built environment. Designing Humanity out of a Climate Crisis is a talk that outlines both a problem and a plan. It’s underlying message: acknowledge hindsight, embrace hope, drive action.

5. Emily Jones

Emily is a plus-size influencer based in Malta. After losing her city job in London due to ill health and dealing with a family crisis in Malta after her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Emily decided to put her energy into starting an Instagram page. She has amassed a following of nearly 300k across her Instagram platforms, with this becoming her full-time gig.

As a chronic-pain sufferer Emily’s focus has been to bring awareness to invisible disability, diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis and fibromyalgia in her mid-twenties. Emily is passionate about promoting diversity, particularly in the body positive space, demonstrating that every body is worthy of respect and self-love at every stage of one’s health journey.

Emily manages a successful Only Fans page and is enthusiastic about breaking the taboos around this controversial platform. Her food page @missjoneseats is a fun approach to restaurant reviews and recipes whilst challenging social expectations about eating in public as a plus-sized woman

Theme: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

The focus of Emily’s talk today will be to take a look back and reflect upon the life experiences (the good, the bad and the ugly) that have shaped her outlook on everything from health, relationships, beauty standards, work, and everything in between.

She will talk about how her unusual adventures her life has taken her on have led her to be the person she is today.

6. Sarah Young

Sarah Young, a luxury event planner, specialises in extravagant weddings and celebrations. With over 20 years of experience and over 1,000 events planned, Sarah creates lavish and enthralling experiences for her discerning clients.

Having graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications (Hons) from the University of Malta, Sarah continued her studies in the UK, receiving her Master’s from the University of Southampton.

In 1998, Sarah’s was appointed Marketing Manager of Time International, responsible for brands like Cartier, Nike and Tag Heuer in addition to several international conferences throughout Europe. She then took on the same role for Coca-Cola, Malta.

At 24, Sarah became a pioneer as Malta’s first wedding planner. Her keen eye for detail resulted in being handpicked the prestigious task of organising the Commonwealth Businesswomen Awards during the CHOGM, London.

Sarah has given various keynotes at top international industry conferences including EXITO in Dubai, India, and Italy along with webinars for BRIDELUX.

Theme: Hindsight Is A Wonderful Thing, Especially When It Comes To Love

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, especially when it comes to love, relationships and tying the knot. If we all knew in advance, where the next rendezvous would take us! Happiness and heartbreak, they come hand in hand. Like most things in life, everything slowly evolves, we evolve, we grow closer and sometimes we grow apart.

Nevertheless, our personal development is something we are constantly trying to improve.

What comes to mind when you think of marriage? Is it influenced by culture, a belief system, a bond never to be broken? Young takes you on a journey into the historical origins of marriage, the development of its meaning over time and how society and tradition are constantly influencing the way we perceive the happily ever after construct. Does divorce equate to failure? Perhaps hindsight is the only answer?

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Johnathan is interested in the weird, wonderful, and sometimes dark realities late capitalist society forces upon us all. He also likes food and music. Follow him at @supreofficialmt on Instagram, and send him news, food and music stories at [email protected]

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