It's that time: We're announcing our Speakers and Performers lineup.

Follow TEDxUChicago on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as we reveal our 2017 speakers and performers!

Click on each photo for a full bio.




Madeleine Grynsztejn

Madeleine Grynsztejn, Pritzker Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Madeleine has held curatorial positions at SFMOMA, where she curated the critically-acclaimed traveling exhibitions Take your time: Olafur Eliasson and The Art of Richard Tuttle, as well as Carnegie International, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Kevin Coval

Kelvin Coval, a poet and community builder. As the artistic director of Young Chicago Authors, founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, and professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago—where he teaches hip-hop aesthetics—Coval has mentored thousands of young writers, artists, and musicians, including Chance the Rapper.




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Shirley Engelmeier

Shirley Engelmeier, CEO and Founder of InclusionINC, where she advises Fortune 500 companies and emerging organizations on creating inclusive, high performance leaders and enterprises.


Diane Redleaf

Diane Redleaf, Founder and Legal Director of the Family Defense Center. Diane has taught child welfare law at the University of Chicago Law School and client counseling at the Loyola University School of Law, and is widely considered a national leader in the field of parent representation in child welfare proceedings.

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Kristian Hammond

Kristian Hammond, Chief Scientist and co-founder of Narrative Science, and professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University. Kris founded the University of Chicago’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and previously sat on a United Nations policy committee run by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).


Chicago Folklore Ensemble

Chicago Folklore Ensemble, a troupe that performs traditional music and personal stories collected from Chicago immigrants in a dramatic show featuring string quartet and storyteller. Audiences are swept along a journey of melody, laughter, tears, and joy, realizing the human behind each story, the worlds contained in each song.

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Priyanka Prakash

Priyanka Prakash, MBA student and an acclaimed Classical Musician, trained for 18 years in Indian Carnatic Music. Winner of the Governor’s Award for Classical Music & over 17 coveted awards for Music, Priyanka has performed 220+ concerts across the world. At Chicago Booth, she specializes in advanced Finance, after which she will be a Strategy Consultant.


Bjorn Olafsson

Bjorn Olafsson, 2nd year studying Psychology, Cinema and Media Studies, and Human Rights at the University. Bjorn has been conducting cognitive research at the Center for Decision Research for the past year, and previously won an award from the American Psychological Association for his behavioral science research.

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Ben Glover

Ben Glover, 3rd year Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies major. Ben is a huge fan of rap music and is also a rapper himself, who goes by the stage name Chief Wicked. Last month he released his second mixtape, Pink Waves, and last week he shot a music video with Atlantic Records for one of its songs. When he graduates he plans on pursuing a career in rap music full-time.


Jacqueline Russell

Jacqueline Russell, Co-Founder and Artistic Director, Chicago Children’s Theatre. Jacqueline is also the creator of the Red Kite Project, a CCT program dedicated to bringing theatre into the lives of children with special needs. She previously served as the Executive Director of Lookingglass Theatre Company.

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Herschella G. Conyers

Herschella G. Conyers is a Clinical Professor of Law at The University of Chicago Law School. Before joining the law school, she served as an assistant public defender, supervisor, and deputy chief in the Office of the Cook County Public Defender from 1986 to 1993.


Chase Harrison

Chase Harrison, a current junior at The University of Chicago and a student rights activist. On campus, Chase studies Latin America, performs with Off-Off Campus, and represents his peers in Student Government. He loves hot yoga and Twitter (@buenasnochase).





Andie Popova

Andrea Popova! Andie is a Texas-born Political Science major, current member of Off-Off Campus improv group, and incoming Marketing Chair for the Major Activities Board. When she's not watching TEDvideos, she's taking on creative projects in dance/comedy. Most recently, Andie organized her 2nd annual charity comedy event for the Alzheimer's Association