Usman Riaz is fast becoming a house-hold name across the world. The musical boy genius from Pakistan is a regular fixture in the Pakistani musical scene and has received accolades from his peers who have described the 20something as a maestro.
(You can read more about Usman Riaz – The Pakistan Boy Genius here)
Now Usman’s genius is not only recognized locally, but he has been named as one of the nineteen people from around the world to be a part of TED Fellows.
TED is a nonprofit organization which is devoted to support world-changing ideas. Their motto, ‘ideas worth spreading’ well captures the thought behind the conference which was organized in California some 25 years ago. In the past speakers like Bill Gates, Al Gore, Sir Richard Branson, Prime Minister Gordon Brown as well as hundreds of others have been chosen to speak at the TED conference. Fellows are usually given 18 minutes to speak, their talks are later made available fat TED.com. Every year, TEDGlobal is held in Edinburgh, Scotland during the summers.
Tom Rielly is the director of the TED fellows program and he had this to say:
“The 19 Fellows who make up the 2012 TEDGlobal class have already demonstrated breathtaking accomplishment.”
“All of them are at dramatic inflection points in their careers, and we hope to help them accelerate their progress, no matter what their domain.”
As part of the nineteen chosen fellows, Usman Riaz will be travelling to Edinburgh in June this year. With participants from over 17 countries, Usman’s name is amongst neuroscientist, engineers, mathematicians and innovators among many others. The others who made the TEDGlobal 2012 fellow list are:
- Ivana Gadjanski (Serbia) – Neuroscientist + poet Serbian neuroscientist, tissue engineer and poet studying how cells translate mechanical stimuli into biological signals in order to repair damaged tissue, and investigating how poetry can be used in scientific research.
- Salvatore Iaconesi (Italy) – Open-source engineer + artist Italian engineer, artist and hacker behind Art is Open Source, an informal network promoting artistic, creative and critical practices.
- Joel Jackson (UK | Kenya) – Auto innovator British mobility entrepreneur and founder of Mobius Motors, a Kenya-based company designing and manufacturing a first-of-its-kind affordable vehicle made expressly for the unique customer requirements and often-poor road conditions found in the developing world.
- Cyrus Kabiru (Kenya) – Found object artist Kenyan self-taught painter and sculptor who primarily uses junk materials to make his works, including striking eyewear.
- Elaine Ng Yan Ling (UK | China) – Smart materials artist + designer British artist and designer, currently based in China, exploring the function of natural shape-memory materials and how the behavior of natural elements can be incorporated in manmade materials for architecture and interior design.
- Max Little (UK | US) – Applied mathematician Mathematician whose research includes a breakthrough technique to monitor – and potentially screen for – Parkinson's disease through listening to patients' voices alone.
- Sheref Mansy (US | Italy) – Artificial-life scientist American artificial-life scientist based in Italy working to build artificial chemical systems that mimic biological cells.
- Kristen Marhaver (US | Curacao) – Coral reef biologist Coral reef biologist and science communications enthusiast based in Curacao, studying how certain bacteria can be used to increase settlement and survival of Caribbean corals.
- Alexander McLean (UK | Uganda) – African prison activist Founder of African Prisons Project, a Uganda-based organization working to improve the lives of men, women, and children living in African prisons through healthcare, education, access to justice and community reintegration.
- Amanullah Mojadidi (US | Afghanistan) – Artist Afghan artist whose work explores "the geography of self" through combining traditional story lines and postmodern, parodist narrative strategies intentionally blurring the lines between fact and fiction, documentation and imagination.
- Catarina Mota (Portugal) – Open-source advocate + researcher Portuguese maker, open-source advocate and founder of openMaterials, a collaborative research project focused on open-source and DIY experimentation with smart materials.
- Andrew Nemr (US) – Tap dancer Lebanese-American tap dancer, artistic director of Cats Paying Dues/CPD PLUS and co-founder of The Tap Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a lasting home for the art of tap dance.
- Hakeem Oluseyi (US) – Astrophysicist + science educator Astrophysicist, inventor and science educator whose research focuses on measuring the structure and evolution of the Milky Way galaxy and characterizing new planetary systems.
- Ola Orekunrin (Nigeria | UK) – Healthcare entrepreneur Nigerian healthcare entrepreneur and founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria, an enterprise providing urgent helicopter, airplane ambulance and evacuation services across West Africa.
- Ed Ou (Canada | Taiwan) – Photojournalist Award-winning Canadian photojournalist whose work focuses on stories from the Middle East, the former Soviet Union, Africa and the Americas. He is currently working on a project documenting youth across the Arab Spring.
- Bel Pesce (Brazil | US) ¬– Entrepreneur + innovator Brazilian entrepreneur and co-founder of Lemon, a tech start-up that helps users collect and store paper and email receipts in one place so they can throw away the paper, keep the important stuff, and see their money in a new way.
- Usman Riaz (Pakistan) – Musician + artist Classical pianist, percussive guitarist and fine artist passionate about the creative process.
- Bahia Shehab (Egypt | Lebanon) – Artist + creative director + Islamic art historian Lebanese-Egyptian artist, designer and Islamic art historian studying ancient Arabic script and visual heritage to solve modern-day design issues.
- Christopher Soghoian (US) – Privacy researcher + activist American privacy researcher and activist who focuses on online privacy, including both consumer issues and government surveillance.
TED, devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, selects 19 young innovators to participate in the TED Fellows program and deliver talks at TEDGlobal, June 25-29, 2012, in Edinburgh, Scotland.