While most people their age were worrying about exams, acne and relationships, the speakers at TEDxTeen spent their younger years attempting to deal with the world’s biggest problems.

The eighth annual TEDxTeen event will see 17 speakers take to the stage to deliver a range of talks on beliefs, creativity and disruption, as they look to create discussions, force change and inspire greatness among the young population.

These are the speakers that will share their knowledge and experiences at TEDxTeen 2017:

Ahmed Badr

Areas of interest – The refugee experience, youth empowerment

Known for – Badr founded Narratio, a platform that aims to empower young people through creativity. Aged 18, Badr has already founded two companies and worked alongside some of the biggest media, government and charitable organisations to make the world a better place.

Amy León

Areas of interest – Music, social inequality, identity

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Known for – León is best known for her musical talents. She has already released two poetry collections, the water under the bridge and Mouth Full of Concrete, as well as a debut album Something Melancholy. Her current projects include a stage play and children’s book.

Ash Bhat

Areas of interest – Technology, social impact

Known for – Bhat has been building mobile applications to improve people’s lives since the age of 16. He sold his first company, iSchoolerz, which builds apps for high school students, back in 2015. He has since started three more. His current project, RoBhat Labs, is building tools to solve social media issues such as fake news and political propaganda.

Ben Ferencz

Areas of interest – World peace

Known for – Defying the teen tag, Ferencz is a 97-year-old retired lawyer who investigated Nazi war crimes following World War II. His most notable case, the “Einsatzgruppen Case”, saw 22 defendants charged with murdering more than 1m people. Shaped by his career, he has since devoted his life to encouraging world peace.

Diana Chao

Areas of interest – Photography, philanthropy

Known for – Chao pursued a career in photography, despite uveitis regularly ruling her temporarily blind. She has overcome her condition to produce work for major companies such as Vogue and Adobe. Aged 19, Chao has already received a publishing deal, headed a marketing department at a major online publication and founded the Letters to Strangers mental health organisation.

Eva Lewis

Areas of interest – Art, activism

Known for – Lewis is the founder of The I Project, which combines art and activism to advocate for intersectionality. She also helped to start the Youth for Black Lives, which aims to give young, black people in Chicago a voice against police brutality.

Finn Harries

Areas of interest – Social issues, environmental issues, design

Known for – Harries is best known for the JacksGap YouTube channel that he founded with his twin brother in 2011. The pair has amassed more than 4m subscribers on the platform and their videos have been watched more than 200m times. Harries is currently on the board of non-profit The School Fund, which provides school scholarships to young people in developing countries.

Nina Moran

Areas of interest – Gender stigmas, skateboarding, activism

Known for – Moran is the co-founder of The Skate Kitchen, an all-female skate crew that are changing the gender stigma around skateboarding. Inspiring girls to get involved, The Skate Kitchen has amassed a big following and has been invited to work with stars and brands such as Pharrell Williams and Nike.

Phillip Chbeeb

Areas of interest – Directing, entertainment

Known for – Chbeeb has worked with the music industry’s biggest millennial artists. He starred in Ed Sheeran’s “Don’t” music video and has also worked with the likes of Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber.

Phillip Picardi

Areas of interest – Media, LGBTQ

Known for – Picardi is the current editor of THEM, Condé Nast’s queer publication. His biggest success came at Teen Vogue, when he took the publication’s digital readership from 2m monthly unique users to 12m with the launch of gender equality and social justice sections.

Pips Taylor

Areas of interest – Entertainment

Known for – Taylor is an experienced TV and radio presenter, having worked on shows such as The X Factor. She counts the likes of Spotify, Rimmel, Talk Talk, Magic Radio and BBC Three among her previous employers.

Shantell Martin

Areas of interest – Art, identity

Known for – Martin is known for her various art projects that bridge across multiple mediums, from fine art, to performance, to everyday experiences, as she searches to discover her own identity. Martin has previously held exhibitions at various museums and galleries across the United States.

Simon Cohen

Areas of interest – Social change, global media

Known for – Cohen founded international communications agency Global Tolerance, which promoted tolerance, non-violence, understanding and acceptance in society. He worked with the likes of the Dalai Lama, Prince Charles, the UN and TED, before giving away his company to focus on his family. Cohen now travels the world, speaking on leadership, communications and business.

Steve Lacy

Areas of interest – Music, creativity

Known for – Aged 18, Lacy has already travelled around the world, produced a Grammy-nominated LP and recorded his own solo album using only his iPhone. Lacy, a member of R&B group The Internet has worked alongside huge artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Mark Ronson, Tyler The Creator and J. Cole as he approaches stardom.

Sydney Floryanzia

Areas of interest – Science, diversity

Known for – Floryanzia is championing diversity in the scientific, technology, engineering and math communities. It is her mission to show that problems are best solved by teams filled with people from different backgrounds, with different upbringings and cultures. Floryanzia previously featured on a Super Bowl commercial encouraging girls to ignore gender stigmas.

Tanner Peterson

Areas of interest – Music

Known for – You may know Peterson by her stage name, Tanners. The Brooklyn-based artist has been releasing psychedelic pop under that alias since 2015. When she’s not in the studio, she is teaching young girls about music to encourage more women to take up music production.

Yara Shahidi

Areas of interest – Acting, societal issues

Known for – TV buffs will best known Shahidi as Zoey Johnson from the Emmy nominated comedy show black-ish. The actress has used her new-found success to do good, forming Yara’s Club, a bi-monthly meet-up for high school students to discuss their issues and encourage self-improvement.

The 2017 TEDxTeen event will be taking place on 11 November in New York City, starting at 3pm London time.