On may 29th, 2015, the first TEDxParamariboWomen event was held, featuring the first TEDxParamaribo Design Challenge.

With the question “How does positive change begin?”, we presented innovative thinkers who took action to realize their ideas. The event is therefore themed Momentum.


Cynthia McLeod


McLeod is a Surinamese novelist who studied the life of Elisabeth Samson (1715-1771), a women who was a free Negress whose name occurs prominently in historical works on Suriname because she wanted to marry a white man (which was forbidden in the colony Suriname during the first half of the 18th century). The results of this research were first published as a study by the Faculty of Cultural Anthropology of the University of Utrecht. For eight years subsequently McLeod studied the social structure and life of that period, which allowed her to position Elisabeth as a rich free black person in this society dominated by prejudices and white supremacy. She then wrote the highly captivating novel: “The Free Negress Elisabeth”.

Karin Refos


Karin is a Managing Director of STAS International, Strategic Communication and Branding. Her company services the Government, governmental- and non governmental organizations, as well as the top 100 companies from the business society in Suriname. After establishing the gender bureau’s as the regional Coordinator for Gender policies for the “Dutch Speaking Caribbean” in Aruba as well as in Suriname from 1996, Karin functioned as the Program-Manager for Suriname to coordinate and implement several gender-and child rights projects. From her foundation STAS Caribe, Karin involves her skills as a sr.communication/branding specialist and successfully established the National Public Music School, The Pink Ribbon Suriname Foundation and the “OOK ZIJ-More Women Leadership in 2015” Campaign. Karin B. Refos is a Bachelor in Education, a PR specialist and lobbyist.

Bharti Ghirjasingh


Bharti was runner up for Miss India Holland. She has a passion to inspire women to share their story’s and to fullfill their dreams.

Ruth Sinkeler


Author, Expert in Sexy Leadership, Change & Happiness. Ruth gives lectures, training about Sexy leadership and how it leads to changes so you can live the life that makes you truly happy. She also reshapes our vieuw on sexyness. “My TEDxParamariboWomen Talk is called: “How Sexy Leadership empowers women and changes the world.”

Henry Mac Donald


Ambassador Mac Donald is a senior legal advisor on human rights topics and a principal speech writer for Suriname on development, legal and diplomatic matters. He has represented his country as its Principal Expert before a number of Human Rights bodies at the United Nations (e.g. the Universal Periodic Review (2011); the UN Committee Regarding the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (2009); the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (2007); the UN Committee against the Discrimination of Women (2002), The Inter American Commission on Human Rights (2003) and the Inter American Court of Justice in 2004. Henry is initiator and founder of the barbershop conference.

Arianne De Bye


Ir. Arianne de Bye studied Zoötechnics at the Agricultural University Wageningen, the Netherlands. She Mastered in Tropical and Western Animal Husbandry, with a thesis in pig reproduction (the best moment for Artificial Insemination in pigs). Now she is the Managing Director of the largest Pig Farm in Suriname.

Gloria Lie Kwie Sjoe, moderator TEDxParamariboWomen 2015



Secretary of the media board of children’s rights. Founder and Managing Director of Stichting Weid Mijn Lammeren, a bible based non-profit organization in Suriname for children, youth leaders, and parenting.