TEDxZurich 2017: Opening Doors

«when you knock on a door, somebody will open»

Every year the non-profit and volunteer based organization TEDxZurich offers a major platform in Zurich to bring people together and share ideas worth spreading. As part of the TEDxZurich core team I hosted the event for the third time now. A premiere was that I had a co-host this year: Sandro Meyer. We can't keep things the same every year and this was definitely a nice change. But most important were the speakers, who shared their stories and inspired the audience with their ideas. The first speaker was Rima Alaifari. At the age of just 30, she is the youngest math professor at ETH:

 Rima Alaifari (30) is the youngest math professor at ETH Zurich. She talked about how people label people.

Rima Alaifari (30) is the youngest math professor at ETH Zurich. She talked about how people label people.

Christian Hirsig was up next and shared his project Powercoders: A coding academy for refugees. 

 Christian Hirsig, founder of  Powercoders , empowers refugees by offering them a coding course and help in finding an internship in Switzerland after that. «When you knock on a door, somebody will open», he says.

Christian Hirsig, founder of Powercoders, empowers refugees by offering them a coding course and help in finding an internship in Switzerland after that. «When you knock on a door, somebody will open», he says.

 Christian Hirsigs project  Powercoders  has now been recognized by the Swiss federal council. 

Christian Hirsigs project Powercoders has now been recognized by the Swiss federal council. 

 Michael (left) came to Switzerland as a refugee from Eritrea. He is one of the participants of Powercoders and is now working at Die Mobiliar-insurance. Sandro Meyer (right) asked him a few questions after Christian Hirsigs talk.

Michael (left) came to Switzerland as a refugee from Eritrea. He is one of the participants of Powercoders and is now working at Die Mobiliar-insurance. Sandro Meyer (right) asked him a few questions after Christian Hirsigs talk.

 Another speaker,  Liska Bernet , went to Lesbos and helped arriving refugees. The refugee rights activist told us, how young people organized themselves on the ground by using social media and their network to set up tents and places where refugees could - for example - cook their own food. 

Another speaker, Liska Bernet, went to Lesbos and helped arriving refugees. The refugee rights activist told us, how young people organized themselves on the ground by using social media and their network to set up tents and places where refugees could - for example - cook their own food. 

 Sandro and me opening Session two after the lunch-break. 

Sandro and me opening Session two after the lunch-break. 

 It was the first time co-host Sandro Meyer acted as a presenter, he did a great job!

It was the first time co-host Sandro Meyer acted as a presenter, he did a great job!

 With his work at the Disney Research centre Pascal Bérard has contributed to movies such as the Star-Wars-film Rogue One. 

With his work at the Disney Research centre Pascal Bérard has contributed to movies such as the Star-Wars-film Rogue One. 

 Nadja Schnetzler is all about ideas: From coming up with a special train pass for young people after 7pm to a digital magazine called  Republik  (which created a lot of buzz). Did you know that she is the mom of the Swiss rapper Nemo? 

Nadja Schnetzler is all about ideas: From coming up with a special train pass for young people after 7pm to a digital magazine called Republik (which created a lot of buzz). Did you know that she is the mom of the Swiss rapper Nemo? 

The audience at TEDxZurich is open-minded, critical and fun (as you can see from the pictures... okay, they were just getting entertained by Swiss comedian Fabian Unteregger and by our last speaker Diccon Bewes).

 Bestselling author  Diccon Bewes  was the last speaker and told us a Swiss story in six maps. Here he is answering my questions after his talk. Photo: Boris Baldinger

Bestselling author Diccon Bewes was the last speaker and told us a Swiss story in six maps. Here he is answering my questions after his talk. Photo: Boris Baldinger

 Yes, Sandro Meyer and me are wrapping up the event. Both of us are neatly wrapped in  PKZ .

Yes, Sandro Meyer and me are wrapping up the event. Both of us are neatly wrapped in PKZ.

 Fareena Chaudhry and Nina Schneider are the heads of committee of TEDxZurich. It was the first time TEDxZurich had co-leads and co-hosts. 

Fareena Chaudhry and Nina Schneider are the heads of committee of TEDxZurich. It was the first time TEDxZurich had co-leads and co-hosts. 

 Thank you to all the great speakers and amazing TEDxZurich volunteers and team members who put this together in their free time! Photo: Boris Baldinger

Thank you to all the great speakers and amazing TEDxZurich volunteers and team members who put this together in their free time! Photo: Boris Baldinger

I can't mention all the speakers, but soon all the talks will be available online for free. 

 After the event and before the apéro.

After the event and before the apéro.

Those and more pictures of the event can be found here: https://eveni.to/tedxzurich17/gallery

All pictures were taken by Boris Baldinger, Manuel LopezChris Züger and Piotr Piwowarski.