Future 2020 - Anything is possible?
February 1, 2020
On Saturday February 1st, 2020 TEDxWHU will host the sixth annual TEDx Conference at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar, Germany. This year's event theme is going to be "Future 2020 - Anything is possible?" bringing you once again interesting speakers from diverse backgrounds.


Ctrl + Alt + Delete - Rethink
February 2nd, 2019
On Saturday February 2nd, 2019 TEDxWHU will host the fifth annual TEDx Conference at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar, Germany. This year's event theme is going to be "Ctrl + Alt + Delete - Rethink" bringing you once again interesting speakers from diverse backgrounds.
Prof. Dr. Björn Bloching
Why Europe should lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Prof. Dr. Björn Bloching is a Senior Partner with Roland Berger and heads the Global Competence Center Digital as well as "Spielfeld", the Roland Berger Digital Hub in Berlin. Roland Berger Digital supports clients with regard to digitalization and digital transformation throughout the whole supply chain. Björn Bloching is author of the books "In Data We Trust" and "Smart Data" as well as of several publications and studies. Apart from digital, he conducted many projects dealing with marketing and sales, sports, the arts and culture. His expertise includes a wide range of topics, from city- and regional marketing issues, tourism, fundraising and sponsoring to marketing and branding-issues for various industries. Björn Bloching holds degrees in industrial engineering and management and economics. Before joining Roland Berger in 1996, he obtained his Ph.D in macroeconomics.

Olga Miler
How your Money can change the World while you sleep

Olga is a marketing and innovation expert, and a specialist in gender-lens investing, and women and finance. She is co-founded and developed UBS’ Wealth Management segment strategy for women. This ground-breaking program has pledged to better serve female clients; increase 1 million women’s financial confidence; and help the UN reach its Sustainable Development Goal number 5  to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Under Olga’s leadership, the program reached 27 million people worldwide in its first year and generated a gender-smart financial product with over 100m CHF in AuM in only 8 months. Olga regularly speaks about gender equality, financial confidence, innovation and female empowerment; she has been featured in BBC News, CNBC, the Financial Times, The Times, Bloomberg and The Guardian. Olga’s awards and achievements include a place on the International Finance Center Power Women Top 200 list; being nominated for Gender Diversity Role Model of the Year (Magic Circle Awards ‘18); Disruptor of the Year 2018 (Women in Finance Awards ‘18), recognized as International Game Changer (ACQ ‘18) and nominated as Inspirational Women of the Year (upcoming Power Women Awards). She also received the UBS Entrepreneur of the
Year 2015 Award and Innovator of the Year 2016 Award.

Mark A. Young
The Urge to Play is Greater Than the Urge to Fight

Mark Young is an independent consultant, trainer, writer and lecturer in the field of mediation and negotiation skills training and analysis.
His company, Rational Games, Inc (www.rationalgames.com) serves a variety of clients in the public and private sectors in the US, UK and Germany. Mark’s business career has afforded him ample opportunities to do so, as he has served as a corporate lending officer at Chase Manhattan Bank, a strategic consultant at McKinsey & Company, a partner at Price Waterhouse Corporate Finance and a trade negotiator in the US Department of Commerce.
Mark is also a social entrepreneur. His firm is registered as a nonprofit in the US and Germany and makes small grants to organizations with innovative ideas for using games and play to resolve conflict.

Sebastian Klussmann
How to Become a Know-it-all - and Why Bothering

Sebastian Klussmann has turned his passion into a profession and stars as a walking encyclopedia in one of Germany's most popular game shows "Gefragt-Gejagt". The European quizzing champion works as a speaker and coach on topics such as education and memory formation, being convinced that in an age of Google acquiring general knowledge still has enormous value.

Claudia Kessler
Astronautin - More women to space for the future of Earth

Claudia Kessler one of the few female leaders in the space business. Qualified as an aerospace engineer with an MBA, Claudia Kessler has worked for more than 30 years in the international space environment. During her purposeful career, she built up an international network to global players in the space industry worldwide. In 2016 Claudia Kessler started the Astronautin initiative to select, train and fly a German female astronaut to ISS. All of the eleven astronauts sent by Germany on missions into space up to now were men. No German woman has ever been sent into space. The objective is to create a role model for women and girls and inspire them to pursue careers in technology areas and in the space industry. Scientific data on the physiological and psychological responses of a woman in space will be collected. Experiments for education and outreach will be performed. In 2009, Claudia Kessler has been co-founder of Women in Aerospace Europe(WIA-E). She continues to support female executives in their career development. Furthermore, she is member of the senate of the German Aerospace Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Luft- und Raumfahrt - DGLR), member of the International Aeronautical Academy (IAA) and member of the plenum of the Bremen Chamber of Commerce. From 2008 to 2018 she has been CEO of the HE Space group of companies. HE Space is an engineering services company with an exclusive focus on the space sector. Claudia Kessler lives in Bremen, is married and mother of a 21-year-old daughter.

Walter Thurmond III
Innovation and Work Ethic. How we need to reinvent ourselves to create lasting changes.

Former American football safety, founding member of the Seattle Seahawk's "Legion of Boom" and winner of Super Bowl XLVIII - Walter Thurmond III is our newest addition to this year’s list of speakers at TEDxWHU 2019. Having played for the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, as well as the Seattle Seahawks, he decided to head into a new direction by co-founding "Fanstereo", an entertainment lifestyle brand, and focusing on international philanthropic projects. 

Daniel Hellwig
Real-world Applicability and Potential of Blockchain Technology

Daniel is leading the Digital and Analytics practices at Kepler Cannon, a boutique management consulting firm based in New York City. Apart from this, Daniel has lead various projects within the realm of financial services, primarily focusing on asset and wealth management, as well as client centricity. Prior to joining the firm in 2014, Daniel held multiple positions focused on technology transformations. Daniel studied Finance and Mathematics at the Wharton School, and holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from UC Berkeley. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Production Management at WHU, focusing on the applicability of blockchain technology to supply chain operations.


Perspectives Shape Perceptions
February 4th, 2017
On Saturday February 4th, 2017 TEDxWHU will host the third annual TEDx Conference at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar, Germany. This year's event theme is going to be "Perspectives Shape Perceptions" bringing you once again interesting speakers from diverse backgrounds.
Pamela Reif
The Power of Authenticity

Looking back at Pamela’s career, it all began four years ago when she started posting photos of herself on social media platforms without having a particular goal or strategy in mind. Pamela simply shared her hobbies and interests, being mainly fitness, beauty, and fashion, with her followers and quickly grew her international following reaching more than 3.3 million people today. Although she loves to post on Instagram and engages with her followers on a personal level she wants to be more than just an „Instagram girl“. Pamela is a 20-year old social media influencer but also a dedicated entrepreneur, who successfully launched her app, her personal fitness program, and a shoe collection. Next month her first book will follow. Above all, Pamela is an inspiration for young women who achieves her goals being passionate and hard-working.

Chris Kastenholz
The Power of Authenticity

Christoph Kastenholz is Founding Partner of Pulse Advertising, the globally leading Influencer Marketing agency with offices in Hamburg, Germany and New York, USA. Growing rapidly from inception in 2014 to a team of 50, Pulse Advertising has become market leader in its industry. After studying at top universities in Germany, France and Spain, Chris worked in M&A Investment Banking at GP Bullhound in London. His experiences working with businesses sparked his interest in entrepreneurship, and Chris left London to start a fashion label in Germany with his partner Lara. While promoting his fashion label, Chris found many shortcomings in the traditional advertising methods. He realized the highest ROI in advertising was through the widely untapped influencer marketing field, and decided to pursue this opportunity. This led to the establishment of Pulse Advertising, and in just over two years Chris and Lara have grown Pulse into the global player it is today. Chris and his team have designed campaigns and recruited influencers to work with clients including Google, UBER, LVMH, P&G, Unilever, L’Oréal, Ferrero and PUMA. Chris got selected among Forbes' 30 under 30 Europe 2018 in Media / Marketing.

Annie Oelmann (DJ Annie O)
Acknowledge Your Inner Compass

Annie Oelmann started her career as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch in London after her studies at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management. Although this might look like the typical start of a successful business career Annie had a sudden realisation that this was not what she wanted to do in the future. She turned her life 180 degrees around and now follows a career path that is probably unbelievable to many following studies in a business context. After she quit her job as an investment banker she was earning her living through part-time jobs while exploring the music scene of London. Later on she started doing online marketing for startups. After a while she was offered a job in the startup business in Berlin, which marks the point when she moved back to Germany. She still felt uncomfortable with that kind of work and decided to only focus on her DJ career. Today, she is better known as Annie O and you will find her at well-known clubs in Berlin and London where she works as a successful DJ. In her talk “Acknowledging your inner compass” Annie is going to tell her personal story about how she landed a job in the music industry and how her former jobs and experiences shaped her personality and helped Annie to follow her passion.

Andreas Winiarski
Startup or Corporate? We need the Best of Both Worlds!

You always want what you can’t have. Startups want to become corporates and corporates want to become startups. The modern-day equivalent of alchemy, however, is impossible to achieve. Corporates will lose ground if they think co-working offices and coffee lounges will ensure a smooth transition into the digital age. Startups do not automatically assume a superior position simply because they are new. The relentless hire and fire culture, or the prevalent insistence on supercharged growth at the expense of other factors – all combined prepare the grounds for failure rather than success. The solution? We need to assume a position of humbleness and curiosity to learn from one another instead of blindly attempting to produce an almost identical copy. In short, we need the best of both worlds!
Andreas Winiarksi, Managing Partner at Hering Schuppener and former SVP Global Communications at Rocket Internet, advises startups and corporates on all aspects of their reputation in the digital age.

Daniel Drepper
Why we Need to Make Investigative Journalism Ours Again

What exactly is investigative journalism? And what function do you believe investigative journalism serves for society? Daniel Drepper, Co-Founder of CORRECT!V, the first non-profit research office in the German-speaking region, believes that its function is to reveal the truth, to uncover facts many people want to keep hidden, to re-establish fairness and to shine light in dark places. That is exactly what Daniel Drepper is up to. After his studies in the US, where he got to know the advantages of data journalism, Daniel wants to accelerate this way of providing information to the general public in Germany. In his talk Daniel will focus on the role of investigative journalism in today's society.

Andrea Gjestvang
Capturing Stories of Youth

A photograph can capture much more than just a moment. It is a lot about the people and the story behind what can be seen on a first view. Norwegian photographer Andrea is living in Berlin, where she takes on assignments and pursues long term personal documentary projects. With an intimate photographic approach she explores political and social issues often connected to the lives of adolescents. For the project called “One Day in History” with portraits of the young survivors of the 2011 terror attack on Utøya, Norway she was awarded the prestigious L'Iris d'Or/Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year 2013. The project “Return” portrayed young asylum seekers who had been deported back to their home countries after living in Norway for many years. Andrea’s fascination and interest in remote and inaccessible environments in the North, has brought her to Greenland and the Faroe Islands, exploring the intimate lives and persistence of people in vulnerable communities.

John Danaher
Symbols and their Consequences in the Sex Robot Debate

John Danaher (PhD) is an academic based in the School of Law at NUI Galway (Ireland). His research interests are eclectic, ranging from the philosophy of religion to ethics and legal theory. His main area of research is the philosophy of technology and the impacts of emerging technologies on society. He writes a blog called "Philosophical Disquisitions" and is an affiliate scholar for the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. His published work has focused on robotics and the law, the future of work, the threat of advanced AI, sex work and robotics, and the ethics of human enhancement. From 2015 to 2017 he is the lead investigator on the Algocracy and Transhumanism Project, which looks at the future of governance and values in an era of advanced artificial intelligence. The project is funded by the Irish Research Council. He is the co-editor (with Neil McArthur) of the book "Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications" which is due to be published in 2017 with MIT Press.

Lucas Kollmann
Mastermind Groups: A Bond in Business. Formed in Friendship.

After graduating from WHU, Lucas started his career as one of the youngest Investment Professionals in the Private Equity industry in London and was since his high-school times fascinated by the power of networks. He realised that a majority of professional success as it relates to promotions, job opportunities or entrepreneurial success could be traced back to bonds and relationships between people. New opportunities seem to not just be an abstract concept but a window for advancement that opens when you met the right people in the right context. However, one of his realisations was that many of his peers solely focus on forming weak ties with a large number of people while many neglect the power of friendships that they have already formed. This relates to the concept of "Mastermind Groups", which Lucas will particular focus on during his talk. Besides his work, Lucas is a passionate entrepreneur, investor in and advisor to start-ups. Together with two friends he formed a pro-bono coaching platform for students and young professionals that focuses on sharing best-practices as it comes to hard and soft skills.


Future of Society - Digital, Diverse, Dynamic
MARCH 13TH, 2016
On March 13th, 2016, TEDxWHU hosted the annual TEDx conference at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar, Germany for the second time. This year’s event theme was „Future of Society - Digital, Diverse, Dynamic“. It brought together seven speakers from very diverse backgrounds. The event was rounded off by the Aon meet&eat dinner at the universities beautiful vaulted cellar where speakers and participants continued discussing the future of society. Michael Dehm, Director Global at Aon Deutschland, welcomed the audience and opened the delectable buffet.
Prof. Harald Haas
LiFi to Unlock the Third Industrial Revolution

All societal changes such as energy, health, food, education and economic growth are increasingly linked to access to the Internet and digital data – ‘Success’ in the 21th century is more and more connected to access to ‘digital data’. At the same time, there are more than 4 bn people without access to the Internet. This creates three fundamental changes: closing the digital divide, massively expanding our existing wireless Internet infrastructures, and making sense of big data sets.Harald is working on a new technology that can fundamentally change the way we are used to get access to the internet. One of his main researches is called LiFi – the transmission of data via light. Haas currently holds the Chair of Mobile Communication at the University of Edinburgh and is Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of pureLifi Ltd. Being an expert in the field of mobile communication, he already held multiple speeches at TEDGlobal on how data can be transmitted using only light by turning LED lightbulbs into data transmitting devices.

Patric Lanhed
The Upgraded Human

What’s so fantastic about the open source, DIY, and the biohacking scene? It’s the fact that financial considerations take a back seat to the driving forces of pure curiosity and knowledge sharing. Those are the motivating factors for Patric and his team. And it’s also why they garnered a lot of media attention with their Bio Pay solution last autumn. Patric works with technology in the communications arena at DigitasLBi in Sweden, and is a true evangelist when it comes to biohacking and how technology plays a major role in the human upgrade.

Lieutenant General Ben Hodges
Rocks of History - What Legacy Will You Leave Behind?

What rock will you leave behind? Lieutenant General Ben Hodges looks to past risk-takers and innovators to describe the future. As the Commander of United States Army Europe, he leads  Americans, Allies and Partners to ensure US and European security.  A future generation of young leaders work hard in making 30,000 US Soldiers stationed in Europe look and feel‎ like 300,000. As history shows us, empowered junior leaders can be game changers shifting seemingly insurmountable challenges into strategic victories. Lt. Gen. Hodges who also served as a commander of the NATO and was involved in Iraq War and Afghanistan War shares his leadership experience and personal opinion with the TED audience.

Sonja Stuchtey
Need Best Education, Don't Need No Thought Control

Sonja is a passionate learner and a deeply convinced advocate for good education. Having attended an all girls school herself in Cologne, she was able to broaden her education experience thanks to a scholarship for an American preparatory School. She studied Economics and Business Administration at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management, in Aix-en-Provence and Berkeley, met her husband in the University’s theatre group and started as a Strategic Business Consultant in Munich. By now she is a decorated Social Entrepreneur that revolutionized the German early education with the science-lab.org concept within a decade. She is an author of best-selling non-fiction books for children, project developer for old and new buildings and mother of six very charming, life embracing and joyful kids. Presently,   Sonja is doing research as  PhD at the TUM School of Education on the HR perspective in the Bavarian Educational System.

Mirco Grübel
The Leadership Eco System – Learning From Cinema

Being one of the youngest CEOs within a German DAX 30 corporation in his twenties – Building his own business in incubation (before many others started) – Restructuring big companies – Consulting international corporations in Leadership and Execution. Mirco’s CV sounds like one of a retiring top manager, but he is still in his thirties.  Within his career, he more and more realised the value of “True Leadership” and how rarely it is to be found. This generated his idea to open up a leadership academy for individuals.  So are you a leader? Do you actually want to be a leader? Do you think Darth Vader is a worse leader than Yoda? Mirco will “lead” you into his philosophy of leadership and combine it with characters from block busters. He believes, society’s future depends on its leaders and so his mission is to deliver more of them.

Zhengrong Liu
The Trust Factor

Zhengrong Liu, born on August 23rd, 1968 in Shanghai, China, is a member of Executive Board of Beiersdorf AG, Hamburg, Germany, responsible for Human Resources, Communication and Services. He joined Beiersdorf in September 2013. Zhengrong Liu studied in Shanghai in the late 80s and then between 1990 and 1997 at University of Cologne in Germany. He holds a Master Degree in Education, Political Science and Anglo-American Study. After his graduation he worked in Asia for Bayer Group for six years. From 1998 to 2001 he was Head of Human Resources for Bayer in China. He moved afterwards from Beijing to Shanghai and became Deputy General Manager of Bayer (China) Ltd., the management holding company of Bayer in Greater China. Between 2002 and early 2004 he was in addition Regional Vice President Human Resources for Bayer Polymers Asia Pacific. In 2004 he returned to Germany and served as Group Senior Vice President Human Resources at LANXESS AG until 2013. Zhengrong Liu is married and has 4 children.

Tijen Onaran
How to Become a Digital Female Leader

You don’t know much about the success stories of female founders, women in businesses, or female journalists in the digital industry? All these stories are worth talking about – without being reduced to being a woman only. We do not need a feeling of consternation or making excuses in the discussion about the visibility of women in the digital industry but we need to focus more on the individual, not about being a woman or a man. Tijen has dedicated herself to networking and founded “Women in Digital” in order to create a confident network and provide an open platform for women. Tijen’s passion for bringing people together stems from her active work in politics over the past years. Whether it was in the European or German parliament, or in the office of the federal president, she has met inspiring and strong women who had great influence on her commitment to the visibility of women. Tijen will talk about her experiences and why it is important to focus on the individual. Removing obstacles, particularly in our minds, will also be subject of her talk.


New Horizons and Pioneers
TEDxWHU was founded with the mission to bring the TEDx experience to our university and introduce a conference that not only deals with business related topics, but is open to all kind of ideas that affect as and our society. During our first event that took place on September 18th, 2015 we had incredible speakers who were pioneers in their field of work. They shaped our society with their beliefs, methods and products while pushing the limits and extending the boundaries of ways of thinking.
Sara Nuru
A Story About Identity

Sara is a young influential woman with Ethiopian roots who works as a fashion model & TV moderator and is also the ambassador for the charity organization “Menschen für Menschen”. After winning the 2009 edition of the casting show “Germany’s Next Topmodel”, Sara not only started a successful career in the entertainment business, she also got on opportunity to engage with “Menschen fuer Menschen”, an aid group which supports people in Ethiopia through various projects. In her TED talk, she will speak about challenges and pressure young individuals often face once it comes to making determinant future decisions such as study or next job. But what if you wanted to reinvent yourself after you have already started down your chosen path? Is it acceptable to throw everything away and start again?

Mark Turrell
How Networks Can Change the World

Mark Turrell is the founder and CEO of Orcasci, a strategy consulting firm specializing in designing programs that ‘spread’ products, ideas and behaviors as well as developing communities and networks for companies and non-profits. His unique approach draws on complex systems, network science, collective intelligence, behavioral science and neuroscience. Mark is passionate about helping people change the world for better and is keen on finding ways to spread and scale good things faster. With Orcasci he has worked on projects as diverse as the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize to election transparency. Mark was nominated as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum in 2008, and a Young Global Leader in 2010.

Max Finzel
How Quantum Mechanics Can Help Reach Your Goals

In 1993, when he was 5 years old, Max Finzel started his competitive career in gymnastics. Within the following years he turned into a passionate athlete, winning the gold medal of the German championships of juniors on high bar and joined the national team of juniors. In 2006 he reached two gold medals at the European championships of juniors in Greece with the team and on high bar as well as another bronze medal in all-around competition as the best German athlete. In 2007 he finished his competitive career and kept his concentration on his business as a personal trainer and speaker. After having spent half a year in Montreal, Canada, he joined the agency „5 Sterne Redner“ as a keynote speaker and is also working as a youth trainer in a gymnastics club in Grünstadt, Germany. Besides his athletic ambitions he is author and inventor of the „Anker Ring“ and is following his passion as a producer and DJ.

Ori Hadomi
Intuition Meets Analytics

Ori is the CEO of Mazor Robotics Ltd., a company that develops and markets robotic-based surgical guidance systems. Surgical robots are at the forefront of medical development, and Mazor Robotics is the pioneer of bringing such systems to spine and brain surgeries, a field where accuracy is of paramount importance and measured in sub-millimetric units. After over 10,000 surgeries, it is safe to say that Ori and his team at Mazor Robotics play a major role in writing the future of robotics in spine and brain surgeries. With over 2 decades of experience in the medical device industry, with the last 13 years at the helm of Mazor Robotics, Ori talks about the lessons he learned developing and commercializing medical and surgical devices.

Annette Bauer
Why Become a Social Entrepreneur

Annette is the founder and managing partner of Professional Training Solutions GmbH, a company that offers consulting services, concept creation, optimization and implementation support of individual technical training solutions for its customers. Annette founded the company after leading ITS International Training & Support GmbH as the Managing Director for 3 years. After graduating from Technical University of Munich with a degree in Technology and Management, she worked as a consultant for SAP Deutschland GmbH and TCW Management Consulting. From 2010 she founded her own consulting firm and was appointed Managing Director of ITS International Training & Support GmbH in 2012. Since then, she has been supporting a variety of clients in establishing training solutions based on the German Dual-System Training approach, combining theoretical and practical training in various professions.