14.07.2014, by Christian Hirsig
Helena von Känel is a founding member of Rock Your Life, CEO of the Foundation PrimeSteps and one of our speakers at TEDxBern 2014.
We recently sat down with her to ask a few questions about fortune and luck.
Christian: Helena, you grew up close to Berne and continue to live here. What do you like about it?
Helena: I love Berne. I travel quite often, but I am always happy to come home. I especially appreciate the Old Town, where I live and work, and of course the Aare… either to swim or to go for a boat ride.
C. The topic of TEDxBern 2014 is “Finding Fortune”. How many times has fortune found you? Or rather, have you been looking for it?
H. You need to work hard in order to open the door when fortune is knocking. But fortune, or luck, has to do a lot with being open. Often, one contact leads to another, and amazing opportunities can arise. If I hadn’t been as open-minded, luck wouldn’t have found me. As Kuno Launer said: “Irgendöpper steit uf irgendöppis druf irgendwo geit e Türe uf” (someone loves something, then somewhere a door opens)
C. Kuno Launer sings also “Du chasch no so töiff ir Sosse schtah.“ Where there times when you didn’t know how to continue? What did you do?
H. As RYL! is not even a year old, we fortunately haven't had yet very challenging times. Though sometimes, when our team had to take important decisions, we
didn't know in what direction we should be going. The key to success was to be open to other's peoles views, remain patient and to focus on solutions, not problems.
C. Last question: Kuno also sings “irgendwo geit e Türe uf” (somewhere a door opens). What is the next door that is going to open for you?
H. Together with my co-founders of RYL!, we work very hard and with a lot of passion to extend the program to other parts of Switzerland. I hope to open the door even more so that we’ll count ten more locations and 400 coaching teams by 2016.
Find more information on Helena von Känel and Rock your Life on their website https://rockyourlife.org
The joyful call of the Alps meets harmony; the alphorn becomes a singer. Bruno Bieri’s ‘Songs Without Words’ was the launching point for his vocal and percussion collaboration with Omri Hason. The virtuosity of the rhythm lets the vocals dance with a power that echos Mani Matter. A musical interlude fit for TEDxBern.
A love of language and entertaining others drives Conny Brügger. The media researcher and teacher works for SRF, where she produces “Zambo,” a children's program, and also acts as an online editor and radio presenter. Additionally, she hosts various cultural events, such as poetry slams and "Lesesessel" in ONO.
"Even if I miss my family - home where I feel safe." Dara Sadun arrived in Switzerland in 2003 as a political refugee from Syria, where he had been persecuted and imprisoned. In the past eleven years, he has settled in Berne and started his own hair salon. His motto? "Never give up. There will always be a door that opens."
How can information systems better understand and interact with us? By using natural language? These are questions Edy asks and researches in his role as an assistant professor of Information Science at the University of Berne. He is also a Heidelberg Laureate Forum elect, Marquis Who’s Who nominee and Springer Series editor.
Fabian Krauter has many talents. The 28-year old top fencer has won the European Championships four times and is also co-founder of I Believe In You, a crowdfunding website for sports projects. He has released several albums with the Bernese music group 6er Gascho and additionally performs solo under the artist name ”Yuri.”
Helena von Känel acts as head of the Jansen PrimeSteps Foundation, which supports projects inline with "self for self-help." She is also co-founder of Rock your Life! Switzerland, a mentoring program for disadvantaged young people. The social entrepreneur studied Business Administration at the University of Berne.
After many years as a social worker in the Basel red light district, Irene is now project leader at COM, fighting against human trafficking of women and children, particularly in Eastern Europe and Nepal. She is also a member of the Swiss–Romanian group against human trafficking, led by the Federal Department of Justice and Police.
After completing his MSc in Sustainable Development in Basel, João launched three sister organizations in Berne which focus on issues surrounding food waste, packaging and sustainability. At present he runs Refiller, a network dedicated to reusable packaging, the online platform foodwaste.ch and Foodways Consulting GmbH.
In 2006, Jürg Wyss and Mike Glauser began producing and distributing classic delicatessen. The farmer and cheese maker work with local Piedmonteser cattle and cheese made by Glauser’s extended family. Their international star product is the Belper Knolle. In 2012, the Jumi team was honored at the Swiss Economic Award.
Expect resistance if you are trying to change the status quo. Katherine knows this only too well. Katherine runs Global Changemakers, an organization that empowers young people to bring about real change in their communities. With 1,000 young social activists in 128 countries, the program benefits the lives of over 4 million people.
In six years, King Pepe (Simon Hari) has set the trend for music in dialect. He has created his own genre, Pepejazz, collaborated with bands such as Lex Rex, and enjoyed success on the commercial charts. At TEDxBern, he will perform solo, bringing his childhood cassette player for an amusing but powerful performance.
Marcel Oetiker comes from the Swiss folk tradition. He has performed weekly since childhood and was classically trained. He plays a variety of genres; with "e-folk music," he is present in the popular scene, he works as a jazz academic and is a contemporary composer. His primary instrument has always remained the Schwyzerörgeli.
What is it like to be the sixth generation running the family business? Or to have your name associated with the most famous meeting point in the city? As standing director of Loeb, one of Switzerland’s most renowned department stores, Nicole Loeb is well versed in the topics of management, family and maintaining tradition.
Thomas Sterchi co-founded the publishing house Job-Index in 1994 and the online job portal, jobs.ch. He later launched Tom Talent Holding AG, which now has offices in both Switzerland and Germany. The company works on projects in media, entertainment and gastronomy, including Zermatt Unplugged.
TEDxBern is on Wednesday, 10 September 2014.
The doors open at 13:00. The event starts at 14:00 and closes at 20:30. Be sure to plan enough time to travel to and from the Gurten Pavilion.
Tickets for TEDxBern cost CHF 50.- The ticket fee is payable upon your application acceptance. Please note that all interested attendees must fill out an event application form. Tickets are nonrefundable and non-transferable.
Unfortunately, we have a limited number of places and cannot guarantee tickets for everyone interested. We aim to have as diverse an audience as we do speakers, so we have compiled a short application form. Please note that TEDxBern does not bias or discriminate based upon applicants' company, institution or position.
Those who are unable to attend the event can join us via livestream.
Born in Seattle, USA, Alex came to Switzerland as a high school exchange student. After working for various international education organizations, Alex has returned to academia to research experiential and sustainable education. When not working, she can be found running around the Oberland.
Bastian might prefer to stay backstage, but without him, all of the technical elements that make TEDx events what they are would fall to the wayside. Bastian is the Development and Operations Engineer at Amazee Labs in Zurich, a paraglider and secret fan of all things Icelandic.
Christian Hirsig co-founded Atizo AG in 2008 and has acted as CEO since then. He also recently became partner at Atizo 360°. Setting the example for twenty-first century business leadership, he believes in the power of short and sweet meetings and turning off his smart phone when on vacation.
As a project manager at Swiss Economic Forum and other events focusing on innovation, entrepreneurship and banking, Fabian's trademark is his commitment to the next event. Despite growing up in the Oberland, he is still in awe of the Alps every time he sees them.
As Social Media Consultant at Migros and lecturer on Social Media Management at the University of Applied Science in Business Administration Zurich, Markus is at the core of the discussion about social media strategy in Swiss markets. As far as Markus is concerned, there is no better place to live than Berne.
Matthias is the Head of the Research Center for Digital Sustainability at the University of Berne, a member of the city of Berne parliament (EVP), as well as a board member for /ch/open and Opendata.ch. Matthias does it with a smile, all the while ensuring that he has his evenings and weekends fully dedicated to his young family.
After seven years connecting the dots in education, research and innovation between North America and Switzerland, Sebastien now coordinates the swissnex network from its headquarters. Having recently returned to Switzerland, he enjoys discovering the city with his young family, whether on playgrounds or in jazz cellars.
In retrospect, it is clear that Willi’s diverse background would lead him to the TEDxBern Team. As Director of Destination Marketing and Events at the Gurten Park, Willi’s career has ranged from product management for Swisscom to running his own business in Peru. Willi studied marketing at the University of Applied Sciences in Chur.
Christina is a change agent who believes in and fights for human centered design. She is an explorer and world traveller who has lived and worked in London, Kuala Lumpur and San Francisco. She is Head of Best Experience, a human centered design team within Swisscom and founder of the BrainGym, the Swisscom innovation lab.
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The Migros Culture Percentage is committed to culture, society, education, leisure, sports and business. Each year, Migros Aare voluntarily invested over 15 Million Swiss francs in projects and activities which enable a diverse population to have access to cultural, sporting or social offerings.
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