Finding Fortune

Gurten Pavilion
Wednesday,10 September 2014

Join us on Wednesday, 10 September 2014 for the second TEDxBern. Bringing together creative, innovative and inspiring speakers from the region, TEDxBern is a platform for discussion and new ideas.

Native and adopted Bernese working in academia, economics, art and culture will tell their stories, present their ideas and share their knowledge in the new Gurten Pavilion.

Keep up-to-date on TEDxBern!


A conversation with Helena von Känel

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




Bruno Bieri & Omri Hason

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.


Conny Brügger

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.


Dara Sadun

"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."


Edy Portmann

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 Kauter

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

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.


Irene Hirzel

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.


João Almeida

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 and Foodways Consulting GmbH.


Jürg Wyss & Mike Glauser

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.


Katherine Hermens

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.


King Pepe (Simon Hari)

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

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.


Nicole Loeb

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

Thomas Sterchi co-founded the publishing house Job-Index in 1994 and the online job portal, 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.

More speakers to be announced soon. Stay tuned!

Event Info

When is TEDxBern?

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.

Where will the event be held?

TEDxBern will be hosted by the Gurten Pavilion. More information about the location, including directions, can be found on their website or Facebook page.

How much does it cost to attend?

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.


Why do I have to apply to attend TEDxBern?

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.


Who will speak at TEDxBern?

Whether they were born in the region or found themselves in Berne for personal reasons, all TEDxBern speakers have a unique relationship with the capital city. More information about the 2014 TEDxBern speakers can be found here.



Would you like to join us on Wednesday, 10 September 2014? We are now accepting ticket applications. To ensure that we have as diverse an audience as speakers, all applications will be reviewed carefully.
We look forward to applications from students, artists and entrepreneurs from organizations
both large and small.

Tickets cost CHF 50.- and are payable upon your application acceptance.
Please note that tickets are nonrefundable.



Alex Phillips

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 Widmer

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
Ring Keeper

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.


Fabian Wassmer

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.


Markus Mauer
Social Media

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 Stürmer

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 Matthias does it with a smile, all the while ensuring that he has his evenings and weekends fully dedicated to his young family.


Sebastien Hug

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.


Willi Schweizer
Event Logistics

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.

Team Coach


Christina Taylor

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.


TEDxBern would not be possible without the support of our sponsors.

Thanks to the companies listed below, we are able to organize an event which celebrates "Ideas Worth Spreading" in the Region of Berne.  

Is your organization interested in supporting TEDxBern in the future? Contact today.

Presenting Partner

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Migros Culture Percentage

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.

Location Partner

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Gurten Park

Welcome to 864 Meters above sea level - with a view, close to the city and surrounded by nature. Berne’s home mountain has become a dream: the “Güsche” is also a mountain for playing, eating, events, music, theater, sports and skiing.


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As an innovative partner for consulting, design and development, we accompany you from developing your vision to the finished software product. Our teams consist of experts in the various areas, who benefit from positive working conditions, which includes training budgets and paternity leave.

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Hostpoint serves as the largest Swiss web hosting provider with more than 180,000 websites and 210,000 internet addresses. We offer our customers not only a professional and affordable web hosting, but are also available seven days a week with advice and practical help. And also on-site in Rapperswil-Jona.

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As Switzerland’s leading telecom provider, we are a trustworthy companion in the digital world. Our aim is to inspire our customers with the best network, superb offers and outstanding service.

Location Partner

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Bern Economic Development Agency

The main focus of our activities is supporting companies in Bern and developing the Canton of Bern as a business location. Sound and viable companies are the backbone of every economy – and in the Canton of Bern small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are particularly strongly represented. The Canton’s point of contact for businesses offers a wide range of services oriented towards their needs and supports them with advice and financial services. 


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Puzzle ITC was launched in 1999 as a small but excellent software and technology company and has since grown to included 60 employees at its offices in Berne and Zurich. High-quality software development and Linux Systems Engineering form our core competencies. With "We Are Cube," Puzzle one has a private User Experience Studio.

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Communications agency, web agency, IT system integrator, printing and publishing specialist service provider - all of this is Stämpfli AG, which was founded in 1799 in Berne and Zurich. Whether through the entire process or at selected steps: Stämpfli specialists guide customers through the planning and preparation of printed and electronic publications.

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cmsbox: Systematic Content Management

The cmsbox is an award-winning, modular and very user-friendly Content Management System. Behind a high quality product you can find a versatile team. Today, in its Länggasse office in Berne, 15 employees are dedicated to cmsbox's further development, production and distribution.

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Iterativ develops software projects ideas and sees them through their final implementation. We seamlessly connect development and design and offer market support to ensure that projects are successful.