Thank you for a great TEDxKreuzberg



Last night TEDxKreuzberg was on, and I think it’s fair to say that it was quite a success. Sadly, my co-host Christoph was stuck in Zurich after his flight got cancelled. (Hans kindly stepped in as a moderator.)

Our four speakers, Darryl Feldman, Dmitry Paranyushkin, Ricard Gras and Michelle Thorne delivered fantastic presentations. And judging by the conversations and mingling going on during the break and after the event, the audience enjoyed themselves, too.

We’ll be putting up some photos and (hopefully) videos of the talks soon, too. Until then, feel free to talk to the speakers about their ideas – they’re all happy to share and discuss!

Thanks to the lovely Betahaus crew, who handled the on-the-grounds work despite some major last-minute changes, to my co-organizers Christoph Fahle, Igor Schwarzmann, Johannes and Hans Raffauf.

Photos by Igor Schwarzmann (CC by sa)

Save the date: TEDxKreuzberg, 9 Dec 2010



It’s official! There is going to be a second installment of TEDxKreuzberg. On 9 Dec (Thursday), 7-10pm, we will have a spectacular line-up of inspiring speakers at Betahaus Berlin.

Last year we had a fantastic time. I was really happy to hear that Christoph Fahle wanted to go into round two as well. So this time it’ll be a co-production of Betahaus and Third Wave Berlin.

For all the details please read the official announcement and follow the blog for updates as they come in.

Thanks & Happy Holidays: 2009 Wrap-Up


Happy Holidays!

It’s almost the end of the year, and that means it’s the time to take a minute to think back to what happened during the year, and remember the good stuff, so to speak.

As is always the nature with this kind of posts, it’s more interesting for the author than the readers, so like I said in last year’s post:

The longer version below will be more interesting for me than you, probably. If you skip this post I won’t be disappointed. I promise ;)

So, here’s my 2009. A year which I’m sure will always remember fondly. For me it was a year full of political campaigning, coworking and events galore.

Work-related, I had the chance to work with many new and old clients and partners, and it’s been great. Thank you all – I really feel privileged to be able to have the kind of live I have and get paid for doing stuff I love to do, and I’ve been having an awesome time working with you guys. Thanks, thanks and thanks!

One project I found particularly interesting, and I spent a good deal of time and energy on it: Together with Thomas Praus & Panorama3000 I helped Jusos (the youth organization of the Social Democratic Party, in short SPD) run their federal election campaign. It was, as far as I know, the first time that the Jusos ran their own campaign independently from the party. Even though the election results were disappointing in the end, we experienced a great community of politically engaged young adults and we all learned a tremendous deal.

What else? According to Dopplr, I went on 25 trips in six countries. One of them was to New York, where I spent the whole month of May, working from the great Brooklyn-based coworking space The Change You Want To See. (My friend Matthias, who designed the waving cat xmas motif above, also spent some time there.) The community at The Change inspired me so much that upon return to Berlin it didn’t take much convincing to be one of the first members of a new coworking space in the making in Berlin-Neukölln: When we were introduced to the location, it was a matter of weeks until Studio70 opened up.

At Studio70, a great crowd ranging from fashion designer to tinkerer to journalist and many more gathered, and it wasn’t long until it became clear that an event needed to be held to celebrate this mix. Atoms&Bits Festival was born, and within just a few months we pulled together the whole thing that in the end had reached out to some 30 locations in several cities. It was a lot of work, but also very rewarding to see all these different scenes and subcultures mix and mingle. Atoms&Bits culminated in a weekend of events the same day as the federal elections in Germany, so the weekend of the 26/27 September 2009 was kind of a big day for me. If I had a paper calendar, this weekend would have been circled in a thick, red circle. (But I don’t, and Google Calendar doesn’t do this kind of stuff, so it became just another weekend ;)

Right after Atoms&Bits and the elections, it was time for a little break, so off to a vacation I went. Luckily, a good friend and former housemate from my university time in Sydney happened to get married just then and I had the honor to be one of the brothers/best men, and even more luckily he lives in Singapore, so the destination of the trip was easily decided. After a blast of a time there and seeing many faces I hadn’t seen in years, I came back to Berlin, just in time to receive a notice from the TED crew, informing me that our request to run a TEDx event was approved. So we putTEDxKreuzberg on the map, to be held at, and more importantly with, Betahaus. Again, great fun, and we’re still processing all the things we heard and saw there. (And the videos, too.) And just like last year, we had a monthly Likemind kaffee klatsch at good ol’ St Oberholz. Thomas and I have been having a great time with this and we’ve both met so many cool folks, we’ll definitively going on doing this, so make sure to drop by (3rd Friday of the month, 9am).

To finish the year off, the most recent turn of events led me to Strasbourg, France, where I’ve been spending the last couple weeks (and until some point in January 2010) at Arte, a German-French public TV station, doing some behind-the-scenes concept work.

So that was my 2009. Definitively not bad. And since 2010 always has been the start of the future, we’re bound to see another cool year in just about a week. Hope to see you there.

Image: The lovely xmas motif was done for me by Matthias Pflügner. (Thanks!)

TEDxKreuzberg wrap-up



Last Thursday we held TEDxKreuzberg over at Betahaus. Now after a couple of days of recovery and some more travel (I’m writing this while in Karlsruhe, where I’ll be based for the next few weeks), it’s time to share some impressions.

Short-short version: I loved it! The crowd was great as were the vibes, and I had a number of really interesting discussions. Plus, I met a bunch of very cool & interesting folks. So thanks a lot to everybody for showing up and making the night what it was. Also, thanks a lot to my co-host Christoph Fahle and the Betahaus crew – you guys rock!

For the more in-depth version, I’d like to add to the above some notes as well as share some feedback I got during and after the event. The one point that came up a number of times was that we had almost too much content. With seven talks, it was a lot of ideas to digest. That’s a very good point and I agree – should we get to organize another TEDxKreuzberg, we’ll aim for five talks. That way, we’ll have more time in between sessions to meet people, to digest, discuss and exchange ideas.

I was glad to notice that – as far as I can tell – the language mix didn’t seem to be much of a problem: we had some presentations in German, but most in English. The audience, also quite international, didn’t seem to mind that a couple of talks were in German while the German share of the audience seemed happy with following the event in English. Running events bilingually is something that I’ve always been somewhat nervous about, but it worked out fine – good to know for the future.

Betahaus turned out to be a great location for this kind of event. The atmosphere was informal & intimate, which I think helps people feeling at easy and making a connection to one another. Even though we set up the space only the same afternoon, it all went pretty much as smooth as I could have hoped for. We’ll have to see how the videos turned out, but we’ll know within a couple of days.

To cut a long story short, allow me to go back to the beginning of this post: I loved it. And I hope you enjoyed it, too. We’ll be trying to improve further, of course, so keep the feedback coming, here in the comments or via the more official TEDxKreuzberg communication channels. Thanks!

ps. for some more impressions, check out Christoph’s post on the Betahaus blog, this post where we collect photos and videos, or ask Teh Google.

Photo: Rik Mayda (Thanks!)