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Speakers 2018

 
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In 2018, TEDxHSG was taking a step back - back to our true selfs.

Whilst rapid changes and new technologies took place, it was easy to neglect one very important aspect of life: self-reflection and personal perception. With this development, society was experiencing a shift towards the individual itself, rather than society as a whole.

With such a shift in mindset, we had chosen the theme to be „Note To Self”. Our event has been fully dedicated to speakers from all around the world, with a variety of different backgrounds, coming together and expanding our attendee’s horizons. By sharing their personal thoughts and stories on pivotal moments, our 12 speakers shed some insight into the changes that have impacted their personal development and how they dealt with them. Whether it be social critique, technological breakthroughs or even philosophical commentaries, the speeches had been enhanced with an added personal note.


Internationally renowned and awarded artist, designer and curator

Internationally renowned and awarded artist, designer and curator

- Erik Kessels -

Erik Kessels is a Dutch artist, designer and curator and is since 1996 the Creative Director of international communications agency KesselsKramer. He worked for clients such as Nike, Diesel, The Standard, J&B, Oxfam, Ben, Vitra, Citizen M and The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel. As an artist and photography curator Kessels has published over 50 books of his “re-appropriated” images, is editor of the alternative photography magazine Useful Photography and has written the international bestseller “Failed It!“. In 2010 Kessels was awarded with the Amsterdam Prize of the Arts, in 2016 nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.


CEO & Founder of a Coding Academy

CEO & Founder of a Coding Academy

- Melanie Kovacs -

Melanie is the founder and CEO of Master21, the first company to offer coding bootcamps in Switzerland in 2016. Master21’s purpose is to empower people to speak tech and shape the (digital) world. So far, 250+ people have attended their courses. Prior to Master21, Melanie worked as a client partner at the digital agency Ginetta where she felt the need to better communicate with software developers and decided to learn to code. Melanie holds degrees in International Management and Requirements Engineering. In 2018, she made it onto the the Forbes 30 under 30 DACH list and won the Female Innovation Recognition Award. Besides Master21, she is on the board of the Impact Hub Zürich Association and WE SHAPE TECH.


Extreme Adventurer

Extreme Adventurer

- Damian Browne -

Damian Browne is an Irish adventurer and traveler who started his career as a professional rugby player. Since his retirement from professional sports, he has visited more than 50 countries on six continents, joined numerous expeditions, completed the 257 km long "Marathon des Sables", known as the toughest footrace on earth, and has solo rowed across the Atlantic ocean in 63 days. Damian strives to constantly push himself both mentally and physically and is out to live an extra-ordinary life, filled with challenges, risk and growth.


Bestselling Author of “Eat Better Not Less”

Bestselling Author of “Eat Better Not Less”

- Nadia damaso -

Nadia Damaso is twenty-two years old and a 2x No.1 bestselling author. After her big success with „Eat Better Not Less“, she quickly realizes that what she does is not only a diet, it’s a whole lifestyle. A lifestyle that its not only about food, but about connection and bringing people together. In her second cookbook she goes on a culinary journey around the globe and shares stunning photos, short stories and personal experiences about her travels. With her boundless creativity and sense for new taste combinations, Nadia created & photographed over 100 new recipes for her last book and proves once again how delicious and varied healthy food can be.


Lucid Dreaming Expert

Lucid Dreaming Expert

- Denholm Aspy -

The night before Dr. Denholm Aspy began his Ph.D in psychology, he had a spontaneous lucid dream! Struck by inspiration, he changed his proposed research topic the very next day to focus on techniques for teaching others how they too can experience this fascinating state of consciousness. He went on to conduct the world’s most in-depth field study of lucid dream induction techniques to date. Dr. Denholm Aspy has also conducted research on meditation and has a keen interest in naturalistic perspectives on spirituality and counselling psychology.


Musician & Educator

Musician & Educator

- Adam Neely -

Adam Neely is a bassist, and music educator and YouTuber with an engaged subscriber base of 500,000, 2 million monthly views, and 42 million lifetime views. His video essays, gig vlogs and educational content explore what music means, and what it means to be a musician. Sometimes called the "VSauce of music," Adam engages a wide popular audience with esoteric and obscure subjects in music, tying them to other subjects in neuroscience, acoustics, aesthetics, history and art. As a bass player, he also shares his experiences as a working professional session musician in New York City.


Vice Chairman of Global Pharmaceutical Giant

Vice Chairman of Global Pharmaceutical Giant

- André Hoffmann -

André Hoffmann is the Vice-Chairman of Roche, a pharmaceuticals group created by his grandfather in 1896, considered as the world’s largest biotech company and the global leader in cancer treatments. Alumni of the University of St Gallen, former Vice President of the WWF and recently awarded of the Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Medal, André combines a passion for the natural world and a strong understanding of the responsibilities as a business owner. He advocates for a humanity that lives in harmony with nature and emphasises that the one planet reality does not correspond to short term profit maximisation. He aims to show that business, especially family business, is part of the solution to a sustainable future.


Internationally renowned transformative coach and author

Internationally renowned transformative coach and author

- Michael Neill -

Michael Neill is an internationally renowned transformative coach and the best-selling author of six books including  Creating the Impossible, The Inside-Out Revolution and The Space Within. Michael is often described as the ‘coach’s coach,’ and commands extraordinary respect within his field for unleashing the human potential with intelligence, humor, and heart.


Data-based Impact Analyst and CEO

Data-based Impact Analyst and CEO

- Adina Rom -

As a result of her extensive research and field experience in developing countries, Adina Rom stands at the forefront of impact analysis. She recently founded Policy Analytics Switzerland, an ETH-Spin-Off, which uses novel data, methods and insights from economics and other behavioral sciences to help organizations to analyze and increase their social and environmental impact. Previously she studied development economics at Harvard, Berkeley and ETH Zurich and served as Director of Operations for Innovations for Poverty Action in Kenya, where, together with local partners and some of the world’s leading economists, she oversaw and evaluated the effectiveness of different large scale poverty reduction programs. Adina can provide valuable insights on evidence-informed decision making as well as the effectiveness of interventions aiming to reduce poverty and achieve environmental sustainability.


Role of First Captain at one of the oldest U.S. military service academies

Role of First Captain at one of the oldest U.S. military service academies

- Simone Askew -

Simone Askew is a recent graduate from the United States Military Academy where she served as the first African American female First Captain in the school’s 200-year history. This role is the highest-ranking cadet position and has been held by many distinguished leaders, including General MacArthur and General Pershing. Simone was the first African American female Rhodes Scholar to be awarded the Rhodes Scholarship from her university. She now studies Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at Magdalen College and plays for the Oxford University Volleyball Team. 


Leading Role in Global Economic Organisation

Leading Role in Global Economic Organisation

- Jeffrey Franks -

Jeffrey Franks is the Director of the IMF Office in Europe and the Senior Representative to the European Union. Boasting degrees from an impressive list of alma maters—Oxford, Harvard and Princeton—Jeffrey has been working at the International Monetary Fund for 25 years, including as resident representative in Ecuador and Ukraine, and mission chief for Belgium, France, Pakistan, Paraguay, and Romania. Such broad experience has allowed Jeff to gain an invaluable and unique perspective on how economic policy can impact the welfare of the individual and society as a whole.



Bring Your Voice! Winner

Bring Your Voice! Winner

- Deyshawn Moser -

Deyshawn Moser is an Ecological Economist who is interested in factors that promote a sustainable wellbeing economy: linking business sustainability to environmental and human wellbeing. He has travelled extensively, graduated from top Universities in different continents, and has also pursued a competitive swimming career in the Florida Keys. Having to deal with many goals reached and not reached, he has become aware of the thrill but also the dangerous traps of reaching for the stars. As winner of the 2018 “Bring your Voice” contest, he will share his experience and claims that the secret lies in developing a habit of being journey orientated rather than just being fixed on set goals.