Virtual TEDxKanzlerPark Conference

Zak Reimer, host of TEDx KanzlerPark 2020 on stage
Host Zak Reimer on stage in the Delphi Theatre Berlin © Hannah Wilson

Spreading ideas and celebrating a successful year in Germany

On 29 September 2020, the first-ever virtual TEDxKanzlerPark Conference organized by fellows of the and supported by the and the Alumniportal Deutschland took place. Interested people from around the world joined the online event. The program comprised 14 speakers in the three thematic blocks Societal Change, The Future, and Climate Action. Besides inspiring talks and discussion sessions, participants in the conference also enjoyed a musical performance by Russian clarinetist and a guided meditation with Philipp Nowak from Mindfulife. The Alumniportal has spoken to the organizers of the event.

How did the idea of the TEDx event come up?

Organizers: At the closing session of the Orientation Seminar of the German Chancellor Fellowship in October 2019, a group of fellows reflected on the ways their fellowship year can contribute to forging and initiating more academic global collaborations and, importantly, how the outcome of their work could be highlighted to emphasize the value of spending a year at the German host institution.

One of the main insights of this session was that many fellows struggled with finding previous references of what their projects should look like and connecting with the experiences and projects of the previous BUKAs in a way that would present a clear notion of these projects and experiences and allow building on that. Along with that, many fellows underlined the necessity to further build their profiles and portfolios as public speakers and experts on their subject matters to fulfil their leadership and academic potential.

TEDx as the global brand and a grassroots initiative with the audience of over 22.5 million people seemed to be a perfect platform for that.

Where does the title “TEDx KanzlerPark” stem from?

Organizers: We wanted to come up with the name that would contain the reference of who we are and what we do, of our community. TEDx Kanzlerpark was the perfect title that symbolizes a bridge between the global brands of TED and the German Chancellor program. It gives an almost direct reference to the program and its fellows, as the Kanzlerpark is geographically the closest place to the Chancellery. And the fellowship program is under the patronage of the Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Why TEDx?

Organizers: TED is a global brand that has a massive amount of followers and provides almost instant elevation to the profiles of the speakers who take part in it. TED and its franchised TEDx events have taken science communication to a whole new level, bringing science closer to the audience and teaching scientists to convey their ideas in a powerful and memorable way. Being a TED or a TEDx speaker has become a mark of success, charisma, bright ideas and overall excellence - just like being a German Chancellor Fellow. And this is something that we wanted to encourage in our fellow stipendiaries.

Do you have any advice or tips for others that would like to organize such an event?

Organizers: Frankly - to have a team like ours :) Because organizing an event like this takes a lot of effort, joint coordination, focus, time and experience which we had. Anastasia has experience organizing TEDx events so she knows everything about requirements and stages of preparation. Elena has organized high-level offline and digital expert events during her work at the World Bank so she was able to build and conceptualize the program. Marlus is a highly creative PhD candidate who, among other things, sifted through all the draft talks to advise the speakers on the scientific aspects.

All in all, under the normal circumstances the preparation for the TEDx event should be at least 10 months to produce high-quality content and make sure the event goes smoothly so our tip would be to start as early as possible, start working with the speakers, motivate them and help them produce the ideas that are worth spreading and can highlight their experiences.

Watch the videos of the event!

Talks from the Societal Change Session

Talks from The Future Session

Talks from the Climate Action Session

Read further on the Alumniportal Deutschland

TED talks are inspirational talks that are not easily forgotten. At a TEDx event, researchers inspire with their ideas for a better world. From our series on the most effective formats of science communication.

This was the TEDx Kanzlerpark Conference 2021: From the participation of every citizen in climate protection measures to improved data manage-ment for governments: the second TEDxKanzlerPark conference involved experts from Brazil, India and Russia presenting their solutions for a liveable future. Many of them emphasised the potential of a society in which everyone collaborates in common projects.

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