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Contributed by Alex Lefty Phillips

26 Showcasing the Capital City’s “Ideas Worth Spreading”.


hat do the world’s fastest mountaineer, a renowned sexuality researcher and the visual effects designer for the Iron Man, Superman and Hulk films have in common? Berne. Despite its small size and humble reputation, the canton of Berne has produced some of the most progressive thinkers of the country. Recognizing that the city is often overshadowed by Zurich and Geneva, a self-declared “Bernese and Proud” group has come together to organize the first ever TEDxBern. “We wanted to create an event that is inspired by Berne and for Berne. It’s our way of showing our appreciation for the city. A TEDx event was an obvious decision,” said logistics coordinator Markus Maurer. TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Starting as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world‘s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED. com. In the spirit of this, TED created TEDx, a program of local, self-organ-

Bastian Widmer from Liip

ized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience, where x signifies an independently organized TED event. “We want the experience to stimulate discussion. Eyes will be opened to all the creative energy coming out of the city,” said program coordinator Christian Hirsig. Speakers will be invited to speak in their native language, Swiss German, and the team hopes to provide English translation for international attendees. “It is important to us that this event is accessible to everyone in the region, whether that be an expat working at eBay or an Oberlander farmer who doesn’t speak English.” Unlike other conferences, there is no common industry to unite the speakers. Instead, the event theme, “I han es Zündhölzli azündt” (Lighting the Spark) was chosen. Inspired by the legendary Bernese songwriter Mani Matter, the curating team feels it represents both the idea of TED, and the culture of Berne. Speakers will include a brainstorming guru, an entrepreneur and bike engineer, and an electronic band. More information about the speakers can be found on the event website, Twitter account or Facebook page.

Markus Mauer from Mirgros

Alex Phillips from International School of Berne + ISBerne Online

Christian Hirsig from Atizio TEDxBern Team

TEDxBern will be held on Thursday 5 September 2012 at 16:00 at the SwissCom BrainGym. Those interested in attending can visit the event website,, to learn more about the speakers and to apply for tickets, or can follow the event on Facebook and Twitter. Follow TED on Twitter (@TED) or on Facebook ( TEDxBerns’s Communications Coordinator can be contacted at:

About TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.


TED’s media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Hello Switzerland for Expatriates, Summer Edition 2012  

Hello Switzerland is written by expats for expats living in Switzerland. Designed mainly for English speakers, the magazine contains feature...

Hello Switzerland for Expatriates, Summer Edition 2012  

Hello Switzerland is written by expats for expats living in Switzerland. Designed mainly for English speakers, the magazine contains feature...