I had a very happy childhood in Mainz (Germany). After finishing high school, I tried to find a study subject which met my interests. As my range of interest was and is pretty broad, this was not an easy undertaking. In the end, the decision to study Geography was the best I have ever made. You can pretty much explain the earth- what is happening under and above it. Furthermore I met a lot of amazing people, learned a lot and started to explore and see the world from a new perspective(s). Two obligatory excursions to Halifax (CA) and San Francisco (US) should change my life forever. The purpose of these excursions was to get to know the two cities, including the (social) problems which characterize them. When I realized how many people are living on the streets in two of the -supposedly- most developed countries in the world, my curiosity was aroused. But what was even more important was that after flying back to Germany, I figured that homelessness is a problem right in front of my own door. That is when I started reading about the background and tried to find an explanation for this situation. Figuring that this is a more than complex problem with a lot of variables which have to be taken into account, I decided to make use of my education in Social Geography and started a PhD project. With the help of my friends, family, colleagues and a scholarship I am working on this project since April 2012.
Areas of Expertise
Social inequality and social justice, Public Spaces, Marginalization, Homelessness, Urban Social Geography
An idea worth spreading
An idea worth spreading does not have to change the world. It does not even have to be new . But it does have to be outstanding. Outstanding not in a way that everybody will know about it. ItÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â´s importance and relevance derives from the pertinence for the target (group or issue) it is referring to. It should make people think- preferably about their own behavior and world view. More than any generation before us, we are receiving information through the media and politics. In many ways we are dependent on this -often interest-based- one-way information flow. Therefore calling the things we hear and see into question becomes more and more important. In my opinion, the encouragement of this way of critical thinking can only be achieved by an idea worth spreading.
I'm passionate about
Finding a secure space for those people who cannot or do not want to be a part of our capitalist society.
Talk to me about
Everything that is related to the dealing with homeless people in public spaces in your country/city and/or social inequality issues.
People don't know I'm good at
drawing and writing poems
My TED story
I discovered TED only recently. A friend of mine told me about a nonprofit portal on the internet where people talk about important issues which are not adressed in the media and also topics that one does simply not talk about because they are considered to be a "taboo" or "unimportant". When I was searching for TED via google, I was actually not expecting to find exactly that. I found TED different from other portals. Even though people talk about personal stories and experiences -things which would be considered as "nonscientific" in my academic surrounding- I have learned so much from the enthusiastic and committed speakers. I really like the mixture of humor, skilled presentations and common knowledge. But most of all, I appreciate TED for making me question my own "knowledge" critically and making me think about subjects that I have never thought about before- like for example how dangerous toilets without a proper wastewater system are or how risky a "single story" can be.