x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Opening Doors

This event occurred on
November 17, 2017
Zurich, Zürich (de)

Many of us have had that one teacher who worked beyond expectations to open our minds to a new approach. We may have seen an art piece or performance that unlocks our appreciation and in turn, our own creativity. We have all worked with new technologies that have radically opened up the way we connect with the rest of the world.
This is what Opening Doors is all about.
Opening Doors reaches the fundamental conversations and the dialogue that is much needed across geographical, social and generational lines. What can we learn from each other when we genuinely open the conversation across political lines and start speaking the same language? What can we look forward to experiencing in virtual reality or a great novel, in the near future? Opening Doors is both an opportunity and a call to action, to come together and see what lies beyond.
At TEDxZurich 2017 our 15 speakers will introduce you to the way they conceptualize the intersection of technology, policy, design with humanity. We hope these topics encourage you to view things from a new perspective as well. Let your curiosity take over. Allow the speakers and the musical acts take you into their world. And above all – enjoy!

TV Studios of SRF / tpc
Fernsehstrasse 1-4
Zurich, Zürich (de), 8052
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.


With great love and passion for music Cee, a young singer-songwriter, has been singing since she can remember. In December 2016, she recorded her first original song “Beautiful Games”. At only 16 she composes, arranges and plays her music seeking inspiration from singers and performers such as Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes. Cee received first prize at the Jazz & Pop Concours Suisse de Musique pour la Jeunesse in May 2017 and is currently preparing her first Extended Play (EP) record.


Can you remember the last time you heard some pure, unadulterated music? Have us play in your living room. Three guitars, three voices, that’s it. We don’t have an album. We ARE the album.

Armin Steuernagel

A serial-entrepreneur and author, Armin founded his first business at the age of 16. He is co-founder and managing partner of Purpose Foundation and Purpose Capital. He works to help companies stay mission-driven by transforming the ownership structure: they become steward owned companies. Armin is member of the Club of Rome, TT30, co-founder of the international – NGO Democracy International and co-founder of the Think Tank Neopolis Network.

Ben Moore

Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Zurich
A Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Zurich, Ben’s research is centred on understanding the origin and evolution of the universe and how stars, planets and galaxies form. He enjoys communicating science to the public through different media, including writing, music and art. Ben has recently opened the world’s first cosmic concept store in Zurich called Da Draussen.

Christian Hirsig

Serial Entrepreneur, Founder of Powercoders
A Swiss serial business and technology entrepreneur, Christian is an open innovation pioneer and the founder of Atizo.com a crowdsourcing platform. In 2009 he was selected to be on the Swiss national set-up team, named 40 under 40 by Bilanz in 2012 and, in 2016 represented Switzerland at the Global Entrepreneur Summit at Stanford.

Diccon Bewes

Author of Swiss Watching, Slow Train to Switzerland, Around Switzerland in 80 maps, False Friends and How to be Swiss, Diccon took to travel writing inspired by his 18-month world trip. He worked at Lonely Planet and Holiday before moving to Switzerland 12 years ago. He is now a full-time writer, occasional radio guest, member of the swissinfo Public Council and a permanent expat.

Fabian Unteregger

Having received a doctorate in medicine in 2017, Fabian decided to follow his passion as a parodist and Swiss comedian, instead. Parallel to comedy, he works on his research project, lectures at home and abroad, and publishes in medical journals. Fabian made his nationwide breakthrough in the “Giacobbo / Müller” satellite show in 2008 with parodies of SVP National Councilor Christoph Mörgeli and other figures. Fabian is one of the most successful cabaret performers in the country, numerous Swiss TV appearances and his radio format “Fortunately is Friday” on SRF 3. He was just awarded the Prix Walo.

Gabriel Stoyanov

Born in Bulgaria, Gabriel began his dance training at the age of five. In 2012 he was accepted to the prestigious National Music Academy “Pancho Vladigerov” in Sofia for Ballet Pedagogy graduating in 2017. Gabriel took the decision to leave the stage temporarily and move to Switzerland to focus on his training and education, hoping to return to the stage stronger and more confident. Gabriel will be accompanied by Casey Crosby on the piano.

Judith Safford

Director of Operations at Institute for Arthritis Research, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Judith Safford is non-profit manager and Director of the Institute of Rheumatology Research. Previously she led an International Sport Federation, a foundation and various charities. Trained as an Economist, she spends her free time in the hills and the mountains of the Alps.

Liska Bernet

Co-Founder KHORA
As the refugee crisis intensified in 2015, Liska travelled to the Balkan route to support the people and later travelled to Lesbos where she helped set up the biggest independent camp for refugees in Greece. In 2016 Liska co-founded a community centre for refugees in Athens, visited by more than 1000 people every day. She is currently in the process of establishing an NGO in Switzerland that aims to enhance the social and economic inclusion of refugees in their host societies.

Nadja Schnetzler

Co-Founder at Project R & Republik Magazine
An alumni of Ringier Journalism school, co-founder of BrainStore, the worlds first IdeaFactory, Nadja´s interest lies in self organisation and collaboration, which led her to found «Word and Deed». She is a co-founder of the Republik and president of Project R cooperative, which aims to strengthen democracy through the continuous evolution of journalism.

Pascal Berard

Joint PhD Student at the Computer Graphics Lab at ETH Zurich and at Disney Research Zurich
Despite enormous breakthroughs in motion-capture technology, animators still seek the ultimate tools to create realistic avatars with warm and expressive eyes. Pascal, a PhD candidate at ETH Zurich works with Disney Research Zurich on a novel software system that reconstructs the human eye in an unprecedented level of detail and realism. His name appears in the visual effects credits for the films: The Jungle Book, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Doctor Strange. Pascal was also named to the 2017 Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list.

Rima Alaifari

Professor for Applied Mathematics ETH Zurich
From Disney and Pixar Animation Studios at UCLA to evolutionary biology research at Princeton, Rima's career sheds light on the exciting doors opening up to the next generation of “math geeks.” Rima, ETH Zurich’s youngest professor, develops applied mathematical theories with potential applications in medical imaging, signal processing, and machine learning. Theoretical results suggests that new algorithms may address the quality of medical images and reduce patient radiation exposure.

Robert Riener

Professor of Sensory-Motor Systems at the Department of Health Sciences and Technology (D-HEST) and the University Hospital Balgrist
Robert founded the world’s first Cybathlon, an Olympic-style competition that facilitates a conversation between academia, industry, technology developers, and people with disabilities. The Cybathlon accelerates the development of assistive technologies around the world. Robert is also a full professor of sensory-motor systems and head of the Department of Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zurich and professor of medicine at the University Hospital Balgrist. His research focuses on rehabilitation robotics, virtual reality and human motor.

Stephan Hostettler

Managing Partner at HCM International Ltd.
An entrepreneur, Stephan is a renowned expert in the field of finance, governance and compensation. Founder and Managing Director of HCM International Ltd., he has worked with over 300 companies to design and implement leadership schemes that strengthen company culture, strategy and performance.

Organizing team


Zurich, Switzerland


Zürich, Switzerland
  • Brendan Van Meter
    Post production
  • Fareena Chaudhry