Pause. Forward.



Sometimes it’s good to pause, and then move forward. To reconsider and then start afresh. To stop for a moment, switch off the auto-pilot, and embark on a new adventure. As people, we are always on the move and we try to live for the future, not the past. That requires us to break patterns, be open-minded and to sometimes change direction.

Our TEDxHamburg speakers do exactly that. They look at the present and see the future. They come up with ideas that are based on today’s experience and will change the way we live in the years to come. They forsee problems and try to solve them. They open up doors and set a new path. They imagine a future and then go out to make it real.




  • Harald Neidhardt & Mirko Bass
    Harald Neidhardt & Mirko Bass

    Mirko Bass

    Mirko has always been passionate about building community and creating opportunities to bring together people, ideas and emerging technologies for the greater good. In his last 15 years at Cisco Systems he has built an ecosystem to achieve this, through various leadership positions across Engineering, Sales, and more.

    It was only natural for him to step up when he saw numerous challenges at a local refugee camp, which he knew technology could solve. Together with Harald Neidhardt of MLOVE, Mirko initiated the Refugee First Response Center ( – and in six weeks, they transformed a shipping container into a medical first aid center with live video stream translation services in 50+ languages with 750+ interpreters.

    The RFRC initiative continues to grow, with Harald & Mirko at the forefront bringing together the right people at the right time in order to make amazing happen.

    Twitter: @BassMirko, @RFRC_EU

    Harald Neidhardt

    Harald is the Editor in Chief and Curator of MLOVE. He is passionate about meaning in technology, the Future of Mobility & Internet of Things and its opportunities for society, brands and entrepreneurs. Together with Mirko Bass of Cisco, Harald initiated the Refugee First Response Center ( – a medical first aid container that features 50+ languages via video live stream of 750+ interpreters. With the MLOVE team, he created an inspiring global event series that brings together thought leaders and startups in an interactive format at amazing locations. Harald is a Co-Founder of Smaato – a pioneering mobile advertising company headquartered in San Francisco where he was CMO for 7 years. Prior, he was leading award-winning digital agencies in Europe & the USA. Harald is a frequent speaker on mobile innovation and was named a “Top 50 CMO on Twitter” by Social Media Marketing Magazine, a “Marketing Maven” by NBC and a “NEXT 100 Top Influencer of the Digital Industry” by German magazine Wirtschaftswoche.

    Twitter: @hneidhardt, @mlove, @RFRC_EU


  • Phyllis Costanza
    Phyllis Costanza

    Phyllis Costanza was appointed CEO of the UBS Optimus Foundation in 2011. Optimus is UBS's in- house Foundation dedicated to helping our clients fund impactful philanthropic programs that improve children's lives globally. Phyllis has been instrumental in reshaping the Foundation's strategy and introducing innovative financing vehicles, like the first Development Impact Bond. Prior to UBS, she was a senior executive and Board Member of the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), a UK-based philanthropic organization, linked to the hedge fund TCI. She also has more than a decade of experience as a management consultant, and has worked in the public sector as the Manhattan Representative for New York State Governor Mario Cuomo, advising on policy and politics in Manhattan. In addition to her role as CEO of the UBS Optimus Foundation, Phyllis is also a member of the Boards of both the Power of Nutrition and the Micronutrient Initiative. She holds a Master's in Public Policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

    Twitter: @UBSoptimus


  • Chance Coughenour
    Chance Coughenour

    Chance enjoys the innovations made possible by uniting science and archaeological research, which was part of the inspiration in the founding of Rekrei. His previous work on a EU-funded project connected him with Matthew Vincent, an archaeologist and web developer, who together launched Rekrei (formally Project Mosul) on March 8 of 2015 after witnessing the destruction of heritage in northern Iraq. Their open-source, volunteer initiative strives for the digital reconstruction of lost heritage using crowdsourced images and photogrammetry, the process of using 2D images to create 3D models.

    From the start, Rekrei aimed to crowdsource the virtual reconstruction of the destroyed objects in the Mosul Cultural Museum and eventually release a virtual museum to digitally preserve its memory. This has already been accomplished thanks to the Economist Media Lab. The project has also expanded globally and continues to increase its activities thanks to our growing collaboration with public and private organizations, all of which has been achieved without any funding resources to date. The key ingredient to Rekrei is the online platform, which provides a simple user interface for identifying locations of destroyed heritage, uploading and sorting images, and a 3D gallery of completed reconstructions.

    Chance has worked on research projects throughout Europe and the Americas. One of which is demonstrated in the documentary Scanning the End. He is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Photogrammetry at the University of Stuttgart.

    Twitter: @rekrei


  • Habib Frost
    Habib Frost

    Habib Frost is an Entrepreneur, Inventor, Researcher and Physician. He is the founder & CEO of Neurescue. At Neurescue they are developing a computer-controlled catheter for the greatly improved treatment of cardiac arrest, the leading cause of death, and critical haemorrhage, both currently largely unmet needs with a survival at only 1 out of 10.

    Recently elected one of the Top Talents in Denmark by Berlingske Business, Habib is constantly driven to apply technology to solve the world’s biggest problems.

    Eternally curious, he graduated as the youngest Medical Doctor in Denmark at the age of 23. He is certified as a Trauma Team Leader by the American College of Surgeons, and is formally trained in the Management of Medical Device Development. In 2015 Habib won Denmark's Best Idea (Danske Ideer) at Singularity University in Denmark, and attended their 10-week Flagship Program at NASA Ames in Silicon Valley.

    Twitter: @habibfrost


  • Ella Lagé
    Ella Lagé

    Ella grew up in Germany, Italy, the U.S. and Israel. At 17, she received the Bavarian Environmental Award for significantly lowering the water consumption of her home town.

    As part of Fossil Free Berlin, she is campaigning for the city of Berlin to divest its capital reserves from the fossil fuel industry. In 2016, she funded an association and recently launched a platform for members of German pension funds to demand divestment of their pensions.

    Divestment fills her with hope to tackle climate change: As a pragmatic environmentalist, as a responsible parent, as a hands-on optimist. Ella carries a communication design degree and a Master of Art. She started out with a four letter yahoo email address and helped shape the advance of digital services in agencies in Hamburg, New York, Berlin – and at She has tought in several media schools, such as the Springer Akademie and the EMS Babelsberg. Today, she works as a Berlin based expert on service strategy and design.

    Divestment for German pension funds:

    More on divestment:


  • Dominik Lenk
    Dominik Lenk

    Dominik Lenk is a sailor currently based in Hamburg. He recently completed the 2015 Mini Transat, a solo transatlantic race in tiny 6.5m boats.

    When not on the water,  Dominik works as a freelance graphic designer to explain the sport of sailing with live data overlays during TV broadcasts.

    Twitter: @dominiklenk


  • Pierre-Philippe Mathieu
    Pierre-Philippe Mathieu

    Pierre-Philippe Mathieu is an Observation Data Scientist at the European Space Agency (ESA). Pierre-Philippe is passionate about innovation and our planet: its beauty, fragility and complex dynamics as part of an integrated Earth System. His current role is to help scientists, innovators and citizens to use high-tech (such as satellite data) to better monitor, understand and preserve our home planet, by making sustainable use of its limited natural resources.

    Pierre-Philippe's background  is in Earth Sciences. He has a degree in engineering and M.Sc from the University of Liege (Belgium), a Ph.D. in climate science from the University of Louvain (Belgium), and a Management degree from the University of Reading Business School (Uk). Over the last 20 years, he has been working in  environmental  monitoring  and  modelling, across disciplines from remote sensing, modelling up to weather risk management.

    Currently, Pierre-Philippe is working at theEuropean Space Agency (ESA) as Data Scientist to foster the use of our Earth Observation (EO) missions to support science, innovation and development in partnership with user communities,  industry and businesses. His particular interest lies in addressing  global  environmental and development issues related to management of Food-Water-Energy resources and climate change.

    Twitter: @esa


  • Hélène Morlon
    Hélène Morlon

    Hélène Morlon is a biodiversity mathematician. She helps us analyse the history of life on our planet through the lens of mathematics. At the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, she leads an interdisciplinary team of young researchers that uses the Tree of Life, mathematics and computer codes to understand the history of life and evolution on our planet. She travels back in time to examine the factors that affect rates of speciation, extinction and trait evolution.

    Hélène was trained as a mathematician in France and always had a deep fascination for the natural world. She developed her research during 5 years in the US before integrating the CNRS. She is currently leading a 5-year long European research project, was awarded the CNRS bronze medal for outstanding research, and is part of the 2016 class of TED Fellows.

    Twitter: @HMorlon


  • Arwa Mahdawi
    Arwa Mahdawi

    Arwa Mahdawi is the founder and Chief Minority Officer of, a revolutionary new service offering diversity on demand. The site has gained worldwide attention and been covered by the likes of the BBC, Le Monde, the Huffington Post, NPR, and the Atlantic. Arwa is also a partner at cummins&partners, an independent creative agency with offices in Australia and New York. She is a regular speaker at advertising/tech/media conferences, so if you need a minority last minute, give her a call. Arwa is also a freelance writer and writes regularly for the Guardian on issues including marketing, technology, cryptocurrency, and lesbians. Frequent comments on her articles include “Was someone really paid to write this?” and “This comment was removed by a moderator.”

    Twitter: @ArwaM


  • Thomas Ramge
    Thomas Ramge

    Thomas Ramge is the technology correspondent of the German business magazine brand eins and a contributing editor to The Economist. He also serves as chief explaining officer of the US-German analytics company QuantCo  - a Harvard spin off, where Thomas bridges knowledge gaps between business lines, quants and techies.

    Thomas has published several bestselling non-fiction books and won numerous national publishing awards. His first novel hit the bookstores last year.

    In his workshops and keynotes on digitization Thomas explores the opportunities of crunching the right data sets in a smart way. That means: Getting more (customer-) insights by asking the right business questions first. His most recent book calls this approach Smart Data – which also refers to a concept on how traditional companies can kickstart digital transformation.  

    Twitter: @thomasramge


  • Marie Therese Shortt
    Marie Therese Shortt

    Marie Therese Shortt is a Norwegian-Irish graphic designer and researcher. Her research centres on devising a method for the visual presentation and analysis of intercultural greetings. The system she has developed uses a range of digital tools and software to provide an animated graphic notation system for analysing nonverbal aspects of greetings both within and across cultures. Her data was gathered during fieldwork in the multicultural city of Stavanger in Norway, and was analysed through a visual process. Her interactive system uses video, animation and graphic coding to present layered information about some of the cultural complexity found during greetings in Stavanger. Marie Therese aims to increase understanding between people of different cultural backgrounds through her visual system and methodology.

    Marie Therese has lived and studied in Norway, the UK and the Netherlands and is currently living in Ireland where she lectures on Design and Digital Media degree courses at Griffith College in Cork and Limerick, and also runs her own graphic- & webdesign studio Shortt Design (

    Twitter: @shorttdesign


  • Martin Tingvall


1pm -2pm Registration
2pm - 3:05pm Session 1
Stephan Balzer Welcome
Habib Frost Your heart’s second chance
Marie Therese Shortt Patterning Culture
Pierre Philippe Mathieu Taking the pulse of our planet from space
Mirko Bass & Harald Neidhardt Scale for good
3:05pm - 3:45pm Break
3:45pm - 5pm Session 2
Noraa Performance
Dominik Lenk Title tbc
Helene Morlon Exploring the history of life
Thomas Ramge Blockchain Disruption - How the Technology Behind Bitcoin will Create a True Sharing Economy
Chance Coughenour How to crowdsource the reconstruction of Lost Heritage
5pm - 5:45pm Break
5:45pm - 6:45pm Session 3
Arwa Madawi The Surprising Solution to Workplace Diversity
Phyllis Constaza Charity: the bumpy road paved with good intentions
Ella Lage What One Person Can Do About Climate Change
Martin Tingvall Performance
6:50pm End




Partners of TEDxHamburg are companies that believe in "ideas worth spreading" and that are innovating examples for their industry as well as for society. If you want a chance to connect to a world wide network of thinkers and do-ers, a chance to show that you care, that your company supports the biggest and boldest ideas in Germany, please contact Sam ( and partner up with us for upcoming TEDxHamburg events.

Go back