On Saturday, October 26th, 2019, the sixth TEDxRWTHAachen conference was held in Aachen. It was a one-day event centered around TED talks, where people of different backgrounds came together to spread their thoughts, ideas, and experiences with the local community.
The event was organized in the main hall of the main building of RWTH Aachen University, with an audience of 250 people, and consisted of seven talks and one performance. With all the beauty and history that it carries, the main building bore meaningful witness to the exciting swirl of new ideas coming together, making for a pleasant atmosphere that echoed the theme Momentum.
In a world that is constantly in motion, constantly changing, momentum is present in our everyday life. With Momentum, we wanted to by present a selected variety of talks from scientists, artists, and entrepreneurs, reflecting the ideas in motion of their respective fields. The topics covered ranged from robotics; blockchain and Bitcoin; nuclear fuel; to human privacy and digitalization; what it meant to achieve successful communication, make an audience listen, and the challenges of learning a foreign language were delicately touched upon.
A warm thank you goes to our audience that made us possible to organize this event. It is so inspiring to see people coming together to learn new things, see new perspectives, be open to new experiences and willing to spread these further.
Anna Lassonczyk was born in Poland and moved to Germany at 19 where she studied “International Business and Cultural Studies”. In her twenties she was a hostess to the Polish president visiting Germany and later worked as an advisor for worldwide companies and institutions in international HR development supporting them in successful communication. 2010 she started her own company “Intercultural Success” which supports multicultural teams of global players to improve their internal communication and international leadership. In addition, she prepares managers for working abroad making them aware of cultural differences and how their own culture has influenced them. Anna’s international experience, passion for neuroscience, time and happiness, combined with high energy keeps her audience spellbound. She presents exciting global comparisons in a humorous way and inspires with her personal stories.
As native speakers, we frequently tend to forget that our languages might not be just as easy as we think. We take the fact that we can think of something in our heads and in seconds build a perfectly coherent and correct sentence, for granted. Aisha is Sierra Leonean but spent most of her life in the Gambia. She came to Germany in 2011, at the age of 15 and had a really hard time learning the language, getting to understand the totally new culture, understanding the people and finding new friends was an even harder challenge – let’s just say teenagers and puberty. The first six months she spent in a school in Germany full of young foreigners, who could barely speak German. After the six months ended, she was brought to a German Gymnasium. With many struggles she graduated from that High school. Seven years later, she is the proud winner of the iSlam German nationwide poetry slam and studying literature and linguistics at RWTH and she now really enjoys writing poems, articles and short stories – all in German.
Prof. Malte Göttsche
Prof. Malte Göttsche is junior professor RWTH Aachen University (Physics Institute III B) and leads the research group Nuclear Verification and Disarmament at AICES Graduate School, which he founded with a Freigeist Fellowship of the VolkswagenStiftung. He is also a member of the Junges Kolleg of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts. Interested in technical and policy issues of verifying future nuclear disarmament agreements, at RWTH, Malte works on nuclear fuel cycle simulations, warhead authentication based on nuclear measurements, and verification concepts and techniques more broadly. Prior to Aachen, Malte has been postdoc at the Program on Science and Global Security (Princeton University). He obtained his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Hamburg.
Keshav Chintamani is a robotics researcher, recently turned entrepreneur from Brussels, Belgium. He spent the past 15 years in US and European R&D, working on robotics and wearable augmented reality for task support in challenging environments primarily for the international space station program as well as surgery, security and search and rescue. Three years ago, he took a leap of faith and switched jobs to work on regional and EU industrial robotics innovation and saw a lot of gaps. A passionate roboticist empathetic to user-centred needs and design, he is now bootstrapping his own early-stage startup, Tractonomy Robotics in the industrial town of Kortrijk in Belgium. Tractonomy wants to build the next generation of cooperative intelligent systems that work as robots should – as team-mates that not only work for you, but with you. Keshav positions his challenges in creating a startup to solve local problems before going global, in a time where mobile robotics is a seemingly hot trend in industry and on the web; while in reality their adoption by European factories and warehouses, especially SMEs remains embryonic.
Lars Dittmar has been working as a senior research associate at the Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility (IKEM) since Jan, 2019. After spending nearly a decade, providing scientific support to the Energy Expert Commission of the German Government to monitor the energy transformation (Energiewende), Lars developed an extensive expertise in energy economics and energy policy. Lars also led numerous research projects in the field of energy systems at the Berlin Technical University and within the scope of various consulting assignments, e.g. for the International Energy Agency, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and other (inter)national institutions. During his career, Lars developed substantial knowledge and a strong research interest in the role of ICT in energy consumption. In particular, he comprehensively analyzed the growth in data centers’ energy demand and the energy intensity of blockchain and Bitcoin.
Prof. Dr. Martin Baumann
Prof. Dr. Martin Baumann studied electrical engineering (diploma) and theoretical medicine (intermediate examination), did his doctorate in natural sciences and qualified as a university lecturer in medicine on cell membrane mechanics. He received a master’s degree in medical education and is a certified trainer for university teaching. His scientific portfolio covers research in nanoparticle-based and electric-field-based tumor therapies as well as research in university didactics. He received several national and one international award for his educational projects and his lectures on medicine for natural scientists. Additionally, he is author of some dozens journal articles, several book chapters and a book on teamwork techniques. However, far more important to him are his passion for and pleasure in teaching. He understands himself both as a lifelong learning student and as a coach for students, who strives to support understanding in science.
Katrin-Cécile Ziegler is a digital economist and journalist. She has been involved with the digital transformation for 15 years, has served as a leader in various sectors for many years and worked as editor-in-chief and news anchor of a southern German TV station. Her journalistic achievements have been honored with multiple media awards. Also starting from 2020 she will be a guest lecturer in Neuroethics for CAS Digital Ethics at HWZ (Hochschule für Wirtschaft Zürich). She is specialized in topics all around digitalization, doing researches and interviews with international experts and scientists. Katrin-Cécile is especially fascinated by the limitless possibilities of artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) – as long as human rights and privacy are respected.