The People Behind the Stage

All volunteers. All passion.

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

TED Events

The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia. TED’s media initiatives include, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self-organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

About TEDxZurich

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.) TEDxZurich has a focus on topics related to the city of Zurich and its surroundings, but also caters to bring ideas, knowledge and talks about broader topics.


TEDxZurich Event

TEDxZurich is a yearly returning day of wonder, inspiration and awe. We hope to connect you to our knowledge thirsty audience and uncover exhilarating, fascinating and eye-opening topics together. The event is a series of short talks, ranging from approximately five to eighteen minutes in length. In between speakers you will have the opportunity to enjoy performances, eat some eclectic food choices and wander around our creatively inspired event spaces.


Core Team

Florian Bucher


Originally planning to get a business degree after high school, Florian has spent his last two and a half years seeking out challenging enriching experiences, working a daycare center, as a sailing instructor, managing a small ice cream business, bartending, organizing parties and finally leading a Sales team for a Startup. Currently, he works as a Product Operations Specialist for Coople, while trying to biohack himself to live on 4 hours of sleep, so he can start his studies the way he has long promised his parents.

Hanna Brahme


With a passion for bold ideas and utopian visions, Hanna enjoys partnering with like-minded people and companies to try and move the needle. Before this Swedish engineer joined ETH to support spin-off companies, she lived and worked in six countries for organizations like ABB, MAN and the United Nations. Hanna is equally enthusiastic about astroparticles, gallery openings and mountaineering and will be happy to reveal her best tips on breeding geraniums.

Sara Leidinger tedx zurich

Sara Leidinger

Audience Experience Lead

A volunteer at heart and passionate Yoga practitioner. With a deep interest in personal development and being fascinated by the power of the mind, Sara believes that sharing ideas worth spreading can make the world a more connected place. The momentum of our 2017 event with the theme “opening doors” was a kickstart and eye-opener for Sara who then just flipped her career path to 180° – from a corporate global sales environment to a year full of volunteering and studies of holistic healing arts. This kind of momentum is what drives her in creating experiences that last.

Matteo Antonelli

Finance Lead

Matteo was born and raised in Italy. Multicultural at heart, he left his small village in Italy to start his career as Finance Controller. Since then he lived, worked and studied in 9 different cities and several countries. Currently he lives with his wife and 6 years old daughter near Zurich. Intellectually curious and with an endless hunger for good food and wine, Matteo loves music, hiking and board paddling. 

Clemens Merk

Hospitality Lead

Due to his passion and curiosity for his vocation, Clemens decided to leave his home country of Germany many years ago. He went on to enrich his experience in the food and beverage industry in Scotland where he developed a love for peaty whiskey. His journey then took him to the Netherlands, and after that, wanting some sun, he moved to Dubai. Now he is to be found continuing the next chapter of his adventure in Switzerland. If he is not surrounded by his passion, food and beverages, you might find him lost in a puzzle or creating music with the trombone.

Simone Lehnert

Location Lead

Simone was born and raised in the German countryside bordering Netherlands and has lived in Wales, England and Friesland before she arrived in Switzerland. Originally trained in hospitality and catering Simone gained broad experience in tech start-ups, financial services and management consulting as business manager, project and event manager. She loves to engage with people and to connect like-minded as well as thrives for continuous learning and improvement. In her free time Simone is passionate about exploring new places locally and further away, immersing in cultural and culinary experiences or just chilling with friends.

Isabella Mori

Marketing Lead

For years Isabella dreamt of becoming an Archaeologist, started studying Pure Chemistry at University, quickly switched to Architecture and ended up with a second master in Urban Design at ETH. She believes in the power of ideas to make the world a better place and that we could all be part of that change, so -after more than 10 years spent in world renowned offices- she decided it was her turn and joined TEDxZurich. One of those architects rarely wearing black, you could find her skiing big mountains, browsing any type of bookshop or planning dusty road trips.


Jesse Vongpanich

Participants Lead

Even though the name may suggest otherwise, Jesse was born and raised in Switzerland. He holds a Master‘s degree in Business IT and is bridging the gap between banking and technology. By doing it, he enables banks to go through the digital transformation and to be prepared for the future. Besides his engagement at TEDxZurich, he is also involved in Rotaract Zurich and Powercoders and enjoys spending time with his friends and beloved ones and to travel the world.

Xenia Schmidt

Partnerships Lead

With her Kyrgyzsian and German roots Xenia spend her last 13 years exploring the world for her International Business & Management study and worked for companies like Mercedez Benz, H&M, Hugo Boss and currently Sonova in Operations & IT roles. Being an ambivert, a little nerd with a passion for like-minded people Xenia loves to connect ideas, knowledge & information management with inspirational human beings at her position at TedXZürich. She spends every spare minute on sketching visual notes to capture impressions and original ideas.

Ralf Soboczinski

Production Lead

Ralf engages himself in event planning and integrates modern technologies in IT, streaming, and recording. Ralf finds himself repeatedly in the curious corners of our world, where he takes his time to explore the countries and their people. Outside of business hours,Ralf drives long motorbike tours with his friends, and educates himself and others and takes passionate photos of ordinary life.

Marko Panjek

Marko Panjek

Salon Co-Lead

Marko’s TEDx story starts years back in Slovenia, where he helped organise probably the highest TEDx event in Europe at the time on Slovenians highest mountain of Triglav. Later on his passion for robotics (and let’s be honest, mountains as well) brought him to ETH in Zurich where he eventually found his new TEDx family. In his spare time, Marko loves hacking things together, which explains why his flatmates gave him a title of “head of home automation”. When the days are sunny though, you will find him cycling the Swiss countryside or exploring the scenic trails in the mountains.

Patrycja Lis

Salon Co-Lead

Pati is a creative collaborator with a knack for connecting people. She excels in cross-cultural settings and enjoys designing people development programs and educational interventions. Self-starter, learning enthusiast and social innovator who is passionate about the future of work. In love with the Swiss outdoors, she enjoys an active time skiing, hiking or stand-up paddling. 
Erik Slabber TEDx Zurich

Erik Slabber

Speakers Lead

Erik was born and raised in South Africa, meaning that he regularly endures questions like “Do you speak African?”, “I have a friend from Africa, do you know him?” and “Did you ride to school on a zebra?”. He came to Zurich for his Bachelor studies and enjoyed it here so much that he stayed on for his Masters and even decided to torture himself by starting a PhD in regenerative biology. When he is not working in the lab, he reads scientific papers for fun, plans experiments and works on figures for upcoming publications... OK, so now that Erik’s boss is satisfied and has stopped reading this bio, he actually enjoys gaming, cinema, boot restoration, supporting the Springboks and pub quizzing.


Doris Dario

Volunteers Lead

Doris is originally from the ski slopes of South Tyrol in Northern Italy but left her beloved Dolomites early to study, live and work all over the world. Her passion for the real language within its culture and region got her a masters’ degree in translation and interpreting and has her speaking four major European languages fluently. She has a strong background in transcreation and localisation, high cultural sensitivity and large project, account and talent management experience in the exciting world of marketing. Doris is best described as a creative mind with a human approach and a passion for intercultural communication. Her love for travelling and exploring the world through all senses has taken her to over 70 countries and when she isn’t abroad you can find her snowboarding down some Swiss mountain with her kids.


Manuela Pérez Berlanga

Audience Experience

Naniko Kakabadze

Naniko Kakabadze

Marketing (Content)

Louise Koeckhoven

Louise Koeckhoven

Marketing (Content)

Francesca Cattaneo

Marketing (Design & Animation)

Miriam Palopoli

Miriam Palopoli

Marketing (Design & Animation)

Paolo Ruegg

Paolo Rüegg

Marketing (UX & Development)

Vinzenz Greiner

Marketing (Social Media)

Tom Lancaster

Marketing (Visual Design)

Pamela Vazquez


Amanda Zurbrügg

Amanda Zurbrügg


Anton Moritz


Alicja Ksiezak


Charizze Wong


Jacqueline Degen

Jacqueline Degen


Tanya König

Tanya König


Sahar El Khoury


Julia Sharonova


Rajan Thambehalli


Christina Haupt

Christina Haupt


Ralph Schmidhalter


Veronique Vallieres


Magda Kern-Fiałkowska


Ana Carolina A. de Araújo


Board Members

Tim Duehrkoop

TEDx License Holder

Martin Steiger

Nina Schneider

Fareena Chaudhry

Karin Friedli

Nicholas Blanchard


Urs Bucher

Urs Bucher


David Nydegger

chris mccall tedx Zurich

Chris McCall


8000 Zürich


TEDxZurich is a non-profit association based in Zurich and recognised as such by the Canton of Zurich. Our association is exempt from direct taxes.

VAT number CHE-376.577.316 MWST