TEDxOdense speakers 2019

Helen Russell

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Helen is a British journalist, author, and speaker. As the former editor of marieclaire.co.uk, she now writes for magazines and newspapers around the world, including The TelegraphStylist, and The Times and The Sunday Times. Helen is also a correspondent for The Guardian.

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Helen’s first book, The Year of Living Danishly – Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country, is now an international bestseller. She has also authored two more non-fiction titles: Leap Year, and the bestseller The Atlas of Happiness. Last year Helen published her debut novel, Gone Viking.

When someone asked this happiness researcher “What if I don’t want to be happy?“, she got inspired to do some research on “How to be miserable”. In her brand new talk, Helen will explore happiness with you in a witty, unconventional way.

As an author of many books on happiness, when asked how she handles bad days, she replies thought-provokingly, “Nowadays, optimism isn’t frivolous, it’s necessary.

Dr. Imran Rashid

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Imran is a Danish doctor of family medicine, digital entrepreneur, bestselling author, keynote speaker, and the founder of SundDigital—a consultancy business focusing on healthy digital habits.

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Imran’s first book ‘Sluk—kunsten at overleve i en digitaliseret verden’ quickly became a national bestseller, and he published his first book in English in the UK in January 2019 under the title Offline: Free Your Mind from Smartphone and Social Media Stress.

A pioneer in the combined fields of health and technology, Imran uses his formal schooling to bridge the gap between medicine and tech to highlight the unhealthy ways in which new, smart technology interacts with our old brains.

On what his upcoming TED talk will focus on, Imran states: “I want to make people aware of how digital pollution is a new and dangerous lifestyle risk factor as well as a threat to humanity’s free will, and why the ‘there’s an app for that’-philosophy is dehumanizing our modern world. People need to re-learn how to consciously use their smart devices.”

Lene Gammelgaard

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Lene was the first Scandinavian woman to climb Mount Everest. Since making the incredible ascent in 1996, Lene has harnessed all that she learned about herself and the human psyche into a method for all to accomplish their Everest. From South America to Africa, she has lead expeditions to epic peaks and inspired the biggest companies in the world. 🏔

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Lene has mountains of wisdom from venturing into the unknown and working with global companies and has written several books. Her bestseller, Climbing High, details the fateful expedition where she powered through the most extreme event that had ravaged Everest and claimed eight of her fellow climbers’ lives. 

It’s natural to take stock in what’s around us in the face of extreme situations, but when asked if she had any epiphanies while climbing Mount Everest, Lene firmly stated, “no.” Her only goal was success, and that meant absolute focus on what would help her reach her goal—an unwavering mental focus, which Lene calls THE EVEREST WAY. 🧠

At TEDxOdense 2019, you’ll get to join Lene on a journey beyond the edge and learn to say yes to your Mount Everest.

Gudrun Bojesen

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Gudrun is a former principal dancer with the Royal Danish Ballet and will take us on a master-class of perfection.

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Known for her technique and incredible radiance, she has been acclaimed for her many roles in ballet performances such as The Lady Of The Camellias, Giselle, Swan Lake and Nutcracker. She gives every piece of herself on stage and attracts the spectator into a dream world with the greatest emotions.

She will step onto our iconic red dot to share her insights on how to overcome the mental and physical challenges of becoming a professional dancer.
What does it take to have such unwavering dedication to the pursuit of perfection?

Niaz Bayati

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Born in Iraq to Kurdish parents, Niaz has always drawn, designed, and been interested in art from a very small age. In 1994, he had to flee to Iran because of his opposition to the Iraqi regime.

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His active struggle against the assault on the Kurdish population meant he was imprisoned many times and had to flee to Iran in 1994. He remained there for a year, of which he was imprisoned for 11 months.

Now in Denmark, he is an expert with sculpture and image making. He has made ceramics and paintings for Queen Margrethe, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and Foreign Minister Lene Espersen, commissioned by the Iraqi Embassy.

But behind every one of Niaz’s artworks is a hidden message hiding between the edge of light and darkness. Niaz talks not with words, but with art.

Join us on April 13th and see for yourself!

Simon Høegmark

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Nature guide Simon Høegmark will take you out in the wildness where your natural instincts will be awaken!

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Simon is currently writing his PhD at the Department of Psychology at the University of Southern Denmark, where he is conducting a study on the effects that nature has on anxiety, depression, stress, and burnout. Simon is also affiliated with Naturama and has his own company Vinatur.

He will take you on a journey from a stressful society to a mountain top in Norway, back down and out in the forest.
Simon will share his own story and invite you to see the healing power of reconnecting with nature.

Put on your boots and take a step outside with Simon.

Dennis Glanby

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Swedish-born, Dennis Glanby is what might best be described as a tall, blue-eyed, blond, modern day Scandinavian Viking. Having spent most of his life focusing on motor sports and drag racing, all was turned upside down the day Dennis first took part in a Viking reenactment sword fight. As he heard the metallic clink of two blades connecting, something instinctual and deeply rooted clicked in him, and his life has never been the same since.

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On April 13th, Dennis will share his heart-felt and memorable story of returning home. For him, the process went through reenacting Viking fights in full armour, but the yearning and longing for connection and community runs deeper than that, he says. He describes it as cellular memory, that the lessons our ancestors learned are deeply ingrained in us to learn from as well. Dennis now shares what he dug out of the past to help people find this deeply rooted call in a modern-day society, and to charge right at it.

At TEDxOdense, Dennis will take you on a 1000-year journey through time, and back again. Get ready to connect with your roots and be blown away by the ancient Nordic teachings. 

James Rogers

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James is a British assistant professor of War Studies at SDU in Odense and a visiting fellow at Yale University. His research focuses on drone warfare, contemporary security policy, and the history of warfare.

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Currently, James is focusing his attention on the future of conflict, and how drones are being used maliciously by terrorist groups and non-state organizations for assassinations, surveillance, missile drops, spying, and to disrupt vulnerable domestic targets. 

At TEDxOdense, James will tell us more about rogue drones. He will start by telling us how they impact air traffic, before exploring the darker side of this modern-day technology. The question is not IF a drone will ever hit a plane or helicopter—this has already happened—it is WHEN this will happen again, and what the fatal consequences may be. 
As James himself puts it: “Humanity’s most heinous atrocities have been carried out using tools made with the best intentions. Small ‘toy’ drones have the potential to cause large scale chaos and disruption.”

At TEDxOdense 2019, Dr. James Rogers explores this uncharted landscape and explains how drones might impact our future.

Stig Åvall Severinsen

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Stig is a Danish world champion freediver, bestselling author, and holder of multiple world records—among these is the longest freedive under ice, and becoming the first person to ever hold their breath for more than 20 minutes!

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When Stig is not training or setting new records, he runs a global business based on his revolutionary concept, Breatheology, aimed at changing the world one breath at a time. Combining yoga and meditation with his knowledge of physiology from his degree in biology and Ph.D. in medicine, Stig teaches people around the world the art of better breathing, as well as holding their breath.

On April 13th, Stig will step onto the iconic red TEDx dot in Odense to share his story of going to the edge of the human body, willpower, capability, and life itself.

At TEDxOdense 2019 you will have a chance to go to the edge with Stig—both of the deep and of the mind.

Janne R. Mortensen

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Do you want to develop the mind of a winner? Have you ever wondered what gives young, elite athletes the edge? How can you transform a kid into a champion?

Expert in sports psychology and mental training, Janne Mortensen has coached national teams and world-class athletes, taking them to European and World championships countless times. 

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In 2016, numerous athletes used her help at the Paralympics in Rio. Janne works with young, talented athletes on their way to fulfill their dreams. Aiding your mindset every step of the way, Janne can optimize every part of your personality to handle any obstacle you might face. But sometimes, your biggest obstacle isn’t the competition, it’s your family.

Find out what you can do to encourage a winner in your family with this eye-opening glimpse into the world of young elite athletes. 


Watch the HeartBeatGroup's performance

BANG, CRASH, WALLOP, SMASH! HeartBeat Group delivers a loud, active and explosive performance of rhythm and action. Their combination of highly energetic stomp and wildly entertaining acting with a twist has delighted audiences around the world.

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Creating a pounding drum beat on any unusual instrument they can find, HeartBeat will get the TEDxOdense 2019 audience out of their seat and jumping to the rhythm of the world around them. In a brand new performance, created especially for TEDxOdense, get ready to clap, stomp, jump, and laugh to the beat of a different drum.


Watch Look mum no computer's talk

Sam Battle, also known as LOOK MUM NO COMPUTER, will be flying in straight from the UK to perform at our event, and will take you on a journey to the edge of music!

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An orchestra of flamethrowers. A dangerous high voltage drum kit. An organ made from furbies. A synthesizer powered by a bike. Welcome to the weird, wild, and wired world of genius/madman musician, inventor, and producer Sam Battle—better known as “Look Mum, No Computer”.

Over 15 million people have seen Sam bring his edgy, unusual, and humorous musical instruments to life online, but at TEDxOdense, he will show us the methods behind the madness, the secrets, the successes, and the scars.

If you have ever wondered what putting a flamethrower inside a vacuum cleaner sounds like, how to build a musical instrument for seagulls, how to play a theremin with a lightsaber, or how to play guitar through a lightbulb, this is for you.

There are no limits, no safety, and no off switch. Get ready for the most dangerous musician you will ever hear.

Jakob Lange

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Jakob Lange is a Partner at BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group, and sits on the board of Hyperloop—the future transportation system that BIG designed to take you across the world! At this year’s TEDxOdense, Jakob will take us on a different travel experience—a hot trip all the way across the Universe!

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Mars Science City is a prototype designed by BIG to test different solutions for WHEN we are ready for life on Mars. Will we still need staircases? How do we stay safe from radiation, and how can we make our martian homes more pleasant? Will we want to live in a scifi-style white, minimalist environment, or in cozy environments reminiscent of home? 

Join Jakob for the architect's guide to the galaxy! This time it’s a two-way trip!

Momen Machlah

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Join TEDxOdense 2019 and climb into a secret world with Denmark’s most prolific rooftopper. Daredevil Momen Machlah scales the heights of beautiful buildings the world over, from the streets of Denmark to the skyscrapers of Dubai.

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In his stomach-churning exploration of urban heights, Momen stands on the edge, literally, and takes one giant leap into pure fear when the tips of his toes are carefully placed between terror and peacefulness.

This sky-high climber takes risks with each step on his quest for personal growth. Join him on a stunning, beautiful, and terrifying journey above the city and inside himself. But whatever you do... don’t look down!

TEDxOdense 2019 host

Heather Hansen

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Director of Global Speech Academy and TEDxOdense 2018 speaker, Heather helps top corporate professionals speak clearly and confidently so they can make a greater impact as leaders and achieve more in the world.
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She works internationally as a global communication specialist and an enthusiast for understanding. She empowers global voices to speak with confidence, regardless of their accents, and reminds the rest of the world to listen more carefully.

Impressions from TEDxOdense 2019

Visionary Partners 2019

We’re a Danish design studio, working in the realm of children, culture and society – converting complex communication and knowledge into tangible, immersive experiences. We create positive impact through design. Just like the TED organization, we deeply believe that real and lasting positive impact begins by welcoming people from every discipline and culture to seek a deeper understanding of the world – yet every single initiative around the planet takes root in the local community. In this case Odense. We cannot imagine not being part of TEDxOdense.

Christian Mogensen, Partner, Director of New Business

Orifarm Group is an ambitious operator in the European market for pharmaceuticals. An important contribution to our success is our curiosity and our will to try new things - a driving force that continues to bring our business forward. Since its foundation in 1994, Orifarm has grown from an entrepreneurial start-up with 3 employees to a successful company with 1,100 employees, every day working to achieve our mission of REthinking the business of healthcare. Rethinking is also what TEDx is about; to create a space for sharing ideas and to plant seeds that can grow to become new solutions to the challenges of tomorrow. This is why Orifarm is a proud visionary sponsor of TEDxOdense.

Eva Berner, Executive Vice President, Corporate HR & Communication, Orifarm

TEDx is an internationally acclaimed brand and speaker series that matches City of Odense's strategy to position Odense as a growth hub and frontier for robotics, health and drone technology. With its inclusion of Odense’s core competencies - robotics, health and drone technology - TEDxOdense supports City of Odense’s strategic focus and celebrates local talent and entrepreneurship, a growth arena that is also within the realm of City of Odense

Louise Hansen, Head of Secretariat and Entrepreneurship, City of Odense

Growth Partners 2019

PwC is passionate about the development of companies and talents. We want to unite inspiration, insight and people. Being part of TEDxOdense is therefore obvious, and we are looking forward to spreading the good ideas of tomorrow!

Mette Holy Jørgensen, Partner at PwC

Instafilm is proud to deliver content for something as important as TEDxOdense. We are a full-service video production company made for social media and if there is something we love - it's sharing ideas. TEDxOdense is right up our alley and we look forward to collaborating.

Jesper Quistgaard, Creative Director

Start-up Partners 2019

I ♥ TEDxOdense Partners

License holders

Steffie Limère

Head organizer and co-license holder

Adam Montandon

Speaker curator and coach, and co-license holder

The core volunteer team 2019

TEDxOdense is a nonprofit organization with a common interest of Ideas Worth Spreading, fueled by the energy of 50 volunteers:

Alina Strihhartsuk

Audience Experience

Theresa Kittendorf

Head of Audience Experience and Volunteer Management

Diana Trifon

Audience Experience

Jonas Legarth

Photography and Partnerships

Monika Kosman

Head of Marketing

Eva-Maria Dietmann

Volunteer Management and Audience Experience

Elisabeth Renée Foged Sejbak


Kimberly Bent

Speaker Management

Maria Jæger Hundstrup

Partnership team

Ofelia Sapir Edery

Speaker Management

Natália Prídavková

Audience Experience

Ioana Lăzărescu

Speaker Management

Mamoun Gharbi

Audience Experience

Pamela Almeida

Video Production

Anna Robaczewska-Arendt

Marketing Team

Adina Rizga

Graphic Design

Aneta Anna Duda

Graphic Design and Marketing

Christina Maar Andersen

Speaker Management

Raminta Karčiauskienė

Head of Speaker Management

Franziska Kirstein

Partnership Team

Lily Gaytan

Partnership Team

Juliana Marcelino

Graphic Design

Marcin Cieslik

Digital UX Designer

Helping hands 2019

Andé Fischer

Anna Gościnna Poulsen

Barbara Figler

Barbora Krukow

Christian Buur Kej

Corina Ciobanu

Dayana Ivanova

Felicity Stephenson

Gesche Lohmann

Julia Schlögl

Juliana Silva

Julie Grønbek Øberg

Karina Nesterenko

Kaya Olsen

Line Marie Andersen

Linnea Emilie Hjort

Louise Freltoft Løvlund

Maik Sperschneider

Manon Coolen

Maria Hollensen Eggersen

Mikkel Klit Nielsen

Mona Rösner

Oscar Bowen Schofield

Rebecca Hasselriis Haulrich

Stefanos Nasiopoulos

Tomas Dosek

Veronika Zemanova

Zuzana Karolina Kubenova

Zuzka Satkova


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