Be the change you wish to see in the world. - Mahatma Gandhi
With our Changemaker program at TEDxDresden we want to acknowledge passionate people who put Gandhi's words into practise and commit themself to our local community. As diverse as the volunteers themselves are the projects they brought to life – each one a distinct source of inspiration to others with a distinct impact on society making the city of Dresden a better place to live. Let yourself be infected by their enthusiasm and listen carefully: Our Changemakers have many inspiring stories to share!
Brain Awareness – Ich und die Welt
Almost every third adult in Germany is suffering from a psychological disorder, but less than 20% of them make use of professionell help (DGPPN, 2018) causing huge individual and also socio-econimic challenges. One main issue related to this is the stigma concerning psychological disorders.
Paul Andrä and his project “Brain Awareness – Ich und die Welt” aims to destigmatize and reduce the uncertainty in the context of our mental health and disease with multidimensional solutions. School projects, for instance, allow students to understand the underlying principles of their brain. This supports not only a general mental health awareness but also empowers individual coping strategies for everyday challenges such as stress and anxiety.
Public events, a music project connecting musicians and mentally challenged people and an exhibition sharing mental health stories from places in Africa, Europe and the US bring the topic in focus of general public.
Learn more about Paul's motivation and his project in the video (in German).
ANTJE WONNEBERGER & YVONNE HORN
Sascha & Sascha
Issues like sexism, discrimination, racism and inequality are often depicted on television or online, but when it comes to the more personal and subtle experiences of everyday life, many people that are affected don’t realize it or are uncomfortable talking about it.
When Yvonne Horn and Antje Wonneberger noticed this, they knew they needed to change something. With their project “Sascha & Sascha” they tried to find a way to end the taboo around these topics by creating comics from situations they had either personally experienced or collected stories that others had shared with them. The comics are intended to make people wonder, laugh and think deeply, while addressing serious issues at the same time.
Humour is “Sascha & Sascha”’s secret weapon to question stereotypes and uncover all the tiny nuances of clichés everybody faces sooner or later in their life.
Learn more about Antje's and Yvonne's motivation and their project in the video (in German).
Samira Nasser is one of the chorus leaders of the intercultural & interreligious project „Singasylum“ in Dresden – A choir for everybody: immigrants and residents, children and grown-ups, experienced singers and interested newcomers are all welcome.
She and other volunteers are in charge of uniting the members from different countries, religions and cultures with the help of music. Together they collect native stories, nursery rhymes, hymns & canons from around the world and subsequently practise and prepare upcoming performances.
Through singing together, intercultural games and spending time in a familiar, open atmosphere „Singasylum“ enhances the exchange between all its members and creates room for inspiring encounters and even friendships.
Learn more about Samira's motivation and her project in the video (in German).
Mic4Peace - International Peace Slam
Claudia Reichert is the head of the International Welcome Center at the TU Dresden (TUD). Through her daily job, she manages events and organizes programs to make international researchers feel right at home when they move to Dresden. Within various social efforts, she also helps building communities of interdisciplinary, multi-cultural researchers of the TUD. At the center of Claudia’s passions, lies the peace slam community project Mic4Peace.
In a time when Dresden is undecided on accepting cultural diversity and refugees, and where opinions are clashing, mis-information on the rise, she aims to flip this status quo by giving internationals a stage, a mic, and a voice to change Dresden to the better. The Peace slam catalyzes discussions through sharing of the others’ perspectives.
Story after story, and one insight at a time, it delivers a harmonic thread of constructive discussions driven by listening, promoted by co-existence, and fueled by the dynamism of coming together as a modern society. This makes her an ideal candidate to spark the change Dresden could be potentially looking for as a Changemaker.
Learn more about Claudia's motivation and her project in the video (in English).
Student Research Expo
Benjamin Wolba is a PhD student at the TU Dresden’s Institute for Theoretical Physics, and he is engaged in many local projects in Dresden.
He started his PhD when he was only 20 years old. After completing a research stay during his master studies in Australia, he moved back to Dresden and realized the need to create interdisciplinary exchange. Therefore, he became involved in many student initiatives; many of which he started himself. For example, he initiated the Chaos Expo within the Youth German Physical Society and contributed to the Wikibooks project "Mathe für Nicht-Freaks". One of his most recent projects was “Student Research Expo 2018” where he aimed to bring students closer to research, foster collaborations among different faculties, and bridge the gap between research and industry.
When asked about volunteering, he says: “Volunteering is easy. It takes only one person to start something – yourself!” Benjamin prefers to take action instead of being a bystander, and encourages all to listen to contextual, and personal needs, start talking to people and develop ideas. Why is he a Changemaker? He is trying to change things for the better by listening, understanding and acting.
Learn more about Benjamin's motivation and his project in the video (in English).