TEDxSaxionUniversitySalon Crossing Borders

What is the impact of borders and what kind of borders are relevant to you? And if you were a border, what would you protect?

Borders are present in our lives in several ways: physical, mental, cultural, geographical, political and social. We all have personal borders we would never cross or that frighten us somehow. All over the world, borders are a hot topic again.

Being so close to the German border made us want to rethink our own borders with our friends from TEDxMünster. Thank you for joining TEDxMünster and TEDxSaxionUniversity in this first cross border event organized in a special train between Enschede and Münster!



When? 📅 June 29, 2017
Where? 🚆 🇳🇱 Enschede <-> Münster 🇩🇪
What time? ⏰ 12.45 – 17.00 hours

‘Sometimes because of intriguing differences, sometimes because of outright absurdist situations, crossing the Dutch-German border has become a continuous source of inspiration.’ – Merlijn Schoonenboom

Speakers & Talks

Merlijn Schoonenboom (1974) is a journalist and author from the Netherlands, who lives in Berlin. Until 2013, he worked as a correspondent for the Dutch daily newspaper ‘De Volkskrant’, since then he works as a freelance journalist, among others for the weekly newspaper ‘De groene Amsterdammer’. In 2013 he wrote a book about the relationship between Germany and the Netherlands, ‘Waarom we ineens van de Duitsers houden (maar ze daar zelf van schrikken – Why we suddenly love the Germans – but they are somewhat shocked by this)’, which was published in 2016 in a fifth, updated edition. For his work as a correspondent he received the ‘Cultuurprijs Nederland Duitsland’.
Riham Sabbagh“Let’s keep our minds, hearts and borders open please”. Riham is 28 years old, studied English literature in Syria and was a teacher at the University of Aleppo. She had to flee to Germany because of the war in Syria. Riham will share why she feels we need to keep the borders between people and cultures open, what this means and what happens when you succeed.


Ingo Hoff (1978) from Gronau / North Rhine Westphalia is managing an architecture and construction company with approx. 60 employees. As of the close distance of Gronau to the Dutch border, he lives at both sides. He keeps various private and business contacts in the region of Twente, also a cooperation with the Dutch architecture office MAS Architectuur and is supporter of the football club FC Twente Enschede. He likes to call himself a “Duitse Tukker”. Early in April he took a walk from about 170 km together with two friends in 48 hours from the Anne-Frank-Straße in Gronau to the Anne-Frank-House in Amsterdam. In addition to the own challenge of the long distance walk, they wanted to put a sign in remembrance of the life and fate of Anne Frank and against the actual growing right-wing populism in Europe.


Our event was hosted by Carina from TEDxMünster and Artur from TEDxSaxionU. Get to know them a little bit before the event!

Carina Schmid is the licensee and curator of TEDxMünster. She believes in the power of intercultural encounters as a force of social change and innovation and is involved in various initiatives and organizations. As co-founder and manager of The Global Experience, an international youth media network dedicated to increase the intercultural dialogue, Carina first got in touch with TEDx in 2012 when working with network partners from Egypt and Pakistan who had been TEDx organizers in the past. The idea was born to bring TEDx to Münster and to apply for an official license. Apart from The Global Experience, Carina also co-founded the global video project Easy Languages and the Digital Participation Camp, an annual conference for young digital change makers. Connect with Carina.
Artur Jarosiewicz: Intercultural experiences are not only an essential part of my job at Saxion, but also part of my life: Born in Poland, grown up in Germany, now living and working in the Netherlands! Some say that I have a gift for languages, but personally I think that it`s more my curiosity for other people and their cultures that motivates me to learn their language and through that getting to know the world even more.
I don´t know where my journey will end, but I definitely know that it all should begin with being open-minded and truly ready for seeing and especially accepting other people`s point of views! You can only get this mindset, if you continuously get in touch with other people and be honestly curious about their ideas and different backgrounds! Today is the perfect chance to do that, try it out and enjoy the event!

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