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"Future 2020 – Anything is Possible?"

What would you do today if you knew you could not fail? Under the motto "Future 2020 - Anything is Possible?" one thing became particularly clear at this year's TEDxWHU conference on February 1 on the campus of WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar: We should focus on our passions and interests.

Photo: Nicolette Fountaris

Already in the opening speech, Professor Dr. Holger Ernst, Chair of Technology and Innovation Management at WHU, pointed out that anything is possible in the new year. It was up to us to shape 2020 and turn the question mark of the conference motto into an exclamation mark. Nicolette Fountaris described what this means in concrete terms in her 21-minute speech, which is typical for the TED format. The influencer, who is constantly gaining popularity, has always had "dreams, visions and imagination," as she says. Yet she would have been happy for the first time at the age of 29. As young people, we would all too often feel a sense of pressure to explain who we are and what we want to become. For Foundaris, who is now touring Germany successfully with her own comedy show, it was therefore crucial to realize that it was not about making others happy, but about doing what makes her happy. "Is your job based on your passions?" is a question she asked. After all, life wouldn't be a "dress rehearsal," but a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do what you love.

Anastasija Lukic, who lives in Cologne and is also known through social media, conveyed a similar message during her talk: You should believe in yourself, make risks your friends and pursue your dreams. "Would you do this job if you weren't paid for it?" was her way of expressing what Foundaris also called. To find her happiness, Lukic also turned her back on her previous career in a German financial institution and left her comfort zone. She learned, in the words of Bob Marley, to live the life she loves and to love the life she lives.

In the last speech of the day, CleverBooks start-up manager Darya Yegorina took up the message of Foundaris and Lukic by asking what this text began with: "What would you do today if you knew you could not fail? According to Yegorina, there is only one person in life who can keep you from your dreams - and that person is yourself.