beyond tellerrand – A New Beginning

A short story: 2001 was the year when I thought, how much I like attending events. I have been in Amsterdam, attending an event that was called Flashfoward. I met so many people I am still friends with and I remember that I had that feeling, I was at the right place. I enjoyed the atmosphere, the buzz, the reason why all of those people – and I – have been there. In that year, I also thought that I’d love to run events like this as well and coincidence was, that Sascha Wolter, whom I helped running the Flashforum back then – the platform what should become my own baby at some point – wanted to run an event for and with the Flashforum community. In September the first Flashforum Konferenz took place in Munich. Since then I have organised and planned countless events and made the event business my full time passion in 2010, when I started beyond tellerrand.

During the last ten years, I managed – with the help of many, many lovely people – two grow this event to a well-known event with a good reputation. beyond tellerrand took place regularly in three cities in Germany and I honestly love organising, planning and running it.

One and a half years ago a world wide pandemic took away from me, what I love to do. I wasn’t able to run beyond tellerrand and it wasn’t my fault and I haven’t done anything wrong, but I suddenly I had been in a situation, that not only the thing I love to do was taken away, but also I lost my ”job”. From one day to another.

It would take too long to really describe what happened through the last nearly two years. Emotionally, but also from someone who thought, that he had a ”safe job”. Would I go and get a new job at some point? Would things go back to ”normal”? The fear, the emotional ups and downs … it really was no easy time. Well, certainly I wasn’t in the worst situation with a wonderful family and there were many, many people suffering way more than me from the situation Covid caused. Keeping that in mind and the wonderful support of you out there, who support beyond tellerrand, who are beyond tellerrand, made me believe that I’d be able to start it all again.

I also have to say, that Covid did not only brought bad things to the light. The first lockdown really made people slow down and get creative with their time together. The whole family had to arrange their lives, daily tasks and interests being locked in at home, which should be a usual thing to do, but again: we had to rethink and reconsider a lot of the daily things – in the family, but also in our jobs and at school. During the whole time it suddenly was obvious, how bad the infrastructure (if there was one at all) school over here in Germany was. Our primary school did not even have an internet connection. It also showed how helpless some of the teachers were with “the new” technology named internet, while others really got creative and did wonderful things remotely with the kids. In short: many things we can and should improve have been shown – the only hope I have is, that those things will be improved now!

And here we are. In September, with only two month notice, I got the OK to run beyond tellerrand in November 2021 again. And I couldn’t be more happy. Even though I know that nailing speakers down to come, the financial situation and also the still not really safe situation concerning Covid cause beyond tellerrand to be far away from “normal”. This won’t be a beyond tellerrand, where “we just do another one, after a break of two years” and which follows the usual event cycle. No. This – for me at least – is a new beginning. From zero. A start from scratch under special circumstances. But I am happy if you join me on this new journey and am looking forward to meet you in Düsseldorf.