"Breaking Boundaries"! What Does That Mean?

"Breaking Boundaries"! What Does That Mean?

A summary of TEDxXU 2024

A TEDx about Breaking Boundaries and inviting 5+1 speakers. So what can it be about?

From small talks with the audience to taking a quick look at the speakers' backgrounds, it was obvious that it was not about a specific group of people, and diversity was clearly at the core of the event. So in this article, I am trying to briefly summarize what those diverse speakers were thinking about breaking the boundaries.

I will add my two cents at the end, and it will be great if you share your opinion in the comments as well.

What was the event?

It was a 4-hour TEDx event organized by Exponential University and hosted by SAP in SAP DataSpace. You can find details about the speakers and the event on their LinkedIn page here.

Speakers' Summery

Below, I am trying to phrase the sentences and thoughts from the speaker's point of view as much as I can remember. So the disclaimer is that there might be some misunderstandings or missing points. Which may be corrected by them in the future. Also, I will add the recordings when they are published.

Janine Vanessa Heinrich

Breaking boundaries is about breaking the big wall that is still in front of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Even with all the supporting programs so far, only 2–3 percent of the funds are going to women-led startups in 2022–2023.

To name a few of the current blockers based on an interview study by Janine:

  • One size does not fit all: there are several female empowerment programs, but not all are white.

  • Over underrepresentation: even by having their faces now on billboards but still not getting the bill.

  • Diversity washing: companies are going back silently and quietly quitting the DEI.

Max Richard Leßmann

Max, by being vocal about men's mental health, tries to break the wall between men and their emotions, to help them see their emotions, and to inform society about their emotions.

He started the story by saying how having a crying dad helped him see his emotions, and he ended it by wishing everybody had children raised by crying dads.


Sena wasn't officially a speaker, but a singer and performer. However, with her songs, she tried to remind us that music can break boundaries and make cultural changes. One of her unpublished songs was named "Blind Men," with a verse saying, "Sometimes I wish men were blind." Adding to that, I wish for a better society in which no one bothers others even by their eyes!

Constantin Eis

"We create the problem, so we will solve it." Constantine was talking about climate change. As he said, the problem is mostly coming from energy, and renewable energy might break the boundary in the future and help us reverse our footprint. Solar cells, wind turbines, and energy storage have shown massive improvements in the past decades, and one day we will be at the plateau of productivity (referring to the hype cycle).

Dat Nguyen

Curiosity Quotient + Passion Quotient > Intelligent Quotient

Although this equation is not easily measurable, several stories like what Dat was telling about his classmate, Eric, show us how true it is.

We are more curious when we are born and start questioning everything. But it gets less when we are adults, and even less when we get older. So the key to being alive and keeping the movement going is to stay curious and ask questions.

And he ended by saying, "We should say more often: I don't know... But I wanna know.".

Lautaro Figola

With a few years of experience managing raves and techno events, Lautaro was describing "the essence of raves" as "the quest for the sublime moment.".

So what makes raves special for breaking social,cultural, and personal boundries? Like games, there are a few aspects that make it possible:

  • happening in a different locality and duration (than normal life)

  • has its own set of rules

  • there is no interest, and just for fun of it...

And to show how the outcome can be, Lautaro said, "In Raves, barriers are broken and diversity celebrated.".

Mona Ghazi

"Do you know the feeling that you are not enough?" Mona said when she started the speech around self-love and how to break our internal boundaries.

Mona has studied "reprogramming of unconsciousness" to overcome self-doubt, and here are three recommendations to do so.

1. Be the moderator of your thoughts: watch your thoughts (metacognition) and the different roles that they take: critic, love, cheerleader, and perfectionist.

2. Choose your consumption wisely: we have limited time and energy, so select the TV, music, media, and anything surrounding you wisely and see if those are giving you energy or taking it away.

3. Write a self-love journal before bed: to prime your mind and love yourself.

My Two Cents

If you have read them all, you can already see how breaking boundaries is diverse and applicable to different terms. We are limited in too many ways, and the people who find the right boundaries to break have always changed history to improve people's lives.

For me, breaking the boundaries means aiming for a world where people live in peace and justice, no matter which countries they live in or what background they have. Aiming for a world where people talk and discuss fearlessly and nobody gets killed or homeless because of their ideas or race, where power is distributed fairly and equity is at the center.

You might think all of these imaginations have already become reality, but the status quo is still far from it all around the world.


I look forward to reading your comments and ideas about breaking the boundaries.

Thanks to the organizers of the event, and special thanks to Büsra Aydin, who hosted the event and invited us.