She feels humbled, proud and excited by the trust she is given for being a host.

Sophia Gruner, 33, has a Euregional identity besides her German background. Having lived in the village of Wachtendonk but having studied and worked at Fontys Venlo for years makes her a true borderlander. With a bachelor in logistics and supply chain management and a Master’s in Business Administration, she feels very lucky to have a job as a lecturer at Fontys Hogeschool in Venlo. She is a passionate workaholic combining her work at Fontys with the Noblahblah organization, where she works as a consultant and trainer. Her favorite pastime is horse-riding which she still loves today - particularly the care and shoveling the dung of her foster horse. 

From day one Sophia has been excited by the positive energy coming from the TEDxVenlo community. The fun and total commitment of the group made her wish to go on working with TedxVenlo. In 2018 she held a talk herself about connecting to your inner network in order to discover your basic values and what makes you tick, with little angels and demons on your shoulder talking to you in all kinds of confrontational situations. The popping bubbles aspect of her speech was that sudden thoughts may suddenly give you insight in matters like popping bubbles in your mind. 

The English language is very important to Sophia: she thinks a day without speaking English is a day wasted. 70% of her work is taken up by the English language as her classes comprise students from more than 10 different nationalities, besides German and Dutch classes.

Sophia’s major goal as a host, together with Danny, is to keep the audience engaged by making the audience identify with the subject of the speakers’ talks. Keeping the audience’s attention and keeping them entertained is what makes the TEDxVenlo event successful. 

In the introduction of the speakers Sophia and Danny really hope to make the speakers feel at ease by mindful, energizing wording of the introduction, connecting their talks with the Popping Bubbles theme and thereby turning the atmosphere into a convivial happening. She really hopes to shed light on every possible angle of the Popping Bubbles theme with a lot of spontaneity and humor and as much involvement of the audience as possible.

Sophia says: “For me it’s a big sign of trust and I feel humbled that as a host I, together with Danny, may contribute to the success of the TEDx-event this year. Hopefully in a full Theater de Maaspoort. I can’t wait”.