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⭕️ How co-creating a TED Talk can bring you joy, new friends and a whole new perspective

If we were good in everything, we would have no need for each other. At WeCoCo, we believe that co-creating together can lead to better outcomes, greater efficiency, and a more enjoyable experience than working alone. This is why our Co-founder Patrycja Pielaszek didn't write her TED talk alone in a séparée, but on the contrary reached out for help to people she even didn't know before.

TEDx Zürich WeCoCo Women Community Innovation Entrepreneurship Rebuilding
WeCoCo Tribe at the TEDxZurich 2023, photo by Jairo N'Tango

My name is Patrycja and in 2018, I started researching and sharing my ideas and vision for a more equitable future for all genders. I shared them on Instagram anonymously as WeCoCo. Based on connection first, wonderful encounters and collaborations have resulted from this platform and the community has been flourishing naturally.

In this picture, you see from left to right: Agnes Pakozdi, Chantal Landis, Cornelia Kawann, Réka Deàk, Tanya König, Melanie Kovacs, Patrycja Pielaszek, Jacqueline Keller, Natallia Zaremba.

After the second rehearsal, I felt a bit overwhelmed by the feedback of the jury and didn't know in which direction I should steer my story, as the opinions of the jury members were quite different. Then I remembered the TED Talk by Aurélie Litynski, also part of WeCoCo. I remembered that she worked with a TEDx coach from Lausanne in 2021.

WeCoCo Community Woman Female Empowerment Diversity Equality Equity Innovation Inclusion Belonging TEDx
Christopher Lübbers

His name was Christopher Lübbers and I wanted to find out more about him and his approach to storytelling and public speaking. That's how we got to know each other in December, even before my final confirmation as a TEDx speaker. His direct and solution-oriented approach appealed to me very much. He not only helped me to fine-tune my speech, but more importantly, shortly before my performance at the event itself. I owe it to his open and extremely emphatic manner that I did not let myself be distracted when my father was in very bad health condition shortly before my talk. I owe it to Chris that I was still able to go on stage grounded and calm.

I am grateful and happy to have found a WeCoCo in Chris.

“I commend Patrycja for her courage to show up as her authentic self in our sessions, for her tireless commitment to excellence when working on her talk and her irrevocable empathy while speaking about WeCoCo on the infamous red carpet. I saw so many people next to me in the audience and have heard from more over the following days who were truly touched by her talk at TEDxZurich. And so was I during rehearsals and on the day itself.” —Christopher Lübbers (LinkedIn)

WeCoCo Community Woman Female Empowerment Diversity Equality Equity Innovation Inclusion Belonging TEDx
Valentina S. Velandia

I met Valentina Velandia in 2018 at the occasion of a business brunch for female founders. I was impressed by her startup Capacity, an initiative to empower refugees and migrants in Switzerland through entrepreneurship - although I didn't feel concerned. How wrong I was! Just one year later, I found myself on stage of Capacity sharing my own immigration and integration story with a huge audience. This was the moment I realised how deeply the experiences from my childhood and the escape from Poland were rooted in me, and influenced my actions in so many areas of life. It was Valentina who encouraged me to share even more of my story with others and to encourage refugees not to give up and to look for new ways to find a sense of belonging in a foreign country. Meanwhile, Valentina became not only a WeCoco, but a true friend whom I cherish and love. It was her unquestioning faith in me, but also her own story which took the essence of my lateral thinking in English to a higher level for which I am eternally grateful to her.

“Being a part of Patrycja’s journey towards sharing her story of resilience through her fascinating narrative of radical collaboration and building brave spaces for belonging was an absolute privilege. Witnessing her courage in sharing her story and seeing the positive impact it had on others was a transformative experience. She did all the hard work and I just illuminated a way towards self-reflection. Being her sounding board connected me deeply with her experiences and her story is the story of the collective.” —Valentina S. Velandia (LinkedIn)

WeCoCo Community Woman Female Empowerment Diversity Equality Equity Innovation Inclusion Belonging TEDx
Rajan Thambehalli

Rajan Thambehalli was assigned as my coach by Magda Kern, Head of speakers TEDxZürich, and I met him for the first time for a kick-off meeting in July 2022 at our WeCoCo Collab22. Besides working on my story - resp. stories - we enjoyed it very much to exchange experiences in Switzerland, talked about equality topics and loved to share bold approaches since Rajan is a passionate risk taker. He often challenged me with critical questions and bold suggestions so we were able to narrow down the million ideas step by step to be able to knit a coherent story for the audience building a bridge between my origins and the person I am today.

“Working with Patrycja was a unique experience. She had a takeaway message that could have been reached through many paths - so the challenge was to put everything on the table and decide the best course of action for TEDxZurich. I appreciate her ability to take additional feedback, question each of them instead of blindly following, and trust me when it matters.”—Rajan Thambehalli (LinkedIn)

WeCoCo Community Woman Female Empowerment Diversity Equality Equity Innovation Inclusion Belonging TEDx
Rabbit Dance with David JP Philipps

It was in September 2022 that I had the opportunity to meet David JP Philipps (LinkedIn), one of the top TEDx Speakers worldwide, at the strategy retreat of AJ&Smart. We had an intensive session with him learning a lot about storytelling and presentation skills which do not require any talent according to him. "It's something everyone can apply", he emphasised. And this is what I did on my way from Italy back to Zürich, I followed his instructions and re-wrote my entire speech. I was in a flow and it felt so good! My Business Buddy Chantal Schmelz was the first person at the main station in Milan to review the new concept and surprisingly she didn't have many objections.

This is how I continued riding the roller coaster with the invaluable support of the WeCoCo community in endless gratitude to Chantal Landis, Anna Stando, Kenji Kemp, Melanie Kovacs, Elvira Häusler, Réka Deàk, Ola Potrykus, Bilge Apak, Chantal Schmelz and with special thanks to Hanna Brahme, Magda Kern-Fialkowska, Tanya König and many more from the TEDxZürich team.

Last but not least I am infinitely grateful for the love and the unconditional support of my family and my partner in crime ♥︎ Thank you,

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