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Open Slideshow Sylvie Nicol, Henkel CHRO

‘Fight for your ideas, be an entrepreneur and capture the opportunities – you can make a difference!’, Sylvie Nicol, Henkel CHRO turned towards the participants in her opening speech. ‘As a company fostering diversity for many years, we believe that there is an increasing importance to drive female empowerment. We want to create a working environment that is as diverse and multi-facetted as possible to maximize impact and innovation and to bring together the best mix of talents without any biases’.

Open Slideshow Rahmyn Kress, global director of Henkel X Ventures

Rahmyn Kress, global director of Henkel X Ventures, explains the idea behind the event: ‘The Xathon has the task of creating a platform on which female talents can explore their personal limits and fully exploit their innovation potential - without any prejudices against them as women. It is a success if we achieve a kind of ‘gender blindness’. We act as a catalyst to drive change in perception.’

Open Slideshow The participants work together in small groups

The Ideation Sprint is about cooperation and creativity. The participants work together in small groups. Individual discussions with their mentors help to further develop their ideas. Coaches advise them in their teams and prepare them for the pitches.

Open Slideshow The participants work together in small groups

The creative techniques and methods of the coaches offer new approaches. Example: the Lotus Blossom Diagram, which is about developing very different ideas for solving a problem.

Open Slideshow Lea Vajnorsky, Head of Platform Development at Henkel X Ventures and Dorothee Bär, Minister of State for Digital Affairs

‘It was the first Xathon, but definitely not the last’, promises Lea Vajnorsky, Head of Platform Development at Henkel X Ventures (left in the photo, together with Dorothee Bär, Minister of State for Digital Affairs). The aim of the Xathon is to promote innovation, women's talents and entrepreneurship.

Open Slideshow Jan Ehlers, Team-Coach

The message of team coach Jan Ehlers: ‘We want you to think playfully and creatively. But we also want you to feel uncomfortable and insecure. All this is part of the process of developing a great idea.’

Open Slideshow The Jury awards a total of eight prizes for the best ideas and performances in the pitch.

After the final pitch round, the jury of seven will award a total of eight prizes for the best ideas and performances in the pitch. The winners will have the opportunity to hone their talents in a Grace Boot Camp, in the H-Farm Innovation Lab or at the ESCP Business University.