Kerstin Plehwe

Kerstin Plehwe

March 31, 2021
The Great Hall

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Festival of Excellence Keynote Speaker 
The annual Festival of Excellence celebrates scholarly and creative work conducted by SUU's faculty, students, and staff.

Plehwe is an international business expert and visionary thought leader who is powered by her passion for excellence and innovation. And she is a trailblazer by being the first female president of the German DMA and the first German to win the prestigious US Pollie Award. She has worked with top politicians, Olympic athletes, and corporate executives. Her busy life as keynote speaker, company owner, and philanthropist has brought her to more than 25 countries including South Africa, Japan, and the USA.


March 31, 2021 was SUU’s 9th annual Festival of Excellence, where the university holds a one day event dedicated to celebrate SUU's scholarly efforts through interdisciplinary dialogue and encouraging life-long learning. A.P.E.X. Events was pleased to host the Festival of Excellence’s keynote speaker, Kerstin Plehwe. Plehwe is an entrepreneur, speaker, and bestselling author born in Munich, Germany. She is a world-traveled, energizing personality that embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship and passion, and has worked with top politicians, Olympic athletes, and corporate executives. Today, Plehwe is a sought-after motivational speaker, author and activist. She was introduced to the stage by SUU’s Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Jon Anderson.

Dr. Lynn Vartan, Director of A.P.E.X. Events, kicked off the presentation with a warm welcome to Kerstin, who was calling in over Zoom in her home country of Germany. After handing the presentation off to her, Kerstin started her lecture, titled “Go Green Go Great! The Most Powerful Strategies for Mental Health and Wellbeing.” She began with sharing her personal experiences in life and how in the pursuit of happiness in one’s life, many aspects of life can be weird and overwhelming. As she described her many accomplishments in her life, she mentioned one thing that she didn’t take into consideration when she was younger: health and mental wellbeing. She went on to discuss the importance of sleeping and eating well and taking care of both one’s physical and mental health, as well as the vast number of people, especially young people, who suffer from anxiety and/or depression. In her discussion of stress, Plehwe discussed how stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing entirely, but too much stress for too long not only has adverse mental side effects, but physical ones as well.

She then went on to discuss what she calls the “6 protective habits for wellbeing:” smart nutrition, physical activity, social engagement, regular relaxation, light exposure [to nature and sunlight], and more doing than thinking. She went into a deeper and detailed exploration into each of these 6 habits, noting the nutritional value of food and the vitamins and proteins important to eat, having fun and exercising regularly, finding and creating time to purposefully relax, and sitting outside or walking outside for a little while. She then gave a small summary of the habits as 7 steps to “d.stress yourself:” identifying stressors, knowing vitamin levels, mindfulness, having the courage to say no, rethinking one’s rituals, regular monitoring, and being good to one’s body and soul. After ending her presentation, Dr. Vartan briefly interviewed Kerstin and shared her thoughts on the importance of mental health and wellbeing as well.


Audio Transcript