What do Oliver Kahn, an astronaut, a 17 year old Robotics teacher, the FC Bayern Munich and 56 teenage football talents have in common? They were all part of the Allianz Explorer Camp anniversary edition taking in place in Munich the last week of August 2018.
Over 50 youths from 23 countries had qualified to take part in the four day Camp that has a strong foothold in football and is supported by Allianz´s partner the FC Bayern Munich. The youths between 13 and 16 years of age had daily trainings with the FC Bayern Munich coaches, a personal meet and greet with their idols Arjen Robben, Jérôme Boateng, Thomas Müller, Thiago und current World Champion Corentin Tolisso and were privy to matches and training sessions of the Pro’s during their week of Camp.
The Camp has become the youth pillar of the Explorer Program and was designed along the themes confidence, trust and change. On and off the pitch, the days of the Camp were devoted to these topics and the youths encouraged providing their point of view on the pitch, in the devoted sessions and through videos they created with their peers.
The Camp kicked off with the topic of confidence and no lesser than Oliver Kahn – living football legend, TV moderator, successful businessman. Kahn hosted a private session with the Digital Natives in the Allianz Arena and spoke about mental, emotional fitness and how to build confidence with success but also especially through failure. The young football lovers could then put tips into practice in a penalty shoot in the Allianz arena with U19 Goalkeeper Lukas Schneller. The Titan himself gave feedback to each and every one of the 56 kids on the green: „Their talent, strong character, flexibility and open-mindedness doesn´t only make these kids great football players but also great personalities“, the world´s best goalkeeper concludes: „I think we will be seeing more of these youths“. The day concluded with an absolute highlight – all young athletes were invited to join the highly emotional farewell match of Sebastian Schweinsteiger in the Allianz Arena.
Going beyond football, the topic of change was addressed by Valeria Cagnina. The 17-year-old TED-Ex speaker, robotics wunderkind and founder of a robotics school shared how she had turned her passion into her work before putting the international youths to work and to building their own robots – some of which were sent to space in a space balloon on the next day.
Trust was the topic that brought the kids to the topic of space. Former German astronaut Gerhard Thiele – one of only 11 Germans to have been in space – spoke to the young athletes how to earn, give and maintain trust in people and things: „There is no blueprint for trust because the decision to trust is always personal and emotional. I´ve failed frequently but each time I simply decided to trust again. I think that´s also a reason why I have seen the stars.“ said the astronaut, visibly impressed by the questions from the audience.
Aided by designer, artist and entrepreneur Konstantin Landuris, the participants built their own space balloons in a maker´s session that were then launched into the stratosphere.
On their last day at Camp, the 56 youths were the stars of the Allianz Explorer Micro-Conference that zoomed in on Digital Natives and their life in a hyper connected world.
Reunited with their idols and mentors of the Camp - Oliver Kahn, astronaut Gerhard Thiele and Valeria Cagnina – and joined by their coach for the week, former German libero and coach Klaus Augenthaler, Allianz CFO and Board Member Giulio Terzariol, Jean-Marc Pailhol, Head of Group Market Management and Distribution at Allianz and strategic mastermind behind the Explorer program, and the 17-year old Leon Schwarzer, member of Allianz´s Digital Native Advisory Board, the youths participated in a suspenseful discussion. Addressing trust, confidence and change, speakers and Camp participants gave insights, honest and sometimes surprising feedback on what matters to people born after the turn of the 21th century in a lively interactive discussion at the Allianz auditorium.
Putting their feet where their mouth is, the young talents´ last day was crowned by a football tournament under the stern eyes of Klaus Augenthaler and Co. at the training site of the FC Bayern.