Big Stories 3. Leadership: From the deserts to the boardroom

Kolmapäev, 13. detsember kell 19:00 - 21:00

Running order: The talks will start at 19.15, please arrive at the venue at 1900.

Erinevate Tubade Klubi • Erinevate Tubade Klubi, 10412 Tallinn, Harju maakond, Eesti

Speakers: Inspirational pioneers from across business, adventure, culture, music, technology, security & beyond.

Themes: Our evenings run by theme, connecting topics that are relevant across sectors and different journeys. 13th of December theme: Leadership: From the deserts to the boardroom.

Where: In Tallinn. Estonia is a vibrant country known to launch big stories, build digital innovation and is home to the most unicorns per capita! Big Stories is based in Tallinn but the speaker series includes speakers globally, connecting people from around the world.

Hosts: The evening is hosted by Anna-Liisa Tampuu & Chris Shirley MA FRGS

Sponsors: Haus of Hiatus digital design studio ( and Tales of Adventure (

Running order: The talks will start at 19.15, please arrive at the venue at 1900. The event is in English.

Big Stories 3. Leadership: From the deserts to the boardroom

What is leadership and does it take different shapes and forms?

How do we know when we are successful?

Who is a good leader?

Can leadership be taught?

On the 13th of December, we'll hear from inspiring speakers across different industries about their leadership journeys: from kayaking races to desert expeditions to founding new business revenue streams.

What common themes can we see from stories that are different yet similar in many ways? What did our speakers learn about themselves and leadership through their trials and tribulations?Join us for an evening full of shared stories, inspiration and motivation to walk the road less travelled.

Speakers 1: The Tetsmann / Baum kayak team, winner of the 2023 Yukon 1000-mile canoe race in remote Alaska!

Anette and Linda are better known by their race name, the Tetsmann / Baum kayak team and they win races. Tremendously hard races!
Both faced a huge challenge this summer, when they competed in and won the longest (and arguably, hardest) paddling race in the world, the Yukon 1000.
For those unfamiliar with this epic race, the Yukon 1000 is a gruelling endurance race that spans over 1,000 miles (1600 km) of the remote Yukon River in the grizzly-bear-infested Alaskan and Canadian back country. It's a true test of endurance, strength, and mental toughness, and only the most experienced and determined teams can compete in, let alone win!
The team comprises of Anette, a 25-year-old medical student, who has been kayaking for 16 years. During this time, she has become a 30-time Estonian champion and participated in Junior Canoe European and U23 World Championships.
And Linda, a 31-year-old marathon paddler and games developer. She started paddling during her university studies in Recreational Management in 2014. Since 2020 she has been running a Kayak Realm Sports Club and training for adult hobby paddlers.
The Tetsmann/Baum Team are excited to talk about their Yukon experience, where they’ll be talking about their training motivation, communications, equipment, proper nutrition, and healthcare that helped them on their inspirational journey.

Speaker 2: Ülane Vilumets, inspiring co-founder of Like A Local app and Sidetrip travel

After a career in sales and sales management at an infamous American door-to-door program and Estonia’s biggest real estate agency Ülane decided in 2010 to leave the corporate world behind and continue as her own boss. The following 10 years were spent on building a cluster of tourism companies, ranging from publishing city maps, Rick Steves recommended tours and day trips to an online travel planner bringing together the best local recommendations.

After a successful debut of their travel app ‘Like A Local’ at the Ajujaht competition, Ülane and her co-founder dived deep into the start-up journey, going through an intense accelerator program, raising 500,000 Euro investments to get to 500k monthly visitors, eventually burning out and having to adjust the entrepreneurial ambitions to those of family and personal life.

For the last couple of years, they’ve kept investing mainly into the new one-way guided transfers brand ‘Sidetrip’ ( which also went deep under water during the pandemic, however has sprung back to offer incredible trips to satisfy travel-hungry nomads.

Today Ülane leads the team that is responsible for ecosystem development and partnerships at the e-Residency of Estonia. Estonia is the first country to offer e-Residency, a government-issued digital identity that allows entrepreneurs from anywhere in the world to start and manage a paperless EU-based company fully online.

Her first-hand entrepreneurial experience, from both the good times and bad times, helps her to fully understand the challenges of SMEs doing cross-border business and start-ups looking to expand to new markets.

Speaker 3: Janey McGill FRGS, desert adventurer, photographer, and writer (joining via video call)

Janey’s military career in the British Armed forces looked promising, she was already reserve soldier and relished the camaraderie and challenge, until a fall training for the prestigious Royal Artillery Gold Cup horse race ended with five fractured vertebrae and a long spell in hospital.

With her life plan in the air, loss of identity, a lengthy rehabilitation, and not content to settle, she experimented with many different paths to find her calling.

Walking was her therapy and legacy her motivation, leading her to walk 630 miles along the South West Coastal Path on her own self-guided project to mark injured and lost soldiers in Afghanistan. It was her she developed the idea for ‘Her Faces of Change’.

Her next expedition, supported by vehicle manufacturer, Land Rover, would see her cross over 750 kilometres - the equivalent of London to Switzerland - over 28 days, through the World’s largest sand desert, the ‘Empty Quarter’ or 'Rub Al Khali' in Arabic, with two Omani women, construction consultant Baida Al Zadjali and dentist Atheer Al Sabri. The message: we’re better together regardless of gender, culture and identity.

‘Arrowhead’ Janey’s first film documenting their desert odyssey will be released in 2024 in time for International Women’s Day.

On return from the desert, she takes her place behind the camera to blend media training, film, photography and website design to deliver clients marketing assets with soul, that connect with their community.

You can find out more about her and her fascinating work at

A little about our previous speakers:

  • A former Captain in the Royal Marines, with vast experience ranging from being a safety and security advisor on the BBC’s High Risk and News Safety team. Travelled to over 60 countries, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS), a Guinness World Record holder (from when he rowed across the Atlantic as part of a team, but also when he completed a marathon with a 100 lb backpack) and has a deep interest in pre-hospital medicine after sustaining a life-altering accident whilst attempting to climb the Matterhorn mountain in Italy.

  • A journalist working for some of the world’s most respected media outlets, including The Economist, BBC, CNBC International, Euronews and The Independent.

  • An ocean and polar explorer, founder of Mad Dog Expeditions and Exploring Women. Also internationally recognized for being the first woman to dive, document and explore the icy waters and ice caves of the Canadian High Arctic Northwest Passage and the tannic waters of the Brazilian Amazon's Rio Negro and its tributaries. Also a Polar expedition specialist and Ocean explorer with expertise in operations, logistics and scuba diving in remote regions of the world. She has skied to the North Pole to raise awareness of climate change and protection and conservation of our environment and wildlife.

  • CEO and and the first Afghan mountaineer to summit the highest mountain on earth, Mount Everest! In spring 2023, he achieved a momentous world first, becoming the first Afghan mountaineer to stand at 8848m atop the great Mount Everest. A few years prior, he achieved another incredible mountaineering feat of unofficially becoming the first Afghan to summit the highest mountain in the US, Mount Denali (subject to official confirmation).

Socials: @haus.of.hiatus, @the_tales_of_adventure, @big_stories

Erinevate Tubade Klubi, 10412 Tallinn, Harju maakond, Eesti

Google Map of Erinevate Tubade Klubi, 10412 Tallinn, Harju maakond, Eesti

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