People - 05.10.2011 - 00:00 

Dr. Nils Jent: a life at the limit

Dr. Nils Jent has been physically disabled as a result of an accident since he was 19 years old. Yet he obtained a doctor’s degree and teaches at the HSG today. The story of his life has now appeared as a book and as a film.


28 September 2011. What is the point beyond which someone is considered to be disabled? The border between the worlds of people with and without disabilities is fluid. Since his serious motorbike accident at 18, Dr. Nils Jent has known both sides. Now, at 49, he teaches and conducts research at the Center for Disability and Integration of the University of St.Gallen (HSG).

Ambassador for people with disabilities
The documentary “Breathing Underwater – Das zweite Leben des Dr. Nils Jent” (“Breathing under water – the second life of Dr Nils Jent”), which was produced by Instantview, was selected for this year’s Zurich Film Festival. The film made by producers and directors Stefan Muggli and HSG student Andri Hinnen, had its world premiere at the Zurich festival on 26 September 2011 in front of a wide audience and won the Audience Award (Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 2 October 2011). On Sunday, 9 October 2011, both the book and the film will be presented in the KinoK of the St.Galler Lokremise. The book Dr. Nils Jent: Ein Leben am Limit (Dr. Nils Jent: a life at the limit) by Röbi Koller, which was published by Wörterseh Verlag, and the documentary by Stefan Muggli and Andri Hinnen explore Nils Jent’s history. The author and the film directors examine the two different lives of the young and healthy man and the adult, seriously disabled man. Both the writer and the film team thus support Nils Jent in his work as an ambassador for people with disabilities.

Knowledge gaps in disability research
After his accident, Nils Jent wanted to study and continue to work with his mind and knowledge. Today, as a lecturer and researcher at the HSG’s Center for Disability and Integration, he campaigns for the integration of people with disabilities in society and the economy. “The demarcation between the worlds of people with and without disabilities causes high costs for both sides,” he says. The Center combines fields of management and economics, organisational psychology and applied disability research for the support of a sustainable economic and social integration of people with disabilities. At present, Nils Jent and his working partner Regula Dietsche are setting up “Rent-the-Jent”, an advisory concept consisting of several modules, which helps companies to integrate employees with disabilities into their working processes in a productive and economic way.

Diversity management as an entrepreneurial opportunity

Dr. Nils Jent and Prof. Dr. Martin Hilb also provide an insight into the concept of “Diversity management as an entrepreneurial opportunity and a challenge of diversity and variety” in public lectures at the HSG. Information about details and schedules can be found in the public programme of the University of St.Gallen.

Picture: © Instantview

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