Meet our speakers.
With plenty ‘ideas worth spreading’, our speakers at TEDxUtrecht are looking forward to inspire and to connect.
We are proud to present our speakers line up. Again, we bring you fresh ideas and international inspiration from our hometown Utrecht and all over the globe. Come and listen to this awesome bunch of individuals.
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What happens in the first 0.4 seconds when you see someone for the first time? And what if it isn’t a person you’re looking at, but a painting? Is the effect the same?
Looking at art by using several tricks can improve your opinion about it. Adinda van Wely (25) is a student Art History and one of the winners of the TEDxUtrecht Talentstage. She has been working as an art consultant for three years. Her goal in life is to share the passion she feels about art, and to teach anyone who wants to hear. On our stage she illustrated the three questions she always uses when looking at art, and how to use them on a day-to-day basis.
“When we grow up we get audio visual information from our direct environment, we question and discern this information that comes at us by asking the question ‘why’? At some point we stop asking. – Why?”
Information passed onto us is temporary information for us, meant to question and to update regularly. Like how we update our devices with the latest builds of software. We should update our narrower older versions of life views with newer broader ways of viewing things.”
At the age of 16 Aiman Hassani was selected to create eight episodes for BNN. In 2008 he won a scholarship to study in New York. As a director/producer he makes films and music videos. And he is the co-founder of three companies, one of them is a Non-Profit wedoWE that lowers the barriers to activate people into changing the world around them for the good.
Did you miss Aiman’s performance on our TEDxUtrecht Talentstage? Come and see him on the 27th of January!
We’re proud to present Amber Kortzorg as one of our moderators on the 27th January.
With a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience, a master’s degree in audiovisual Journalism and a lot of experience in public speaking, Amber sees herself as the propagator of science, knowledge and development. After a research period in Suriname, Amber is currently setting up a journalism startup and keeps hosting events she is passionate about.
Amber: “Since I can remember I’ve been watching TED talks. Mostly before going to bed, so my brain could consolidate the new thoughts overnight. The next day I would discuss the things I learned with friends and family. For me those talks were always a great motive to think differently about the world and start converstations with random people about topics that are out of the ordinary. To be part of TEDxUtrecht and share these conversations on a large scale, is something I could only dream of.”
Polish-born Anna Chojnacka is co-founder of the 1%Club. She takes great pride in what she does and with a good reason: doing good things works. In 2014 and 2015 Chojnacka was named one of the most influential Dutch women.
In the old world people with knowledge and resources ruled society. Knowledge was expensive and hard to get and only within reach for a limited group. Knowledge was locked in a Cathedral. People without access to that kind of knowledge and resources went elsewhere, to the Bazaar. The Bazaar nowadays is all the unorganized knowledge that is accessible with the help of modern media. Here the knowledge is vast and cheap, but you don’t know the quality of it and where to look for it. That can be harmful and even dangerous for the user.
But: when you connect the Bazaar with the Cathedral, then you have best of both worlds. How do we construct such connection? Chojnacka presents two examples that might work.
Phone addiction is real. It’s all around us and it’s only getting worse. Creatives Ben Langeveld and Ingmar Larsen might just have the answer to the stress and anxiety problems you encounter whenever you run out of battery or credit, or have no network coverage. Or worse: when you lose your phone.
They’re the inventors and founders of NoPhone. Enjoy always having the ability to clutch a rectangle of smooth, cold plastic without forgoing any potential engagement with your direct environment. Never again experience the unsettling feeling of flesh on flesh when closing your hand.
What started out as a comment on our present addiction to technology, has lead to an overwhelming response of people worldwide and featured in media all over the world.
“We’re proud to be part of a movement of people who want to be more aware of how much time they are spending with their devices rather than with each other. A life of NoPhone.”
Singer-songwriter Bird in a Glasshouse, alias Femke Ravensbergen, is a creative and experimenting artist. Using her voice and her violin in extraordinary ways Femke will make you part of her own world. Mysterious and powerful.
Bon Verweij is a neurosurgeon at the University Medical Center Utrecht. In a 23 hour long surgery, he and craniofacial surgeon Marvick Muradin have implanted world’s first total cranial skull using 3D print technology
He tells us: “Usually surgeons use conventional scans to build a 3D model in their brain to prepare for the surgery. Then they use their experience of the past to operate tomorrow’s patient. That is changing: I use a 3d print and virtual reality of you…. to practice and plan your surgery”.
Did you ever ask your surgeon before your operation if he or she already performed that specific procedure in your….Body?
Why? Because surgery needs to be 100%!
Bright O. Richards was a famous actor in Liberia before the war broke out. Arriving in the Netherlands as a young asylum seeker, he lost the platform that he was used to. For this reason, he decided to buy a pair of typically Dutch wooden shoes and became known as “De Neger op Klompen” (The African on wooden shoes). People in the streets would come up to him, start conversations with him and they always heard him walking by. He studied theatre and film and developed a theatre play based on true-to-life refugee stories.
Bright discovered that his personal refugee story and his West-African background were his unique selling points and he started incorporating them in his work as an actor and a trainer. Together with his wife, he established the foundation ‘New Dutch Connections’. Bright has created a community of individuals and companies who share his dream to inspire and empower young asylum seekers.
As they say in Africa: ‘it takes a village to raise a child’.
Best-selling author and speaker Chris Baréz- Brown has a rather unusual view of the world: he knows that everybody is perfect. Unfortunately, as we grow up we develop and socialise and we often lose touch with that brilliance and can become somebody we’re not.
Chris has worked with thousands of people and has come to one conclusion; creative success comes from tapping your innate genius and not from tools, techniques and clever business process.
Chris founded ‘Upping Your Elvis’ in 2009 to help people reconnect with their inner genius and once again become confident in being who they truly are. Although that may seem rather hippie to some, his results produce tangible returns on investment for companies such as The Nike Foundation, Unilever and Diageo, who come back time and again for his unique and energetic approach to transforming their people and their businesses. The Guardian recently described Chris as “a long haired, twinkly eyed cross between Richard Branson and a wizard”.
D.A.M.N. STUdance is the demoteam of STUdance. These semi-professional dancers (all students in Utrecht) give their all on stage. Enjoy!
Many diseases of old age, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, seem inevitable but originate mostly from our lifestyles.
For many years, we have been blaming individuals for these lifestyles, telling them it is their own fault. Well it is not says David van Bodegom. The constant temptations in our environment seduce our ancient genes to make unhealthy choices. A radically different approach is needed: re-shaping environments where all people are nudged to automatically make healthier choices.
David van Bodegom is a medical doctor and historian, now working as an ageing researcher at Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing. David left his medical practice because he believes he can best serve people’s health in the public space. Together with professor Rudi Westendorp he wrote the bestseller ‘A Guide for Growing Older’ (2015), presenting a unique approach to living longer and staying healthy.
With a PhD in Elementary Particle Physics, his experience in consulting and hands-on knowledge about the value of data analytics Egge van der Poel ties the (future) possibilities of data analytics to the current needs of professionals.
In healthcare, every decision has an impact on someone’s life. But is the best evidence available at the right time to support this decision? I believe we can make healthcare more personal and precise with the use of Big Data.
To accomplish this several stakeholders have to work together, i.e. Big Dating. But why are we progressing so slow? One stakeholder holds the key to acceleration: the patient. In order to make healthcare better you have to give power to the people. Let’s go!
On the 1st of June 2007 Esther-Clair participated in The Big Donorshow. The tv show was a hoax, her story was real.
Her kidney troubles began at the age of three and she now has her 4th donor kidney. She recently made a children’s book in which she used her experiences as a child with a chronic disease.
This story is about Steven Starman. A little boy with a big dream: he wants to travel outer space in his selfmade rocket. But then his kidneys fail! Will he still be able to follow his dream?
But it is also a story about Esther-Clair. How she coped with a chronic disease from her childhood up until now. And how she wrote a book about it. Using a little boy named Steven. Esther-Clair: “It’s about a miraculous journey and how I found honesty, determination and passion.”
One of the main challenges of our time is to build prosperity, while keeping intact the natural resources we depend upon. Femke Groothuis is a wavemaker. A political scientist specialised in International Relations and Environment. She’s Director of The Ex’tax Project, a think-tank on the tax system of the 21st century. And believe it or not, she will make you see the beauty of tax.
‘Our tax system holds the key to an inclusive and circular economy. A smart tax shift from labour to resource use enables growth based on the abundantly available capacities and ingenuity of people, rather than the extraction of resources from nature.’
Entrepreneurs have the talent to create value, shared value. One of our biggest global challenges that access to resources becomes increasingly difficult.
Guido Braam was co-founder and Executive Director of Circle Economy. As co-founder of several impact driven companies like Outside.inc, We Beat The Mountain, Next2Company, Kirkman Company and YSE he wants to expand Powered by Meaning with a strong belief that shared value and circular entrepreneurship will be the new normal.
Braam: “The circular economy concept provides a tempting perspective to solve these issues. In the last years we have seen new business models, cool innovations and first circular successes. We are in the early stage of development, so the quest is to speed up the process from rhetoric to reality, from concept to practice. Let’s go!”
Ine Gevers is a curator, writer and activist, and received international acclaim and recognition. She currently prepares the expanded art event Hacking Habitat, Art of Control in Utrecht, with Life Hack marathons in 2015 and a large scale exhibition in 2016.
HACKING HABITAT takes place in an actual former prison to focus on the smartphone as new panopticum. We live in symbiosis with our portable mobile devices. Contemporary networked systems of power and control are so entrenched into the fabric of daily life to deeply influence our relations and behaviour. These forms of virtual incarceration / institutional violence need to be addressed in order to take action. HACKING HABITAT looks for alternative ways: how can people reclaim their living environment? How to redefine our relationship with technology? How to incorporate human feedback in the systems of tomorrow? How to hack our habitat?
Jeroen Komen takes the audience on a flight, exploring both the beauty of organic growth and the power of efficient man made structures. Astonishing photos show cultures and patterns from above. His 1000 hours in an experimental propeller plane led to an overview that can help you choose when to lift off by letting go, and when to approach with focus and control. You too will definitely see parallels that can pilot your life to personal freedom.
When his company matured to 25 employees, Jeroen Komen stepped aside to devote more time to his passions: flying and photography. In the last six years he has inspired many people, flying his little experimental propeller plane to 40 European countries to surf couches and visit extraordinary people.
Komen: “Start flying, stop braking and keep going. If you do so you actually will fly and experience freedom and the most beautiful views. Be the pilot of your own life”.
We’re proud to present Julika Marijn as one of our moderators on the 27th January.
Julika presents herself: “I’m a ‘voice-giver’. I get inspired when I can bring stories or plays to live. For a live audience, on camera or behind a microphone in a studio. I’m giving voice (speaking or singing) to characters on stage, to stories in audio books or in commercials. When I present I give voice to what needs to be shared or learned. When I work as a speaker coach I’m dedicated to find the coachee’s own story and voice. When I write, I’m writing down what my inner voice tells me to. I love my work dearly.”
Last summer Julika was moderator at Happinez Festival. Julika is also coach for two of the TEDxUtrecht speakers, on behalf of Great Communicators.
Lex Empress has been an effervescent star in the international dance music scene for many years. She is the MC and main vocalist for the Mysteryland and Sensation events and worked with many artists all over the world.
In addition to her festival stage performances she is an in-demand vocalist and improviser. She is known for her unique musical improvisations, which she does in five languages, English, Italian, Dutch, French, and Portuguese.
For Lex, a life full of improvisation is a life of happiness. By embracing each moment and letting go of all doubt, one can cast out fear and live life to the fullest. Central to her musical and life philosophy is the current moment, the “now”.
Lex Empress is accompanied by Gilian Baracs, pianist of amongst others Wicked Jazz Sounds and GLXYCHLD. Together they improvised their performance with words and musical input from the audience.
An amazing experience!
What is talent? How do you discover your talent? What is the difference between ‘talent’ and ‘talent in action’? How can you develop skills to use your talent more effectively? And… how to deal with your weaknesses?
Luk Dewulf gives an answer to all these questions and will help the audience discover their own talents, based on daily life examples and experiences.
Luk Dewulf is Master in Educational Sciences. As an independent consultant, he gives strategic advice on talent development in organisations. He is both a strengths and a burn-out coach. He has written bestsellers on talent and burn-out. He is frequently invited to give lectures and key-notes, both in Belgium and abroad.
Dewulf challenges schools, organisations and more than that: society, to be much more successful in detecting, using and empowering the talent of any individual. Because everybody has many talents.
Marieke Poelmann wrote a book about losing her parents in the airplane crash in Tripoli in 2010.
Our society completely depends on the energy generated by power stations, which makes our energy network extremely vulnerable. Besides that, parts of the sustainable energy that’s generated, is wasted because more is generated than directly needed. The Blue Battery enables us to store and generate electrical energy safely and sustainable. Therefore sustainable energy can be even more sustainable and we can all have power over our driving force: electricity.
Mei was one of the winners of the TEDxUtrecht Talentstage, and the youngest speaker on the TEDxUtrecht stage. She is studying Biology. In her final year of high school, she did a research project with Lotte van der Velde and Eline Jagtenberg and in cooperation with Wetsus, which has led to the invention of The Blue Battery.
Pax is a musician, vocalist and a writer. He was also one of the members of the Kyteman Orchestra.
In the last 10 years Pax has done so much thinking that as he puts it “some sort of shadow has crept over me. The radiant light I once was, was being dimmed. I was dreaming to have something all for myself. To have my own band”.
Whatever happened to him next has lead him to his actual stage in life, where Pax basically has three jobs: “survival, being happy and making my dreams come true”.
Living without money. Any money. Can you imagine doing this for real?
In 2010, a moneyless journey from the Netherlands to Mexico became a turning point in the life of Raphael Fellmer. A backpack for the journey was the last thing he bought.
Back in Berlin Raphael continued his money-strike for five years, together with his wife and their two children. He established the foodsaving network against food waste that has already saved more than 2.5 million kilograms of food distributed from 1600 businesses. In his talk Raphael gives an insight about his experience of living without money in our society. Besides opportunities and the creation of the foodsaving network, he also talks about the impact his way of life has had for his family. Raphael outlines his dream of a world without money or bartering and how he wants to forward evolution through a revolutionary ad-free, open source, multi-sharing and saving platform.
Robert Overweg gives an out-of-the-box, critical and insightful view into how our lives are becoming increasingly more digitized. What possible futures lie ahead and what inspiring examples are currently being made in the digital world. Virtual Reality will play an increasing role in this merger of the physical and virtual world. Robert analyses the impact VR has on our mind, and focuses on how we can attempt to make the world a better place through this technology.
Robert Overweg is an artist and expert on the field of Virtual Worlds. He helps people and some of the most leading national and international companies in looking at a different reality. He does this in several distinctive ways; giving lectures, creating art, offering companies guidance in concept development and the execution of this.
Robin Berg of LomboXnet is a true innovator. With his company he makes innovations accessible for inhabitants of the Lombok neighborhood in Utrecht, like speed internet access via optical fiber since 2005. For several years now, Berg is also working on smart solutions for mobility, in which solar energy is used.
In Lombok, Utrecht Berg started several initiatives to make use of solar energy. One of the initiatives is ‘Smart Solar Charging’, the first sunpower-controlled charging station en V2G-system in the world. This project makes use of the sun to charge electric cars and at night the car battery can also be slowly depleted. The charging station works almost on 100 % solar energy.
The initiative of the Smart Solar Charging in Lombok might be small, but is reusable in other parts of the world. Berg will keep innovating with new technology. ” Making use of the sun with new technology is necessary to keep the world a good place to live.
With his RAAAF‐collective achitect and Prix de Rome winner Ronald Rietveld operates at the cutting edge of architecture, art and philosophy. Rietveld’s work has been published worldwide and has been exhibited at major art and architecture biennials such as Sao Paulo, Istanbul and Venice. At TEDxUtrecht Rietveld will show what is possible if we let go of existing conventions.
In our society almost the entire environment is designed for sitting, while medical research has shown that too much sitting is unhealthy. At RAAAF, Rietveld and artist Barbara Visser have developed a physical concept for the future workplace in which the chair and table are no longer the starting point. The End of Sitting is a first step towards a future in which standing work the new norm.
Ruben Abels is a designer at DesignArbeid, a research based design studio in Amsterdam that focuses on social issues. One of Design Arbeid’s primary objectives is to reflect on how we can maintain livable cities. In particular, to identify the concrete steps we can take as individuals to influence our surroundings and what kind of contribution new media and technology can make in this respect.
“Hobbyism as a governing principle, technology works” is a visual scenario developed by DesignArbeid to guide our thinking about the future. In this presentation we anticipate the future. Ruben Abels offers us an alternative view on technological innovations, radical transparency, democratic developments and the future of our educational system.
Ruben Abels is member of the research group Image in Context of Minerva Art Academy in Groningen and design lecturer at HKU, University of the Arts, Utrecht.
Commerce lies at the heart of human existence. And the billions we spend each month producing and marketing and shipping products have the single biggest impact on our society and our planet. But we have surprisingly little knowledge or control over these processes. OpenLabel CEO Scott Kennedy explains how global commerce is undergoing a dramatic transformation, affecting a wide range of issues from the environment to politics to human rights.
OpenLabel is the social impact project named a ‘Top 100 Innovative Company’ by Entrepreneur Magazine. Besides his work as CEO of this company, Scott is also an advisor at The Impact Hub, an alumni of Founder’s Den, and a frequent writer and public speaker. Scott was previously CEO of Axcelis where he developed artificial intelligence software.
In a moving inspirational story Tijl Koenderink shares parts of his life story, from being a victim, being bullied and mostly neglected by ‘the system’ to taking up an active role in changing it. In the process of standing up for the rights of talented children who get stuck in the education system he found out a disconcerting conclusion: There was no one to stand up to… Everyone, from teachers to principals, from politicians to cabinet members, they all were looking at each other waiting for someone else to make the first move.
What is missing in the education system that is causing the current problems? Koenderink advocates to take the focus away from dumping content in the kids brains, but facilitating the process of developing character.
In this presentation he lays out the core steps anyone can take to pick up the ball that others have dropped and together create a better world.
Tijmen Schep of the SETUP medialab, playfully challenges us to think deeper about technology. Tijmen (1981) has spent the last two years creating projects that challenge society to ask difficult questions about the future of privacy, surveillance and power.
At TEDx you can learn how Tijmen came to puzzle together ‘The National Birthday Calendar’, a database of all (!) Dutch people. Twenty big data experts spent their weekends hacking it together, by scraping and puzzling the data they could find online. Often baffled at how easy it turned out to be, and how much they could find.
It’s a story of crime, intrigue, suspense…and it’s all about you! Our advice: especially if you have an account at Schoolbank.nl, check this talk out!
Tijmen: “Let’s go people, stroll along the data-stream, staring up at the Cloud, all watched over by machines of loving grace.”