TEDxDelft 2016 | Boris van der Ham | Redefining the fight for freedom

Boris van der Ham 2“Our freedom feels a bit self-evident,” Boris van der Ham, humanist and writer, says. Though to obtain this freedom people had to fight. There are places in the world where people fight for this freedom and they deserve our support. But who exactly are they?

Van der Ham was born in Amsterdam, where he would later study history. He switched to the Maastricht Academy of Dramatic Arts, after which he worked as an actor at various theatre groups. But the appeal of politics was stronger, after being the president of the youth section of D66, a Dutch liberal democrat party. He worked as a parliamentary assistant for both the European and Dutch parliament and was elected several times as a a full-fledged member of Dutch parliament, where he stayed for ten years. At present, Van der Ham is a writer and is chairing various organisations, such as the Dutch Humanist Association. Last year he made the documentary ‘Among non-believers’.

“In parts of the world the fight for freedom is still ongoing,” van der Ham explains. There are people who think differently from what is conventional where they live. It is a cause Van der Ham has been closely following and involved with. “Because they think differently from the main religious or ideological viewpoint their lives are threatened, both socially and judicially.”

Over the past couple of years, Van der Ham has been working more and more on freedom thinkers. “It is fundamental for a peaceful society that the right that one can be different is acknowledged and respected.” For his talk, Van der Ham will discuss what he calls ‘non-believers’. “It is an increasingly larger group in the world,” he says. “In one way or another everyone is a ‘non-believer’, regardless of whether one is religious or atheist.” But then the question remains: who or what is a non-believer, and what do they do?

Curious to learn how Boris van der Ham has come to redefine non-believers? Then buy your tickets now, and come join us on Friday 15 April to celebrate the universal genius.