Think about your childhood for a minute. Imagine you are 8 years old, you’re on the beach and you’re playing with a kite. Remember how strong those things are? They could easily drag you ten meters across the beach.

Now imagine the power of a kite to yield energy. Yes, it’s possible. Ronald Schmehl of Kitepower tells you how.

It’s a technology based on inflatable membrane wings which are tethered to a motor/generator unit on the ground. The present kite power demonstrator system operates kites of 14, 25 or 50 m2 surface area in periodic pumping mode to generate 20 kW mechanical reel-out power (source: Kitepower).

“But we have wind turbines to gain energy!” I hear you.

Well, the advantages of a kite against a windmill is that a kite reaches ten times more altitude than a windmill, because it reaches higher. Up to 10 kilometers with a speed of 70-80 km per hour. Also, wind mills can harm animals, they make a noise (when you get too close) and some people find them ugly because they pollute the horizon.

Kitepower can be used in a disaster area where there’s no electricity, like after an earthquake. You basically only need the kite and the control unit.

To get an idea of how strong the kite is: it can pull a large container vessel. Yep, that’s not a kite to play around with!

The product looks really amazing and I’m just thinking “why are we still using windturbines when we have these kites?”

The integrated approach of arts, science and technology is one of great value: It can make performances better, more astounding. It makes things easier.  Thanks to the advances in science and technology, art becomes an (even) more limitless medium.

Opera, for example, is art where creativity and technology are combined optimally. Therefore it’s no surprise Floris Visser delivers this TedTalk. He teaches the master class: Deus ex machina at the University of Delft; he is both an opera director as a cultural professor at the University of Delft this fall. His previously produced operas have been very well received and he is now working on a production of ‘Carmen’ with the Delftsche Opera Compagnie and the Technical University. Read more

Computers and robots will never take over the World. They don’t get depressed, don’t drink whisky and they will never invent new mathematics. These last things only humans do. So we need another way of thinking about artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence enhances human intelligence, nothing more.

Bennie Mols, performer @TEDxDelft today, combines the latests insights in artificial intelligence with those from the brain- and cognition sciences and philosophy. He loves artificial intelligence, but argues that artificial intelligence will always remain different from human intelligence. In his opinion there is nothing wrong with that.

Hoovering is complex
“Look at Japan”, Mols says. “It is the leading country in the world in creating and using artificial intelligence. But after the disaster in Fukuyama it were humans that had clean up the mess. There was no robot that could do the work. Because a robot is not a human and doesn’t need to be. A small example: there are robots to hoover houses. But hoovering requires complex decisions. What to do with that one small paper on the floor? Hoover it or save it? Robots don’t know, humans do.”

Mols statest that computers and robots don’t have our limits, but on the other hand they have no urge to reproduce themselves, like us. The human brain, that has hardly evolved over the last 100.000 years, is conditioned to let the human body survive and to keep the species alive. That is the big difference with artificial intelligence; computers are efficiënt, they don’t get tired and they don’t make mistakes likes humans do. Also they have much more capacity and they work infinitely faster. But they are not creative.

No good use
We don’t seem to put that creativity to very good use, as we learn robots to lead ceremonies, play a trumpet and defeat the best chest players in the world. We ought to learn them other, more practical and usefull things. Luckely we are starting to realise this. For example, plains can fly on an automatic pilot…, but only in cooperation with a human pilot that controls the process. Artificial intelligence can also save about one million lifes per year. It can for instance help avoid traffic accidents in smartcars that can see in the dark, prevent the driver from driving too close to the next car or take over when the driver gets tired.

Supercomputer Watson can help doctors making better diagnoses. Because Watson sees what the human, less efficient doctor oversees. But at the end of the day it is the human doctor that has to draw the right conclusions. “So you see,’says Mols, “computers and robots won’t take over human functions, they only enhance it. In fact, mankind has enhanced its own intelligence by creating robots and computers. Look at the cooperation between human and artificial intelligence as two perfect tango dancers.”

I initially wanted to blog about Dr. Marwa Al-Ansary because she is a female civil engineer and researcher, working on concrete (sulfur concrete) who enjoys writing a poetry – enough to entice my curiosity! Little did I know about the bold decisions she made in her life to pursue her interests, and her performance has left me in full admiration.

From Egypt to the United Kingdom to Qatar to the Netherlands – this researcher, engineer, woman has come a  long way to pursue her dreams.

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Boyan eloquently confronts you with the marine pollution problem as he takes the stage. He remarks that a common reply when he’s talking about the environment is something along the lines of “that’s for our children to worry about.”

Boyan looks at the audience, smiles and waves: “Hello. Here I am.”

And while most of the world seems concerned with prevention and education (perhaps because cleaning the oceans seems like such a daunting task), he asked himself: “Why not clean it up?”

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On stage today will be two performers who have a space connection, one more obvious than the other. The less obvious one is Guus Roeselers. Next to being awarded professional of the year 2012 he is also expert on system biology. His performance at TEDxDelft will be about the amazing cosmos of microbiology. The second performance is from Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp. Mars One is a company that aims to bring human life on a one way trip to the red planet in 2023. Read on here.

Never grow up is our theme for today. Today is the day to eat from a Happy Meal lunchbox, to hop around and shake to the lunchbeats, to make some new friends, to play games, kick some balloons and forget about the reality of the world.

It’s a day in Neverland and you’re Peter or Tinkerbell today. Almost a year of preparations, brainstorming and having fun along the way have brought us to the Big Day. Your five sense are to be thrilled. Your imagination is about to take on a soaring flight. Sit back, but don’t relax – engage with everything and everyone around you.

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Floris Visser postulates that scientists are artists – and his opinion hit a nerve for me.

Too often, we seem to draw a line between the professions and interests. However, when we take a step back, there are common grounds. Just like artists, scientists need to be very creative people in order to make discoveries and advance their field.

The very essence of science is as creative as art – but also the outcome and the observations in science can show an artistic beauty. You might think, for example, of beautiful repetitive patterns in nature, which can either inspire scientists and researchers to take a similar step (remember the bacteria in self-healing concrete that are inspired by the terraces of Pamukkale?) or can inspire artists to achieve, amongst others, the perfect proportions which we see repeated in nature.

This is day -1 for #TEDxDelft – only one day before lift-off. Be sure to keep an eye on our website, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook etc because we will be buzzing TEDxDelft today as well.

Never stop asking questions, never stop wondering, always think of other ways to face challenges, always question why things are the way they are, keep wondering, keep on learning, always stay young, never stop dreaming, never stop doing, creativity by playing, work=play, gamification, living the dream.

What do you mean, this TEDxDelft cannot be done?

We’ve introduced Erik Schlangen as Professor “Experimental Micromechanics”. But what does that really mean, and where does he wants the research of his group to result in? In his own words: he wants their inventions to show up when you Google for “future materials”.

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Only after two nights of sleep from now we will celebrate TEDxDelft together. Two more days to grow older but don’t you dare to grow up!

We are all very very very very excited. Check our mobile site for the program, twitterstream and bio’s of our performers. Enjoy the performances. Meet new people. Play Pong. Dance on the Lunchbeats. Check out the grab bag. Have fun!

October 5th will be a fantastic day of BIG ideas, see you then! Read more

Never grow up, so…. no suits and ties! The uniform of TEDxDelft is a smile and an optimistic attitude. So enjoy the occasion and dress casual. Be a fantastic audience. Leave your particles, be a wave. Do not walk out, do not leave; it is a too mind-blowing experience to miss. Don’t be shy. Do not leave anyone standing alone. This is part of the magic of the TEDx concept. Think of it as intellectual speed dating.

Remember: it is hard to have a ‘TED moment’ while you are checking your work emails. This is a day for BIG thinking, so don’t let tomorrow’s to-dos get in your brain’s way.
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In this short video, a courageous autistic women gives us a view in her mostly non-verbal way. She describes how she communicates with her entire surroundings, while those who do not speak her language, describe her as being on her own.

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An advertising creative who hates ads; a woman with Asperger’s syndrome who – literally – lets us take a look inside her head; a world famous floral artist who makes incredible creations from flowers; a robot with a solution to the ageing population; an artist who performs mini-films as pop songs; a businessman who wants to colonise Mars: All of this and more, as well as TV and theatre personality Aldith Hunkar, form the ingredients of TEDxDelft, which will take place on 5 October in the Aula at TU Delft. Read more

Een reclamemaker die een hekel heeft aan reclame. Een 18-jarige met de oplossing voor de ‘plastic soup’. Een wereldberoemde ‘floral artist’ die belevingen maakt van bloemen. Een roboticus die de oplossing voor de vergrijzing heeft. Een promovendus met de oplossing voor de Nederlandse democratie. Een ondernemer die Mars wil koloniseren. Dit alles en meer, gepresenteerd door tv en theaterpersoonlijkheid Aldith Hunkar, vormen de ingrediënten van TEDxDelft, dat op 5 oktober in de Aula van de TU Delft plaats vindt. Read more

Four more days until the day we will be celebrating the child in ourselves. Four more days to:

  1. Read all about our 19 performers and host
  2. Check, bookmark and homescreen the smartphone TEDxDelft program
  3. Share your excitement on Twitter, Facebook etc
  4. Not Grow Up

Read more

Only five days left before 5 October.
Counting down to TEDxDelft Never Grow Up
🙂 Read more

Mars is as dry as a desert. The combination of the specific temperature and atmospheric air pressure of Mars only allows water to be present in a gaseous phase on the surface. Liquid water is a key factor in the survival of humans once they reach Mars and thus one of the issues that TEDxDelft performer and Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp needs to solve in the near future. Read more here…. 

The TEDxDelft program is ready and we’ve got it for your smartphone. Please bookmark, like, share and rate TEDxDelft and the TEDxDelft performers

You can add the program to your homescreen so you have all information on the program, the speakers/performers and tweets very near at hand.




Shell Thiocrete
We’ve introduced Dr. Marwa Al-Ansary to you as a civil and environmental engineer, working for Shell on (amongst others) sulfur utilization in materials such as Thiocrete (a type of sulfur concrete).

But what is sulfur concrete really, and why do we care about this? As with many questions we might have, Wikipedia has an answer to that: Read more

Simac provides the wireless network at TEDxDelft.

It is our task to deliver a high performance wireless network to all attendees of TEDxDelft. On 5 October you all expect a good working wireless network and connectivity. Organizations depend on it, at Simac, they see why.

Simac wireless solutions are decidedly different. Their wireless solutions, based on leading technology of Xirrus, provides up to 4 times the coverage, 8 times the bandwidth and 8 times the capacity. And that means you use less access point, cabling and switching. Even more, the general infrastructure expenditure during implementation are much lower. All while delivering flawless and secure wireless access under the most demanding circumstances.

Would you like more information about their unique wireless solutions? Please feel free to call Leon Keijsers (solution advisor education) at +31402582911

On a Saturday night in Fall, with a vague plan of catching up on blogging and delivering guest posts, I find myself completely sunk into the website of the Tractor Girl

As she is preparing the final part of her trip that so far has taken her to South Africa and the Cape, she shares on her website what it takes to prepare a trip to the South Pole. Read more

Nupur Kohli (@NupurKohliNL) won the TEDxDelft Award 2012 at 23 years. Inspired by children she saw in different situations, she will share her experiences on stage. Let her surprise you at TEDxDelft 2012!

Fascinated by the human body and how it works, she obtained Masters degree in Medicine from Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, together with studying Medical Entrepreneurship at University of Utrecht. Currently she is a Medical Intern. Her scientific research article on the mental and physical health of Surinamese in the Netherlands is published in the Journal of Hypertension, official journal International Society of Hypertension. She is former Vice President and Secretary, International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA-UvA). Read more

All performers (everybody on the TEDxDelft stage is a performer) at TEDxDelft are offered coaching. Seven coaches help them with their performance with story structure, stage performance, English, finding out the purest form of their idea worth spreading. Read more

TEDxDelft is completely sold out! Because there’s a slim possibility of seats becoming available in the coming weeks/days we opened up a waiting list registration.

Please fill out this form to apply for the waiting-list at TEDxDelft 2012.

Keep in mind that TEDxDelft is a paid event. Fees are 25 euro for student (PhD included) and 50 euro for non-students. IF we open up registration to the people on the waiting list, we will send you an email with a link, only after payment is accepted your registration is final.

Don’t forget to visit our website regulary for updates on speakers and the program. You can also follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

For any questions, please send an e-mail to

It is going to be crowded with people on Mars soon. Four entrepeneurs, some with deep pockets, have their sights set for Mars. Elon Musk from SpaceX and Tesla Motors, Larry Page from Google, Sir Richard Branson from the Virgin group and TEDxDelft performer Bas Lansdorp from Mars One. Read my blog to see how they are connected….

Marwa is working for Shell Global Solutions and has recently moved to the Netherlands from Qatar in October 2012 as an Environmental Lead for  a major petrochemical project. Marwa joined Shell in 2007 and was appointed as Research Lead for Sulphur utilization (Shell Thiocrete) project at Qatar Shell Research and Technology Centre (QSRTC). Read more

Judith Adema (@judithadema) was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She had her first piano lesson when she  was just 6 years old and kept on playing since then. At the age of 11 she began to sing and by the time she turned 14 she had taught herself how to play the guitar.
She started to make her own songs and learned from one and another. Now she is 16 years old and still make her own songs. Read more

Recall Leonardo da Vinci. He was a painter, architect, engineer, sculptor, designer of weaponry, made the first opera decors and much more. According to Floris Visser there is no difference between a scientist and an artist, but nowadays we just do not see the similarities anymore. Read more

Current wind power generation relies on rigid supporting structures and is limited to altitudes up to 200 m. Wind at higher altitudes is significantly stronger and more persistent. To access this major potential of renewable energy, Kite Power is the solution. Roland Schmehl graduated in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, in 1994. From the same university he received in 2003 a PhD degree “summa cum laude” about the computational modelling of fuel sprays. Read more

As a child Guus Roeselers developed a great passion for the living world, and as a true naturalist he had the urge to investigate everything. But it was during his biology studies at Utrecht University that he became smitten by the mostly invisible nature: microbiology. Read more

Sometimes you’re in the mood to watch a TEDTalk — but you’re not sure which one to start with. Never fear — the Surprise Me player is here! Let this new serendipity engine handpick a playlist for you to watch that fits your mood and the amount of time you have.

Want 25 minutes of ingenious talks? Or 40 minutes of jaw-dropping ones? Let us surprise you >>