TEDxDelft 2016 | Thank you for coming

Main summary

On Friday 15 April TEDxDelft celebrated its fifth anniversary in style with a great line-up of speakers, a large variety of side activities, and of course with the audience. Whether you were at the event in person, watched the livestream, or kept a close eye on the social media and blog, we hope you all enjoyed the interesting ideas that were presented to you. But it need not stop there. If you heard an interesting idea share it with friends, family and colleagues; keep celebrating the universal genius and keep spreading ideas worth sharing.

For those who missed out on any of the talks, or if there is simply a talk you want to watch again, the videos will be available on YouTube within five to seven weeks.

We hope everyone had a great time at TEDxDelft 2016, and look forward to seeing you again at our next event: TEDxDelft Stories, on Thursday 26 May. Keep an eye on our social media and blog for more information.

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

BORI8057“Everyone is a non-believer, one way or  another. Everybody on the stage today is challenging an already existing idea. Being inconsistent is the third biggest religion in the world,” claimed Boris van der Ham.

Born in Amsterdam, Van der Ham found an interest in drama and arts and was a part of various theater groups performing in Maastricht. Later switching to politics, which became his forte, he has served as the President of D66, a Dutch liberal democrat party, a member of the House of Representatives and the chairman of the Dutch Humanist Alliance. He is currently a writer and holds an important role at the Dutch Humanist Association. Van der Ham has been working extensively on the ideologies of freedom thinkers.

Van der Ham feels that because of their unique or so-called contrasting ideas to the rest of the society, non-believers are challenged in every walk of life. He is critical of the offense and aggression shown towards non-believers in most countries. He feels that peaceful coexistence also involves respecting those different beliefs. “It is human nature to question things. Every idea should be challenged,” he said. As a humanist, he feels everyone’s choice and thinking should be respected and given an equal place.

“The right to be a non-believer reflects our freedom. It makes our lives better,” he said. He therefore challenges them to be confident with their inconsistency and that it is a right to cherish.

TEDxDelft 2016 | Toon Lobach | Modern dance ballet performance

TOON8020Toon Lobach’s dance style was introduced by TEDxDelft presenter Umar Mirza as “jumpy with unexpected turns and twists which work well with the industrial music to which he dances”.

This description was underscored by Lobach’s dramatic entrance via the top tier of TU Delft’s Auditorium which was hauntingly combined with industrial music, jaunty modern dance moves and a striking pair of light blue contact lenses.

His selected choreography evoked at times anger, powerlessness and a desire to protest and challenge the status quo. Dancing among the audience members in a haze of blue light on his descent into the hall and ascent to the podium, Lobach’s choreography gave a stunning preview of the talent and fearlessness of the Nederlands Dans Theater 2’s new apprentice for the 2016-2017 arts season.

Despite training for four years with the 5 O’Clock Class, the preparatory course in modern dance at de Theaterschool, Lobach had no definite dance dream. Everything changed when he saw Nederlands Dans Theater in School of Thought, by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, in 2013. His recollection of that moment was how phenomenal the piece was. He thought “that’s where I have to go!”

Nevertheless, the extremely talented Lobach went for his goal pursuing classes with the 5 O’Clock Class, his regular schooling and ballet classes with the National Ballet Academy. As a student in the National Ballet Academy’s pre-professional program Lobach is also taking classes with de Theaterschool, including Modern Theatre Dance and Urban Contemporary.

TEDxDelft 2016 | Esther van Fenema | Too much freedom will kill us

ESTH7984“I do love my freedom more than anything in the world. We all do!“ said Esther van Fenema. But is unlimited freedom actually a good thing?

Van Fenema was a musician to begin with. She studied violin at the Conservatory of Amsterdam before she moved to Belgium to pursue her interest in medicine. She then began to practice her profession in the Netherlands. She eventually decided to specialize and became a psychiatrist at the Leiden University Medical Center, also continuing to explore her music interests. “There is always a misunderstanding of psychiatric disorders,” she said. “The World Health Organisation predicts that depression will be the biggest disease in 2020. It is high time we change our lifestyles to make the right choices.”

Van Fenema had always marveled at the lack of knowledge in accepting that the brain is a working mechanism. She reasoned that we therefore often misunderstand our freedom. “Freedom is very precious. But without boundaries, freedom becomes a risk factor,” she pointed out. Van Fenema is critical of the choices people are tempted to make,  where there are no boundaries. “Not all are born to be free,” she said. “Some of us are more vulnerable than others.” She said that we need to make sure that this will not lead to unfulfilled lives or depression.

Calculated decision making in important life choices, reaps the best benefits of our freedom. “I have always enjoyed the freedom to follow my passions,” she said. “We have to formulate our boundaries, rather than overlooking the limits, with the slogan of unlimited freedom. Because we are responsible for each other.”

TEDxDelft 2016 | Beatriz Seoane de la Cuesta | Tiny pores with huge potential

BEAT7968“What is the very first thing you want to do every morning, right after you wake up? I could be honest and say ‘kiss my husband’, but the truth is I am ready to go to work. I enjoy every day being surrounded by science and microscopes!” declared Beatriz Seoane de la Cuesta at the opening of her talk about nanostructured porous materials.

The fact that few of us have heard of these little phenomena is rapidly about to change as science and technology explore the potential of these materials to tackle global societal challenges such as climate change, pollution, and the ongoing task of satisfying society’s high demands for energy in a sustainable manner.

Consider the combustion of coal and natural gas that we use to produce the energy we need, creating tiny molecules. These gas molecules have different sizes, making gas separation difficult and expensive. But what if there was a way to filter them? Enter the nanostructured porous materials. Imagine a sponge with holes perfectly ordered and very small, the size of different molecules. Nanostructured porous materials have a perfect order and structure at the nanoscale, one million times smaller than the tip of a pen, and yet they can be used as a molecular sieve to filter the tiny molecules.

The main obstacle Seoane observes in the effort to realize the potential of nanoporous materials is the issue of their “processability”, a key property in material science. Traditional tools cannot be used to process nanomaterials. But nature might offer help. Consider bones – two materials compose them, but as they are extremely ordered there is an extraordinary design. Bones can be 3D printed for bio-medical purposes, meaning that it could perhaps be possible to print these nanomaterials as well.

We could be closer to a cleaner atmosphere and more efficient use of the resources we have. “So let us follow our passions,” she said. “Tiny things can solve big problems.”

 

TEDxDelft 2016 | Amsterdam Funk Orchestra | The smell of music

FUNK7874“We dare you to stay put when we play, we guarantee you it’s impossible.” A well-posed dare. Vibrance, vigor, verve, this is what funk is about. All music is dance music, but it is these elements that make dance an unforgettable experience.

Amsterdam Funk Orchestra has indeed pulled this off in style the past few years since its inception in 2014.  A ‘Make it Yourself’ ambition has been their asset in making successful and enthralling music. They have given big band music a new dimension through their funky music with a formal outlook. “Funk is not something you can talk about and then get it, you need to feel it. Rarely do you get the opportunity to feel it and understand it at the same time,” they explained.

“Funk literally means something that smells.” Bonding with the audience for 15 minutes, they went about their orchestrated music mechanics in an overwhelming fashion and were spot on in making their challenge a difficult task. With a strong theme, they went all the way from making us smell the flavors of their music recipe of the day – The Funky Sandwich – and even managed to squeeze in a nod to James Brown.

As the saying goes, “If it is not hard, it is not worth doing it”. And the Amsterdam Funk Orchestra delivered their mechanics in harmony and style, getting the audience out of their chairs in the process.

TEDxDelft | Jenny Dankelman | Worldwide access to quality surgical services

JENN7841When Jenny Dankelman read an article on women in Africa who were abandoned by their communities, she was shocked. “As a complication from childbirth, they had become incontinent, and they did not have access to any kind of surgery,” she said, just like 2 billion people around the world. In fact, out of 7.5 billion people, only 2.5 billion have access to safe surgery, like we have here. “Breaking your leg could mean staying handicapped for the rest of your life.”

Jenny Dankelman is Professor of Minimally Invasive Surgery and Intervention Techniques at TU Delft. She has been designing novel medical instruments since the 1990s, including training and simulation systems to teach doctors how to use them, and systems to optimize patient safety in operating theaters.

While infectious diseases have decreased, each year 17 million people die as a result of unsafe surgery, the same number of people living in the Netherlands. “I had been working for 20 years with doctors, and I did not know this. Doctors go to developing countries to help, but where are the engineers coming up with the solutions for countries without operating rooms?” Dankelman suggests that breweries may help: they are everywhere in the world, have access to clean water, and work with educated staff. They also have access to distribution networks that can serve to transport equipment and medication.

But Dankelman wants to go a step further and make keyhole operations available in developing countries too. She calls on engineers to come up with smart affordable devices that can deliver high-quality surgery around the world. “Let’s make safe surgery available for everyone,” she said.

TEDxDelft 2016 | Rowland Manthorpe | Unravelling the force called confidence

ROWL7822“For as long as I can remember, I believed that confidence was the answer to everything. The lure of it was irresistible,” said Rowland Manthorpe, journalist. He decided to write a book on the philosophy of it. However, he lost his own confidence in this long process and has since come to believe that “confidence is seriously flawed as a goal.”

After attaining a bachelor’s degree in history at Cambridge University, Manthorpe enrolled at the London School of Economics. Completing his master’s studies on political theory, he became a freelance journalist. Confidence has fascinated him since his studies: “You notice things more when they are gone, and how crucial they can be.” The main source of inspiration for his own view on it: the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche.

Confidence connects to all aspects of daily life such as money and gender. Nietzsche’s bottom line was about the need for self-expression and creativity. He himself was a very lonely person, his success not being recognized during his lifetime. In current society we are drawn to the dream of confidence. “We are all Nietzschians now,” said Manthorpe. If we make a goal out of achieving confidence, we approach everything in life individualistically. It can lead to loneliness, heartlessness and instability, and thus unhappiness.

Instead of doing it by himself, he wrote the book together with his wife. It was no longer something he achieved on his own, but it still became a reality. Finally, Manthorpe discovered the truth about confidence: “It is a game with no end. The only way to win, is not to play.”

TEDxDelft 2016 | Harteveld & Fretz | The story of imagination

HART7783Harteveld & Fretz are best friends, and brothers, or at least it feels that way. They have just turned 30, and that made them wonder whether they are still holding on to the big dreams of their youth. Fretz would like to spend a week at the Hilton hotel making love to his girlfriend for world peace, like John Lennon and Yoko Ono. “That was a great story, and 45 years later I drive by the Hilton and I still think about that,” he said.

Marcel Harteveld and Johan Fretz together form the duo Brothers Harteveld & Fretz. Their collaboration dates back to their time at the Amsterdam University of the Arts. Their first full-evening show was entitled ‘Underway’ and dealt with the subject of a generation going backpacking on the other side of the world, to experience an inner revolution. Their shows are exercises in social and self-criticism, but the duo manage to strike a balance between seriousness and lightheartedness, making them eminently watchable.

Fretz has a story of his own to tell, too. When he was in his twenties he went on a backpacking trip to find himself. “I guess that is why they call them developing countries,” he joked. “After six months of backpacking I still had not found myself. Perhaps there was not that much to find in the first place.” At the end of his backpacking trip, Fretz got talked into taking a trip along the Dead Road, a very dangerous mountain bike road. He tells the hilarious story of that hair-raising trip. At some point along the Dead Road he has to let go, forget about danger, and his mind goes blank. “And that is why we need great storytellers, whether they are the people on the TEDxDelft stage, or John and Yoko making love for world peace,” he concluded, making you wonder whether it all really happened in the first place.

TEDxDelft 2016 | Sebastiaan Breedveld | Giving each patient the best treatment technically possible

SEBA7741“Each year around 15 million people are being diagnosed with cancer. Radiation therapy can cure some of them, but unfortunately has side-effects,” said Sebastiaan Breedveld. He thinks that rather than developing new technologies, using the current ones to their full potential should be the goal.

Born and raised in Rotterdam, Breedveld has been passionate about healthcare and science since he was young. Majoring in mathematics at the Delft University of Technology, he still wanted to connect his knowledge to healthcare. At Erasmus Medical Centre, he continued with a PhD in medical physics, focusing on radiation therapy.

Radiation therapy cures patients by focusing a large dose on the tumor. Close to it, however, are healthy organs which could get damaged as well. This can significantly reduce the quality of life. Based on a patient-specific wish list of 20 to 30 items, an experienced physician has to decide upon the treatment. The goal: retaining the best quality of life possible. Does a human being have to decide this? “Some will be treated worse. And this could be you,” he said.

Costs limit the development possibilities of new technologies. The solution: planning by automation. Mathematical models are faster at evaluating all possible treatment plans and yield results at least as good as the physicians’ ones. Breedveld stated that next to new ways of treating patients, we have to improve quality without increasing costs: “A win-win-win situation.”

TEDxDelft 2016 | Max van Duijn | Why we tell stories

MAXV7695“There is something spectacular about stories from the perspective of my research,” said Max van Duijn. Through talking, people send out various verbal and non-verbal signals. But something changes when stories are told.

Van Duijn started talking around his first birthday, and he has been fascinated by language ever since. His current research focuses on complex mentalizing tasks relating to language and literature. This he explains as involving multiple viewpoint layers, for example: Sheila thinks that Mary believes that Peter intends …

“In a story we displace ourselves into the story world, and we experience events through a mediator or storyteller, never from our own perspective,” he said. People are emphatic, so if someone has a burden the observer feels that burden as well. “We complement our empathy with knowledge of the world in a particular setting.”

“In stories we can learn what it is like to be in someone else’s shoes,” he said. Society at present is made up of large networks, within which people build relationships and make new connections with strangers. Stories can help to relate to the people one interacts with. “Stories build our minds, so whenever you have the chance, tell a story. It will make you more human.”

 

TEDxDelft 2016 | Kevin de Randamie | Calling for a creative revolution

KEVI7648“What is the economic value of the creative?” Kevin de Randamie asked. Economic value and creativity, a combination of words not often seen. Nevertheless, De Randamie believes it necessary for the creative industry to start considering it.

De Randamie’s big passion has always been music, as a hip-hop artist and an entrepreneur. During his time working in the creative industry, De Randamie has seen and experienced many things which have shaped his vision about the creative industry as a whole. “I was doing well, releasing my own music as well as that of others,” he recounted. That is until 2010, when the government announced spending cutbacks to the arts and culture and he, along with much of the creative sector, took a big hit, going as far as selling equipment to make ends meet.

De Randamie is fascinated by the fact that “the creative industry is the only industry that does not require resources to create value.” And yet the perceived economic value of the top 20{95388bbb2e9df0f2b3d26445fc24fe82185b1b567dbb094bc3a45074083d0a2b} of performing artists seems exaggerated while that of the remaining 80{95388bbb2e9df0f2b3d26445fc24fe82185b1b567dbb094bc3a45074083d0a2b} is largely discounted, discredited or ignored. He is convinced that his lessons from difficult times have led to a solution that could help the 80{95388bbb2e9df0f2b3d26445fc24fe82185b1b567dbb094bc3a45074083d0a2b} get out of the shadows. De Randamie proposed that artists should obtain the business acumen to ensure financial stability so that they do not need others to take care of their finances. By developing these skills the creatives will go against the grain and become the most impactful creatives of our time in their own right. Developing these skills will be the best investment one can ever make.

TEDxDelft 2016 | Jesse Willis | Talking taboo

JESS7618“What would you think if  I said my hobby was sex?” asked Jesse Willis. “Why is sex such an awkward thing to talk about?”

Willis is an active student at TU Delft, doing his bachelor’s in industrial design engineering. He was the 2016 winner of the TEDxDelft Awards. When asked how he would describe his TEDx experience so far, he said, “It just started as a fun conversation with friends, when I said, if I ever speak on a TED stage, I would talk about sex. Here I am today.” Jesse is really concerned about people’s reluctance to talk about sex.

Sex is still a taboo in most households. Willis feels that sex is more than a hobby, but at the same time, not a topic easily talked about. ”We all like sex the most. The best way of learning about something we like is to talk about it,” he said. The hesitation that people exercise in voicing their opinions brings about a big restriction in a person being himself and being open minded.

He observed that most of our self-evaluation and personal learning is lost in the process. “We must share opinions and end up becoming better with our understanding of sex,” he said. The process of change is never easy, but to be ready for it is an important first step. “Let us be open and honest in our expression and learn from our experiences,” Willis said.

TEDxDelft 2016 | Jasper van Kuijk | Do one thing every day that scares you

JASP7527A researcher and designer by training, and a comedian and columnist by profession, Jasper van Kuijk’s first appearance at TEDxDelft was five years ago, a mere three days following the premature arrival of his first child. He fondly recalled the moment as one inspired by large doses of caffeine and adrenaline.

Originally from The Hague, Van Kuijk studied Industrial Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology, returning as a PhD candidate and more recently Assistant Professor.  However, a theater and comedy course inspired Van Kuijk to join a comedy troupe and, when the group later disbanded, become a solo artist.

And as an educator, experienced performer, and public speaker, Van Kuijk felt certain that he should easily be able to drum up a suitable idea for TEDx Delft 2016 but was surprised to find he struggled. That was until he was reminded of a recent performance with his band. When asked to do the performance in English, Van Kuijk’s response was: “We only performed that set four times, as an experiment with an audience of 400 people, in Dutch, that’s a really crazy idea. OK, let’s do that!”

Today’s experimental musical performance – now translated into English and performed in front of an audience of 1100 people – embodied the sentiment of doing at least one scary thing on a daily basis. Van Kuijk’s music connects experiences of growing up on the “wrong side of the tracks”, discovering how your side of town has not changed despite your own evolution, and how “death makes a home in the little things”.

In the spirit of celebrating the universal genius, some lyrics from one of the numbers performed to remember:

“We now have more knowledge

Than we can comprehend

But it seems we’ve forgotten

It’s a means to an end

Love needs no reason.”

 

TEDxDelft 2016 | Kiza Magendane | Welcome to your new home

KIZA7488Kiza Magendane, writer and student, showed a picture of himself sitting next to a canal with an overwhelming smile. He asked the public an intriguing question: “Who would adopt this refugee? It is all for free. And I guarantee, you will not regret it.”

Born in Congo, Magendane entered the Netherlands as a refugee himself eight years ago, fleeing from the civil war. After finishing high school, he attended the University of Amsterdam, majoring in political sciences. He got involved in several associations focusing on bridging the gap between people with different backgrounds. Being a writer, he shared his opinion on Africa, politics and migration. Based on his own experiences, he founded African Students United.

Because everything is new, most arriving refugees do not feel at home at all. The recurring questions about how they got here, and why they left their country, are rather hard and personal. Moreover, refugees are often associated with negative images. Magendane felt he had to prove himself to be accepted as a human being: “Reducing a human to a number, takes their dignity away.” However, some people looked beyond the refugee label and supported him in developing a normal life.

Magendane believes he is not unique, and with the support of citizens, more success stories can be created. Magendane mentioned several people he met after arriving in the Netherlands who welcomed him, and encouraged and inspired him to achieve the best that he could. He encouraged everyone to do the same: “Home is relative, love is universal.” The government does not provide love, but citizens do: “Fellow human, adopt a refugee.”

TEDxDelft 2016 | Daan Verlaan | A good song is about more than its meaning

VICT7404“I sing, play, and compose,” said Daan Verlaan. “And for me in a song, all of these worlds come together.” Accompanying himself on the harp, he sang an 800-year old song composed by a troubadour, “an accomplished and serious artist.” He explained the text of the first verse: the image described a lark flying happily, yet the person himself was not happy, as became clear from the sombre tones.

Music artist Daan Verlaan calls himself a generalist, rather than a specialist. He studied both Greek and Latin and contemporary classical composition, but opted for a career in music. And with success: over the years he has received numerous prizes for his compositions, and he is a much-loved choir singer, soloist and harpist. A lover of medieval and modern music, he has also worked as a tour guide at the Boerhaave Museum for the History of Science and Medicine.

“Medieval music is different from later music,” Verlaan explained. “Medieval harmony is not written down, but implied in the melody.” He continued with a song in English: “I fall in love too easily … for love to last.” He skipped a few centuries to jazz music with this song originally written for a 1944 Hollywood movie, and now a jazz standard. “There are similarities between medieval and jazz music. Improvisation is important in both. As a musician, you make up your mind about what is the essence to you.”

For Verlaan, the words without the music would be charming, the music without the words would be nice, but “together they really make sense to me.” That is because expression can be not just in the words, but in the rhyme scheme, the melody. “For me, a good song is making connections between these layers of expression, and creating a new perspective. And it is the performers task to engage the audience to experience this together.”

 

 

TEDxDelft 2016 | Victor Hupe | The science behind learning life lessons

VICT7390“You are in class and really bored looking around, and you are not the only one,” said Victor Hupe. As a high school student, he also started drawing figures, which can all lead to new ideas. He advocated for learning-by-making to combine education and creativity.

Hupe, the youngest genius of the event, has been drawn to science since he entered high school. Unfortunately, after the third year he could no longer attend science class, but when the opportunity came up, he made an extracurricular activity out of it. Joining the fabrication class, or FAB class, he created a wooden bike and a confidence-increasing cup for children, and much more is to come. In the near future, he wants to join the Faculty of Industrial Design at TU Delft.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s inventiveness was instigated by the freedom to create. Nonetheless, learning new things by making has progressively been pushed to the background. Hupe supports Google’s 20{95388bbb2e9df0f2b3d26445fc24fe82185b1b567dbb094bc3a45074083d0a2b} rule: employees can work one day a week on their own ideas and creations. Nowadays, FAB classes allow students to develop their ideas step-by-step. Thinking, drawing, processing new thoughts, rethinking old ones. Hupe learnt that “you don’t always succeed immediately, which forces you to re-evaluate.” After a year of redeveloping and optimizing, his bike was finally ready.

For Hupe, being critical towards his own work and optimizing it has become a mind-set. He became even more focused in class, and reflected on his creations outside class hours. He encouraged everyone: “Create, and most importantly: never give up. Let us make the world a better place.”

TEDxDelft 2016 | Niels ‘t Hooft | Literature is not dead, it just has to be reinvented

NIEL7323“Books transport you to places you have never been and can transport you into another person’s head. These experiences were so great, I wanted to become a writer,” said Niels ‘t Hooft. “However, we don’t have the time to read as much as we want to anymore.” He carried a chest full of abandoned reading material on stage with him, expressing his worry about the future of the novel.

‘t Hooft is a journalist and fiction writer, who started out his career building a website about video games. A published author of three novels and a number of short stories, his love for technology has never left him. He calls himself a ‘hybrid author’, and combines his love for both writing and technology by working on story development and direction, and the creation of fantasy worlds in which games are set.

He believes that more than time constraints, the smartphone is the main reason we are not reading novels anymore. But could it be the solution too? “A smartphone can store thousands of books, and we read on it already,” said ‘t Hooft. He shared three suggestions to integrate novels and smartphones. The first is an alternative interface which shows just one piece of text at a time, what he called “a hybrid between the dynamism of scrolling and the staticism of paper.” The second is making better use of the stereo sound and color screen, to give the reader pointers as to where he is in the setting of the story, for example. The third is an app to track the way people are reading his novels, creating two-way communication with his audience.

“I want to help to make literature more relevant in this digital age,” said ‘t Hooft. “Not waiting for the future to happen, but help shape it. Creating an experience for other people that is unique to me.” Perhaps that is too grand a goal, so for now, he advised the audience to: “Find a quiet place, shut down all your devices and read a novel.”

TEDxDelft 2016 | Karin de Groot | Teaching people it is ok to say “um”

Karin de Groot talk“I have been on television, radio and stages for my entire working life; and it still petrifies me,” said Karin de Groot, presentation coach. As an experienced media figure, she has a message: disregard the rules, be spontaneous.

De Groot graduated from the Academy of Journalism in Tilburg. For the past 27 years, De Groot has been interviewing people, presenting on television and editing radio shows. Nowadays, she hosts a daily show of her own. She strived for perfection, and took lessons to drop her accent. After ten years, a famous Dutch talk show editor told her: “You are doing a perfect job, but you are not a human being.” Combining this lesson with her own experience, she decided to become a presentation coach herself.

Everyone knows the rules like not crossing your arms, keep hands out of your pockets, and don’t run around. Yet people like Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates and Jamie Oliver all break these so-called rules. The message they convey remains just as strong, and their audience is just as captivated.

“Perfection isn’t sticking to rules, it is discovering your own rules, your personal perfection!” said De Groot. Showing fragments of amazing TED talks, she proved that it is ok if you stutter, if your face turns red, if you don’t reach ‘perfection’. People should stop thinking about what they are saying, and instead simply: “Talk, don’t present.”

TEDxDelft 2016 | Livestream

For those who were unable to attend TEDxDelft will be live streaming the entire event, so you do not have to miss a minute.

Click here to go to the livestream and come celebrate the universal genius.

TEDxDelft 2016 | Tim Houter | Delft Hyperloop project

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAbqAAAAJDYzYzY2ZTJkLWMyZDItNDg2ZC1iMjNjLTUxZWY2OTNmZmUxMQImagine travelling close to the speed of sound in a small capsule within a tube, while lowering the carbon footprint. It might sound outlandish, but one day this could be the mode of transport. Tim Houter, team leader of the Delft Hyperloop project, is eager to tell all about it.

It was Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, who came up with the Hyperloop Competition. He challenged  people from all over the world to come up with their own design and ideas. Among them was a group of 30 talented TU Delft students, led by Houter. Being a Mechanical Engineering student, he worked for two years on the Formula Student Team of the university. Now, he motivates and steers the ambitious Hyperloop group with one ultimate goal: “Winning this competition.”

They are well underway, having earned entry to the Californian testing site recently. “Transportation is one of the biggest energy consumers of the world. Hyperloop is the next mode of transportation, preferably made in Holland,” says Houter.

TEDxDelft is delighted to invite Houter to the main stage on the 15th of April for a short interview.

TEDxDelft 2016 | Vodafone | Smart Jacket

TEDxDelft is proud to announce Vodafone, one of the world’s largest mobile service providers, as one of its partners for the upcoming event on Friday 15 April. Their goal: inspire the main event’s visitors by showing off the plethora of possibilities using mobile technology.

“Vodafone reflects on how mobile technology can improve society and wants to be a facilitator for innovation,” said Annelies Valk, Marketing PR Manager at Vodafone NL. After being the first to enable payments and OV check-in by smartphone on the Dutch market, they now want to make your cycling journey safer and smarter.

As an innovator, Vodafone will demonstrate their brand new Smart Jacket at the event. To make a long story short: connect your smartphone to the jacket, and it will show you and other road users where you are heading to. The LEDs on your back and sleeves show when you want to go left or right.

Vodafone is also looking at what mobile technology could bring to the future. “When ‘celebrating the universal genius’, Vodafone also wants to engage with the Da Vinci’s of tomorrow!” explained Valk. Do you have your own smart idea for the future of mobility? Make sure you join Vodafone’s scientific panel discussion during the event. Or are you curious about the Smart Jacket? Buy your ticket now, and check it out yourself on Friday 15 April.

TEDxDelft 2016 | Buy your tickets now

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On Friday 15 April TEDxDelft will host its main event at TU Delft starting at 13:00, when it will celebrate its fifth anniversary. 15 April also happens to be the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci, so it is only fitting that the theme brings the two together: to celebrate the universal genius.

Speaking of universal, the variety of the talks most certainly is: from storytelling to healthcare, and from confidence to the creative industry. For more information on the speakers visit the speakers section on the TEDxDelft home page. And then there are of course the many side events.

So buy your tickets now, come join us on 15 April and share some brilliant ideas.

We also have an app for our event, click here to download it to your smartphone or scan the QR code below.

QR code for app

TEDxDelft 2016 | TamTam | A modern-day Mona Lisa

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Anyone who has visited a recent TEDxDelft salon, cinema, or storytelling event will have seen various brightly colored posters with images that remind one of a famous Italian inventor. Responsible for these wonderfully designed posters is Tobias van Veen, Lead Designer at TamTam, a full service digital agency.

For an event of the size and scope as that of TEDxDelft promotion is an important part of increasing visibility. For this year’s event, Van Veen drew his inspiration from the event’s theme: Leonardo da Vinci. “He was a designer, artist, and inventor all at the same time, and given TEDxDelft’s strong ties with the Delft University of Technology, I decided to focus on his inventions more so than just his art,” van Veen explains. His aim was to take his works and bring them into the modern era, which he did together with Suzanne van den Berg, who worked as a design intern at the agency at the time.

“I wanted to find the simplest forms in which you could reference the works of Leonardo da Vinci,” he says. To achieve this, Van Veen drew his inspiration from artist Tom Claasen. “For his images he goes in search of the most primal forms of different objects.” The aim was to bring the shapes down to their very essence, without losing any of its recognizability.

One of the main challenges of designing the posters was to do so in such a way that when considered individually it might take a bit to recognize the image. “Every poster is like a riddle, a puzzle,” van Veen explains. “Find the reference to the works of Leonardo da Vinci.” It is a job which Van Veen found challenging, but tremendously fun to do as well. “We always get a lot of freedom to do what we feel is good.” And he most certainly delivered.

Find the sophistication in the simplicity of the posters at TEDxDelft on Friday 15 April. Buy your tickets now, and come celebrate the universal genius.

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TEDxDelft 2016 | Karin de Groot | Teaching people it is ok to say “um”

Karin de Groot

Everyone at some point in their life has likely given a presentation, more often than not with a few all too familiar pointers such as to smile, or to avoid saying “um”. Karin de Groot, a presentation coach and radio presenter, says there is only one piece of advice people need: stop presenting and start talking.

Having grown up in Rijswijk, de Groot applied to the Academy for Journalism in Tilburg. After graduating from the Academy she joined a Dutch public broadcaster, where she would present, interview for, and edit a variety of radio and television programs. During her career of 27 years she gradually focused more on presenting and interviewing, and currently hosts a daily radio show. With this vast amount of experience de Groot began paying more attention to the way people presented and to the way people taught how to give presentations. “People giving presentations started to resemble each other more and more,” she explains. De Groot did not think this to be a good thing, and so set about changing this.

De Groot set out to become a presentation coach as well, one that would take a different approach to teach people how to present. “One of the pointers coaches always give is to smile,” she says. “Yet this only distracts if the person is not really invested in their presentation.” Using strict rules when presenting takes away some of the spontaneity. “During a training once I told someone I had nothing really to remark regarding their presentation about their profession, just that I did not believe him,” she says. He admitted that he wanted to quit his job, but had tried to hide this. By having the presenter focus on his personal affinity with his work’s domain at large rather than about the work or the company itself, the presenter became far more invested in the topic and the presentation.

By providing people the tools to give a presentation or tell a story that feels natural to them they will feel empowered themselves to actually share it. “So many good ideas are lost to the world because people are afraid of spreading them,” De Groot says. Which is why she is excited to be on stage at TEDxDelft and share her ideas on how to ignore most of the rules, and simply start talking instead of presenting. And all the while remaining true to herself.

Curious to hear how Karin de Groot will help you present by simply starting to talk? Then buy your tickets now, join us on Friday 15 April and come celebrate the universal genius.

TEDxDelft 2016 Speaker | Sebastiaan Breedveld | Giving each patient the best treatment technically possible

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Sebastiaan Breedveld“My aim is to help improve the quality of health care,” says Sebastiaan Breedveld, a researcher at Erasmus University Medical Center. With the continuous development of new technologies in the medical sector, it would be reasonable to assume advances in medical care happen all the time. For Breedveld, however, looking at only the technology is not enough.

Breedveld was born and raised in the port city of Rotterdam, where from an early age he realised that both health care and science were two topics that very much interested him. And so he enrolled at the Delft University of Technology, where he studied mathematics and eventually obtained a Master’s degree. At the same time, he continued to find ways to connect with the health care sector. “I was always looking for the intersection between mathematics and medicine,” he explains. After graduating he became a student at Erasmus MC, where he would eventually achieve a Doctorate in Medical Physics.

Eventually, Breedveld would find his area of interest: radiation therapy. “I kind of rolled into this area really, I just happened to get involved in it.” It was here that he would really start to take notice of the effects of the relentless technological development in the medical sector. “There was and still is a lot to do, given the constant stream of changes,” he says. There is a drive to develop new methods of patient treatment, yet at the same time also the need to make the best use of what is available. It is this intersection which has Breedveld’s interest in particular.

From this stems his idea that patients should receive the best treatment that technology allows, as Breedveld feels the current state-of-the-art technology is often underused. Though it is a rather technical topic, Breedveld nevertheless relishes the opportunity to share it on the TEDxDelft stage. Fortunately, he is no stranger to explaining complicated topics to a general audience, having explained the basics of mathematics to children on several occasions. “Depending on the audience the key is to find a different way to visualise what you are saying,” says Breedveld.

Technological advancement is a good thing, given that it provides new possibilities for its users. For Breedveld, the importance lies in making use of it as best as possible to achieve what is best for the patient.

If you want to hear how Sebastiaan Breedveld believes patients can receive the best treatment technically possible, then buy your tickets now and join us on Friday 15 April 2016 and celebrate the universal genius.

TEDxDelft 2016 | TEDxDelft | Tickets now available

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TEDxDelft is happy to announce that tickets for the main event on Friday 15 April 2016 are now for sale. Click here to order your tickets online to make sure you will be there to listen to exciting new ideas and perspectives.

This edition will be TEDxDelft’s 5th anniversary and will be held on the birthday of one of history’s biggest thinkers, Leonardo da Vinci. Come join us on April 15th to celebrate the universal genius and share some more brilliant ideas.

Keep an eye on the TEDxDelft website as the speakers for this year’s event will start to be unveiled soon.