(needs correction still)
I was a lucky person to won a contest of the university of Amsterdam, and the price was to be able to go to TEDx Amsterdam. This was an amazing price, because I really wanted to go there really much.
The day of the TEDx Amsterdam
When I woke up, all my stuff was ready; 6 o clock in the morning..argh..but..nevertheless excited. Quickly got in 50% of my suite, jeans, moleskine, businesscards check! off to Amsterdam.
Fortunately, the trains were not yet too crowded, so I had a great place until I arrived.
On Amsterdam Central Station, I had to take the tram to the Tropical Institute. I usually never go with public transportation other then the train and metro to uni. So I was a bit in the wild. I asked a bit around and quickly jumped onto the right tram. I asked the tram driver if she can call out if we are at the Tropical Institute. Shamefull enough, I guess she was quite pissed off or anything and I didn’t got out where I supposed to go. So i jumped out, and then went back in another tram (houray for free transportation!) Next tram, the driver was much nicer, and kindly showed me the way.
Arriving at TEDx Amsterdam
Wow! I felt like a celeberty! Photographers, security, people in nice suits and stuff… this must be the place! I entered the place and they asked my name. I got a nice tag with a keycord of TEDxAMS and some goodies. I also gotten a voucher where I could pickup a bag with more stuff.
The Royal Tropical Institute was amazing. An awesome building with great decoration, much gold, beautiful stairs… just wow!
Since I already got much with me, I decided to pick up the bag.
When I dropped off my coat, I traded the voucher for the bag; it was great. There was set of books in, the WIRED magazine, some electronics and the bag itself was also very nice.
Back to the hall!
In the main hall
In the main hall were tables set with coffee, tea, soda’s water…and croissants. Since it was so early, people might’ve not eaten yet. As it was indeed the case for me. I ate some crouissants.
When eatingh a croissant, I saw a man who followed me not too long ago on twitter; Menno Lanting. He was heavily in conversation, but just pat him on the shoulder and say hi. Quite fun to meet people from twitter in such a place!
The simulcast room
After that, it was nearly time to go to the simulcast room. Too bad, we weren’t able to get in the main room, because the contest winners were arranged late, but we still could taste the real TEDx athmosphere. Though it felt a bit… lame for some reason.
Anyways. There I met the other contest winners. All were from very different places, one from hotel management, the other in pro physics. Incredible :-). I could eat my heart out when it comes to science, culture and marketing on this day!
9:15, TEDx starts
TEDx Amsterdam was opened by a video of Chris Anderson from TED.com
Then our host introduced himself; Joris Luyendijk. I think he pretended to not have studied all the talks he did to tie the day on the stage; but I must say,… he was amazingly well in speaking. Very good and funny. A good start of an energetic day!
Mayor Job Cohen
The Mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen was also there. It was quite funny, because the host played that he was somone who pretended he was the mayor. The mayor himself played a long. It was a funny show and a good warm welcome of Job Cohen without him being in the centre.
9:30 Let the TED talks begin
Frans Timmermans – “Be like Jack Sparrow; embrace your fears”
When Frans Timmermans entered the stage, there was some magic going on. A minister of European Affairs is talking about Jack Sparrow, from the Pirates of the Carribean. He’s known of reading a lot of books. You can instantly tell the man had a great vision, a good sense of humor and a very inspiring story. His English was perfect, better then I ever heard from a dutch minister.
The story is about how we use fear, and that you should take your benefit to do great things when using fear. But also explained the downfall of fear; that it might paralize you, or counteract in a very stupid way. He named people like Geert Wilders, Theo van Gogh and some other well known people. He didn’t say he agreed with their vision, but more explained that the visions those people got.
Jacob Gelt Dekker – “In search of the pot of gold”
In the newspaper of that morning, I saw his face. And reading his article, I wasnt very happy of seeing him on stage for some reason. A millionaire who loves money a bit too much; that was my idea.
When he entered the stage and began to talk, he reminded me a bit of the villain of spiderman, the Green Goblin.
mr. Dekker talked about his new book (Which we all gotten in the goody bag). I thought it was just about money, but it was actually about the sense which gotten back to him, I feel. A journey trough many countries, societies etc. And I began to see what the man drives. He has an enourmous passion to do whatever he wants to set his mind on, in search of true happyness; his pot of gold.
11:30 The TEDtalks continue
Jan Donner – The Royal Tropical Institute
Mr. Donner from the Royal Tropical Institute gave some background information on how the institute was used back then and how it is being used now. Some historical facts of the palce and enviroment. Some things were very interesting, but because I was very bad in historical facts, I missed out on a few things.
Prof. dr. Louise E.M. Vet – “Towards a circular economy”
I really loved this talk. The big message was: Think global, but act local. One of the sayings I still keep to myself. The talk was about how eco systems are being destroyed, and how we can fix it. Basically what the big problem was, is that we recycle a lot, but all the materials from different places get back at only a few places. Which means that precious metals who are needed for life itself, are missing out. She gave a few examples on how in her eyes the new systems should be working like. She showed some projects of appartments who have their own eco-system. It was really fascinating how those things worked!
Rabbijn Soetendorp – “plea for compassion”
This is one of the most memorable speakers of the day for me. An older man, telling about his experiences during world war two, and relating it to the current situation. He stepped on stage,…he had his eyes closed, and just spoke with so much feeling. It was a really inmense experience, even from the screen.
He got a standing ovation, and well deserved. Wow.
Dr. Gerhard Knies – Desert Tec
A greatly interesting talk about powering the planet by using deserts. It was very cool to hear the man speak. for some people, he was hard to follow because it was very technological. I think I understood most of it though. Unfortunately, near 3/4 of his talk, where the most interesting things were being said, the internet went down, so we couldn’t see the simulcast anymore. Big shame!
Gary Carter – “Learning to kiss”
A very debatable talk. he stated of with a video of Popstars. It was a bit long to be honest; around 4-5 minutes (in a tak of around 18 minutes). He told that we all feel the same things over the planet by sharing the emotions with the people on stage.
Gary Carter looked like a very cool guy, showing hardly any emotion. I really had the feeling; what is this going to lead to? are we watching a marketing campagne on stage?
But then the talk went into a whole other direction.
He referred to his son, who is autistic and had some other “dsseases”. He told that if you are just a bit different, you will never fit into a company’s profile, never into a service who he will be able to use. I think what he meant is by using archetypes, the people who are not be able to fit into any of those, miss out on education, entertainment, proper care, financial services, etcetera.
I think in the end, this was a beautiful talk even though a direct emotion was far from there.
The day is passing by fast, one o’ clock already! The lunch was incredible nice. Very good catering, fresh sandwiches and great fresh drinks.
14:00 Resuming TEDtalks
Lucky for us, from this time on, we could join the main room, so we could see all the live action!
Kevin Kelly – “What technology wants”
This was a talk I expected most frm, but kinda was very dissapointed. The things he told was not very new. He supposed to talk about something very interesting, but instead, he talked about the same subject he done before.
What technology wants.. to be honest, I wasn’t very impressed by the subject. It was bsasically about how technology keeps alive and wants more from us, and perhaps in the end even merging with it. Which was for me, not a new story.
Hans Aarsman -”mysterious ways of beauty in photography”
Another great talk. A man being a professional photographer telling about how interesting photos can be if you don’t try to focus on something interesting. He showed us his early work and the work he admired. In example, a man who always had a bike on his photos. He told us that once his bike gotten stolen and now he placed them in his sight (in the photo). Now he’s photographing objects of what his mom made for him, then he could throw them away, because he didn’t really liked them.
Prof. dr. Marcel Dicke – “Why not eat insects?”
A really cool subject; Food and insects! dr. Marcel Dicke explained us why we should eat insects, why it’s healthy and why we can do it without harnessing the eco system.
After the talk, we were invited to eat insects. Of course, I tried something out. They made chocolate covered strawberries with a mantis and worms. I tried the worm one.
I had to say, it wasn’t disgusting, but… the idea of eating it made me didn’t like it. I guess it’s just our western habits which makes us dislike it.
16:00 More talks!
Karsu Dönmez – ”I’ll leave alone” and “Cok Uzaklarda”‘
Not a talk, but a performance of a young composer. It was nice to hear arabic influences in western classical music.
Prof.dr. Robbert Dijkgraaf – “The Unknown Universe”
One of the least memorable talks for me. I couldn’t understand or see the point in the talk, or what I could do with it. I think I need to watch the whole talk again.
Mark Kamau, General Manager Nairobits, “I escaped by dreaming”
A intruiging tak about how Mark Kamou escaped his ‘backalley’ life and turned his dreamed into reality. There’s not much extra to say about it, but it was a very inspiring talk.
Merlijn Twaalfhoven – “The Music of the Real World”
Merlijn talked about his projects in various cities across the world. Often poor cities, or in the middle of war. The itneresting thing he was talking about was that the people there don’t give up living, and making a statement to the people who are attacking or surpressing them. “You can kill us, but we don’t go down without pride”. With that idea, he went to look for musicians in those areas to create a stunning musical soundscape there to bring a bit of shine back to the people.
After his very nice talk, we experienced his way of music ouselves. People in the main room stood up and began to make noises. Because it was all around you, you really felt being part of it. It was amazing.
Bjarke Ingels, ”Yes Is More”
A presentation I already seen before, nevertheless inspiring. He showed projects they made, and how they were sold. Some were just luck, even though they meant for different things and areas. The awesome thing was the array of buildings they are planning to build; which are mountain tops as buidings, also functional as that kind of mountain (water, sun, growth, etc)
17:30 Oh boy dinnertime!
The dinner was well arranged by the catering. Different types of food, and well balanced. Also enough drinks like wine, beer, and other types of beverages. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough tables to eat on. I guess it was quite hard to arrange to have a place for about 500-600 people.
Bruno Giussani – “Ideas About Spreading Ideas: Inside TED”
Bruno talked about his ideas and why he is doing the TED evens. He showed us by doing this, people can get access to scientific and inspiring talks to let the viewer develop themselves better to change the world using a more intelligent approach.
Prof.dr.Wubbo J. Ockels – “Is time a creation of life in response to gravity?”
The speech was very funny and inspiring and makes you think about time, gravity and existence. Unfortunately, for me or him, my co-winner of the contest, was highly educated in the knowledge of time and gravity. He said that what dr. Wubbo J Ockels said, is using philosofy to explain theories which doesn’t just work that way. A funny reference was the talk to Robbert Dijkgraaf. He showed a comic of Fokke and Sukke which said: “it works great, but does it work in theory?” and I think that’s something dr. Ockels wanted to do. It was inspiring, but not very valid.
The end of TEDx Amsterdam
It was nearly 11 pm, and people getting tired, after a few wines, whiskeys and beers..the people starting to leave. I did leave around this time as well. I was soo tired, but not from just a long day, but from all the excitement. And that excitement still comes back when I think about that day! It’s been a few months back, but I nearly remember everything still from it.
I still feel priveledged to have been there!
2 am, back home… sleep..dead…