x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Never grow up

This event occurred on
October 5, 2012
9:00am - 6:00pm CEST
(UTC +2hrs)
Delft, ZH

The second edition of TEDxDelft: 5 October 2012. This year TEDxDelft theme is ‘never grow up‘. 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 cannot be done?

We were inspired by the story of Peter Pan, some quotes:

All children, except one, grow up.
Every time a child says, ‘I don’t believe in fairies,’ there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead.
All you need is trust and a little bit of pixie dust!
I’ll teach you to ride on the wind’s back, and away we go!
So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned.
I ran away the day I was born. It was because I heard father and mother talking about what I was to be when I became a man.
If growing up means it would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree, I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up! Not me!
All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again
Forget them. Forget them all. Come with me where you’ll never never have to worry about grown up things again.

Aula Congress Centre Delft
Mekelweg 5
Delft, ZH, 2628 CC
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Wendy Lampen

Wendy Lampen (Belgium, 1969) works as a lecturer for a university of applied sciences. She got diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome herself. Trained as a teacher in English, History and Ethics she later on worked with adolescents with autism in a school setting. Next to being an MA in autism, she extensively studied neurotypical (non-autistic) behaviour in order to understand people better. It gave her insight into what really set her apart from (most of the) others: sensory processing and its ongoing processes and the way the two braintypes give meaning to the world they experience.


Erik de Jong (Spijkenisse, February 2, 1961) is Spinvis. Once a student of composition at the conservatory of Rotterdam, De Jong debuted in 2002 with “Spinvis” The music could be described as lo-fi singer/songwriter/sample music, or as cut up mini film stories disguised as pop songs. De Jong’s success story was an unlikely one. He was already in his forties when he debuted as a pop artist. His self-titled debut album released in 2002 became a massive success, surprising critics, music industry peoples and De Jong himself.

Ionica Smeets

Ionica Smeets (@ionicasmeets) is joining TEDxDelft Never Grow Up: A mathematician and science journalist with plenty of media experience. Using her vast knowledge and enthusiasm, she can explain everything about her favorite topics in science and statistics. She does it well on paper and face-to-face: She writes blogs, columns and books and is also asked to appear as a speaker, live, on television and on radio shows.

Tom de Bruyne

Tom De Bruyne (@TomdeBruyne) is passionate about making stuff with the ambition to excite people. Tom is founder and director at SUE Amsterdam, a startup with the ambition to become an international creative agency for the digital era. Tom is obsessed by the game to persuade the homo digitalis into interacting, talking, liking, evangelizing and buying.

Bas Lansdorp

Bas Lansdorp (1977) has never been one to let bold ventures intimidate him. A born entrepreneur, he sees potential and opportunity when others shy away. He utilizes an articulate vision and genuine enthusiasm coupled with infectious powers of persuasion to get his point across. These attributes are useful in his new company, Mars One, that will send humans to Mars in 2023.

Manon Osevoort

Manon Ossevoort is a professional actor and theatre-maker from the Netherlands. During her studies at the ‘Amsterdam School of the Arts’ (AHK Theatre) Manon learned that for every story you want to tell, you have to find the right form. Sometimes a story is best told in words.

Arend Schwab

Meet TEDx Delft – 2012 performer, Arend Schwab from Delft University of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering. Whenever Arend comes up with an assignment for his students, the hallway of the faculty is crammed with all sorts of very strange objects that resemble bikes only slightly.

Erik Schlangen

Erik Schlangen is Professor “Experimental Micromechanics” and director of the Microlab at Delft University of Technology, faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences. The main research topics of his chair consist of studying mechanical properties of materials to be able to understand failure mechanisms and to develop materials with improved properties. A further focus of his research is the field of chemo-mechanics which tries to study degradation due to coupled chemical and mechanical actions in materials. In 2005 he was amongst the first to develop new materials with self-healing properties. He took the initiative in developing self-healing concrete using Bacteria and he was the inventor of the self-healing Asphalt using steel-wool fibres and induction energy.

Pim van den Akker

Surprising and playful. Touchingly honest. Extraordinarily natural and naturally extraordinary. The Delft based floral designer and artist, Pim van den Akker, makes everyday things extraordinary. Take a fresh new look at clothing and design. Take a fresh new look at flowers and plants. Take a fresh new look at daily reality. His floral art is contained in six books by now, which are firm favourites in more than thirty countries. In real life, international trendsetter Van den Akker is matchless. The whole world wants him; he is requested to give shows everywhere, to (re)style houses and to design events. In doing so, he creates customised work as standard. Whether it’s a business party or a product presentation, Van den Akker makes it a unique show in keeping with the moment, transforming that moment into an inspiring and amazing sensory experience.

Martijn Wisse

Martijn Wisse (1976) researches the mechanics of robots. He develops mechanisms and motions that make it easier for the robots to fulfill their task. Inspired by the human body, he develops hands that make it easy to grasp oddly-shaped objects, legs that walk almost by themselves without motors or controls, and arms that efficiently and robustly reach their target positions. His work is part of a greater effort in Delft – and worldwide – to develop the robot technology that is so dearly needed in the developed countries.

Boyan Slat

Boyan Slat (@BoyanSlat, Delft, 1994) combines environmentalism, creativity and technology to tackle global issues of sustainability. Currently working on oceanic plastic pollution, he believes current prevention measures will have to be supplemented by active removal of plastics in order to succeed. With his concept called Marine Litter Extraction, Boyan Slat proposes a radical clean-up solution, for which he won the Best Technical Design award 2012 at the TU Delft.

Nynke Tromp

Nynke Tromp works as a design researcher at the department of Industrial Design, Delft University of Technology and social designer at KVD reframing in Amsterdam. In both positions, she works on the social implications of design. Nynke is also member of ‘Redesigning Politics’, a creative think tank aiming for redesigning thinking, institutes, structures and interaction in the field of politics.

Guus Roeselers

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. He received his PhD in Environmental Biotechnology in 2007 under Professor Mark Van Loosdrecht at TU Delft, the Dutch cradle of microbiology. Subsequently, he received a grant from Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and moved to the US, where he joined the lab of Professor Colleen Cavanaugh at Harvard University. Here he spend several years conducting research on various topics including symbioses between gutless marine invertebrates and sulfur oxidizing bacteria. Read more

Bennie Mols

When he was eight years old, Bennie Mols (1969) wanted to become a professor. He failed. Instead, he became a science journalist, science writer and science communicator. He holds master degrees in physics (TUE) and philosophy (UvA), as well as a Ph.D.-degree in physics (TUD, 1999). He never stops wondering about science in general and physics, computer science, mathematics, neuroscience and psychology in particular. And he tries to make a living by sharing the fruits of his wondering

Roland Schmehl

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.

Floris Visser

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. As a young Dutch director Floris Visser is particularly known for his opera productions. In response to his production of Handel’s Agrippina the press praised him as ’a most promising asset to the opera world.’ Visser was first educated as a director and actor at the Theatre Academy of Maastricht. Later he also studied classical singing at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. In the fall of 2012 he is appointed Cultural Professor at Delft University of Technology.

Judith Adema

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.

Nupur Kohli

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).

Marwa Al-Ansari

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). Her work involved investigation of waste streams in Qatar and employing them as a value added materials in Thiocrete technology. Additionally, she designed formulations to the sulphur-concrete matrix and conducted material testing in tandem with her virtual team in Amsterdam lab. Prior to her work with Shell, Marwa worked for 4 years in the field of Project Management in the construction sector and also has 4 years of teaching experience at Cambridge University.

Organizing team


Delft, Netherlands
  • Simone de Jong
    Sponsoring / speaker curation
  • Jeroen van Erp
    Speaker curation
  • Arnout Huijnink
  • Ginny Ruiter
    Event production
  • Antoinette Wijffels
    Stage direction
  • Toine Andernach
    Speaker Coach
  • Ynke Feenstra
    PR consultant
  • Liesbeth Mantel
    Speaker liaison
  • Kim Colman
    PR & Media
  • Chris van Houdt
    Scrapheap Challenge