x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Human Nature

This event occurred on
November 30, 2012
8:30am - 8:30pm CET
(UTC +1hr)
Amsterdam, NH

This years’ theme – human nature – refers to the distinguishing characteristics, including ways of thinking, feeling and acting, that humans tend to have naturally. So what is human nature? Who are we, how do we think, feel and act? What are our limitations, and how can we overcome them? What we share, how we are different, how we can be fooled and how lucky we are to be alive: welcome to TEDxAmsterdam.

Amsterdam, NH
See more ­T­E­Dx­Amsterdam events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Dan Ariely

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we're not as rational as we think when we make decisions. It's become increasingly obvious that the dismal science of economics is not as firmly grounded in actual behavior as was once supposed.

Kevin Slavin

Kevin Slavin argues that we're living in a world designed for -- and increasingly controlled by -- algorithms. In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer programs determine: espionage tactics, stock prices, movie scripts, and architecture. And he warns that we are writing code we can't understand, with implications we can't control.

Rory Sutherland

Rory Sutherland stands at the center of an advertising revolution in brand identities, designing cutting-edge, interactive campaigns that blur the line between ad and entertainment.

Paul Zak

Professor Paul Zak is credited with the first published use of the term “neuroeconomics” and has been a vanguard in this new discipline that integrates neuroscience and economics. He organized and administers the first doctoral program in neuroeconomics in the world at Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Zak’s lab discovered in 2004 that an ancient chemical in our brains, oxytocin, allows us to determine who to trust. This knowledge is being used to understand the basis for modern civilizations and modern economies, improve negotiations, and treat patients with neurologic and psychiatric disorders.

Paul de Blot

Paul de Blot is honorary professor Business Spirituality at Nyenrode Business University. He’s a person that’s keen on learning. In his life he attended lots of universities and classes in Indonesia (where he was born and raised), Germany, the Netherlands and Israël. At this time he is also a chaplain for students and immigrants and hospital chaplain. He wrote several books about business spirituality, from which ‘De Mystiek van het Zakendoen’ is the most renowned.

Eus van Someren

Two hundred shows a year with his rock band The Scene didn’t stop Eus van Someren to build a career in neurosciences. Eus J.W. Van Someren is now Head of the Department Sleep and Cognition at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience and Associate Professor at the VUmc. Ten percent of Dutch people struggle with some form of insomnia. His major current project is the founding of a Netherlands Sleep Registry, applying web-based survey and task assessment, high-density (sleep) EEG, TMS and fMRI to unravel risk factors, genetic predispositions and brain mechanisms involved in sleep disturbances in health and disease.

Desiree Dudley

Desiree Dudley is director of strategic relations and outreach at a non-profit organization, the Foresight Institute. They are involved in emerging technologies, from nano and biotech to space development and artificial intelligence. She gets professional inspiration from precisely facilitating connections between world-class scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and promising young students to actualize the full potential of Foresight’s vast cross-disciplinary network. She also wrote for Nanotech for Dummies and won a Mensa No Limits Hold ‘em Poker tourney.


TINKEBELL is a Dutch artist, who provokes by exemplifying the blind spots of modern society. She confronts a public that revels in being indignant about everything that has nothing to do with them, but at the same time is very apologetic about their own actions. By turning her own cat into a handbag she tried to show people their own hypocrisy about the use of animals for consumption and leather production. If anything, her works form a extreme incentive for the discussion of our morals and the way society is developing.

Lissa Zeviar

Lissa is the owner of Babygebaren and a professional sign language interpreter. Born to parents that are both deaf, Lissa Zeviar feels that sign language is not only natural but also a great gift. What if everyone was raised with sign language? Would everyone benefit if everyone knew sign language?

Marc de Hond

Entrepreneur, DJ and avid sports player Marc de Hond ended up in a wheelchair due to a faulty surgical procedure. Marc is now a dedicated player of wheelchair basketball and also works as a television host. In his rehabilitation process, he identified the amazing power of adaptation for both body and mind.

Hermine Deurloo

Hermine Deurloo is an internationally known jazz chromatic harmonica player from Amsterdam, who developed an original sound on the harmonica. In October 2012, her latest CD, ‘Glass Fish’, was released. Today she will share with us her unique sound, playing ‘Oktober in Oosterpark’.

Amir Liberman

Amir Liberman is a pioneer researcher in the field of ‘forensic voice analysis’ and the founder of Nemesysco, who set out in 1996 to build the ‘ultimate lie detector’. Amir was the first to identify the three basic sensations projected by the human voice: excitement, stress and uncertainty. His technology is now applied by call centres and insurance companies worldwide – but what can it teach us about TED talks?

Nice Nailantei Leng’ete

Nice Nailantei Leng’ete, a 21 year old Maasai girl from Kenya, is a true agent of change in opening up the discussion in her Maasai community on female genital mutilation. Nice brings girls together to talk about their bodies and their rights. She realized that to make real progress she had to speak with the boys as well. Nice has been honored for her work with an ‘oringo orok’ – a Maasai leader’s talking and walking stick – and a cultural symbol for leadership.

Klaas ten Holt

The influence of dramatic events in the personal life of composer Klaas ten Holt changed the way he experienced music. When the person he loved died, doubts arose about the importance of abstract and cerebral art, leading to a discovery of songs to console the heart.

Gary Carter

Marriage equality divides nations, and even divides the gay and lesbian community. Although for some, marriage equality is a civil rights issue, or a sign of liberation from oppression, for others it is an unwelcome attempt to copy heterosexual institutions. Television executive Gary Carter, happily married, shows how the concept of marriage is currently changing.

Valentijn de Hing

Valentijn De Hingh became famous through a documentary that followed her life as a transgender child. Valentijn works as a model, writer, dj, and performer and is a full time literature student. In this talk she shares her thoughts on the gender dichotomy and how that led to her gender reassignment surgery

Leonard van Munster

and describes his cooperation with scientist Edwin Dertien in order to arrive at a dancing white man.

Pablos Holman

Futurist, inventor and digital security expert, Paul (Pablos) Holman shares the latest and most cutting edge inventions of his team at the Intellectual Ventures Laboratory: How to print food…

PIPS lab

PIPS: lab is known for producing raw, expressive, visually stunning, interactive multimedia performances. PIPS: lab has created Diespace: ‘the first active internet community for the deceased’. One prerequisite: you have to be dead to join.

Anwar Dafa-Alla

The organizer of TEDx events in Sudan

Katja Schuurman

Everything, every place and everyone has a story. This is the time to offer consumers the possibility to weigh in on the stories behind products, the people that produce them and the places they come from. Katja Schuurman, actress, TV-presenter, entrepreneur and co-founder of Return to Sender will show how a private initiative can contribute to the sustainable development of the poorest regions in the world.

René Gude

According to René Gude, Director of the International School of Philosophy at Leusden, we humans are what we pretend to be, so we have to be very shrewd about what we pretend. Philosophy is the art of improving the way we deal with the facts of life, and designing them in accordance with humankind – kindly, so to speak.

Organizing team


Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Monique van Dusseldorp
    Program director
  • Marian Spier
    Communications director
  • Diederick Croese
  • Jasper de Valk
    Sponsor manager
  • Bernice Thijm
    Award manager
  • Oliver de Leeuw
    Editor in chief
  • Marck Feller
    Online video
  • Xander Kranenburg
    Production manager
  • Jan Scheele
    Guest liaison
  • Paul Rispens
  • Erik Bronsvoort
    Sustainability manager
  • Maarten Fijnaut
    Volunteer coordinator
  • Andrew Maaldrink
    Pinterest and Facebook dude
  • Joost Brillemans
    Speaker liaison
  • Jasper Bergink
  • Anne Cramwinckel
    Speaker liaison