x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Do try this at home

This event occurred on
October 4, 2013
9:00am - 6:00pm CEST
(UTC +2hrs)
Delft, ZH

Do try this at home will feature the inspiring talks TED and TEDx is famous for but with a practical twist. Speakers will discuss concepts which can be implemented in everyday life, encouraging attendees to take these ideas home and add value of your own.

After the success of last year’s event, Never Grow Up, we wanted to find a topic which was equally inspiring yet with a more hands on approach. Along the lines of Never Grow Up, Do try this at home promotes curiosity and wonder while emboldening attendees with pragmatic ideas. The ability to make changes in the world should be accessible to every person and our goal is for attendees to leave with the basis for instituting change in their own lives.

The theme draws heavily from the city of Delft and what it represents. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither was Delft. The history of the city was developed in incremental steps over hundreds of years. We were inspired by the process of building something great out those steps.

The population of Delft, especially the university, has a reputation for “MacGyvering”. The concept refers to the popular 1980s TV show featuring secret agent Angus MacGyver who was known for his resourcefulness, using household items to defuse bombs and pick locks. We see students everyday finding resourceful ways to solve problems in their academic life and we want our theme to highlight the talents of our community.

Do try this at home will combine the best of TED and TEDx with the best of Delft.

Aula Congress Centre Delft
Mekelweg 5
Delft, ZH, 2628 CC
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Gerwin Smit

Gerwin Smit was born in Drachten, The Netherlands, and studied Biomechanical Engineering at Twente University. He was very disappointed when he learned that many people who have lost a hand or arm do not wear prostheses. Most of them claim they’re uncomfortable or too heavy. This motivated Gerwin to continue his research at Delft University of Technology. There, he had some major discoveries, allowing him to invent the lightest hand prosthesis ever. He is now a Postdoc in Delft. Current prostheses are far from perfect. They are too heavy, too hot, and do not provide sufficient sensory input. But Gerwin Smit might have changed that. His prosthesis is now known as “The Delft Cylinder Hand”.

Marije Nie

Marije Nie is a musician with her feet, a dancing percussionist. Her tap dance style is the perfect symbiosis between music and dance. The rhythm dictates the movement and the movement determines the sound. She feels at home in many different kinds of music: jazz, improvisated music, worldmusic, (contemporary) classic music, experimental electronica and dance. In 2007 she won the Jur Naessens Musiekprijs for innovation in music. With her skills for improvisation and her passion for experiments, she created her unique niche between composed and improvised music.

Rutger de Graaf

Rutger is a civil engineer, with an outstanding record in academia, and on a mission to make the world a more sustainable place by using creative, innovative, floating solutions to major problems such as flood risk, climate change and food scarcity. According to Rutger, one of the world’s biggest challenges is urbanisation. All over the world, people are moving from rural areas to cities. Already a majority of people is living in cities, which are often vulnerable to flooding. The landshortage created by urbanisation, leads to shortage of resources such as food, fuel etc. One thing, Rutger says, the world has plenty of is water. Therefore his solution is to build cities on water.

John Cohn

It has been hinted that coming year John de Mol will be producing a program called ‘Utopia’. In this program a group of people has to try to build a new society with only little means. The participants will receive some money to buy stuff, but merely have to try to make a living and make things work on their own. We have news for John de Mol! Come visit TEDxDelft 4 October, because we have got his namesake, we are presenting to you: John Cohn. John Cohn is not only a professor and IBM Fellow (which happens to be the most senior technical rank in IBM’s 200,000 person technical community) but is also a real trooper when it comes to survival of the fittest. In The Colony, a show that resembles John De Mol’s new show to a great extent, participants have to survive in a simulated post-apocalyptic environment. With his creative mind and endless knowledge John Cohn fixed, made and hacked electronics, created some crazy devices, was able to build stuff out of natural materials and could repair almost anything. Share this:

Matthew Rogers

According to Matthew, a didgeridoo is a great way of introducing the concept of using things that make us unhappy to transform those things that makes us happy. He recently combined didgeridoo playing with Ecstatic Dance to create a dance method that uses ancient dance moves to allow a heightened awareness of memory. You never know what life has in store for you, something Matthew has experienced, like all of us. Using his musical talent, practicing sports and his (cum laude graduate) brain, he turned life’s experiences into a method, hoping that the TEDxDelft audience will benefit from it. I’m sure we will! To sum it all up, there will be a didgeridoo playing, boxing champion attorney on stage at Tedx Delft on October 4th. Matthew Rogers seems like a man you wouldn’t want to cross, but we’re sure his talk will be inspiring, uplifting and humorous.

Damaris Matthijsen

Social entrepreneur Damaris Matthijsen’s personal philosophy in life is simple; understand yourself and trust your gut. Founder of the pioneering economic movement – Economy Transformers – Matthijsen’s journey began with disillusionment. While studying to be a social worker in Driebergen, she went on a trip to Suriname for an internship. “I began to notice how the economic situation alienated the people. Even more so because Western concepts had been imposed on people out of context. It was the first time I realized the impact economy has on human life,” she says. It wasn’t just abroad; Matthijsen found that the economy had little regard for human life everywhere in the world. “I realized that even I was alienated by the economy. That every individual was relegated to second position – whether in a company where he has no share of profits or in a competitive environment where he has to push himself incessantly.”

Japie Stoppelenburg

Japie describes himself as a ‘big city snob with a small country heart’. Japie is only 25 years old, but he has a remarkable CV. He is now a Lead Creative who specializes in nothing and instead opts to try out everything. So Japie concepts, copywrites, designs, researches, directs, sings, dances and acts – often for clients and mostly for fun. He is able to link his conceptual mind to things and movements we see in our society, presenting daily reality with a twist. In Dutch we would say that Japie ‘geen blad voor de mond neemt’, which comes close to ‘he does not mind his words’. He is able to bring about his message loud and clear.

Krashna Musica

After concluding the ninth lustrum and a year full of great projects – among others the opera of Carmen, the St John Passion and a tour to Paris – the orchestra and choir of music students in Delft, Krashna Musika, starts this fall with an English programme, which contains the 2nd symphony of the British componist Egon Wellesz and the Magnificat from John Rutter. Rutter is mainly known for his chiefly choral compositions that include Christmas carols and anthems. His more extended works are a Gloria, a Magnificat and a Requiem.

Maarten Frens

Imagine if you were able to be the best at whatever you wanted! Be it mastering a language, working out complicated mathematical equations, or being able to paint with the skills of van Gogh or Rembrandt – it’s all attainable. At this year’s TEDxDelft the world-renowned brain-professor dr. Maarten Frens will share his expertise and experiences with Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS); a ground-breaking technique that could enable us to be, well… Limitless. In short, tDCS is a form of neurostimulation which uses constant, low current delivered directly to certain brain areas of interest. So could we see a future where athletes get caught with using tDCS to enhance their talents at the 2016 Olympics? Or where students take cheating to an entirely new level?

Carin Boersma

Binaries limit progress and create boundaries where there should be exchange. For Carin Boersma, Program Officer at Oxfam Novib, understanding this is the key to moving forward. “No one should assume that they know what is best for others. It is important to learn from each other and see what solutions others have to offer. If knowledge remains a one way process, it will be limited and not fruitful. There has to be an open and honest dialogue,”. While, she agrees that there already has been a change in attitude, she feels there’s still a long way to go. She will share her thoughts, knowledge and dreams with us that are needed to get there.

Jamal Mechbal

You think you have it all – graduated from three different universities, a good job and a great marriage – and then it all falls apart. Your marriage ends, you lose your job and you become homeless. It happened to Jamal Mechbal and it can happen to all of us according to him. It does not matter how you end up in this situation, what matters is how you deal with it. At TEDxDelft, Jamal will speak about his fascinating and inspiring story of being homeless and recovering from it.

Anne Walraven

It is often said to ask the young because they know everything. However Anne Walraven is only 27 years old and on a personal quest based on a question. How? How is it possible that in 50 years’ time the Maldives will not exist anymore. Just simply disappearing under water. Gone. When this notion hit, Anne cried for 3 days and found herself confronted by 3 options: 1)get cynical and detach from the world 2) go to the Maldives on holiday, eat, drink and jump around while you still can without scuba gear 3) separate right from wrong, become an activist on hunger strike and chain herself to government buildings. Naturally, she chose option 4.

Ben Bronsema

Whoever said that “it’s not easy being green”, must have known what he or she was talking about. Of course, science has made some remarkable progress over the last decade when it comes to clean energy, but how many of those developed clean energy models have actually been integrated within the architecture of our homes and offices? (Power sockets excluded.). We can hear you think, that stationing a big eco-friendly power plant on your rooftop would perhaps be a little too much, but somewhere in the nearby future you could consider to let nature take over the office building you work in!

Scott Cunningham

Scott Cunningham jokes that “Big Data” might be his fault. He began his career at telephone service provider AT&T, where he focused on using data to improve customer experiences. Now he wants to use data to predict the future. Born and raised in Georgia to English parents, Cunningham’s accent reflects his mixed roots. He completed his PhD in England and now lives in Delft with his French wife. His global background has influenced his career, as part of his research now focuses on the creation of social connections. His most recent publication, Tech Mining, focuses on the prediction of new technologies and that is also the topic of his talk for TEDxDelft.

Boyan Slat

At TEDxDelft 2012, Boyan Slat captivated the audience with his idea for cleaning up marine litter. In a nutshell, he proposed to remove plastic from the oceans with the help of floating booms that run on natural energy. A green solution in more ways than one: no fossil fuels needed, no by-catch, and with clean oceans as well as a huge amount of potentially reusable plastic waste as an outcome. In fact, the process may well pay for itself – or even turn a profit – through the sale of that plastic

Tim Zaman

Zaman, 25, is pursuing a PhD in photothermal tomography at TU Delft. He’s no stranger to the TEDxDelft stage, haven spoken during the very first TEDxDelft event. During that event, he attached a camera to a helium-filled balloon and released it. During his talk, he showed footage from the camera. As part of his PhD research Zaman worked on a project to recreate Dutch masters paintings using a 3D printer. The scanners in the printers can help clarify what the paintings looked like before they were damaged by time. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is using similar technology to reproduce, among other works, Sunflowers. Zaman helped to reproduce a Van Gogh as well as two Rembrandts.


Tangarine – aka the hardest working twin in The Netherlands – has captured the attention of many music lovers in The Netherlands and beyond. The theme of TEDxDelft matches Sander & Arnout perfectly. ‘Do try this at home’, or in their case ‘Do try it all yourself’ was the credo of the guys for years. Playing everywhere where you could imagine one to play. From living rooms, to theatres, to festivals to community centres. They did it all themselves: creating a stage, selling tickets, being their own roadies, light- and soundmen. They even cleaned up after their gigs….

Maartje en Kine

Organizing team


Delft, Netherlands
  • Jeroen van Erp
  • Ginny Ruiter
    Event producer
  • Tonia Tzortzi
    Event producer
  • Antoinette Wijffels
    Stage producer
  • Arnout Huijnink
  • Toine Andernach
    Performer coach
  • Molly Quell
    PR and media
  • Rolf Hut
  • Sheraz Kazmi
    Performer liaison
  • Christine Kuiper
  • Brenda Hooiveld
    Coordinator volunteers
  • Anouk Poll
    Speaker search
  • Eveline Vreede
    Coordinator (live)bloggers and social media team
  • Erika Teeuwisse
    Event production