x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Are we connected?

This event occurred on
August 24, 2013
9:30am - 5:00pm CEST
(UTC +2hrs)
Aachen, NW

TEDxEutropolis 2013 is the first cross-border TEDx conference. The event will take place in both Aachen and Heerlen on a single day.

After visiting Heerlen (2010) and Hasselt (2012), the third edition of TEDxEutropolis will be held on Saturday August 24 in Aachen and Heerlen. The theme of this TEDxEutropolis 2013 is ‘Are We Connected?’. It questions our hyper-connectivity via (social) media, trying to uncover their value and meaning through interesting talks and dialogue.

Valerie del Re on TEDxEutropolis 2012

Are we connected?
Internet and Social Media are shaped to further human interaction. Access is available anytime, anywhere, anyplace. We are hyper connected individuals. This hyper connectivity has a direct influence on how we experience our daily lives. Staying disconnected is no longer a viable option, as it quickly leads to social and economical isolation. Being connected however, also has severe drawbacks, so what should we do?

Does technology necessarily lead to a better, smarter and happier future? Development on a regional level seems to contradict a positive change through hyper connectivity. We are connected globally, but the connection to our direct neighbors yet remains unclear.

RWTH Aachen & PL Theater Heerlen
Professor Pirlet Strasse 12
Aachen, NW
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Eberhard van der Laan

Dutch politician and mayor of the city of Amsterdam. Eberhard van der Laan finished his law studies cum laude in 1983 at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He subsquently co-founded the law-firm Kennedy van der Laan as a partner. He started his political career as an assistant to alderman Jan Schaefer in Amsterdam. From 1990 to 1998 he was a member of city council in Amsterdam. Leading up to the local elections of 1998, he accomplished a renewal within his political party (PvdA). Later on, he decided not to run for re-election, and instead opt for fulltime law practice again. Van der Laan was, and stil is, a member of many organisations and boards. He is a social democrat by heart and believes in a modern application of these political ideals, supporting values like solidarity and emancipation, but also recognizing that the government must not necessarily be involved in every process. In 2008 he became minister for the departement of Wonen, Wijken en Integratie (Living, Housing and Integration) for the Balkenende IV cabinet, He specialized in problems concerning integration, antidiscrimination, large city policy, living, housing, rent policy, neighborhood budgets, preventing local disturbances and improving neighbourhood-specific safety. After this cabinet ended prematurely he opted for a place in the Tweede Kamer (part of the Dutch government). On the 19th of april 2010 however, he revoked this decision and started running for mayor of the city of Amsterdam. On the 7th of july 2010 he started in this position, replacing former mayor Job Cohen.

Claire Huijnen

Cognitive Psychologist & UX Designer, Project Manager on Companion Robotics at Smart Homes - Zuyd University Claire Huijnen describes herself as a peoples person, interested in connectedness. She specializes in Companion Robotics and is a cognitive psychologist & UX designer. Claire’s mixed educational background of Cognitive Psychology /Human Factors (Maastricht University, NL) and a second post-doc Master from the Technical University (Eindhoven, NL) on User System Interaction gives her the ability to co-innovate from a user’s perspective. Claire loves to co-create innovations - together with (other) passionate people - striving to empower people to better care for themselves and for their beloved ones (as they age). Empower people to connect meaningfully and feel connected. Enable people to create, share and enjoy special moments. How? By developing a new friendly helper at home; companion robots, robot buddies that cooperate with (informal) caregivers and smart home / care environments - to support people in their daily life. Focusing less on the problems and diseases people have, and more on enabling and prolong enjoyable moments, helping people to live the life they wish to lead, despite impairments. Let people feel they are people rather than aging patients. Hoping to bring some "sun", light, love, and inspiration by creating amazing empowering innovations. Designing technology, yes, designing companion robots to enable people to connect to each other and experience rich and valuable moments. Connect to yourself and each other. Step into the Love, Light and Shine! Follow your heart, together...connected.

Paul Miller

SPEAKERS Paul Miller American Technology Journalist, Senior Editor at The Verge. Paul Miller is an American Technology Journalist from Springfield, Missouri. A former editor of Engadget, he left in 2011 to become a senior editor at The Verge. He will attend our conference to speak on his experiment: 'Without the Internet' which gathered a lot of media-attention just a few weeks ago. Miller left the internet for a year, as he thought it was making him unproductive and it 'corrupted his soul'. After a year without surfing or checking mail he wrote this article entitled 'I'm still here' for The Verge, in which he explains how the internet (and leaving it) influenced his life. Miller was picked up by the press and became a worldwide phenomenon in a matter of days. The article that inspired this mania can still be red here. Along with a video documentary.

Elena Fronk

PhD Candidate at the Centre for Gender and Diversity of Maastricht University Elena Fronk is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Gender and Diversity of Maastricht University. She grew up in Heinsberg (D) and crossed boarders to study and work in Maastricht (NL). Her research explores the performance of age identities in online dating for people over 50. How do older online daters deal with dominant ideas and stereotypes about aging? And how do they resist those stereotypes? In exploring these questions, Elena Fronk meets older singles, asks them about their personal experience with online dating, and investigates dating sites in which older online daters search for love and romance. Elena Fronk is currently 29 years old, with no fear of turning thirty. This thanks to all that her research taught her about age and ageing.

David Di Vincenzo

Director of Theoretical Nanosciences at RWTH Aachen David Di Vincenzo was born in Philadelphia in 1959. In 1983 he obtained his PhD in Electrical Engineering at the Univerisity of Pennsylvania, after which he completed a postdoctoral study at Cornell University. From 1985 to 2011 he was a research staff member at the IBM Watson Research Center in New York. David DiVincenzo has been working to understand what a quantum computer is, and how it can be built, for the last twenty years. Since 2011 he has led quantum research groups at the RWTH Aachen and at the German federal research center in Juelich. He began these investigations during his 25 years with IBM Research in New York. A native of Philadelphia, he now lives with his family near Heerlen.

Thomas Ritz

Head of the mobile media and communications research group at FH-Aachen. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Ritz, born 1971, studied computer science and economics at the University of Bonn and obtained his degree in computer science in 1997. Between 1997 and 2004 he was scientific employee at the University of Stuttgart IAT and the Fraunhofer IAO. He obtained his "Dr.-Ing" degree in 2003. Since 2004 he is a fulltime professor at Aachen University of Applied Sciences. He has a long standing experience in publishing industry and focused his research activities on advanced media and communication solutions. His recent research focus is on mobile information and communication solutions. Prof. Ritz is member of several program committees of international conferences. He is heading the Mobile Media and Communication Lab (m2c Lab) of FH Aachen, which is focusing on mobile applications, future commerce and future mobility solutions. Since 2012 Thomas Ritz is heading the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Usability and Innovative Interactive Systems for Informationslogistics.

Renate Goldmann

Art Historian and Curator Renate Goldmann is director of Museums in the city of Düren. Renate Goldmann studied Art History, Classical Archeology and German Philology at the Universities of Köln and Bonn. After completing her studies with a dissertation on artist Francis Bacon, she worked as a curator and civil servant, specializing in art. In 2004, Renate Goldmann subsequently completed her Phd with a dissertation on Peter Fischli and David Weiss. She started working for the Institute of Foreign Affairs, and since 2000 she co-curates the international exhibition Come-in. Since 2006, Renate Goldmann is Art Director for the Sculpture Park in Köln, the organisation became a foundation in 2008. Her freelance work as a curator also connected her to the Brandenburgischen Kunstverein Postdam, Art Cologne and the Kunst Station Sankt Peter Köln. Currently, Renate Goldmann is a director of Museums in the city of Düren. This includes the Leopold Hoesch Museum and the Papiermuseum Düren. in 2011

Organizing team

van Houtem

Reijmerstok, Netherlands


Maastricht, Netherlands
  • Maurice Hermans
    Co Founder Head of Organization & Communication