Francis & Gaby
Francis and Gaby met each other during UITmarkt 2014. Both have won the national talent contest called Kunstbende. Francis, who off-stage goes by the name of Veerle Winkelmolen, is 18 years old and studies classical piano at the conservatory of Utrecht. Gaby Ong, who is 20 years old, studies theatre in Groningen.
Tuna de Maastricht
Tuna Universitaria de Maastricht is a group of (former) students in traditional clothes who play traditional instruments and sing serenades. The tradition originated in Spain and Portugal from the 13th century and is brought to Maastricht in 1992 by this group. When visiting Maastricht, it is likely that you will see them strolling in the city-center during a Wednesday- or Thursday night, when the streets are crowded with students.
Amalie Jahn grew up with her nose buried between the pages of her favorite novels. Like many other children who were ostracized or picked on in some way, she used the written word as a way to escape – reading whatever fiction she could get her hands on and writing her own verities as well. Happily, things are much better for her these days, and now she uses the power of the written word to inspire and encourage a new generation of readers as an author.
“I take inspiration for my novels from the collective experiences which draw people together. One of life’s greatest truths is that we are all much more alike than we are different, and what most of us are looking for more than anything else is acceptance. Capturing stories and drawing on the emotions which resonate inside all of us is my passion.”
Dr Anita Vreugdenhil, Paediatric Gastroenterologist at Maastricht University Medical Centre, is the founder of the Maastricht programme COACH which encompasses an ‘all-inclusive’ approach to improve the lifestyle of overweight and obese children in the South of the Netherlands. Overweight, a condition in which a person’s weight is 10%-20% higher than what is considered as “normal”, and obesity, when a person’s weight is more than 20% higher than normal, are rapidly becoming a national health threat in the Netherlands, especially among children. The latest figures indicate that 500.000 children in the Netherlands are overweight or obese. But many parents don’t realise that their child is overweight and are not aware of the severe consequences. Even when they become aware of the problem, they still don’t know how to correct and change their ingrained behaviour. That’s where Anita and her team can help.
Elizabeth Rocha Salgado is a Brazilian documentary maker on a mission. At TEDxMaastricht 2015, Elizabeth presented a lesser known image of her country of birth today: “I want to talk about the current political and social situation in Brazil by sharing my own story. I want to show what it is like to live in my country and I also want to share the possibilities that I see for change."
Educated as industrial designer, Fiona Jongejans believes that design and creativity can play a bigger role in our society today. It can be a catalyst for social innovation and bring people and organisations together. This year, she decided to put her energy into one of the many challenges our society is currently facing.
Fiona Jongejans has set herself the goal of bridging the gap between food waste and food poverty. She argues that we must shorten the distance between producer and consumer in order to give back value to our food and by doing so, to enhance the sustainability of our food chain. The real cure to the problem of food waste is to reconsider our behaviour as consumers: by changing the way we buy, plan and cook our meals.
Together with three other young entrepreneurs, Fiona Jongejans has set up the SUR+ project, an online platform aiming to connect local food banks and fruit and vegetable farmers in a very simple and low threshold manner.
Jan Drost is a philosopher, writer and a teacher at the Hogeschool van
Amsterdam and a contributor to the ‘School of Life’ initiative. By
looking at philosophers such as Plato, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, he
meticulously dissects our thinking about love and happiness. In his books
'Het romantisch misverstand' (The Romantic Misconception) and 'Denken
helpt' (Thinking Helps) and his talks, no aspect is spared: sex, power,
fear, jealousy, infidelity, loyalty and romantic misconceptions!
Many people see love as profoundly human, something that is intra-human by
nature. In an era of accelerated progress in Artificial Intelligence (AI)
and robotics, more and more scientists are concerned about the impact this
development can have on our humanity. What will the impact of AI be on
love now that we’re creating robots that are astonishingly like humans?
Jan Willem Kolkman
Jan Willem Kolkman is a 24-year-old programmer and musician from Zieuwent, a small town in the Netherlands. Working in IT he feels the effects of working with conventions, guidelines and the influence this has on his creavity. He challenges himself to stay curious, and wants you to do the same.
Joel Broeckaert combines his passion (food) with his trade (journalism). His passion brings him not only to national and international top restaurants, but also on hunting trips to Sweden and Germany as well as salmon fishing adventures in Alaska, because Joël is invested not only in what he eats but also where it’s from and how it got on his plate.
This rather fierce looking and always humorous full-time culinary journalist writes a weekly column for the Dutch magazine ‘Vrij Nederland’ and reviews restaurants for the Dutch newspaper ‘NRC Handelsblad’. He also produces a special yearly review of the Top 40 cookbooks published in the Netherlands for ‘Vrij Nederland’.
Jonas began his career as an intern at the London office of Magnum Photos. After a year, he left for Russia to start his own career as a photographer. He fell madly in love with the former USSR, spent some years in the region, and produced his first book ‘Satellites: Photographs from the Fringes of the Former Soviet Union’.
Jonas says he has ‘always been fascinated by enclaves and people living in isolated communities’. In 2008 this fascination led to the book and exhibition called ‘The Places We Live’, a three-year journey through four slum communities around the world.
Jonas has received numerous awards, including the 2003 Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography and the first prize in the Pictures of the Year International Awards. His photographs have appeared in National Geographic, Geo, Newsweek, and the Sunday Times Magazine, among others. In 2007, the Paris Review received a National Magazine Award for Jonas’ project The Places We Live.
Joost Vrouwenraets' approach to movement combines martial arts (Kendo, traditional Shaolin Kung Fu and Wushu), ballet technique and contemporary dance. Each movement has a sustained flow and uses multiple ways of torque and twist. It requires strong practice of core, coordination and stamina. Flow, compact forms and gestures follow each other up in an irregular use of time. The kinaesthetic levels are determined by the practice of floor-work, standing motion, and acrobatics.
After spending the last 20 years paddling on rivers and oceans across the planet, the Buenos Aires-based Australian/Austrian expedition paddler Mark Kalch is currently undertaking the 7 Rivers 7 Continents. project: he paddles down the longest river on each continent from source to sea.
Professor of Innovative Surgical Techniques at the Maastricht University Medical Centre
“Every time patients voluntarily allow me, as a surgeon, to cut through their skin and enter their bodies, I realise how exceptional and privileged this situation is” says Nicole Bouvy, Professor of Innovative Surgical Techniques at the Maastricht University Medical Centre. As a surgeon, Bouvy is led by the motto: ‘Do no further harm’. “Any surgical operation represents a considerable intervention in a human body. I find it very important to try not to make the problem worse than necessary,” she says.
Bouvy obtained her PhD degree in 1997, on the physiological and oncological consequences of laparoscopy, or minimally invasive surgery.
Setting aside specific surgical cases such as accidents, Bouvy predicts that early detection of anomalies in the human body will make the surgical knife disappear altogether.
Nina Paley made her first animation when she was 13 and has been making animated movies and cartoons ever since. This is where her true passion shines through and this is where she has been able to make her mark as an outspoken and impactful voice for intellectual freedom! Acclaimed for her animated feature film Sita Sings the Blues, which she says “…like all culture belongs to you [the audience] already“. She is an advocate of ‘copyleft’, the opposite –obviously- of copyright.
Copyleft is a form of licensing and can be used to maintain copyright conditions. But Nina even goes a step further, a step beyond copyleft, by stating that licensing, even copyleft licensing, is still part of the "permission culture" she advocates resisting.
Peter van de Graaf
For Peter van de Graaf (1962), inventor and industrial design engineer trained at the Technical University Delft and with seven patents to his name, being aware of our insignificance in the greater scheme of things does not and should not prevent us from trusting our power to tackle and find cures for the big problems of this world.
One such problem is the number of undesired children that are born every year on the planet.
Van de Graaf explains: “50% of all pregnancies are unplanned, of which 50% are unwanted.”
Another challenge facing the planet is population growth: the world population is expected to increase from 7 billion now to the staggering number of 9 billion in 2050.
The project that made him win the TEDxMaastricht Pitch Night last June and that he will present again at the main TEDxMaastricht event on Monday 12 October is called “Choice, every child desired”. Van de Graaf presents Choice as the contraception method for the 21st century.
For Ruben L. Oppenheimer (1975) it all started with the ‘Donald Duck’ magazine in his youth. Over and over again he would draw the character of Donald Duck until it was perfect. In high school he would draw his teachers, which ‘earned’ him a spot as a cartoonist in the school newspaper. Even at that time it became clear to him that not everyone was equally open to the position of satire in our society: an entire issue of the newspaper was published without a frontpage, because Ruben’s cartoon found no mercy in the eyes of the school’s principal… His cartoons commenting on the world around him have become a fixture in Dutch news. He sees it as his mission to touch on the raw nerves of our society. From his cartoon on the murder of Pim Fortuyn in 2002, to his Charlie Hebdo cartoon of the ‘Twin Towers’ , to his more recent depiction of a well-known Dutch lawyer – which earned him a lawsuit for libel: Ruben constantly ‘fights the powers that be’ and provides a counter balance.
Theodore Gray Theo Gray is the winner of the 2002 Ig Nobel humorous prize for Improbable Research in Chemistry for constructing a wooden “Periodic Table" table. On that physical table you’ll find over 90 elements that are known in the world. For Gray, science is driven by curiosity and all children are inherently scientists because they’re curious about the world and are constantly asking why, why, why, why, why; they want to know how everything works, and why things are the way they are." That is the definition of science: There’s stuff out there, and we want to know why it is that way. Let's revive the child in ourselves and let's start asking why again.
Gray is the co-cofounder of Wolfram Research, known for Mathematica and Wolfram|Alpha. For 10 years he was the author of Gray Matter, a column in the magazine Popular Science . These columns are collected in two books, Mad Science and Mad Science 2. Gray is also the co-author of The Elements and Molecules books and iPad apps.