x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Challenge Accepted

This event occurred on
March 26, 2016
1:00am - 1:00am CET
(UTC +1hr)
Diepenbeek, Limburg (nl)

TEDxUHasselt, a place where you learn about cutting-edge ideas and connect with interesting people. With themes like “the technology revolution”, “a change in the universe” and “unexpected connections” finding the next thought provoking theme was a daunting challenge but one that we were willing to take. And then it hit us … every amazing journey starts with someone accepting such a challenge. “Challenge Accepted” is the mind-bending theme for the upcoming edition of TEDxUHasselt. With this bold statement we are aiming attention at the crucial period preceding a fascinating discovery or performance, which very few people take into account, namely taking on the ‘challenge’.

We curated an international group of speakers who took on a challenge, each in their own unique way. During the breaks, we invite you to take on challenges yourself. Participate in a workshop, visit the startup showcase and network with other TEDx enthusiasts. Revolutionize your thought processes, change your vision on the universe, make unexpected connections and accept your next challenge. Your life might never be the same again … .

Agoralaan Building D
Diepenbeek, Limburg (nl), 3590
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Comrade Fatso & Outspoken

With their ingenious spoofs, top Zimbabwean creatives Samm Farai aka Comrade Fatso and Tongai Makawa aka Outspoken have created waves of laughter locally as well as globally. After meeting in the underground hip-hop scene, they joined forces and created Zambezi News—a show that delivers some of the sharpest satire the continent has ever seen—while risking their own lives. Already spanning four seasons, Zambezi News is defining itself as one of the pioneering satirical voices and shining examples on the African continent, using humor to cleverly deal with Zimbabwe’s complex political and social issues like corruption and oppression. Despite being the subject of regular harassment and threats, the crew continues to bravely create the daring show that is screened to over 6 million Zimbabweans, and is getting global recognition with features on CNN and BBC. This is a talk that will remind us why laugher is so important in this world.

Alessandro Ford

Adventurous Student
Born in Brussels, Belgium, as the son of an English politician and Italian interpreter, Alessandro Ford travelled to North Korea in 2014 for a one-of-a-kind study abroad at the Kim Il-Sung University in Pyongyang. An accomplishment which caught attention all around the globe, being featured in The Guardian, Deutsche Welle, NK news, among many others. During his extraordinary stay, he learnt the Korean martial art of Taekwondo from a grandmaster, studied the language in the country’s most prestigious university, and also studied, worked, and lived side-by-side with the students and future leaders of North Korea. From singing drunken songs in honor of the Supreme leader and bowing at his statue’s feet each morning to talking with his fellow students about their philosophy and dreams, Alessandro’s story will reveal much more to the world about the mysterious “hermit kingdom” that is North Korea.

André Fuzfa

With a PhD in Theoretical Physics in the field of Cosmology in his pocket, André Fuzfa is a professor at the University of Namur, and is well on his way to turn science fiction into reality. Working within the field of the physical nature of dark energy and extensions of Einstein’s general relativity, Prof. Fuzfa has made a bold but grounded claim that mankind has the ability to create and control artificial gravitational fields with technology currently available. By doing this, he has thrown out a snowball, which might very soon turn into an avalanche of futuristic applications. So listen to the story told by a ‘Wernaers Award for Popularization of Science’ winner about research that could one day result in astronauts walking, like captain Kirk or Han Solo, rather than floating around in their spaceships

Ann Bessemans

Typography Researcher
After Ann Bessemans finished her master’s degree in graphic design, she started a PhD in which she researched a new type-design called 'Matilda', for children with low vision, for which Microsoft awarded her two scholarships. Currently working at PXL-MAD, this ‘New Scientist Wetenschapstalent’ finalist has started a new research group called READSEARCH in which she takes a closer look at typography from a multidisciplinary but always practical perspective. In parallel, she has set a new Guinness World Record by designing the post stamp with the most number of words on it—a staggering 606. Accepting the challenge to design the best letter types this world has ever seen, she will take you on a journey that will show you the wonders of the world that is type design.

Cedric Dumont

Redbull Athlete
Born in Brussels, Belgium, Cedric Dumont has always been the ‘first one to jump in’ when the words 'action' and 'adventure sports' are mentioned. His life as a full time Red Bull athlete revolves around freedom, commitment and pushing personal limits on a daily basis. Not only has he seen amazing places, his work has also taught him respect for the environment and others, has given him an unprecedented drive for improvement, and has kept him humble on those ‘high gravity' days. The ability to meet new people all over the globe, to be close to the elements, and to share and inspire keeps him moving and fascinates him. It has resulted in a free, mindful, and engaged lifestyle. But not only does he live on the edge himself, as a graduate in Applied Sports & High Performance Psychology he coaches other professional athletes to provide them with the mental edge and skills necessary to achieve their extreme goals and unleash their full potential.

Corina Antal

Cancer Researcher
During her doctoral work in biomedical sciences, Dr. Corina Antal, from the University of California, San Diego, challenged a decades-old dogma in the field of Cancer Research. Her findings on mutations in DNA showed that enzymes long believed to promote cancer actually suppress it. To recognize her efforts, she has been rewarded with various fellowships like the prestigious Damon Runyon Fellowship. Her studies have created ripples throughout the field, since they do more than just falsify a well-accepted theory on how cancers grow. They also explain why all the attempts to develop drugs based on this theory have failed, thus saving researchers from wasting furhter efforts. Her research implies that it might even be possible to treat cancer by restoring the activity of these enzymes—something quite contradictory to original believes.

Geert Houben

Entrepreneur Life-Sciences
After receiving his graduate degrees in Computer Science and Business Economics, Geert Houben started his incredible entrepreneurial journey. In his first startup, he designed and developed an optician software solution, later acquired by a large European retail chain. He then co-founded Cubigo, a mobile platform with convenient access to healthy aging services. Already active in 4 countries, and with an office in San Francisco, they are set to change the world, one elderly person at a time. Not only did he win the Technology & Innovation Award from the Belgian government and was nominated as Young Entrepreneur of the Year, he also recently got selected by Blackbox, powered by Google, for their Silicon Valley Bootcamp for foreign founders. Here's a man with passion and drive for helping the elders of our society and removing the stigma around aging.

Hetty Helsmoortel

Cancer Researcher
Hetty Helsmoortel is a loving mother and molecular biologist at Ghent University who works on unraveling the puzzle that is childhood leukemia. Ever since high school, she has been passionate about two completely different worlds—science and theater. She is therefore on a lifelong journey of uniting both passions into one brain. This has led her to win both the Wetenschapsbattle and FameLab Belgium competition, the biggest science communication competition in the world, and become the scientist in residence at ‘de afspraak’ on Canvas. She is using her powers for good by striving for a world in which all scientific data is open for everyone. Be prepared for a powerful story by an advocate of open science.

James Brickell

Wildlife Filmmaker
Filmmaker James Brickell, winner of two BAFTA awards, is a force of nature to be reckoned with. Inspired by people like Jacques Cousteaux and Sir David Attenborough, he became fascinated by wildlife at a very young age—filling his parents’ house with all sorts of animals, from snakes to tarantulas. He grew up to direct some of the most highly regarded UK wildlife series like ‘Life in Cold Blood’ and ‘Deadly 60’, taking him to places all over the world. From filming Great White Sharks off the Cape coast to searching in abandoned caves in Australia for the illusive Ghost Bats, James has done it all. Indulge in his journey of a life behind the camera, taking you through humbling and life-changing experiences, and showing you the power of creativity and teamwork in challenging situations.

Jaymin Patel

Networking Rockstar
After a ‘defining moment’ in the 3rd grade due to his skin color, Jaymin Patel has ever since been driven to be different. He has traveled around the globe, held a variety of job positions—from waiter to forklift driver to model to actor to C-suite adviser for large corporations. He has started 3 companies in 3 different countries, is a Bollywood dancer and choreographer, and has lived in or visited over 40 countries (including all 50 states in USA). Besides this, he is also known for giving amazing hugs. Jaymin is driven by a passion to understand and celebrate what makes people unique and different. He has dedicated his life to teaching people how to achieve their goals, and live a full and authentic existence. Now. this international speaker, coach, author of 7 books, and networking rockstar is ready to rock the TEDxUHasselt stage.

Jochen Menges

Leadership & HR Researcher
Professor Jochen Menges holds the Chair of Leadership and Human Resource Management at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management in Dusseldorf, and is appointed as University Lecturer at the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on the social dynamics between leaders and followers, and how emotions and motivation affect life within an organization. This is done in collaboration with world-renowned companies including Google, Microsoft, L’Oreal and Rolls-Royce. His findings have been featured extensively on media channels around the world—BBC, CNN, The financial Times, Le Monde, and The Wall Street Journal, to name a few. What makes a leader charismatic? How do these leaders affect their followers? How can an organization create a culture that features high levels of engagement and low levels of exhaustion? Discover the answer to these questions and so much more during this inspiring talk by a leader in studying leaders!

Martijn van Strien

Fashion Designer
The worlds of fashion and science might be assumed to be on 2 opposite ends of the universe, but Martijn van Strien is well on his way to assemble them together into one perfect harmony. This fashion designer graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven, specialising in textile design and trend forecasting, with not one but two graduate projects—‘Threads for Cockaigne’ and ‘Dystopian Brutalist Outerwear’—that received international praise and recognition. After working for Bruno Pieter’s label 'Honest' in Antwerp, he moved to Rotterdam, where he started his own studio in 2014. Van Strien tries to combine fashion design with modern technologies in order to bring innovative ideas into the world of fashion. He tests radical different approaches to garment design, production, and consumption, to change our perception and open possibilities for and open possibilities for a more sustainable industry.

Organizing team


Antwerp & Hasselt, Belgium


Diepenbeek, Belgium
  • Yves Ruland
    Team member