x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Closer Together

This event occurred on
December 2, 2016
11:00am - 6:00pm CET
(UTC +1hr)
Haarlem, Noord-Holland

When people come closer together they are eager to learn from each other. By local stories and ideas they maybe set their own step towards a better future.

De Philharmonie
Lange Begijnestraat 11
Haarlem, Noord-Holland, 2011 HH
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

André Kapitein

Is Big Data scary? Not at all! It helps us to understand the how and why of problems. André Kapitein developed smart sensors to collect data that couldn’t be collected before. He doesn’t just bring the truth to light, but also helps with finding solutions. Even for the serious threat of the mortality of bees.   André Kapitein, founder of Smartsensors.me and Big Data expert, located in the waarderpolder, develops smart sensors that measure everything. Sensors to measure the indoor air quality in your home, but also sensors in waste containers that signals the council when they need to be emptied. Recently, André started to place his sensors in beehives, an important project to fight the bee mortality.

Anton-Jan Thijssen

Communications strategist
Sportsman Anton-Jan literally ran along all the Dutch borders but also found figurative borders. His own and of others. What is a border exactly? When do you respect boundaries and when do we stretch our limits…?   Anton-Jan Works as a communications strategist, but is above all a sportsman. He is currently in training for his first 100 km+ mountain-ultra. Additionally, he focuses on sports projects that contribute to a better, healthier and happier life together with the Partij van de Sport (Sports Party). In 2015 Anton-Jan ran as close as possible to ‘The edge of the country’. Every week a marathon on average, totalling 2,500 km.

Chantal Dentro

Coach / Trainer
How to recognise the golden retriever in yourself? That pleasing, playful, cheerful thing that always smiles even though there is nothing to laugh about? Laughing is wonderful. But what happens with your contact if the smile is actually not sincere?   Chantal Dentro, winner of the TEDxHaarlem wild card, captivated the audience with her smile during our pitch night and performed on the main stage on the second of December. She takes us closer to a life full of loving honesty with lots of humour and self-mockery. 

Christine Otten

Christine Otten, started her career as a journalist and broke through as an author with her novel The Last Poets in 2004 for which she was nominated for the Libris Literature Prize. The book was adapted for the stage and translated in English. The main themes of her most recent published novel We hadden liefde, We Hadden Wapens (We Had Love, We Had Guns), are resistance, love and family. Literary freedom and cultural appropriation are the main themes here. The novel is set to have its premiere as a theatre play in January 2017 starring Huub van der Lubbe, Akwasi, Manouschka Zeegelaar Breeveld and Ntjam Rosie.

Fred Matser

Social enrepreneur
When his father fell ill, Fred Matser (1945) joined the family real estate development company at the age of 19. When he was 23 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of this thriving firm. In 1983 he left the fast-paced business life and moved to Switzerland with his family. He volunteered for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Organisation and set up a global programme to reduce child mortality. Since 1983 he has devoted most of his time pursuing his goal: a happier, healthier and more sustainable world. As a professional philanthropist he has financed more than 600 projects in 55 countries. He cares deeply for the well-being of the people in the Ukraine, has financed micro-credits and has initiated many projects in the fields of primary healthcare and peace building. His book ‘Rediscover Your Heart’ tells the story of Fred’s life and the development of his own philosophy and his vision. The book includes a foreword by Mikhail Gorbachev and an afterword by Dr. Deepak Chopra.

Joost Rigter

Joost is a true optimist and is anything but afraid. He did not have a particular goal in mind, but due to his approaching blindness he gradually discovered new opportunities. This occurred when he was confronted with himself in the dark. There, he learned to look beyond his limitations and discovered what he is capable of: help people to see their opportunities instead of limitations. Help people to feel confidence instead of fear. Joost was able to see until the age of 26.Today he can only see 0.8 percent. Due to a rare eye disease, Joost turned virtually blind within ten years. It meant a radical reversal, nothing would remain the same. Joost now gives workshops about how to deal with change and lets you experience that with acceptance, confidence, courage and humour obstacles are in fact smaller than they seem.

Teresa van Dongen

Nature is magical. She doesn’t need any techniques to make light or bring air humidity to our homes. The wondrous world of bacteria could mean a lot to us. Teresa uses this knowledge of nature in her designs. She creates a magnificent play of light that only needs a little push to shine.   In 2015 Teresa won the Dutch Design Award in the Young Designers category. The core and foundation of her work is the combination of her passion for Design, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Teresa‘s goal is to make the techniques of nature visible so it becomes part of our daily life.  

Victor van Doorn

Victor has always been a free spirit. He has been escaping systems from an early age. Not by revolting, but by staying true to himself. That makes him elusive for the establishment which he escapes from time and time again.   Victor van Doorn has set up Sherlocked with a group of friends. A company that creates and realises escape rooms. After several presentations and a performance at DWDD (talk show) the escape room phenomenon has become widely known in the Netherlands. Recently, he has also launched the first escape-game-app. As a hobby, he climbs on well known buildings and statues around the globe. Pushing the boundaries and escaping the rules of the establishment.

Vivianne Bendermacher

Vivianne Bendermacher has worked for various magazines and was Chief Editor of the Dutch scientific magazine Kijk. She started her own online platform Techionista in 2015. What started as a tech-news blog turned into a community where Vivianne empowers women through technology. Vivianne also shares her passion for technology as a columnist for Technisch Weekblad and on LindaNieuws.nl. You can listen to her on the radio show De Ochtend van 4 on Radio4, and you can watch her as a tech expert on the TV show RTL Boulevard or see her when she speaks about technology on various stages.

Organizing team


Haarlem, Netherlands