Danny Opheij had a rough time growing up without ever having a real home. At a young age he became passionate about self-development, which in time and with lots of effort enabled him to outgrow his childhood limitations, healing childhood trauma and overcoming severe panic attacks. He transformed his curses into blessings and now aspires to empower others to change their life’s narrative by first changing the stories within their own minds.
Geoff is a highly sought-after speaker, inspiring and provoking organizations to put purpose and well-being at the center of everything they do. His experience at Unilever under the pupilage of Paul Polman allows him to provide very practical insights and speak on how to go about truly embedding purpose. And in addition, address the taboo associated with well-being (particularly mental health) within a large global multi-national organization. Including some real learning’s on what may or may not work. And he recently had the opportunity to engage with Pope Francis on how we can create a more sustainable and inclusive economy through his work with the Global Foundation.
Gorjan originates from the small country of Macedonia, did his Master’s degree in Software Engineering and is now a software engineer based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. But also a public speaker and environmental activist who uses technology in the fight for a cleaner earth. He has been involved in the eco-movement in Macedonia since 2014, and actively looks for ways how technology and data can be used to fight this ongoing battle and #giveMacedoniaAir.
Jean has been working as a medium and Wisdom Teacher since the year 2000. In this year she opened her first spiritual center and until 2013 she managed various centers. In these centers she provided healings, courses, consults and lectures. On top of that she is the co-founder of Haven, a network of homes where people struggling with the confusions of life can turn to for help. In 2002, while in Lourdes, she received a message about and for the children. This message she shared with parents, teachers, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists. Together with Gentille Boymans, she worked for over ten years preparing the launch of the IBBO school, for children needing a different way of being educated. Meanwhile, four schools have been established, and three more are being developed.
Jelena is a language expert and an award-winning speaker specialized in the art of effective communication. At the age of 28, she obtained her PhD in linguistics from the University of Groningen and after several years of working as a lecturer, she joined Booking.com in 2017. Jelena has always been fascinated by two big questions: how people communicate and what drives their behavior – and despite the variety of languages, cultures and personalities, the differences between us are smaller than it might seem.
After his education at the Photo Academy in Amsterdam, Jeroen Swolfs began his career as a photojournalist, focusing mainly on political and social topics. Among other topics, he created photo series about returned Serbian refugees and about the Roma communities in Eastern Europe. In addition, he worked for de Volkskrant newspaper and National Geographic. In 2009 he started his worldwide photo project called “Streets of the World”, for which he travelled to all -yes, all- the countries of the world to photograph street life. Jeroen Swolfs is named a Canon Influencer, and in 2016 National Geographic made a documentary about him and Streets of the World which was aired in different countries.
The founder of several innovative and award-winning NGOs, Jeroo Billimoria encapsulates what it means to be a social entrepreneur. She is a Skoll awardee, an Ashoka and Schwab Fellow and is considered to be among the world’s leading change makers. Among her organizations are Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) and Aflatoun International. Prior to this, Jeroo founded Childline India and ChildHelpline International, which have facilitated a global movement for protection of children and youth and are active in more than 181 countries, having responded to over 160 million calls.
Madeleine van der Bruggen
Madeleine van der Bruggen is a psychologist and criminologist and combines both in her work for the Dutch National Police. Working as an expert on sex crimes, she advises in local, federal as well as in international child pornography and child abuse investigations. She wants to fight one of the most serious crimes: one that concerns the dignity and safety of our children. Madeleine is also working on a PhD exploring child exploitation networks on the Darkweb, not only to connect the world of policing with the scientific world, but more importantly to gather more knowledge about this horrible type of crime, and to hopefully being part of making the world a safer place.
Maria Genova was born in Bulgaria. At the age of nineteen she moved to the Netherlands. She graduated at the Academy for Journalism in Tilburg and worked for various newspapers and magazines. Her best-seller “Komt een vrouw bij de h@cker” has been an eye-opener to many readers. The book shows how easy it is to steal your identity and to hack your computer. Maria is one of the most sought-after speakers in the Netherlands in the field of identity fraud, privacy and information security.
Maurits Houck is the technical manager of the Delft Hyperloop project. He has had one great passion since he was young: building something that improves the world. A year ago, he stopped studying Applied Physics for a wonderful challenge. Together with another student, he brought together a group of 37 students from all sorts of different disciplines, backgrounds and nationalities with just one goal: making transport more efficient, easier and faster with the Hyperloop: a high-speed train capsule in a vacuum tube. Cofounder of SpaceX and Tesla Elon Musk built a Hyperloop tube and challenged teams from all over the world to build the capsules in the form of a yearly competition. As technical manager, Maurits is responsible for ensuring that everything comes together: the technology, the 37 students, 65 partners and the latest parts from all over the world. Big challenge for him is that everything started with nothing at all and only 10 months later, everything comes together in hopefully the fastest Hyperloop run ever.
Peter Kentie is Managing Director at Eindhoven Marketing, the organization responsible for the city marketing of the Eindhoven region. He has been trained as a graphic designer and marketing professional, and is fond of complex, multifaceted projects related to marketing and brand building involving communities. He also has a strong affection for the crossover of design & technology and uses curiosity as a driving force in life.
Sietse Bruggeling is a filmmaker specialized in science and technology. Making complex subjects accessible through film is at the core of what Sietse’s films are all about. After working for Dutch television, he started his own company and among his clients are TNO, Fokker, Discovery Channel, but also the Van Abbe-museum, because abstract art can be difficult to understand as well. “The best thing about my work is that I am allowed to visit places that are usually closed for the public and talk to a variety of people and have to deal with that. You really have to understand the people and the situation they’re in otherwise you cannot translate it into a film”, according to Sietse.