x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Technology for a Better Life

This event occurred on
March 12, 2013
9:00am - 5:00pm CET
(UTC +1hr)

TEDxZwolle is a hot mix of technology, entertainment and design in inspiring talks. On 12 March we’d like to inspire the world with our vision on the impact of technology on everyday’s life. Today and in the future

Mozartlaan 15
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Andre Kuipers

André Kuipers was born in Amsterdam in 1958. In 1987 he graduated as a medical doctor. His subsequent research for the Royal Netherlands Air Force included studies into space sickness and the sense of equilibrium. André Kuipers is the first Dutchman with two space missions to his name. His second mission is the longest spaceflight in European history. In total the ESA astronaut spent 204 days in space: 11 days during mission DELTA in 2004 and 193 days during mission PromISSe. After years of training in Houston, Moscow, Cologne, Montreal and Tokyo, a Russian Soyuz spaceship launched André and two crew members from Russia and America on the 21st of December 2011. Two days later he arrived at the International Space Station to live and work for six months. On board he was not only a medical doctor, scientist and flight engineer, but also handyman and ambassador for several charities. On the 1st of July 2012, André returned to Earth and landed in his space capsule in the Kazakh steppe

Tomas Diez

Tomas Diez, is a Venezuela born Urbanist specialized in digital fabrication and its implications on the future cities models. He is permanent faculty at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), and one of the initiators of the Fab Lab Barcelona project, which he currently directs. Co-founder of the Smart Citizen project and StudioP52 both in Barcelona. Works as a close collaborator with the Fab Foundation and the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms in the development of the Fab Lab Network worldwide. He is currently the main consultant for the Barcelona city council for the development of the “Ateneus de Fabricació (Fab Labs)” in the city. His research focuses on the use of digital tools for the transformation of physical reality to find a more fluid relation between machines and humans.

Heather Schlegel

Heather Schlegel is a futurist, technologist, and cacophonist. Schlegel started in Silicon Valley in 1996, helping to build and launch over 50 Internet products at over 30 startups. Her academic research focuses on the future of transactions and complementary currencies, including the impact of technology on identity creation and positive wildcards. She is best known by her online presence, heathervescent, and her longstanding consultancy, The Purple Tornado, both of which she uses as launch pads to explore and exploit the intersection of technology, culture and identity.

Thomas Rau

Thomas Rau studied fine arts and dance at the Alanus University of Arts in Bonn and architecture at RWTH Aachen University both in Germany. He has been working as an architect in Amsterdam since 1990 where he established RAU architects in 1992, the oneplanetarchitecture institute think tank in 2008 and ®turntoo in 2011. He is ranked nr.18 of the Top100 Dutch key players in sustainability, a ranking published by the renowned national newspaper Trouw. Social and environmental commitment, regard for the cultural context and mutual respect are at the heart of Thomas Rau's approach to work. For this reason, he closely involves clients in the design of their projects. Thomas Rau regards 'state of the art' to be merely the starting point for his work. The WWF Netherlands head office in Zeist (NL, 2006) is CO2 neutral and self-sustaining, while the Woopa office Lyon (FR, 2011) and the Christian Huygens College in Eindhoven (NL, 2011) both produce a surplus of energy. In response to the increasing scarcity of raw materials, and inspired by Cradle to Cradle, Thomas Rau founded Turntoo, a company which, by means of a new business model, acts as a driver for the circular economy

Hellen van Rees

Hellen van Rees is a Dutch fashion and textile designer who graduated from the prestigious MA Fashion at Central Saint Martins in London in February 2012 after finishing her BA at ArtEZ in Arnhem in 2009. After graduating she moved back to the Netherlands to start her own label. Her first collection was shown during London and Paris Fashion week and was named “One to Watch” by London design platform Fashion Scout. Around the same time Lady Gaga was seen wearing a piece by this young designer. Hellen van Rees’ collections feature a signature handmade tweed fabri inspired by the classic Chanel tweeds. She reinterpreted this into a 3-Dimensional, futuristic way which was inspired by contemporary art installations. Her handmade fabrics are unique in their design and are made sustainably by using production left overs.

Maria Westerbos

Maria Westerbos (born in Ethiopia on 10 September 1961) is an expert in mass communication, focusing on both traditional and new media. She combines a taste for inspiring social change projects with strategic insight and near flawless intuition covering a wide range of target groups. One of her most recent successes is setting up the Plastic Soup Foundation and effecting behavioural change in the use of micro plastics by businesses, local and national governments, consumers and NGOs. Maria is a flamboyant woman with a zest for life who is able to motivate groups with inspiring stories about taking a positive approach to complex problems for permanent change.

Marlies van Wijhe

Marlies van Wijhe is General Director of Van Wijhe Verf B.V., a family business based in Zwolle. Van Wijhe Verf is the largest independent paint producer in the Netherlands. Marlies van Wijhe manages the company with a clear focus on innovation and sustainability. She also actively supports family businesses and the manufacturing industry. Together with Marijke, her sister and Design Manager at the company, she is building a solid future for the next (fifth) generation. In 1983 Marlies van Wijhe went to Groningen University to study Business Studies. After graduating, she moved to Maastricht where she began her career as Product Manager with DSM Chemicals. In 1994 she returned to Zwolle to join the family business. In 2000 she took over from her father. In 2010 she was voted Business Woman of the Year. In 2013 Van Wijhe Verf was nominated best family business in the Netherlands.

Ton Zijlstra

Ton Zijlstra (1970) is a self-employed change management consultant, fascinated by changing the way we work, learn and organize in a fully networked and therefore more complex society. He has a background in technology and philosophy. Working on networked learning, managing complexity, and being resilient in the face of digital disruption, he has a keen interest in creating new affordances for individuals in the context of their (professional) communities and groups. Over the past 15+ years he has built up a large experience with building communities of practice, especially around newly emerging topics, such as social media, open digital manufacturing (FabLabs), open government, and open data. Since 2008 he has been a key connector and enabler of open data across Europe, working for local, national and international government bodies, as well as a citizen activist. He is a regular keynote speaker across Europe and has been blogging at about his various professional interests since 2002.

Hendrik Blokhuis

Als CTO EMEAR bij Cisco is hij mede verantwoordelijk voor het vormgeven en uitdragen van de technologische strategie en visie van dit bedrijf, alsmede het leiden van een kennisorganisatie die de diverse internationale markten voor Cisco ondersteunt. Een bedrijf waar hij sinds 1998 voor werkt, eerder in voorgaande rollen als engineer, sales, business development en nederlands directielid. Zijn passie is de kracht van de verbinding tussen mensen, “dingen” en toepassingen als drijver voor innovatie in economie en maatschappij en de rol die technologie hierbij kan spelen. Naast zijn werk bij Cisco is hij bestuurslid van Stiching Toekomstbeeld de Techniek, oprichter van Stichting Present in zijn woonplaats Zeewoldeen aktief in Burundi voor vluchtelingenorganisatie ZOA.

Paul Nijhof

Paul Nijhof started at Wehkamp BV in 2000. Before Wehkamp BV he held executive positions at NUON and Calortex Ltd. In 2007 Paul was appointed CEO of RFS Holland Holding BV, the holding company of, Create2Fit, and Lacent BV. In December 2008 Paul Nijhof became owner of RFS through a management buyout with two other investors. Today is the largest online department store and online market leader in the Netherlands. has 1.7 million repeat customers, almost 120 million visitors and over 7 million shipments a year.'s brand values – modern, surprising, distinctive and committed – determine the store's offer, services, prices and communication and are reflected in all parts of the format. RFS Holland Holding B.V. (RFS), achieved sales of €548 million in the 2011/2012 financial year, the best result in the company's history. At European level even holds the 8th position in the Top 100 of pure online players. is the only company worldwide that successfully has completed a transition from mail order to 100% online retailer. Paul Nijhof (1965) is married and has 3 daughters

Ed Brinksma

Ed Brinksma (1957) studied Mathematics at the University of Groningen and obtained his doctorate in computer science at the University of Twente in 1988. In 1991 he was appointed as professor in the Faculty of Computer Science. From 1995 to 1997 he was Dean of this faculty and from 2002 to 2005 he served as Head of the Department of Computer Science in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science. In 2005 he was appointed as the Scientific Director of the Embedded Systems Institute in Eindhoven, affiliated as full professor of Computer Science to both the Technical University of Eindhoven and the University of Twente. As of January 2009 he has been serving as Rector Magnificus of the University of Twente, and was recently been reappointed for a second term of four years . One of his main policy objectives has been and continues to be the reformation of the university education system for the future challenges of academic education.

Edwin Dertien

Edwin Dertien works as researcher and teacher for the bachelor track 'Creative Technology' at University of Twente. Besides his work as teacher he is pursuing a Phd on inspection robots for live gas mains. As media artist he makes large robot inspired objects for festivals and expositions. With his company Making Art Work (Kunst- en Techniekwerk) he provides (technical) support for projects of other artists. As a side-track he works as improv-musician for various professional theatre groups and plays in two bands. Recently he started a workshop for digital fabrication (FabLab format) tailored at people with autism related disorders (ASS). The main goal of this workshop is to provide its target group with a challenging environment appealing to their capabilities and technical skills - stimulating social inclusion, encouragement and activation. He will talk about boundaries, creativity, technology and skills - and how they all fit together in this new workshop.

Peter Phleps

Peter Phleps is a futurologist at the Institute for Mobility Research (ifmo), a research facility of BMW Group. He has a doctoral degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Technische Universität München (TUM). Before joining ifmo he worked as a Research Associate at the TUM Institute of Aircraft Design, where he focused on the combination of scenario analysis and technology evaluation, applied for different aspects of the air transport system. At ifmo he deals with future developments and challenges relating to mobility across all modes of transport, with automobility being only one aspect among many. Taking on an international perspective, ifmo’s activities focus on social science and sociopolitical, economic and ecological issues, but also extend to cultural questions related to the key challenges facing the future of mobility

Sibyl Heijnen

From choice, Heijnen calls her art ‘visual art’, not ‘textile art’, nor ‘sculpture’ or ‘painting’. She has been developing her activities beyond every fixed framework of genres because she knows that the new existence of art will be found in a new horizon beyond the established rules of the art world." Ken'Ichi Iwaki, philosopher and former director National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan Sibyl Heijnen is a visual artist as well as a lecturer and workshop leader at art academies and universities. She graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Her art has been widely displayed internationally, for instance in the US, China, Finland, Israel and Japan. Many of her recent works involve a transformation of indoor and outdoor spaces, offering the spectators an experience that goes beyond merely looking.

Organizing team


Zwolle, Netherlands


Zwolle, Netherlands
  • Hans Peter Benschop
    Director Trendbureau Overijssel
  • Knillis van der Schaaf
    Kennispoort Regio Zwolle
  • Ed Kooijman
    Director Polymer Science Park
  • Godelieve Wijffels
    Director Natuur&Milieu Overijssel