TEDxAmsterdamED 2015 – An impression of an inspiring day

TEDxAmsterdamED 2015 – An impression of an inspiring day


The third TEDxAmsterdamED event was held at Theatre Amsterdam on the 26th of March 2015 and what a day it was. With the light of the rednose of Rudolf the reindeer a journey of inspiring ideas started. We learned from professionals and developers with so much passion that if we embrace the learners as unique and stimulate their enviroment and give them the freedom to embrace their creativity then we would see their universe of knowledge.

At the beautiful Theatre Amsterdam, fifteen speakers and several acts by young performers inspire the audience to think about education.

For some morning energy, Classick show us a great act where hip-hop combined with Classical music creates a striking synergy. Focus on similarities instead of differences!

So what’s next in education? An audience filled with a lot of teachers and education rebels are ready to begin their inspirational journey guided by the impressive list of speakers.

When Yong Zhao gets everybody up to sing ‘Rudolf the red nose reindeer’ he provides the start for the red dotted line of this event. He tells us to create opportunities, that everyone is unique, to let our creativity flow and be the entrepreneur we all can be. Education should follow and support the child because children are born learners.

Jaap Versfelt then tells teachers to set goals, prepare lessons together, provide each other feedback and celebrate their successes. A school can never be better than the quality of its teachers, so in order to be a good professional, teachers need to learn from other professionals. And that’s what we are doing at TEDxAmsterdamED today!

Next Sandra van Aalderen dares teachers to get to know the brain. By understanding brain plasticity and how to exploit it to help children learn better, teachers can make a huge difference. Active learning is the best way to learn!

During the breaks everyone is vividly talking to each other, finding peers and networking. The vibe is great!

After the break, Jan de Lange comes on stage and makes it all happen – you can play with toys on the TEDx stage! He makes you see the importance of play and what it can do for a kid’s brain and their self-esteem. He shows us that curiosity is the foundation for all scientific thinking and enhances higher order competencies. The power of play!

Ingrid van Rossum is up next and she believes that teachers should stimulate students to dare, care and share as the new face of education.

Floor and Liz then treat us to some beautiful music produced with only a drum, guitar and their own soft voices.

For Hannah Jochmann Mannak, making the online world more suitable for children is a mission. She wants to see a lot more age-appropriate and relevant content, so that children can also learn on the internet.

Deborah Carter is up next and shows how technology education can help children understand how technology actually works, it gives kids 21st century skills! Not to mention that girls rock in technology! “Watch out Silicon Valley! We are coming for you!” is her emotional finale to a great and inspiring talk.

Andre Haardt tells us that magic happens when school time meets playtime. Play is the single most powerful tool in education.

We end the morning with JESS, three young girls with an impressive performance of modern dance.

After a lovely lunch including sharing a chicken togetherness, Mariette Reineke gets us out of our chairs for a few ‘in-chair’ yoga exercises to keep away the after-lunch dip. The atmosphere in the theatre changes and you could probably hear a pin drop, while everyone is practicing being with themselves, in the present.

When the audience is ready for a new set of inspirational speakers, they are treated to a recording of a past TED talk about creating a movement. Because that is the red dotted line…all the speakers want to create or help create some kind of movement. But to start a movement you need followers and that first follower makes the one with the good idea a leader instead of a lone nut. So lets all be brave enough to become a follower and show others how to follow.

Claire Boonstra comes back to the TEDxAmsterdamED stage this year to tells us that a movement starts with you! People who care about education should talk with each other, question why things are the way they are, break the habits that keep us in the past and create demand for a better kind of education – that way we will all create an education (r)evolution.

Then the young and talented speaker Lisanne Vriens shows us that the educational system is like a game of Ludo, while every student is an individual and that is what education should enhance, not repress. Life is supposed to be a journey and not a brick wall!  She gets the crowd cheering, her teacher emotional and finishes her talk by making a perfect selfie with the audience.

Then the powerful voice of Francis and interpretive dance by Gaby Ong delights us!

Yoram Mosenzon is up next to talk about judgement and the art of communication. He points out that communication is the most important basic life skill and since school is there in order to prepare us for life, it should teach such essential skills.

Sarah Woods talks about identity and how change and fear intersect. That we need to recognise a new identity for teachers as technology people.

Joost Uitdewilligen, speaking about immersive learning, shows how virtual reality can help to teach and stimulate empathy, which is the most advanced of all human communication skills.

Valerie Mak comes on stage after the break to introduce the next act. You can feel her passion brewing as she speaks in English, but when she gets a little stuck and switches to Dutch you experience something beautiful! Her passion runs free and she shows us herself as the true, live and kicking soldier that she is! Why? Because one person asked her once: what do YOU want? So now she is a soldier with a mission: Project Full.  People power and focus puts youngsters on the right track because focus is a dream with a deadline! What happens next on stage is very special. With a beautiful sensitive song comes a powerful message and a mind-blowing statement from a crowd of youngsters: Maybe if I choose the right path my dream will come to me. The crowd gives a respectfull standing ovation!

Dylan Hyman follows with a moving story about a boy named Kai and how she managed to kindle his fire for learning. Her message is that if we (teachers) could all devote 20% of our time to stimulating higher order thinking skills in our classes, all our students will get the freedom to learn!

Then Lital Marom tells us that the hacker mindset is the foundation for the new economy and a must have for tomorrow’s leaders. As a digital visionary, entrepreneur and strategist, she is leading a new approach to learning and social change.

Wrapping up the talks is Graham Brown-Martin. He gives us an inspiring lecture on why we have an education system in the first place. The purpose of education is to equip our children with the skills to re-imagine society and meet the challenges of their generation.

After watching Fluxo acrobatics awe us with their teamwork, balance and strength, closing the day by forming the letters TEDx, we reach the end of a true education (r)evolution!

So how can we help the next generation succeed? Give them new ways to embrace curiosity!

Photography © Victoria Jacob www.victoriajacob.com

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