TEDx Amsterdam

I’ve long been a TEDx fan and was absolutely over the moon when Barbara Rogoski called to offer me the opportunity to attend the 2013 Tedx Amsterdam Women event.  Luckily the timing was just right – it was held on December 6th, 2013 – the day before I flew to Australia to visit my family for a month. For those who are new to TEDx (where have you been?!), you may like to read more about TEDx.

Barbara is a TEDx speaker trainer through her business Successful Speaker Now and I’m incredibly grateful that she recognised my passion for TEDx and made it possible for me to be there in the same room as all these inspiring people listed below, as well as an incredible audience.  From the moment I arrived and collected my badge, it was an amazing day.

Renee TEDxAmsWomen

Held at the Okura Hotel in Amsterdam, I think there were around 350 attendees.  It was an application process to be able to attend.  With the theme Discover The Truths: It takes more than one tale to tell a story, the 2013 TEDx Amsterdam Women event was  jam-packed with more inspiration that I realised possible to fit into one day!  Below is a list of the speakers.  The event was live streamed and you may like to visit the TEDx Amsterdam Women website which has links to some of the talks now available to view online.

  • Her Excellency Madam Atifete Jahjaga (first women President of the Republic of Kosovo)
  • Joyeeta Gupta (leading authority on climate change, shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore in 2007)
  • Jaqueline Zuidweg (Dutch Businesswoman of the year 2012)
  • Andrée van Es (Alderperson, city of Amsterdam)
  • Evan Kohlmann (private sector international terrorism consultant)
  • Jonathan Karpathios (Cook on a mission to tell people about real food!)
  • Anne Mieke Eggenkamp (director at the Design Academie Eindhoven)
  • Aynouk Tan (Fashion journalist, curator and art director)
  • Sylvana Simons (Hostess of TEDx Amsterdam Women, Tv personality)
  • Willa Stoutenbeek (founder of W. Green sustainable fashion and lifestyle creative communication agency)
  • Janneke Niessen (CIO & co-founder of Improve Digital)
  • Mandy Smith (Paper sculptor & artist)
  • Linda van den Bedem (creator of Sofie, a medical robot)
  • Loes Segerink (nanobiotechnologist to access fertility in men)
  • Susannah Cahalan (author of Brain on Fire)
  • Sunny Hundal (Journalist & author about violence against women)
  • Hilde Bleijswijk (sharing her moving life story)
  • Funda Müjde (columnist & comedian)
  • Hawijch Elders (15 year old violin virtuoso)
  • Marie Goeminne (choreographer)
  • Ntjam Rosie (performer, producer & record label manager)
  • Aziz Bekkaoui (Fashion designer)
  • Zanillya Farrell (Musician)
  • Scapina Ballet

We were encouraged to tweet throughout the event #TEDxAmsWomen and were one of the trending topics for that day on Twitter NL!

TEDxAmsWomen

You can follow the TEDxAmsterdam Women Twitter account here for news of future events (and catch up on details of past ones if you wish) here: https://twitter.com/TEDxAmsWomen

My iPhone battery drained quite quickly so I was thrilled to be able to recharge a few times (for free) at this innovative mobile recharging station provided by ING bank.  It had a number of compartments with various adaptors to charge your phone, and you could safely lock the compartment while you left your phone to charge.

ING phone recharger

The food was amazing – take a look at this morning tea:

morning tea

And at lunchtime I had a chance to sample some of the sushi at a workshop held in the Okura Hotel restaurant:

Okura Sushi

I loved the accessibility of the speakers during the breaks too, it was fabulous to have the chance to chat to Jonathan Karpathios about his passion for real food and the difference this can make to the world for our kids.

Renee & Jonathan

There were several businesses there showcasing products and services, always nice to see the American Book Center, who could resist trying delicious chocolate from Original Beans and I enjoyed learning more about and sampling these unique micro herbs from Discover Fresh.

Crazy Pea

It was also wonderful to run into a few familiar faces and friends, such as Emmy from Amsterdam Mamas, Rina Mae from the great blog Finding Dutchland,  Claudia Pasch – business coach from Dream it, Dare it, Do It, Wendy from Solutions for Balance and Stephanie Ward from Firefly Coaching.

Great to meet new people too, I used the breaks to connect with as many of the awesome audience as I could – including Sunita from The Social Connector, Amanda from MamaCash, Brigette from Marae Business Services,  and more…each conversation left me wanting to know more so we swapped business cards and I’ll be connecting on LinkedIn to take up where we left off.

I really enjoyed the performance by Zanillya with The Prince of Beatz (Humphrey Themen) and the rest of their super-cool ensemble –  they got us moving at the end of a long day and set the mood for the after-party.

Renee Zanillya

In short, one of the best days I’ve ever had!  To view all the photos I took on the day, please click on the image below to go to my Google+ album.  My photos were all taken with my iPhone, for even better images, take a look at the 2013 TEDx Amsterdam Women album on their Facebook page (link below) with professional photos.

TedxAmsWomen photos

Each of the speeches was amazing for different reasons, but two that made the biggest lasting impression, mostly for reasons of personal connection was Aynouk Tan (below) for opening my eyes to a whole new side of fashion and Janneke Niessen for making such progress in her business while being in a similar industry and situation to myself…particularly with balancing business and family (which I talk regularly about over on my Professional Parents website/blog).

I’m really interested in finding out more about one of Janneke’s initiatives, which was also a main sponsor of the event – Inspiring Fifty, and supported by Neelie Kroes, Vice-President for the European Commission and responsible for the Digital Agenda – something very important to me considering my business (Zestee Social Media School) is based on social media training and consulting.

Renee and Anyouk

Hostess Sylvana Simons did a great job keeping the day rolling and I loved her surprise speech as well – looking in the mirror will be a new experience now.

A huge thanks again to Barbara for giving me the chance to be there, and for her contribution to training some of the speakers to world-class results.  To the whole 2013 TEDx Amsterdam Women volunteer team and director, Marian Spier – you did an amazing job and should all be super proud!  Of course a big thanks to all the super-inspiring speakers for sharing their knowledge and stories, the positive effects of which will continue to weave their way through my life for many years to come.

Though it was a very full day, I didn’t want to go home!  There were so many people on the guest list I would have loved to have had the chance to talk to – so if you’re reading this and would like to connect, please do so over on LinkedIn – you can find my profile here: Renee Veldman-Tentori

TEDx Amsterdam Women volunteers

Want to know more?  Visit:

I’d highly recommend you get along to a TEDx event in your area sometime if you can!

Renée