Speakers of TEDxStendenUniversity 2017


Emma Simpson

Emma Simpson is an environmental activist, LGBTQ rights campaigner and educator (www.simpsontraining.org). Emma has spent the last 6 years embedded in European social justice movements, working on issues ranging from fracking to LGBT youth homelessness. For the last two years, Emma has been delivering training and creative facilitation on conversations about gender, climate and intersectionality. Emma has worked with Friends of the Earth, the BBC and third sector organisations across the UK to understand trans rights in a changing world, and is proud to be a member of the Young Friends of the Earth Europe (http://www.foeeurope.org/yfoee) network.

One World, Many Voices: How To Build A Climate Future That Works for Everyone

Is climate change just about polar bears and ice caps? What does it have to do with you? Emma's talk focuses on the concept of intersectionality to explain how climate change is less about polar bears and more about gender, race, migration, poverty and sexuality.

Intersectionality, a concept proposed by Kimberlé Cranshaw, suggests that oppressive ideas and institutions are interconnected: that sexism does not exist separately to racism, or that experiences of disability cannot be separated from experiences of gender. This integrated perspective opens us up to a fuller, better understanding of the world around us, which includes phenomena like climate change. Emma will us through the theory around intersectionality, what that means for climate change, and what we do next.


Wang Jia

Wang Jia, originally from Beijing, has lived in Europe for 16 years. He is passionate about connecting people across cultural and psychological boundaries. He holds a Ph.D. in engineering and works in a multi-national company. He gives regular workshops and provides coaching on communication skills.

Intrigued by the semi-secrete society “Pickup Artist” (the seduction community), he has studied them extensively. He finds that unlike many people’s negative impression, looking deeper into Pickup Artist can lead us to better understanding of our romantic relationships.

Why I Love and Hate Pickup Artists

Pickup Artists (PUAs) have changed the dating world. Some of them lead lives that many men can only dream of. Since the book “The Game: Penetrating the secret society of the Pickup Artists” became a bestseller, PUAs have attracted millions of followers and have transformed into a multi-million dollar industry. Wang Jia was one of the guys following the Pickup community. He tested their methods and collected data just like doing a Ph.D. research. He found PUAs controversial yet intriguing. After experimenting himself and interviewing the topic PUAs, Wang Jia is able to decode some of the mysteries of PUAs: can they offer solutions for men to be more successful in dating? Can pickup lead to a happy life? Should pickup/seduction be recommended to everyone?

Wang Jia believes that pickup can fill in the gap of the missing dating education. However, it is not the best solution. It is a sign that something is wrong in our society and we do need to make a change. 


Jacquelien Willemse

Jacquelien’s passion is helping others to share their expertise in such a way that this expertise is fully understood. Understood not only on a rational level, but also on an emotional level. She gives workshops and training on how neuroscience can help us in learning, development and change processes. Besides group sessions Jacquelien provides live and online individual support to those who want to learn how to share knowledge. The brain architect combines scientific knowledge with creativity and the element of surprise.

The Art of Mind Blooming Presentations

When you’re asked to share your expertise with others, you might have the reflex to make a (PowerPoint) presentation. How can you make a lasting impression with your presentation?
How can you, with your presentation, let the minds of others bloom? In order to do so, you need to know how the brain works

In her talk, Jacquelien Willemse will teach us to see things from the “brain friendly point of view” because according to her, understanding how the brain works is a crucial step in delivering a memorable presentation.

Her speech will be full with compelling stories, examples and of course … a brain friendly presentation.


Lena Olivier

For Lena Olivier life was all about professional development. She had one focus: heading to the top of American startup scene. But 3 years ago, the murder of her sister forced her to quit. The impact of her loss was enormous. “I needed time off to process it all. And I’m still processing. But by standing still, I’ve developed myself in a much broader perspective. I’ve learned many life lessons.”

Inspire Others to Live Their Ambitions

One of these was the important question: what would I attempt to do if I could not fail? “I realised I had to make different choices to become happy again. Ever since, inspire others to live their ambitions is my personal brand statement.”

After earning a track record by occupying diverse commercial roles at Monster and being an important player in the launch of LinkedIn Benelux, Lena now works at Recruitz.io, a startup that shakes up the recruitment world through automation and innovation. Also, a startup where she can inspire again.

Patrick Van Hoof

Patrick van Hoof is a product strategist, design thinking practitioner and digital interface futurist. He is currently a faculty member at SingularityU and has worked in innovation at Huge, Parsons, IDEO and MIT, where he completed the MBA program and published on the future of human-computer interaction at the Media Lab.

The Future of Digital is a Personal Matter

In this talk, Patrick will dive into how digital will continue to personalize our experiences in both simulated and real environments, and how leaders of startups, corporations, academic institutions and government departments will be able to create value - and therefore be able to survive - in a world that continues to accelerate.


Victoria M Thomas

Victoria M. Thomas claims that her personality is as vibrant as her hair and describes herself as “a self-proclaimed fiercely weird earthling who enjoys blogging, singing at the top of [her] lungs and the human psyche”.

Victoria was born and raised on Aruba; she loves to travel and speaks an impressive amount of five languages.  When Victoria is  not exploring the world or working on her novel, she is a regular senior student majoring in Media & Entertainment Management at Stenden University.

 Are You Emotionally Intelligent?

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions. The term itself has appeared sparsely in research journals back in the late 60s, but it became popularized in 1996.  In her talk, Victoria Thomas will stimulate our mind on why this quotient is of significance in our interpersonal relationships and how one can manage their emotions and adjust it to better achieve goal(s) or adapt to environments. Of course there are its misconceptions and criticisms of this quotient and that too shall be discussed such as Socially Desirable Responding when it comes to EQ testing. So, how do you become more emotionally intelligent? Victoria will dive deeper into three models that focus on competencies and skills that drive leadership performances and more. Ultimately, the audience will learn of the tools to enhance our own EQ. People are told to work smarter, not harder. What if Victoria Thomas told us that being smart also involves a little heart by discerning your feelings... Would you be able to say you're emotionally intelligent?


Katrin Bunker

The 23- year old Katrin Bünker, also known as “Bünki”, humorously says she loves to complain: “There has always been something in my life I was upset about and I expressed it. Loudly! My teachers had to suffer from it, my family, my friends.” After finishing school, Katrin lived in London for one year and got to meet people from many different cultures, which already changed her to be more open.  One year later, she started studying Media and Entertainment Management at Stenden and by now she is nearly done with her second year. Over those last 4 years, Katrin’s perspective has changed drastically; she turned to be a lot more positive than she used to be.  “Bünki” is now at the point that she realised that “complaining does not make much sense; unless you know what you can do about it and you do it!”.

When Lies Spread Easier Than the Truth – So What?

You cannot trust the Media. You cannot trust anything that is said in the news. Everything in the news is false and the only aim of journalists and co. is to make money. Terms such as clickbait and fake news are all over the place. No doubt, partly, those complaints are justified and one must do something about it. But does it make sense to constantly complain about it and seeing any kind of Media coverage as the bad apple? No.

Because you can do something about it. Mechanisms such as Click Bait and News Agencies have contributed to the rise of fake news. It might seem that you yourself cannot do much because the Media Industry is so huge but you are the one giving them your money. However, especially since the Media industry has such great influence, everyone should be aware why the phenomenon of fake news appears to be so common nowadays and why it is so simple. Already in seeing the reasons why it is easier for lies to be spread rather than the truth, a change can be done.

In her talk, Katrin Bünker will gives us the chance to understand why you can do something about it and where this is coming from. She wants to blossom our minds by showing that every single one of us has the power to change something about this. So what is your excuse?

 Rick De Jong

Rick de Jong is a brain- and time management trainer (www.btmonkeys.nl) . The last 9 years he spent training his own brain, as well as the brains of others. Rick is a specialist on human memory. In 2015 he achieved the title of International Master of Memory (IMM), a grandmaster title in the sports of Memory. In the same year he broke a long standing European memory record by reciting 22612 digits of the mathematical number Pi. From memory. Rick is devoted to teach others how to unleash the tremendous power of their own brain. He believes the human brain can and will make the difference in a modern jungle of information overload.

Bram Thomassen is a young actor who has survived two brain tumors and lost his older brother at a young age. As a result of the last brain tumor he is epileptic, is partially paralysed and suffers memory related problems. Bram is passionate to show the world that we can overcome hardship. He has a message for the world. A positive message of hope: To live life at the fullest.

Don’t Forget to Use The Enormous Potential of Your Own Memory

How can your brain bloom? That’s the most important question: how? Every mind has an unknown potential. We just have to be taught how.

Rick and Bram will talk about their own stories related to brain, memory and training. Rick will show the audience how every healthy human brain can reach unhuman memory feats. Bram will demonstrate what a damaged brain can achieve and that every human being can achieve greatness within itself. Our minds and memory are great gifts to be appreciated and to be unwrapped to the fullest.