TEDxAmsterdam 2014

Somewhere in Time

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These are exciting times. The promises of future technology go hand in hand with a better understanding of our past. Many scientific discoveries have been made about the human brain and in the field of archeology, slowly revealing the origins of human language, religion and culture. Imagine having a time machine to travel back to witness the birth of great inventions or forward to see what the future has in store. These thoughts led to the theme of this year’s TEDxAmsterdam: Somewhere in Time.

Relive some of TEDxAmsterdam’s spellbinding speakers and performances in our visual highlights of the day.

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Kumi Naidoo

International Executive Director of Greenpeace

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“We have a choice as human beings: being part of the problem or part of the solution.Those who choose to be a part of the solution show contagious courage. So we have to start believing that change is possible, only then change will become a reality. However, change is not realized by the massive sacrifice of a few but by small sacrifices of many.”

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Huba de Graaff


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“I think in the evolution of mankind, first there was singing. And only after more than 10.000 years man became able to TEDtalk.”

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George Vaillant

Psychiatrist and professor at Harvard Medical School

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“People develop over time and as they do their empathy and self enjoyment increase. One of our major pillars is love. The other is finding an empathic way of coping with difficulties that does not push love away and remember to take that love inside.”

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Michaela DePrince


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“My life was certainly not a fairytale. After my parents passed away, I was ridiculed and harassed because I looked different. At the age of 10 I took life in my own hands and started dancing five days a week. I wanted to be a ballerina. The years of hard work finally paid off: nowadays I am a ballerina. I never thought this dream would come true. But it did. So believe in yourself and dare to dream. Dare to be different, dare to be yourself and stand out. Never be afraid of living and loving.”

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Jimmy Nelson


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“During my trip back to the tribes to show them the pictures I took of them, I asked why the fence – that was here last time – was gone. And they said: ‘ After the big chief died we had to destroy something he built. Destruction teaches us what it means to construct, for we are here because of those who led us.’ I realized that there are still so many things to be learned from these extraordinary, glorious people.”

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Rainer Goebel


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“Thanks to real-time brain imaging (neuro-feedback), we can do better than pills of psychology and help people with burnout or depression. The technique – controlling our thoughts and emotions – is not restricted to patients. This powerful brain training technique can help anyone to feel better, improve their working memory, self-control and even decision making. As Matthieu Ricard put it: ‘Happiness is to be found in controlling the mind.”

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Kim Spierenburg

Violinist at Amsterdam Conservatory

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“Playing the violin was my biggest dream since I was 3 years old. When I finally got a violin my life changed drastically: my body abandoned me. I told myself to never give up and kept playing. While playing I could feel the vibrations and happily discovered that they were easing my pain. However, pain is still part of my life, as is my violin. But I’ve learned to be creative when the straightforward path is not possible and to take small steps to reach big dreams.”

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Remy van Kesteren


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“Music is about life and about passion. It is telling us a beautiful story. Then I realized that everything you desire and that you are, is already there inside you to find and explore. If you learn to listen to your heart you can accomplish anything. The only thing you need is a little patience.”

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Award Finalist

Gerben Stouten, Candy becomes plastic

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“How to solve the plastic waste issue in the world? Using bacteria that eat waste and produce bio plastic. Because we are slowly depleting our resources we have to turn to the only inexhaustible source for our resources, which is waste. Nature doesn’t know waste. Our research relies on this power of nature; we merely design the processes where bacterias can thrive and that allow nature to show its solutions.”

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Simon Anholt

Founder of the Good Country Index & Thinker

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“It is the world’s best kept secret: messing things up is good. It triggers everything good in life: beauty, creativity and ideas. My advice? ‘Stir things up’, be creative and trust in the power of dapple to solve your problems.”

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Ari Seth Cohen

Fashion Blogger

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“My grandmother taught me everything about culture and art. While others were playing sports I was raiding her closet. I wanted to be part of her world. After she passed away I started to photograph older women. These older women showed me that me that style is not a superficial thing. They showed me something important. With aging comes everything beautiful: an incredible sense of vitality, wisdom, eccentricity and elegance. It is my hope that if we begin to see older people differently, we will begin to treat older people differently.”

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Debra Rapoport


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“At 50, I felt more freedom. But there was still a birdie on my shoulder with a cautious voice. At 60 that birdie flew away and life became more effortless. Know that it’s never too late to find your destiny. Trust and tap into your own creativity.”

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Henk Schiffmacher

Tattoo Artist

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“Tattoos have always been a way to identify people, like stamps in a passport that guide you in the afterlife. I started to – literally – collect tattoos about the history of tattooing. Right now I have over 115 tattoos, each with its own story, and with these tattoos I became the center of my own collection. I will always carry my artwork and stories with me.”

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Chris Nietvelt

Art of dying (on stage)

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“Art is not an ornament, but can be a lens that reveals reality.”

Duncan Stutterheim

Music Entrepreneur

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“If you want to be successful, three things are important: 1. See what everybody sees, but do what nobody does. 2. Have a passion for what you do, for your business. 3. Contribute something positive. Remember: It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about all of us together.”

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Peninah Nthenya Musyimi

Founder of Safe Spaces

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“I grew up surrounded by prostitution, violence against women and low expectations in the Muthare slums of Nairobi, Kenya. After awhile I started to dream big, I wanted to go to school to be a lawyer. I realized that I was the change to my own situation: if you want something you have never had, you must be prepared to do something you have never done. Even if that choice scares you the most.”

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David Allen

Consultant and Founder of ‘Getting Things Done’

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“Know that at any time, you can get on top of anything, and make the creative space that you need. Because you already know how to do this. You are a natural!”

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Neelie Kroes

European Commissioner for Digital Agenda

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“If you want to be an entrepreneur and think you can make it, then why not? Never take ‘NO’ for granted, just go for it!”

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Nicole Beutler

ECHO: There is no such thing as lost time

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* TEDxAms Team 2014

Originally posted on TEDxAmsterdam.com

One Comment

  • Inge says:


    I am Inge, one of the dancers performing 5:echo from Nicole Beutler on TEDXAmsterdam. I saw 3 beautiful pictures of the performance, and was wondering if I could get them digitally?

    Kind regards,
    Inge van Huijkelom

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