Once a year over a thousand people come together in the beautiful “Theater aan het Vrijthof”, to join in a day full of inspiration at Tedx Maastricht. A TEDx event is a local gathering where live TED-like talks and videos previously recorded at TED conferences are shared with the community. Moreover, Maastricht is one of the biggest TedX events in the Netherlands and therewith a very popular one.

This year, for the third time in a row, I was privileged to be in the audience of TedX Maastricht event. The perfect birthday gift as I turned a year older on the exact same day. This year the theme was “A Matter of Perspective”, a subject I am very interested in and recently gave a big talk about myself, you can read about it here.

The day started with goose bumps as the very talented singer- song writer Jeangu Macrooy broke the ice with some very heart-warming songs which brought the whole audience in ecstasy. A perfect beginning of an inspiring day.

Followed by Jelmer Mommers, investigative journalist,  who asked himself if our world is fucked. He shared some impact full stats, for example that 10% of consumers emit half of the worlds carbon emission and ended with the statement that Climate Change is Violence.

Samina Ansari, the next speaker to take the stage touched everyone in the audience with her pure story about the term home. Herself, a refugee from Afghanistan, learned us a wise lesson by saying that Home is inside of us, and therewith a matter of perspective.

The youngest female rector leading a Dutch University Rianne Letschert, explained why apologizing is so important based on the fact that the Future only has meaning in relation with the past. She believe acknowledging misdoings is the key to deal with your past and to be able to focus on the future.

Last speaker to take the stage before a little coffee break was Margo de Kock, who showed us that you should trust in life. With the personal story she shared with us, she explained that we suffer more from our own imagination, than from real life. Because it is not about what happens to you in life, it is about how you deal with it and behind fear there is always freedom.

After coffee, and another musical intermezzo by Sofie Winterson, Michel Huisman shared his vision about perception being the key in making choices. More important, how we should aim for value over profit with the choices we make. A very charming and sarcastic tedx talk which most certainly got people thinking about the possible perspectives within making choices.

Rudy van Belkom, wondered why our current voting system is so old skool and came up with an innovative new way whereby he innovates the system. He stands for voting for content and believes we should choose parts of parties and therewith personalize our political preferences.

The first talk after the break was a bit too medical for me, but Ron Heeren is without a doubt a passionate scientist who has a clear vision for the future of medicine. He, and a team of bright minded scientist developed a new technique to detect and aggress cancer in a very effective way.

I was very much looking forward to Mark Kawakami, who treated a subject I am very much active in myself, namely the future of education and how we should have eyes for the underdogs as well. Because if we only listen to important people, we are missing out.

A little moment of rest for the brain when artistic dance duo Joost Vrouenraets & Maîté Guérin amused the audience with their energetic performance.

Roos Vonk talked about the wrong choices we are making in life, regarding eating meat, plastic soup and so on. Although I totally agree with her, I found it quiet unfortunate that there didn’t came a solution for these wrong choices. I do believe most of us know about the consequences but what other options are there at the moment?

I am absolutely not a numbers nerd, Sanne Blauw is though. She showed us an other perspective of numbers we see in the news and how we shouldn’t believe all we hear. A perfect lesson in Statistical Self Defence.

Arnaud Collery, including authentic French-English accent, wants to make the world a happier place by convincing everybody that sharing your story matters. He believes every story should be heard as we can learn and heal from it, which brings meaning to our lives.

The exhilarating final speaker was Edward Slingerland, who tried to explain to us how we should try not to try. Are you still coping now, actually all you need to remember is that relaxation is the key to success, so stop trying so hard.

Marieke van der Velden, renowned photojournalist, stole the audience hearts. She was extremely nervous, but endlessly passionate and pure while sharing insights about her experiences all over the world. She made it her life goal to capture the stories behind the news making breath taking portraits and documentaries. Here lesson; don’t try to understand the World.

The final icing on the cake came from actress, writer and theatre producer Esther de Koning who gave the whole audience the giggles with here comic performance about the ground rules of acting.

A successful and inspiring day which definitely gave its visitors an other perspective on impactful subjects.

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