Here is our complete list of speakers for TEDxTilburgUniversity 2015!



Host: Jerre Maas

The host for the third edition of TEDxTilburgUniversity; Jerre Maas! He is a Tilburg University alumnus and has initiated many ideas. By using his three pillars of energy, interaction and contact, he will guide this wonderful TEDx event!

Jef Staes

Jef Staes (Belgium, 1956) is an authority on learning processes and innovative organizations. With 25 years of professional experience, he currently assists CEO’s and organizations to find a comprehensive answer to the changing dynamics of today’s market. “Why don’t organizations learn and innovate fast enough?” Jef Staes aims to answer this question. As an author, speaker and expert, he presents a unique concept to guide organization through the necessary changes.

Jef is a passionate and inspirational speaker. With striking metaphors; he tackles the most fundamental issues organizations struggle with. He traditionally introduces the concepts 2D and 3D to create a canvas for his story. He aims not only at awakening the audience by telling an original, confronting and memorable story, but also gives everyone a new vocabulary to express why the need for change and innovation is so urgent.

Sofia Ranchordás

Sofia Ranchordas is an assistant professor at Tilburg Law School and is currently taking part in the Information Society Project of Yale Law School. Innovation seems to be in the air these days. Governments expect innovators to inhale subsidies and tax credits and exhale innovation. After many years believing that the state should not intervene in the innovation process, government and law seem to be entering the innovation picture again. However, there is an ugly truth behind this new tendency: state intervention is still not correctly targeted because we still don’t know what the relationship between law and disruptive innovation should be. Law is still based on traditions, tangible and predictable realities, whereas innovators challenge us to think out of the box. If we don’t know, we can experiment and learn. In her Tedx talk, she argues that law has to start looking inside the box of innovation in order to close the gap between law and innovation. She suggests adopting an experimental approach to the design of the rules of innovation, enacting temporary and experimental rules that enable and fit the trial and error logic of innovation.

Max Louwerse

Prof Dr Max M. Louwerse is a Professor of Cognitive Psychology and Artificial Intelligence at Tilburg University. He received his PhD in Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh, and was Full Professor in Psychology and Intelligent Systems at the University of Memphis, where he also served as Director of the Institute for Intelligent Systems. He published over 100 journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings on a diversity of topics, including experimental and computational studies on text and discourse, intelligent tutoring systems, embodied conversational agents, multimodal communication, symbolic and embodied cognition, and language statistics. He is currently editor-in-chief of the 4-volume Wiley Encyclopaedia of Cognitive Science, Associate Editor of the journal Cognitive Science, and serves on editorial boards of various journals in psychology, linguistics, literary studies, and cognitive science. He is also heavily involved in the development of the Virtual Reality Lab as well as the data science initiatives at Tilburg University. He believes that the current system of education does not work anymore and that students will have to get educated through augmented and virtual reality.


Marie Postma-Nilsenová

Marie Postma-Nilsenová is an assistant professor at Tilburg center for Cognition and Communication where she teaches courses on social data mining, web analytics, psycholinguistics and social signal processing. She received her PhD at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation at the University of Amsterdam after studying and working at various research departments in the Czech Republic, U.S., Norway, the Netherlands, France and Belgium. As a first-year student of philology at the Charles University in Prague, she became fascinated with psychoacoustics, the scientific field exploring sound perception and the way we respond to sound in our environment.  The current focus of her research concerns the interface between psychoacoustics and cognitive development and decline. In her TedX talk, she will focus on the effects of human voice – particularly, our own voice! – on cognitive performance in the context of recent technological advances in the area of robotics and social signal processing.

Hugo Jager

Hugo Jager is a partner in a company that has a focus on introducing 3D Printing to organizations. New ‘game changing’ business concepts that are responding to disruptive technologies like 3d printing is important to him. His talk will be about the implications of 3D printers for society

Wina Smeenk

Wina connects design to wellbeing by connecting people and creating innovations together. Wina is an innovation strategist and empathic design professional with substantial experience in the initiation, development and management of (product and interactive service design) projects with multidisciplinairy teams. She has been working as strategist and designer at various international companies in different product ranges. She also works in the design education field: setting up and managing educational programs. Wina likes to focus on projects that address societal transformations by using creative processes and/or new intelligent technologies. She believes co-creation (with users, problem owners and creatives) will lead to innovative, sustainable and meaningful situations and solutions. To get this process started, envisioned, facilitated and managed she set up her company, co-initiated a design game and the participation table.

Yvonne Geurts & Shanna Bloemen

Yvonne Geurts and Shanna Bloemen are physiotherapists and have both been working at the Radboud University Medical Centre for the past 10 years. Besides their clinical work in the hospital wards they are also involved in teaching and research at the post-graduate centre. Their talk concerns the clinical patient who is admitted and “lies” in their bed in the hospital. The question we should be asking ourselves is; why does the patient “lie” in the hospital? Why is the hospital bed playing a central role? As experienced physiotherapists, Yvonne and Shanna explain to their patients why movement is so very important for recovery and they are encouraging patients to exercise and move around as much as possible. However, achieving this and making it possible is a big challenge!

Ben Spiering

Ben Spiering has been working at Rijkswaterstaat for many years and works with innovations at a daily basis. The Netherlands is a full and busy country where a lot of people try to make use of the land as effective as possible. By applying technology in the right way it is possible to improve the Dutch infrastructure. Ben is currently the Project Director Tidal Energy Plant Brouwersdam. This tidal energy plant is an integral solution to restore the tide in the Grevelingen, improve water quality and produce blue energy. In his talk Ben will talk about the importance of innovation at this level at Rijkswaterstaat through a couple of personal examples of these innovations.

Peter de Goeij

Peter de Goeij (1972) is an Associate Professor of Finance at Tilburg University. He teaches the introductory finance course of the Business Economics and the Economics & Business Economics bachelor programs plus the Investment Analysis course in the master phase of the Finance program. Peter has conducted research on how finanicial analysts form their opinion whether or not to invest in a company and whether gender differences exist. Currently, he is conducting research on how people make their decision when they are faced with different communication outlets. He has conducted surveys and is currently developing experiments, also among his own students, to answer this question. His talk will involve Innovative Nudging in Finance.

Anne Miltenburg

Anne Miltenburg (1981) is a travelling brand developer on a mission to empower changemakers to create bigger impact through branding. She believes branding and brand thinking are crucial in helping social entrepreneurs, scientists, activists and educators to articulate their mission, and get them the audience and support they deserve. Using self-developed, simple strategic tools and models, she opens up the branding process to co-create brand strategies on location. With a home base in The Hague, she has lived and worked in places as diverse as Paris, Bamako, Seoul, Sydney and Riyadh. Besides her work as a brand developer, Anne is a board member of the Association of Dutch Designers (BNO), and a guest lecturer at the Design Academy Eindhoven, Hong-Ik University in Seoul, and Amani Institute in Nairobi, a.o. She is the founder of a company, which develops content, events and programs around design and creativity.

Mark Kulsdom

Mark Kulsdom is a cultural historian, a documentary maker and the CEO of a company that has made a weed burger. In his last film called ‘The Dutch Weed Burger’ he documented a young lady, Lisette Kreischer, who is searching for the special role that seaweed is going to play in the largest behavioural change that our foodculture needs to make. The documentary is now running at film festivals around the world and the burger is rolling it’s way into the culinary Netherlands. Mark, a former animal rights activist, is now building this vegan empire in order to save the world. Mark will talk about his development from activist to marketer, the potential of seaweed and the new developments in the food sector.


Time till TEDxTilburgUniversity