Ideas worth spreading…

…is the tagline of TED, a platform known for its short movies of people presenting their idea to the world. I am a fan! This weekend, I went a stap further.

It must be two months ago I saw a tweet passing by that promoted TEDx Ghent. A full day filled with inspiring people showing their ideas live on stage, what a chance! I doubt many times but this time I did not hesitate. I booked an early bird ticket and grabbed the opportunity for this new experience.

This weekend I went to Ghent to attend the event in ’NTGent Schouwburg’. A great location for an amazing event – as I know now. It is wonderful to see how many people attend events like this. They came from all parts of the country to listen to some great speakers and topics. In addition, it was a great time to build our network and meet new people. I was astonished to see how many creative and enthousiast people there are. Perhaps they are not famous managers or rich soccerplayers but I realy felt honoured to be part of this group of people.

The speakers were presented and questioned by the curator of the event and Lieven Scheire. They both did a great job by being themselves while warming up the public with a joke from time to time ;). IMG_4958When I watch TED movies online, I look for those topics that interest me the most. The strength of TEDx events is that you get to hear a variety of ideas and topics. That’s interesting because you get the chance to expand your areas of interest. You are forced to listen to all of them. Ofcourse it doesn’t feel like being forced. Once the speaker is on stage, you are sucked into the story. I discovered a lot of new things, things I did not pay attention to before.

Politics is not my favorite topic, but Alphonse Muambi triggered something with his story about democracy in Africa. Afterwards at the reception, I had an interesting discussion with some other attendees. I never thought I would be discussing politics…

Dirk Ryckbosh made me discover ’ghost particles’. Neutrino’s are all over the place but we can only see them deep in the ice.

These days everything has to be smaller, better, faster and greener. That is what the Phd of Jonathan De Roo is about. Microwaves can speed up all sort of things and clear the way for superconductors. Chemistry looks fascinating, but I leave it to the specialists.


Maybe you have heard of ZWERM, an urban game that stimulated social activities in the competing neighbourhoods. Thomas Laureyssens tells us how people behave and explained the results. Always funny to see how people unite when they are loosing.

Archeology. Yes, it sounds boring and I still think it is. The talk of Philippe De Smedt was not the most interesting for me but still it’s good to see that people are busy investigating our past by using modern technologies.

The Mixfitz is a DJ crew that has won the worldchampionchips. After all the speakers, it was an nice twist to listen to their mix inspired by last year’s event.IMG_4961

’To Google or not to Google, that’s the question.’ is what Sylvia Van Peteghem tells us. Nowadays everything can be found with Google, even books. Open access is what she wants and that is why the library of Ghent works together with Google to digitize their books. I’m convinced that digital media is the future so I can only be happy with this initiative.

Always wanted to be an astronaut and discover new planets? Now you can! Hanny Van Arkel discovered her own astronomical object by participating in an online project Galaxy Zoo. I will never be an astronaut but I’ll definitely check out this project.

Smartphones and security, more and more you hear those two words together in the same sentence. The more we use our smartphones, the more information is available on the internet. Long live the internet. IMG_4963But what if this information get’s stolen? Bram Bonné tries to scare us by showing us that he was able to find out where of the attendees have been in the last couple of months. Just by looking at the data available on the internet. I think you should not be scared but be aware. You need to be aware of what you share and with whom.

I can go on like this but it’s better you go and watch the movies once they are online. And when you get the chance, attend one of the future TEDx events wherever you are. And if you want to join me next year in Ghent, shoot me a message. I’ll be there!

Thank you TEDx Ghent team for the great experience!

Thank you TEDx Ghent team for the great experience!


No sheeping.

To be honest, I stole this title from Jef Staes. It was his slogan to end the presentation he gave about Business Innovation. I had the honor to attend this event and he made me think about several things.

First of all, I didn’t know much about Jef before I went to his presentation. I saw the invitation on Twitter via EventOnline and grabbed the opportunity. At that moment I did not know that Jef would mention that people not using Twitter are stupid. Lucky me :). But the moment he did, I agreed. For me at least Twitter is a source of knowledge. It is a way to connect with great bloggers and speakers. That doesn’t mean that Twitter can be your only source of information. Google, YouTube, blogs, screenscasts are all valuable information flows that will make you smarter when you use them. Did I forget books? For me books are a slow information flow because reading a book takes a lot more time than reading a blogpost or watching a screencast. That does not mean books aren’t valuable anymore. I started reading again this year and I love it. There are so many good writers with a clear message you can learn from. But when I want to fix an issue, I’d rather Google it instead of reading a book of 300 pages.

”You don’t discover talents at school.” and ”Our educational system is fraude.” are two statements Jef launched during the keynote. Those are critical words about a system that exists for many years. But maybe that’s why it is true. Maybe education did not follow the evolution of the increased information flow? Maybe education is too conservative? I think these are things to think about and to investigate. Work enough for all teachers out there I suppose. I graduated almost 3 years ago and I have to agree that I did not discover my talents at school. I like to work with computers, designing solutions for problems of other people. I can’t imagine doing so while at school. Or maybe one time during a group assignment to organize an event for charity. We should get more assignments like that where your team can organize itself and discover who does what the best. Diplomas are used by companies to assign employees a function and level. Most of the time, this means that people with a higher degree get the better jobs. I think that’s what Jef means with fraude in our educational system. Someone who had problems at school with Statistics may not have a Master degree but is he less smart than someone with that degree? Possibly, but you can only know it for sure when you give him or her a chance. 2D smart, Jef calls it. Getting better by doing it over and over but without passion and without information.

That brings us by how Jef thinks we should be, 3D smart. 3D smart has three pillars: Talent, Passion and Information. Information is very important. Someone with passion will look for information and develop his talent. Everyone has talents an passion, but you have to discover it. When schools and companies don’t give you the chance to explore your talents, they end up with people that are not engaged.

Jef used a great quote that shows the essence of his message.

”If you put fences around people, you get sheep.” by William McKnight

I can go on about Jef’s presentation but I think you should go listen to Jef yourself when you get the chance. If it’s not for his message, he’s an amazing speaker. You won’t regret.