TEDxEindhoven 2016: A place for global citizens, digital empathy and abstraction

TEDxEindhoven 2016: A place for global citizens, digital empathy and abstraction




With the main event drawing near we take another look at a selection of the ideas that will be represented on stage for TEDxEindhoven 2016. May our speakers inspire and our acts captivate you!

Rob van Gijzel

“The city that creates the future”

Rob van Gijzel has been mayor of Eindhoven since 2008. In 2015 he announced that 2016 will be the year in which he resigns as mayor. the vision, experiences and lessons during those 8 years have recently been published in the book “The city that creates the future”. With a previous career in the House of Representatives, Rob van Gijzel has experienced the rise of information technology but also the difficulty to predict it’s influence.


Being inspired by Benjamin Barber’s vision for a future from the book “If mayors ruled the world“, Rob van Gijzel has initiated the experiment to put the theories around a city-centric society into practice. An experiment because making and discovering the future is a trail and error process. Rob van Gijzel shows that the key to achieve humane solutions to the Grand Challenges is collaboration in interdependent horizontal networks at the city level, not vertical but horizontal democracy.

Kavitha Varathan

“Global citizens”

Before moving to Eindhoven in 2008 together with her husband, Kavitha Varathan was an architect in India. Last year she founded the Expat Spouses Initiative (ESI), together with Anne Yanni; a network for the professional development of the partners of expats in Eindhoven. The ESI initiative connects the spouses of expats in finding a job and connecting within the community.


In 2015 alone another approximately 6.000 expats moved to Eindhoven. Many of them talented international knowledge-workers. Every one of these people stood at a crossroad. From wildly different cultural backgrounds they all made the difficult choice to move to another place. Especially with a more knowledge driven society, more and more people will probably face that choice. Kavitha poses the question if that choice could be an opportunity for more interconnected societies instead of a problem.

Julia Kiseleva

“Empathic devices”

Julia Kiseleva is co-founder of usersat.com, a spin-off company offering search and recommender systems optimization specifically for mobile devices.  She has extensive industrial experience at leading IT companies including Microsoft Research, Microsoft Bing, Yandex.ru, Hewlett Packard Research, E-bay, and Booking.com.  In 2016, Julia obtained a PhD from Eindhoven University of Technology on her research to improve the user’s search and browse experience.

Smartphones took a huge territory in the world of humans. But do you always have a mutual understanding with your phone? Julia believes that the haptic feedback we give to our phones is being wasted. In her talk she will highlight how we can benefit more from the rich interactions we have with our phones, and make our phones not only smart, but also empathic.

Elif & Noralie


In a world where we idolize DJs, their visual understudies, the VJs, are hidden behind computer screens. Now is the time to put the VJ in the spotlight. At least, that is what Elif & Noralie aim to do. Through an evolutionairy collaboration they abstracted the role of the VJ. They believe in a different approach and they came prepared with a visually stunning plan.


In their show ‘ABSTRACTIONS’ Elif Özbay and Noortje van den Eijnde are showing the next step in the evolution of the VJ. They celebrate the artist and his creation,  combining live visuals with the physical manipulation of objects and their surroundings, culminating in a dynamic, captivating and maybe even interactive(one of a kind) performance.


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