Friday, January 27th, 2017 is THE date: TEDx will for the first time be hosted in the municipality of Sittard-Geleen. TEDx is the worldwide phenomenon where speakers will give the talk of their lives, on a red dot in max. 18 minutes. A TEDx event belongs in a community like Sittard-Geleen, which bursts with innovative and inspiring activities in a vibrant environment. Noël Lebens and Bert Kamphuis, aldermen in Sittard-Geleen, have named the arrival of this TEDx therefore ‘an asset to our community’.



TEDx search for local gems that deserve an international stage. In collaboration with inspiring speakers from other communities, a full day program is set up. The TEDxSittardGeleen team by now already proudly presents the following names:

  • Toine Wilke; the entrepreneur who is building a whole new branch of business with seaweed
  • Rob van Loevezijn; he built the first 3D printed car with students from Zuyd Hogeschool, and at TEDx he presents a very impressive new project.
  • Bob de Graaff; professor at the Open University and Utrecht University. Specialist in the area of ​​radicalization.
  • Linde Zhou; company founder of Novioponics, which reduces pesticide dose by at least 50%
  • Wim Steenbakkers of Mezuro; on big data from telephone companies and their great potential
  • Willem Breukink; former CEO of INCOTEC, chairman of Seed Valley: the world-renowned center for plant breeding and seed technology.
  • Daisy Janssen; the Southern Netherlands specialist in the field of palliative care, working at CIRO.
  • Simone Buijzen; the specialist in the field of cultural differences.
  • Jaap Bressers; about dealing with heavy setback


Big plans for the future

The organization is pleased with Zuyd Hogeschool and Rabobank Westelijke Mijnstreek as founding partners. The resulting license includes all activities throughout the municipality of Sittard-Geleen. Besides the official event on January 27, there therefore are several other events planned within the municipal boundaries. Before summer holidays, several ‘speaker pitches’ are organised, from which speakers are selected in addition to the speakers who have already committed. This way, TEDxSittardGeleen presents regional speakers with an opportunity to qualify for an international stage. The first pitch will take place at the Chemelot Campus on June 16th in cooperation with Brightlands. Maurice Olivers: “Brightlands Chemelot Campus is one of the most inspiring environments in our region where companies, students and scientists working every day to create new materials and technologies focused on sustainability and health. On June 16th, the campus is the place to be for the pitch event TEDxSittardGeleen, the opportunity for people from in- and outside the campus to share their bright ideas and applications.”


Also the youngsters get a chance to prove themselves. On June 21st, students from Graaf Huyn College Trevianum, and Groenewald compete for a spot on the big TEDx stage. Zuyd Hogeschool also organizes a pitch event for all its students prior to the big TEDxSittardGeleen day.


Besides these pitch events, and in collaboration with schools in Sittard-Geleen region, the organization also plans to organize a TEDxSittardGeleen ‘Youth event’: a TED-like event specifically for the creative and curious youngsters in the age of 12 to 18 years. Various other plans will be announced in the course of this year.