Last Thursday, 13 September, TEDxAmsterdam held its first TEDxAmsterdam Award alumni gathering at the sustainably-designed Circl. The evening brought together various contenders from the Award over the years, since its inception in 2010, to connect over their stories and the ideas they took to the TEDxAmsterdam Award.
TEDxAmsterdam Award Director Lodewijk Kleijn welcomed the group, which also included representatives from one of our key partners, Tata Consultancy Services, who will play a key role in the 2018 Award workshops. By a show of hands, the audience indicated their attraction to the first alumni event – with overwhelming votes for curiosity and a desire to reconnect, reflect and share their passions.
2017 Award finalist Anne Kloppenberg from New Electric, shared an update on his idea, which was literally “a garage start up”, and the success he’s seen since taking part in the experience. Their electric and hybrid vehicles have now expanded to include consumer mobility and marine.
Shifting gears, the group was split into groups around the room to take part in an informal world cafe discussion about the Award experience and their ideas – from challenges and changes to success. This activity proved to be an eye opener, as everyone learnt more about each other’s ideas, and how the TEDxAmsterdam Award helped to shape the path they’re now on.
Quotes around the room could be heard:
"It gives enormous credibility to have your idea on the TEDxAmsterdam stage."
"The audience was critical, which helped me explain my idea more simply."
"Being a part of the Award helped me reconfigure the idea and how we pitched it to possible investors."
Some had come to the Award with a fully-fledged business plan, but, years on, had reworked and redeveloped that plan into something targeted at a different audience all together. Others navigated their way through pitches, business jargon and countless meetings (some with little experience in doing so before) or persisted for years with applications for further support and are finally seeing the fruits of their labours.
Despite a diversity of ideas – from transport and logistics innovation, through to straws made of straw and renewable chemicals, there was a palpable connection and energy in the room among attendees. Not just because many ideas had an eco-focus, but we suspect, because TEDxAmsterdam Award alumni are smart thinkers, innovators and more importantly do-ers. Put a bunch of go-getters who are keen to make an impact in a room and you’ll create a buzz!
We were glad to bring so many alumni together and hear their journeys since the Award. The chance to connect and reflect was important for us and proved just as valuable for our guests.
We also caught up with some guests to learn more about their stories in depth. Read them here and revisit where their ideas began.
Where TEDxAmsterdam is about ideas worth spreading, the Award is about ideas worth doing. Are you interested in pitching your idea to the world stage at TEDxAmsterdam? Apply for the 2018 TEDxAmsterdam Award. Learn more and sign up by 12 October here.
To view more pictures from the Award alumni event, taken by Flickfeeder's Mike Breeuwer, click here.
- written by Jai Morton.