TEDxYouth@Brabantlaan 2012, a success worth repeating


After a lot of hard work, at November the 18th is was happening: the first TEDxYouth@brabantlaan event. We could have never imagined how great it was going to be and we got great feedback that everybody enjoyed it. This first edition of a new TEDxYouth event was the being of what we hoped would be a annual event. Now we are  very happy to announce that TEDxYouth@Brabantlaan has received a license to organize the second edition of in 2013. We hope to inspire even more young people to dream big and then do it! This edition was a great success, everyone went home content and inspired. We loved every second of it. Read our story here!

Best regards Renée Zonneveld and Mauri Spooren, International TEDxYouthDay reporters.

The TEDxTalks

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Yvette Vugts gave the first talk of the day. She was a little nervous, but this didn’t distract from her talk at all. Yvette had a really hard time: a few years ago she was in a mental institution, suffering from borderline. She was planning on taking it easy for a while, but then Yvette decided to join ‘Jong actief’ (Young Active). This is an organization of volunteers that work for youth by youth. ‘Jong actief’ asked Yvette what she was interested in, which was photography and fashion.  Her coach said that she should organize a fashion show and this is where it all started. Suddenly the plan of taking it easy wasn’t so important. Now Yvette had something positive to focus on. Yvette never could have thought that she could organize a whole fashion show, but she did. Yvette specifically choose to use models that normally would not have been on the runway because they wouldn’t have the ‘right’ look. So Yvette trained notskinny girls with long legs, but beautiful girls from the street to work with her. Yvette taught the models to walk like a professional model, by using shows as ‘America’s next top model’ as an example. The show was a great success and Yvette is organizing more shows as she continues to  train more girls to become a model. Her dream is to change the professional modeling worldand to give ‘normal’ girls a chance to be a model.

Jeffrey Arenz was our next speaker, he talks about his bad experiences in high school. Jeffrey was bullied and his classmates beat him almost every day. Jeffrey never dared to tell his parents because he was scared that the bullying would get even worse. At one point Jeffrey didn’t even want to go to school anymore. Jeffrey was so fed up with the bullying that he thought: I want to fight back against these bullies. Jeffrey started his own organization: “Skizzle Nederland” an organization that wants to help kids that are being bullied. The bullying and the founding of his organization changed Jeffrey forever. Jeffrey has used his past experiences to build something positive. He is no longer the withdrawn kid, but the guy who helps others. He decided not to let his past hold him back and he made his dreams come to true. His message: “You are beautiful as you are. Always be yourself.”

The last talk before the break was from Dennis Hoekstra, a politician and entrepreneur. His interest in politics started when he was sixteen years old. He found out that a lot of his classmates had ideas and dreams that they have never spoken about  because they didn’t want to stand out in the crowd. Dennis’ classmates even did things they didn’t like, just because they didn’t want to be different. Dennis says: “If you’re not involved, others will make decisions for you.” He also tells us that we, as the next generation, should get more power and that decisions about us, should be made with us.

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Wesley Maurix was the next talker on the red dot. He has a handicap and is much smaller than a normal 20 year old boy, but he doesn’t see this as a limitation. Wesley started writing short columns and poems, with subjects like love and friendship. His opinion is that people should live more by the African Philosophy: “I am, because we are.” We should be more positive because negativity costs way too much energy and positivity gives you more energy. Wesley lives on positivity, he uses the positivity from the people around him to get energy and to achieve the things he loves.The second talker after the break was Vincent de Wit. He has been an entrepreneur since he was 15 years old. He owns his own company: AppsByVincent. Vincent has started his own webshop, but when he told his classmates they didn’t really understand what he was doing. His classmates did have their own ideas but they didn’t do anything with it. Only 10% of all young working people are entrepreneurs. Vincent says he learned a lot since he  started his own company, for example how to use your money wisely or how to plan. Vincent compares life with a raisin bun; sometimes you’ll find a hard piece. By this he means that life isn’t always easy and you can’t be lucky all the time, but it is totally worth it.

Our last talk of the day was by Shaun Figaroa, the owner of record label ‘040Records’. Shaun felt all his whole life people had had low expectations of him. It started when he was born, the doctors said he might not make it, but Shaun survived. But primary school wasn’t easy for him at all, because Shaun was slow. His teachers thought he wasn’t smart enough, but after a test it showed the opposite was true. Shaun went to high school, but it was way too overwhelming for him, because Shaun also played professional basketball and his situation at home wasn’t good at all. It was just way too much for him. Shaun ended up at home, with nothing to do. But Shaun wanted to learn something that he really liked. Shaun choose to learn more about music. After Shaun recorded his first song with a friend, he posted it on the internet. People liked it, so Shaun decided to make more music and to follow the path he was taking. Shaun started his own record label for young rappers who hadn’t had the chance to easily make music of their own. His message: “Think in solutions, not in problems.”

During breaks  Isabelle Amé with her band and Len Donkers, a six-year old drummer  entertained the audience with inspiring music. After the talks there was a great lunch with lots of different delicious sandwiches, which was great. It was really wonderful that TEDxYouth@Brabantlaan could realize such a great event with also great caterers. We love our volunteers and sponsors!

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After lunch the entire afternoon was filled with lots of different workshops: Do it together!, Just Do it,  perform with your body, paper& electronics and Do it in 3D (Rapid 3D printing). All workshops came from the theme: Dream big, then do it!

‘Do it together’ was about mapping the people you know or your parents and friends know to get a step closer to achieve your plan or dream. This workshop was about showing that you already have a lot of people in your own network to help you with your plan or dream. Maybe the dentist can help you or maybe a sister of your mother’s best friend. People who can help are closer than you think!

Just Do it!’ was also about taking the first step to achieve your dream. The participants had to call a person that could help them to achieve their dream.

With the workshop ‘Perform with your body’ the participants learnt how to present themselves with their body. How you can feel confident and look confident when you’re presenting a plan in front of a group.

The workshop ‘Paper & electronics’ involved, as you can assume, paper and electronics. With simple materials and in a easy way. You can even make your own creations at home.  The only things you need are paper (or cardboard), some wires, tin-foil, batteries and little lights. With these things you can make really fun creations. Electronics have never been so easy.

And last but not least: ‘Do it in 3D (Rapid 3D printing)’. One of the newest ways to create is 3D-printing. In this workshop the youth could experience how 3D-printing works. Everybody could  experiment by  customizing a digital rabbit  using 3D software. The best design will be printed at a later date,  and on the day everybody was able to print the first letter of their names to bring back home.

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Renée ZonneveldRenée about her experience at TEDxYouth@Brabantlaan

‘I really liked TEDxYouth, this was my first year to go to the event, so I was really impressed by everybody. I never thought that people of  my age could do the things I’ve heard. So the talks really inspired me to do what I want and to be who I want to be.’


Schermafbeelding 2012-08-23 om 14.04.54Mauri about her experience at TEDxYouth@Brabantlaan

‘I was extremely impressed by the creativity and the perseverance of the speakers. Many of them had a really hard time, but they still believed they could achieve their dreams. This is a very powerful and impressive quality. TEDxYouth@Brabantlaan breathed ‘Dream big, then do it!’ and I love the fact that everything went so smooth although it was the first edition. I hope TEDxYouth@Brabantlaan will inspire more and more young people to dream, believe, create and do anything they could have ever imagined.’



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