BLOG: First TEDxRotterdam 2019 speaker known!
The atmosphere was full of excitement and nerves as the TEDxRotterdam open mic speakers took to the stage. It was down to each speaker to convince the crowd that their BIG idea deserved a spot at the main event on 29th March 2019.

As the laughter and small talk from the engaged crowd died out, the chosen public favorite from open mic 2018, presenter Shyam Chedoe, opened the ball. ¨There is no value in setting a goal if you don’t enjoy the journey – a lesson thought to me simply by playing cards – you have no influence on the cards of life, so what counts is you enjoying playing the deck¨ Shyam says. ¨No matter the challenges, always keep raising the bar, look every challenge into the eye without fear!¨.

The day ended in the foyer of the Marriott Hotel, where we got a sneak peak at their new menu… we were in for a treat! While we were munching, the 10 speakers stood in front of us awaiting their judgment:

The jury unanimously decided this years open mic winner to be Melanie Roche. Then followed the crowd claps. All were cheered for their fantastic BIG ideas, but the crowd chose Adilson Neves as their favorite. See if we choose your favorite below!

1. Gerard van Laan – Clean climber

Gerard is a climber who loves nature, but hates seeing what we do to nature. Climbers are a community, and Gerard saw a possibility in his community. In 2 days his small team collected 800kg trash in Bosnia Herzegovina. Want to know more?

2. Linda Commandeur – You don’t have to speak to connect

After a long drive through the Gobi dessert they arrived at a Mongolian family tent where Linda met a little girl who´s brother was making fun of her as she tried to drive her new bike through the dessert. ¨If I could change 1 thing in the world right there and then, I would make everyone in the world speak one language, the language of feelings!¨. Want to know more?

3. Cor van Drieberge – Marcial arts, teachings beyond fighting

¨Imagine this big kid, dressed by his mom, so insecure, but with an innate desire to do martial art. This kid overcame his fears and went into a dojo, 15 years later he is a coach a trainer and is perusing goals he never dared to dream of¨, says Cor. His mission now is to provide every school kid, no matter level or year, the opportunity to do a martial art class… why, because it helped him. Want to know more?

4. Adilson Neves – Work to give, give what works

¨I’m grateful for this moment. I found a sense of purpose, a sense of direction. Before I was lost. Started off broke and poor. Did not know what to do with my life. I tired to make fast money, which cost me 4 month in prison. I took time to reflect. If you want to help yourself you help others, you help by giving back! Today Adilson gives back as a role model to the youth and as mentor/mentee to the elderly. Want to know more?

5. Smriti Dutta – A question to answer

Here is a question for you all; Does an incident trigger you to think? Moving from India to Rotterdam changed Smriti´s life and got her intrigued. ¨We are the same, but our unique human skillset makes us so different from each other¨. ¨Our drive for clarification derives from a really early age, but why does this curiosity seem to vanish, as we grow old?¨. A wise man will learn more from foolish question, then a fool will learn from a wise answer. Want to know more?

6. Ahmed Chaleh - Why most relationships fail

Why do most relationships fail? Why is it so hard to maintain a relationship? Where do we fail? In 2050, 50% of Dutch population will be single, why? Because love is not valued the same as 30-40 years ago. Did we go from loving each other to loving ourselves? Make love return:1 Put it back on the priority list. 2 Attention to growth. Want to know more?

7. Maaike Stofferis – Dress to save our planet

Since the industrial revolution we have been using a lot of our resources, why? Trends. We are being targeted with crowd psychology, which makes us purchase more. Meanwhile manufacturers and retailers are still looking for cheapest materials and labor. The cycle is negative from both sides. ¨The challenge lies with entrepreneurs and creative designers. We need to create what consumers want sustainably¨. Want to know more?

8. Mauricio Rosales – Sting like a bee

What is causing the bee population to decrease so rapidly? Pesticides? Harsh winters? Bees are pollinators, they pollenate almost all plants. If they go most of our favorite foods and products will disappear too, and we have already lost 1/3 of the total population. How can we save them? Start with being conscious of how small things you do, on a day to day basis, affects the bigger picture.

9. Melanie Roche – Affecting the world from the inside out

In 1997 she was handed a peace of paper that changed her life. It said; Genetic disposed for breast and ovarian cancer. She was healthy, but was told to consider cutting off breasts and ovaries. This made her very interested in genetic expression and how our consciousness affects gene expression; How do we integrate minds and bodies to affect the world from the inside out, companies as well as communities? Want to know more?

10. Ivan Cardoso – Vulnerability of start up founders

Ivan is bridging the gab between aspiring entrepreneurs and start up founders one car interview at a time. From the back of his taxi, he gathers the wisdom of inspiring startup founders and shares it with the world. ¨Be open and transparent because together we can build bridges and raise the bar¨. Want to know more?

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