TEDxGhent 2014

Thank you all for an amazing day!
We’ll update the site soon with a report about everything that went on …



18 speakers will present their ideas worth spreading. They all have one thing in common: they took a refreshing look at things and made a mark in their field of expertise. We hope their ideas will stick and will encourage you to leave your own mark.

You can expect a day full of surprising, daunting and innovative ideas.


09:00 – 10:00

Arrival @ NTGent


10:00 – 12:00

Alphonse Muambi

Democracy without elections. Is it possible or not? Alphonse Muambi shares his past experiences with African democracies and his vision for the future.

Dirk Ryckbosch

Prof. Ryckbosch shows us one of the most important discoveries in contemporary science: neutrino’s or the ‘ghost particles’ and tells us why they’re important in our search to understand the universe.

Jonathan De Roo

Jonathan won our PhD contest and will tell us something about how his research in chemistry hopes to make our future more sustainable.

Thomas Laureyssens

Crossing the boundaries between design and social studies, Thomas’ research of how games can shape our urban experience is sure to blow your mind, and you can even experience it yourself.

Philippe De Smedt

This budding professor and inventor discovered a new way of locating archeological sites, without actually exposing them. Currently working in Stonehenge, he will take some time off to explain his discovery to us.

Hauke Egermann

Have you ever wondered why music has such a profound impact on your mood? Well, so did Hauke Egermann. In his talk he’ll tell us more about the results of his research.


12:00 – 14:00

Lunch break @ Vlerick Business School


14:00 – 15:45

The Mixfitz

The Mixfitz are not just your regular DJ’s, they are top turntablists, ready to share their musical knowledge with us.

Sylvia Van Peteghem

Sylvia knows books, and she knows libraries. She’ll tell us a story about a new kind of library that is lurking around the corner … the online library.

Michèle Coninsx

The President of Eurojust is coming to Ghent. Crime crosses many borders and Michèle will tell us about what the EU can do in the fight against crime and terrorism.

Hanny Van Arkel

A ‘how-to’ on becoming an astronomer. Hanny will tell us how she discovered her very own astronomical object. And who knows, maybe you can do the same.

Pieter Colpaert

Pieter loves data, and thinks everyone should be able to acces it in a user-friendly way. At TEDxGhent he will share his vision of how this could be possible in the near future.

Koert Van Mensvoort

If you see black roses growing in your garden, would you still call it nature? Koert says it is ‘Next Nature’. During his talk we will walk the thin line between machine and nature.


15:45 – 16:30

Coffee break @ NTGent


16:30 – 18:00

Nick Powdthavee

How much does it cost to be happy? Nick Powdthavee has figured it out and is ready to share his ‘equation’ with us.


Music is empowering and it can tackle social issues. LMNZ is a renowned hip hop artist that believes hip hop is an international language in its own right.

Katerina Gregos

Art is for everyone. Artists and art platforms challenge our perception of social and political events, and Katerina believes art can contribute so much more then we give it credit for.

Bas Smets

Bas Smets has a mission: creating a Flemish landscape where there is none. He will tell us how he plans to reconcile ‘fermette’ with ‘forest’.

Rafal Urbaniak

What is logic? Real mathematical logic? And how can you use it in real life to make better choices? Rafal knows…

Bram Bonné

Connecting to public Wi-Fi networks means you’re giving up a part of your privacy. Bram will show us how you can really protect your information without losing the benefits of free Wi-Fi.


18:00 – 19:30

Closing reception @ City Hall

We proudly present some of the bright minds that will share their views at TEDxGhent this year. As usual, we feature a wide array of topics including music, chemistry, astronomy, politics, archeology, psychology, etc.


Lieven Scheire

Your host

Lieven Scheire is smart, he’s funny, he’s an excellent writer, an enthousiastic wikipedia contributor and with his own tv show Scheire en de schepping, he has almost single-handedly made science hip again. He did an excellent job hosting TEDxGhent 2012 and 2013, so we’re very glad that Belgium’s most beloved geek has agreed to be the host of TEDxGhent 2014 as well!


Alphonse Muambi

Dutch-Congolese opinion maker, mathematician and lobbyist

Alphonse Muambi will share his views on Western democracy. In recent history we have implemented a Western democratic system in several countries. Did it leave marks or scars? Many elections have led to violence. Is it time to try a different recipe? Muambi will broaden our views.


Nick Powdthavee

Happiness economist

What makes you happy? How do you achieve ‘happiness’? Nick (Nattavudh) Powdthavee, is an economist at the London School of Economics, a professor in the economics of happiness and the author of ‘The Happiness Equation’. He will be adding his sprinkle of happiness to TEDxGhent 2014.


Hanny van Arkel

Biologist & accidental astronomer

Hanny is a Dutch biology teacher whose life took an interesting turn due to a gas cloud somewhere out there next to a galaxy far far away. Sounds strange? While volunteering with an online citizen science project Galaxy Zoo, she discovered a new astronomical object known as ‘Hanny’s Voorwerp’. In her presentation, Hanny will share her story of becoming a famous amateur astronomer, and the story of ‘Hanny’s Voorwerp’. Additionally, she will explain how everyone can participate in citizen science projects and where the power of such projects lays.


Philippe De Smedt

Archeologist on a quad

Philippe De Smedt, winner of the Eos Golden Pipet 2013, is an extraordinary archeologist and bioengineer. This promising young researcher is also nominated as ‘the most remarkable Ghentian’ (Strafste Gentenaar). In his early career he was able to detect the outlines of a medieval building complex without actually exposing the archeological site. He is currently working at Stonehenge. If you happen to be around and you see a young man racing on a quad, do not disturb him. It is archeologist without a spade Philippe De Smedt.


Sylvia Van Peteghem

Chief Librarian of the Ghent University Library

Sylvia Van Peteghem has been working at the Ghent University Library since 1983. She started in the ephemera-collection of the Special Collections Department and got fascinated with the 19th Century collection. In October 2000, she became Chief Librarian. The library is part of the research department of the University of Ghent and its mission is facilitating open knowledge creation. Open Access is an important item for the library team. In 2007 the university became a partner of the Google Book Search Program. This means 200,000 copyright free books are digitized and free online. By the way, Sylvia Van Peteghem is very happy to have her office in the wonderful booktower of Henry van de Velde, even though it is turned upside down at the moment due to restoration works.


Bas Smets

Engineer-architect and landscape designer

Every year, Bas Smets and his team of architects design one private garden, numerous landscapes and many public places from Ingelmunster to Paris. In Belgium, he is on a mission. According to Bas, Flanders has no landscape. At least no landscape that gives structure to our scenery. Starting from natural elements that are already present, Bas Smets tries to reconcile Spanish haciendas with bicycle paths next to canals.


Bram Bonné

Computer sciences PhD student

Bram is a PhD student in computer science at the Expertise Centre for Digital Media at Hasselt University, where he specializes in computer security and privacy. During his PhD, he developed an interest in privacy-sensitive information leaking from smartphones and laptops. At TEDxGhent 2014, he will scare you by showing the information that is available to anyone willing to listen. But don’t worry, he will also explain what you can do to prevent privacy-sensitive information from leaking.


Koert Van Mensvoort

Philosopher and artist

If you saw black roses grow in your garden, would you still call it nature? Koert van Mensvoort, an artist, philosopher and scientist, says it is Next Nature. Our attempts to save the environment might actually protect a world flooded by human technology instead. Koert will let you walk on the thin line between machinery and nature. Until then, enjoy the greens on your plate, but be aware that they may have grown in a nature that is more uncontrollable than ever due to the omnipresent technology.


Michele Coninsx

Eurojust president

In 2012, the Belgian Michèle Coninsx was elected as president of Eurojust in The Hague. She coordinates the fight against fraud, terrorism and organized crime in EU member states. As a Master in Law and in Criminology, Michèle Coninsx was a prosecutor in major national crime cases. Her Master in Air Law and Aviation Security made her an expert in anti-terrorism related to aircraft sabotage and hijacking. That is what we call a top career. The Belgian authorities agreed on that, and gave her the title of Baroness.


Hauke Egermann

Music & emotions researcher

Dr. Hauke Egermann is a researcher connected to the Technische Universität Berlin, investigating music, sound and media with empirical research methods. Have you ever wondered why music can have such a profound impact on your mood? How one song can move you to tears in 2 minutes flat and another can make you smile? Well, Dr. Egermann was wondering the same thing and thanks to two distinct but complementary research projects he will have some insights to share with us about the connection between music and our most profound emotions.



Rapper & producer

Berlin based Markus Gram, aka LMNZ, is a true believer in the power of music. Using hip hop he addresses social injustices of all kinds in his own work but he is also involved in several other youth and music projects. He is the German ambassador for the European Commission “Youth on the Move” international programme. He often works with artists from all over the world. By doing so, he succeeds to connect with otherwise difficult to reach crowds. His album “Worldwide Rap” features 76 international artists and contains 29 languages. He raises awareness about subjects such as homophobia and encourages cross-cultural dialogue. At TEDxGhent 2014 he will both perform for us and tell us some more about how music is an international language in its own right.


Dirk Ryckbosch

Professor in particle physics

Dirk Ryckbosch is a Belgian professor in particle physics and since 2006 he’s been the chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He will introduce us to the fascinating field of neutrinos. Which is – to be honest – pretty difficult. Thanks to the discovery of these ‘ghost particles’ (they can move through almost everything but that also makes them really hard to find) and the IceCube project, we can really learn something new about the universe. Dirk Ryckbosch will take us with him on his chase for this extra-terrestrial particles and tell us what they could mean not only for physics, but also for our understanding of the universe as we know it.


Jonathan de Roo

Chemistry PhD student

Jonathan de Roo is the winner of our TEDxGhent PhD contest. He is halfway his PhD in chemistry specialising in new nanoparticles that can be employed in applications for a sustainable future, like hydrogen generation and superconductors. Yes, chemistry is more than a dull business involving books and equations!


The Mixfitz

DJ crew

The Mixfitz is not just another DJ crew. It consists of three top turntablists – DJ Cross (IFC), DJ Damented (Killa Tactics) and DJ Jack (IFC) – joining forces, and seamlessly blending their flavor in music and mixing. They all earned their stripes in the international DJ-battle circuit, and in 2012 they garnered the highest medal of them all; that of DMC Team World Champions. But there’s more in the world than competitions: you may have caught The Mixfitz in the Studio Brussels ether as Playground residents, or live in the mix at big parties and festivals. At TEDxGhent 2014 they will take on the challenge to give us a musical recap of all the knowledge we absorbed throughout the day.


Thomas Laureyssens

Interaction-designer, lecturer and artist at the Media Arts Design Faculty

Thomas’ research straddles the border between social design and ludic design, within the urban context. Currently, he is conducting artistic PhD research on the way in which games, ludic interventions and participatory tools for the urban environment can be used to improve the quality of these spaces, making them more social. Before joining the Media Arts Design Faculty as a design researcher and lecturer in 2007, he combined studio work with experimental media-arts projects. He collaborated on several national and international research initiatives and cultural productions. For the urban game ZWERM, he joined forces with iMinds iLab.o, Alcatel Bel Labs, VUB, UGent and the City of Ghent.


Katerina Gregos

Independent curator and exhibitions organiser

Katerina Gregos is convinced that contemporary art has an important role to play in society, as one of the last frontiers of free expression. Today, artists and cultural practitioners, rather than politicians, are leading some of the key discussions about the state of the world. Contemporary artists challenge each and every one of us to reinterpret social and political events, and crack cemented opinions as well as dominant narratives propagated by the media and those in power. As an internationally respected curator, Katerina has curated a number of exhibitions dedicated to exploring the relationship between art, politics, democracy, the new global production circuits, and human rights. Let yourself be inspired by Katerina’s talk at TEDxGhent 2014, and find out what contemporary art can contribute to society.


Pieter Colpaert

Open Knowledge enthusiast

After a legal dispute with the Belgian railway company about using data from the Web for iRail.be he co-founded the Open Knowledge Foundation Belgium in 2012. This foundation advocates open knowledge in various fields in Belgium. In 2013 he started pursuing a PhD in Open Transport Data at MultiMediaLab – iMinds – Ghent University. He will talk about the possibilities of Open Knowledge applications that can help us with everyday questions, like how long it will take to get to work that day. A lot of frustration caused by the fact that the answers to such questions are not accessible, will be history soon.


Rafal Urbaniak

Logician & philosopher

Rafal Urbaniak is a Polish logician interested in applying formal methods to philosophical issues and problem solving in general. He obtained his PhD at the University of Calgary and is now a Postdoc at Ghent University. He strongly believes more people should understand logic and his goal will be to provide the audience with a glimpse of the intricacies involved…



This year, our main event will take place in the wonderful NTGent building. For our lunch break, we’ll take a short walk to the Vlerick building & our closing reception will be held at city hall.

NTGent Schouwburg
Sint-Baafsplein 17
9000 Gent



Standard tickets (€58) include all day access to the event, lunch and reception after the event. A ‘Friend of TEDxGhent’ ticket (€95) also provides you with reserved seating, meet & greet with the speakers on Friday at a reception, plus your name mentioned in our booklet.


Buy tickets

Payments can be made through VISA/MasterCard or Paypal. Should you have any issues with our online payment tool, please send an e-mail to info@tedxghent.be. We will then work out a bank transfer with you.



With so many smart people together at TEDxGhent, there will surely be attendees who can change your life: a future business partner, a soulmate, an employer, a future colleague or perhaps a first client.

Because we wouldn’t want you to miss out on all those potential encounters, we will launch a networking web app at our main event: TEDxGhent Connect.

Using the TEDxGhent networking web app, you will be able to browse attendees and set up meetings. Here’s how it will work:

1. Browse through attendee profiles. Check out what knowledge attendees can share and what they are looking for.

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2. Indicate the attendees you would like to meet


3. If it’s a match, you can contact each other


You will be notified a couple of days before the TEDxGhent conference when the web app becomes available, so you can start networking at home.

During the event, we will have several breaks during which you can meet up with other attendees. We will have a lunch break, a coffee break and a reception afterwards. The TEDxGhent team will install clear meeting points so you won’t have any trouble locating each other.

This web app was previously used at the TEDxUHasselt event and resulted in 110 successful matches. Is is created by Rutger Bevers – www.rutgerbevers.be – and Martijn Croonen from TEDxUHasselt.