TEDxAmsterdam 2009

The first edition of TEDxAmsterdam took place on 20 November 2009 at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. With only 6 months of preparation the event -according to several guests- was a ‘blasting experience’.

Twenty speakers gave their TEDx-talk on stage and three of them were immediately invited to speak at TEDGlobal in the next year: Christien Meindertsma, Marcel Dicke and Karsu Dönmez.

Frans Timmermans
Opening speaker Frans Timmermans gave an impressive speech about embracing fear.

The event captured a lot of attention. Both from the media (with full page articles in national newspapers) and from very motivated guests. This was the first time that a conference in The Netherlands saw a waiting list of more than 4500 people.

To make sure that we had a TED-worthy audience (where diversity is key) we therefore organized several challenges for tickets and used our TEDxAmsterdam Braintrust to come up with the right mix.


600 people were present at the main venue, more than 1000 people across 30 other locations

Thanks to our sponsors we were able to make the event free of charge, or -as our founder Jim Stolze likes to say- ‘priceless’. Also because of this support we could live-stream the event to 1000 visitors of these so called simulcast locations and 18.000 on the web.

The biggest thank you is for our team of 30 crew members and volunteers who really gave it all they had.


Our team of volunteers, thanked by moderator Joris Luyendijk and the audience

Also we’re very proud to say that we were nominated by High Profile for their Event Award 2009 and that our program book has won a European Design Award.

 Watch all TEDxAmsterdam 2009 Talks on our Youtube Playlist.

  Watch all photographs of TEDxAMS 2009 in our Flickr Album.