TEDxAmsterdam 2018: The Big X

The future is a big puzzle and we're all part of it

For the 10th edition of TEDxAmsterdam New Heroes has created a dramaturgic red line throughout the whole program. From beginning till end. To make the visitors part of an overall story. Every part of the day did not stand on its own but was a part of a bigger picture.

That bigger picture is formed around this years theme ‘The Big X’. The Big X stood for several things. The birthday of TEDx, 10 years of inspiring talks and the city of Amsterdam. The city we love and get inspired by. But the X also stood for something else, which brought everything together. The Big X was about the big unknown. About the answers we need to questions about the future. In the complex times we are living in, celebrating an event like TEDx was not only about naming milestones, but also about looking forward. What does Amsterdam look like in another 10 years? What are the challenges and opportunities? There are so many questions and there are even more answers.

The future is a big puzzel. But the question is who has the answers? 
We all have.
We are all part of the future.
We all are a piece in the big puzzle.

The concept of a big puzzle in which everyone is a piece was leading throughout TEDxAmsterdam 2018. Everyone that came to TEDx got a fiscal puzzle piece. Visitors, speakers, storytellers, performers, everyone. On their piece they drew their contribution to the future. Everyone connected his or her piece of the puzzle to another piece of someone else. In different foyers and to the main stage. This created huge puzzle sculptures. And, as the program developed, the set on the main stage grew and grew. At the end all the puzzle pieces came together during a great endshow. After that show the audience could take a puzzle piece home.

The Big X Brainstorm

New Heroes did not only create an inspiring opening and endshow in which the puzzleconcept was present. For this edition of TEDx we did something that has never been done before in the history of TEDx. We held the biggest brainstorm of Amsterdam about the future of the city: The Big X Brainstorm. In the main hall of the International Theatre Amsterdam. We invited a huge group of speakers around five very actual themes happening in society today: Healthcare, Technology, Culture, Humanity and Environment.

Drawing on their personal expertise these TEDxTrigger Speakers told a triggering story they needed to share. But, they also needed input of the audience because everyone is part of the future; we’re all a piece in the puzzle. Therefore they have brought a puzzle piece as well with 1 concrete question on it and asked the visitors to come up with an answer and visualize this on a puzzle piece as well and connect this to his/her piece.

As a result the visitors hereby created a self made exhibition about the future of the city made out of five core sculptures addressing the five core themes. In addition two professional drawers walked around during the brainstorm sessions and made 5 great drawings, of each theme one, to be presented at the end of the day by the top 5 TEDxTrigger Speakers and available for the press.