Menno van Rosmalen is 27 years old, social innovator, entrepreneur, TEDx Player and just a vortex of energy. He’s part of the program group within TEDx and he’s driven by the belief in those special kind of people with “Ideas Worth Spreading”.
Hi Menno! Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, your passions and ambitions.
I hope to be a person that is very open to its surroundings and very open for ideas. I love to interact with people and to ‘make things happen’. Starting with an idea and developing it into something real. While doing that I think I focus on the people around me and not on ‘what’ people are or how you ‘should’ interact or behave. We are all individuals doing it their own way. That attitude partly comes from finding my own path, not confirming to what you are supposed to do, but also from people I met the last years. Everyone has their background which results in what people do. What I love to do is finding common ground and try to make things better for everyone. That is why I studied Social Innovation (actually, I still am… ) and I get enthusiastic in connecting different worlds.
When did you first heard of TED talks and is there one talk that stuck with you throughout the years?
When I started studying I got in touch with ‘Start With Why’ by Simon Sinek. What I love was the attitude of the TED-talks: not someone trying to sell, convince or teach you anything, but people
who were really enthusiastic about what they did or learned. It is difficult to select one talk, so I will choose the first TED-talk: Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe – Simon Sinek. An extremely well built talk about leadership which makes you behave different towards others from the second you see it.
Why drove you to become part of the TEDxBreda team?
Already more than 2 years back the possibility came to organize TEDxBreda. I was at that point of looking for more experience and TED turned out to be a great platform for that. At start I was mainly interested in finding speakers, but learning how an organization with volunteers works is probably the thing I got most out of organizing TEDxBreda
TEDx is composed of various groups, collaborating within the same fireframe. What group are you part of and what does that involve?
I am a part of the team that is responsible for the program of TEDxBreda, we search for speakers, discover with the what their ‘Idea Worth Spreading’ is and get them ready for the event. Besides that I am the link with the coregroup. So I share our resultst with that group and get to think about the values of TEDxBreda and if we are ‘still on track’ as an organization.
How would you describe the rewards of the activities that we do?
I hope this is different for each person, as TEDxBreda should be a platform for people to start activities they like to do, as long as it connects to the unwritten values of TEDxBreda. For me it is meeting a lot of people, learning from people and helping speakers to be at their best at our event.
What are your hobbies and interests?
Beside organizing TEDxBreda I work a lot with Social Innovation. As a entrepreneur I moderate or facilitate events where groups of people come together to talk about a certain subject. I always try to let that moment be as valuable as possible for everyone. With some others I set up PakhuisB, which is a hub for people to meet about innovation and transition. This results mostly in organizing events, but also bringing the right people together.
What are the three things that you would bring with you if you were strangled on a deserted island?
One thing for not getting bored, like books. One thing for survival, which could be a really good knife and one thing to become really good in, like my diabolo!
Gamification – this year’s theme: How did games or playfulness influence you?
I think an important reason people play games is because they can experiment while playing. I try to keep that attitude in my daily life.
Do you wish to share any thoughts on the TEDx Breda 2016 edition?
It is going to be an awesome day! Our group of speakers is fantastic and I get the chance to be host, connecting all speakers and setting the right vibe!