Sunday afternoon at the art deco building of the Kunstmuseum, I find myself in a civilized crowd of Monet loving visitors. Unlike the huge amount of visitors, I’m not here for the Monet exhibition, I’m meeting 4 out of the 9 TEDxWassenaar speakers.

The guard uses her badge and lets me enter the Berlage room. I feel the atmosphere architect H. P. Berlage envisioned. He wanted to give ordinary people the feeling that they were entering a temple of culture where they could encounter art in peaceful surroundings. The crowd noise fades away while the solid door closes. This room is the expression of peaceful, both in 1935 and in 2020.

On this gloomy February afternoon, I’m encoutering a different type of art: the birthing of 4 TEDx talks. The speakers and speaker coach Anneke Brouwer are in a flow state. I’m witnessing a group process of sculpting the rough outline of their talks. “Keep the Curly Wurly story!”

The world is so complex that you need people to solve problems.

I feel priviliged to seat myself at the magnificent art deco conference table. Symmetry, proportions and rhythm were very important to Berlage, and his way of creating timeless beauty. Did Berlage design the room to wrap the conference table? Would Berlage have used an Apple laptop meeting with the builders and city commissioners? Glancing out of the window, I enjoy the novelty at the time of its opening in 1935: every room in the museum admits daylight.

Suddenly, I noticed Margot van Brakel’s eyes lighting up when she says “It’s so cool to make this puzzle together. It’s a composition and in the end it will be one piece which fits all. No seperate talks. It just fits like a perfect puzzle.” This is what it takes to prepare for your TEDx talk. Discussing the similarities and differences between F-16 pilot fighters hierarchy and a role based culture like the Maori’s, valuing ‘mana’.

In the end, all individual talks will be uploaded to the TED online platform. When you watch the talks online only, you might think all talks are solely self-contained. Witnessing this creative group process, I realize this group of people – organizing team and all TEDx speakers – have a joint life purpose. The speakers in the room all agree: “The world is so complex, you need people to solve problems”.

Thank you H.P. Berlage for your inspirational vision and foresight. The ripple effect of Berlage’s designs is undebatable. This group of people, speakers and organizers, are living their purpose. These talks will be a stone in the water, producing a ripple effect and touching people’s hearts and life’s.