Speakers Talk Life After University And Recruitment At Spaces Herengracht

Last Thursday, entrepreneurs, recruiters and talents looking for a job provided tools for better recruitment, stronger interconnectivity and talent development at Spaces Herengracht. Amsterdam Talks Tech hosted its “Workforce Edition.”  Four speakers were invited: Laurent Scholten, Thomas Moes, Dr. Marcia Goddard and Jorg Ruis.


Dozens attend Amsterdam Talks Tech on Thursday, June 14th at Spaces Herengracht. Valeria Mongelli / Staff writer

Keeping your employees happy

Remy Gieling, editor-in-chief of Sprout, presented the event. Sprout is a startup that informs entrepreneurs on the latest business developments through articles, magazines, newsletters and various events. Comfortably, the speakers were sitting on a sofa on stage, which contributed to creating an informal atmosphere. Gieling started the talk by asking the audience to think of their first job. Short interviews between speakers and  attendees revealed past experiences gone wrong at supermarket cashiers, cinema ticket offices and online underwear sales. “How did your work experience improved since then?” Gieling asked. “As a manager, how can you improve your employees’ work conditions?” Speakers Laurent Scholten, founder of Wonderland, a start-up that optimises job search and recruitment, and Thomas Moes, co-founder of Homerun, a recruitment software that aims to simplify the connection between entrepreneurs and potential employees, were called to answer. According to them, satisfied employees translate into a healthy business. “It’s important to make people happier through work,” confirmed Moes. The speakers agreed that nowadays society spends more time with  their colleagues than with their friends or family, which is why it is important to choose who you are working with. Uber and Booking.com are among the clients of Wonderland, Scholten’s start-up that looks for the best candidates based on demographics, interests and online behavior. The platform can also be used as a tool for job seekers to find the job that fits them best.



Goddard’s teamwork philosophy

The second round of speakers hosted Jorg Rues, founder of Culture Builders, and Dr. Marcia Goddard, a 33-year-old neuroscientist now working at YoungCapital. Goddard used to be an assistant professor in Leiden, before she realized that academia did not bring her happiness anymore. The woman later got hired at Young Capital despite what she describes as her atypical profile. “We have no idea of what to do with you,” they told her. “But they gave me a chance,” Goddard remembers. She developed a new system for evaluating social assessment in an enterprise. A growth mindset, according to her, is the result of  teamwork, willingness to take risks, intrinsic motivation, and empathy. This recipe is is tested by socio-psychological experiments to quantify those behaviors within YoungCapital’s employees. As an example of this process, the prisoner’s dilemma was used to assess employees’ teamwork, and the Cambridge gambling task for individuals’ will to take risks. Like Goddards, Jorg Rues believes that taking risks is the key to a successful enterprise. “The best example is Pixar,” he explains. “Take the cartoon Wall-E. It’s a movie about robots, where no one speaks for the first 35 minutes. In a pitch, that would sound like a very bad idea. But they took the risk, they did it, and it was a success.”


From left: Jorg Ruis and Dr. Marcia Goddard speak at Amsterdam Talks Tech on June 14. Valeria Mongelli / Staff

When advising people who are looking for their first job, Dr. Goddard claimed: “Don’t limit yourself. Explore, take risks, and if you are not happy, look for something else.” Often, universities do not always provide sufficient help to prepare students for the job market.  “There is a huge gap between what students are taught and what they actually have to do when they start working unless you end up working in academia,” she said. “The whole university system needs to change. University should be more aware of what’s going on in the world, and care less about the academic bubble.”

Spaces: Towards a new concept of work

Besides organizing talks and events for both entrepreneurs and the general public, Spaces also offers co-working spaces for innovative enterprises. 37-year-old Lindsay Pronk, Head of Content, has been working at Spaces for many years. Maxime Tielman, 25, from Rotterdam, has started working for Spaces in March as Event Manager. The company aims to connect working people with each other. “Working alone in your office may not be a very motivating experience, whereas a space where you feel inspired by other workers can facilitate your own success,” said Pronk. “All Spaces buildings have an open area in the center, where people can meet each other and have a coffee.”

Some of the events, like Amsterdam Talks Tech are not only for the Spaces community itself but also for external attendees. “During our events we want to bring people together, inspire them and maybe even learn them something new,” explains Tielman. “The idea of Talks Tech is to be a platform for entrepreneurs, but also for the general public to discover the latest developments in the tech world.”

Founded in 2006, Spaces now counts five locations in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Den Haag. The first location, alongside Herengracht, opened in 2008.


The audience

Natascha Manuputty, 48 years old, is a Dutch woman with Indonesian origins. In the past, she worked in tourism and leisure management, and she is now looking for the next step in her career. Manuputty attended Amsterdam Talks Tech to look for inspiration. “I am interested in the new trends of the tech world, but also on the human aspect of work,” she explains. “Nowadays, everyone talks about Artificial Intelligence, about how robots can replace all human functions. There isn’t much focus on solving the problems of real people at work. These talks gave an overview of both tech and human perspectives. It was a great lineup.”


Natascha Manuputty, 48, talks with another member of the audience at Amsterdam Talks Tech. Manuputty attended the event to find some inspiration for the next step of her career. Valeria Mongelli / Staff

Metro Reporter, Fall 2018

Best 10 Places to Watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Tomorrow, the 2018 FIFA World Cup will begin- without the Dutch football team. In light of this news, some of the most iconic places in Amsterdam have decided not to continue their tradition of showing the tournament this year. Sadly, among them are Vondelpark3 and Radio 538 Oranjeplein, who showed the tournament in 2014 but will not do so now.

However, if you are a strong supporter of a different team, or simply one of the 3.2 billion viewers that gather every 4 years to watch the World Cup, The Amsterdammer is here to help! We propose 10 places that have confirmed the projection of the games in the Dutch capital.

Strandzuid Amsterdam

Starting from June 14, this place will show the games on the beach! The bar is located next to RAI Amsterdam, which makes it easy to reach. It is unique for its view and concept, which was built as a beach bar. You can enjoy the game while drinking a cold beer on the sand, making the most of those sunny days! For more information, visit their website.

Address: Europaplein 22, 1078 GZ Amsterdam

Amsterdam Roest

Amsterdam Roest is an industrial wasteland that was turned into a man-made beach. Famous among locals, this hidden gem will be displaying every game of this year’s FIFA World Cup. It is the perfect place to have a drink and share with your friends while you’re watching the games.

Address: Jacob Bontiusplaats 1, 1018 LL Amsterdam

Plan B

This billiard club owns 13 pool tables and 3 dartboards. If you’d like to play your own tournament while you drink and enjoy the game, then this is the place for you! They also have a smoking room for those particularly stressful fixtures. They will be displaying every game of this year’s FIFA World Cup. For more information, visit their website.

Address: Overtoom 209B, 1054 HT Amsterdam

Satellite Sports Café

Right at the heart of Leidseplein and neighbour to Amsterdam’s most famous coffeeshop, the Satellite Sports Café projects live sports on a daily basis. For this year’s FIFA World Cup, the café will be showing all the games. For more information, visit their website.

Address: Leidseplein 11, 1017 PS Amsterdam

Coco’s Outback

This Australian pub, located in Rembrandtplein, is famous among tourists and international students. Like Satellite Sports Café, they always project different live sports during the day. This year, you can expect every game to be projected in their screens. For more information, visit their website.

Address: 14, Thorbeckeplein 8, 1017 CS Amsterdam


Near Dam Square, this bar is famous for having the longest Happy Hour of Amsterdam. During the FIFA World Cup, the games will be projected in 10 flat screen TVs inside and outside the bar! For more information, visit their website.

Address: Warmoesstraat 129, 1012 JA, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Big Shots Bar

If you’re looking for a small, chill bar to eat and drink while watching the game, the Big Shots Bar is your best bet. It is located in the Red Light District and has multiple TVs that will be displaying the tournament.

Address: Warmoesstraat 94, 1012 JH Amsterdam

Café De Zeemeeuw

Located at walking distance from Amsterdam Centraal, this Dutch café is famous for its friendly staff. They will be displaying every game of this year’s FIFA World Cup. Visit their website for more information.

Address: Zeedijk 102, 1012 BB Amsterdam

Players Bar

Located right next to the Dam Square, the Players Cafe is a large pub with a capacity of 450 people! Some pool tables are available for the customers and every game will be displayed.

Address: Warmoesstraat 170, Dam Square, 1012 JK Amsterdam


The Westergasterras is at the heart of Westerpark, and has a terrace with the view of the water. This year, they will only be displaying the games played by the Belgian team on their big screen. They are expecting over 3,000 people, so they are yet to confirm the showcasing of the final.

Address: Klonneplein 4-6, 1014 DD Amsterdam

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Isabel Bonnet is a 21-year-old second-year student in communication science at UvA. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Amsterdammer. Before its creation, she worked as a photo editor at the Independent Florida Alligator and did an internship at Le Monde.

Above 500 UvA Students Rally Against National Budget Cuts

Over 500 students and staff-members took the streets last Friday during the March for Education. Participants demonstrated against national budget cuts on higher education.


Students hold a banner that reads “March for Education” in Dutch stand in front of De Dokwerker statue at Jonas Daniël Meijerplein, on Friday afternoon. Protesters demonstrated against cutbacks. Raluca Dumitrache/ Staff Photographer

The rally was the result of a union between the Humanities Rally UvA, the New University (NU), the ASVA student union and organisations in Groningen, Utrecht and Nijmegen. Overall, protesters asked for democracy, a fair funding structure, diversity and for the budget cuts not to affect the quality of education.

Protesters marched from Oudemanhuispoort to Roeterseilandcampus, where some set up their tents outside the campus. However, the demonstration was stopped at night, where the police evicted dozens of students. According to witnesses, many student were injured in the process. Protesters asked UvA President of the Executive Board, Geert ten Dam, to provide an explanation to the police intervention.

Rosanne Beentjes, a sociology student at UvA, believes the march aimed to draw attention on the issue and involve more people to the movement. “I hope this will become a broader movement in society,” Beentjes said. Like the 23-year-old student, protesters believe the march would be a way to raise awareness on the issue no only at an university level, but in society as well. “Maybe we can make it broader than only this student movement,” Beentjes explains. “I think there are a lot of capitalist and neoliberal influences in society […] and corporate businesses are really having a big influence of what’s going on in society and this is really an example of this and it what is happening at the university.” Indeed, the march has been covered by important news media such as Vice, De Telegraph, Het Parool and NL Times.

Participants claimed that students from faculties other than the one of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences should be equally concerned about the changes. “I am a humanities student and this kind of policy will gradually take away the funding from the whole [degree] because there’s […] the whole idea about reducing courses and programmes, so that’s going to affect everybody” said Parvez, a 32-year-old literature and cultural analysis student at UvA. “Maybe it’s not gonna affect [me] while I am still a student, but future students will be affected.” Indeed, after the government announced  cutbacks of 183 million on higher education, different sectors of the University of Amsterdam were announced to be directly affected. In an email sent to the student of the Humanities and Social Behavioural Sciences faculty, a decrease in tutorial hours and in amount of lecturers for next year were announced.


A flyer from the March for Education reads “Struggle for quality. Struggle against budget cuts.” The rally started at Oudemanhuispoort and ended at Roeterseilandcampus on Friday evening. Raluca Dumitrache/ Staff Photographer

In 2015, students occupied the Maagdenhuis for over a month to protest similar issues. Doubt persists among people who wonder if the efforts will lead to a change this time. For Parvez, they will only get to make a change if they continue to raise awareness. “My personal experience tells me that no movement can succeed with one or two events,” he explains. “Back there (in my country) we’ll get beat up, with teargas and stuff […]. This (protest) is in that way much better, you can protest, negotiate and be democratic about it.”

Photographer at The Amsterdammer

TEDxAmsterdam Set for Spring

A teeming crowd gathered at Spaces in Vijzelstraat last Thursday for the Spring Edition of TEDxAmsterdam, where 4 speakers were invited to perform: Ariah Lester, Thijs van Vuure, Prof. and Dr. Fons Trompenaars, and Astrid Sonneveld. The original line-up of inspirational speakers aimed to create a movement around ideas worth spreading, made by people who “dream to make the world a better place.”


Dozens attend the TEDxAmsterdam Spring edition on Thursday at Vijzelstraat. Yunfu Duan / Staff photographer

The speakers

Opening the night with a Limoncello Prosecco cocktail, attendees met around small stage where a pair of headphones awaited under everyone’s chair. Winner of the 2017 TEDxAmsterdam Award, Astrid Sonneveld launched the event. The young engineer and founder of GoodShipping, a program that aims at replacing ships’ heavy fuel oil with marine biofuel, explained how her organization helps in reducing the pollution of marine environment.

As Sonneveld ended her talk, biologist and philosopher Thijs van Vuure put the headphones to use. Slowed-down bird songs resonated on the audience’s ears while he asked them to imitate what they heard. Attendees’ voices fastened up: they “birdified,” as van Vuure describes it. According to the speaker, everybody needs to feel “what it is like to be a bird.” With his performance, van Vuure believes he had given the audience the opportunity to feel connected with each other by turning them into “one big, collective bird.” In the description of the event, the speaker is described to “[combine] the best of [art, philosophy and science] into a mind-blowing experience which is sure to leave a unique impression.” And so he did.

When Ariah Lester took the stage, his explosive performance started. A black lace shirt, a tight corset and a black eyeliner on his eyelids, he sang in falsetto and provoked the public with his body language. Professor and Dr. Fons Trompenaars followed Lester as the last speaker of the night. Described as “one of the world’s most influential living management thinkers,” the entrepreneur advised the audience on how to create a culture of innovation, bringing creativity in a team by reconciling individual opposites.


Ariah Lester sings in falsetto at the TEDxAmsterdam Spring Edition in Vijzelstraat on Thursday evening. Lester marked the night with his humorous provocations. Yunfu Duan / Staff Photographer


TEDxAmsterdam: Out of the ordinary

Monique van Dusseldorp, a freelance event curator specialised in media and technology, is part of the founding team of TEDxAmsterdam, which was created 10 years ago. The US-based non-profit organisation TED has gained popularity with its TEDx program which has been devoted to spreading innovative ideas in the form of short talks since 1984. The events are usually organized by local foundations, with the purpose of bringing people together to share a TED-like experience. Van Dusseldorp’s mission is to “give an audience and a voice to people who want to change the world.” Indeed, the 52-year-old explains that even though there are many TEDx projects worldwide,  TEDxAmsterdam stands out because of its focus. “[We] focus on Amsterdam’s peculiarities,” she said. “There is a difference between the ‘We-fix-everything’ American approach and ours. Maybe we are more skeptical, but more realistic, and hence closer to the truth.”

TEDxAmsterdam tries to capture the city’s innovative mind set. “In Amsterdam, you can say things before they are said anywhere else” explains van Dusseldorp. “For example, TEDxAmsterdam got the first talk on gay marriage. We try to explore the edges.” The TEDx spirit is affine to the one of Amsterdam where, according to the freelance event curator, people from different cultures and background meet. “That is the reason why so many new ideas flourish here. Here, you can be anything you want.”

The audience

29-year-old Edina Struhar, an employee in a recruiting agency in Rotterdam, enjoyed the event. The Hungarian woman was accompanied with a few to colleagues who together came to Amsterdam specifically to attend the event. “I love TEDx”, Struhar said. “[I]t allows you to make new friends and networking at the same time.” Indeed, Vincent Somers, a 54-year-old Dutch entrepreneur, believes TEDxAmsterdam is a useful tool for networking. and tries to apply the TEDx spirit in his daily life. “I make the world a better place by creating a real team in my company,” he said. “I try to be open with my employees, ask them advice, try to solve problems together with them.” At home, Somers teaches his two children this “do-it-together” philosophy. “I hope they will learn to be always interested in their neighbour.”

When announcing the break, van Dusseldorp encouraged the attendees to have a drink with a stranger. “If two of you go on a date after the talk you win two tickets for the TEDxAmsterdam event next November,” she said. “Don’t be shy, 15 minutes are enough to fall in love.” TEDxAmsterdam’s 10th edition, or “the big X,” is expecting 10,000 people on November 29 to continue to spread ideas.


Vincent Somers, a 54-year-old Dutch entrepreneur, eats at the TEDxAmsterdam Spring Edition. Dozens attended the event at Spaces on Thursday evening. Somers believes TEDxAmsterdam is a useful tool for networking and tries to apply the TEDx spirit to his daily life. Yunfu Duan / Staff Photographer

Metro Reporter, Fall 2018