Week of Inspiration 2023


The Week of Inspiration 2023 was a highly successful collaboration of Studium Generale and Honours Association Ockham, inspiring countless students, employees, and visitors from the region! From May 8 through 12, there were lectures with a diverse mix of relevant topics and a healthy combination of smaller, interactive audiences and filled-to-the-brim halls.

We recorded most of the lectures and made them publically available on YouTube!


Week of Inspiration 2023
In May the University of Twente will celebrate its 61st anniversary. During the week before the Dies Natalis the UT treats you to a programme packed with inspiration and fun. Come and join with your friends and listen to speakers of national and international fame. We have surprising topics ranging from astronomy to mental health and of course free drinks and lunches! Everybody is welcome at these free and sustainable events: students, non-students, people from the region and beyond. 

Powered by Studium Generale, Honours Programme and Honours Association Ockham

Get inspired and visit the Week of Inspiration 2023!

  • Monday lunch: Rosanne Hertzberger - In technology we trust?

    Rosanne Hertzberger

    Monday 8 May | 12:45-13.45 | Vrijhof/Agora

    Robotics and AI are promising technologies. They proved very useful in the contexts of industry, army and science and might solve a lot of our future problems. However, time shows that these technologies have limitations. Dr. Rosanne Hertzberger states that we have to question mythical dreams about technology and acknowledge that humans and human interaction are of the utmost importance. Rosanne Hertzberger is microbiologist and a well-known talk show guest. She also writes striking columns, for instance in the NRC. In cooperation with Ideefiks.

    Moderator: drs. Hiska Bakker (Studium Generale)

    Free lunch; no registration required 

  • Tuesday lunch: Ap Verheggen - Making water in the desert

    Ap Verheggen

    Tuesday 9 May | 12:45-13.45 | Vrijhof/Agora

    Droughts are occurring more frequently due to climate change. Deserts are becoming vaster than ever thus endangering the lives of millions of people. One solution is to be able to make water in dry places. Ir. Ap Verheggen is an inventor who realized a machine which produces water by using condensation. After years of trying and with help of general Tom Middendorp he succeeded in his quest for water in the desert. His SunGlacier-technology provided water for the Netherlands Pavilion (World Expo 2020, Dubai), for which Marjan van Aubel designed the solar panels. In cooperation with, Astatine and SAB-ITC.

    Moderator: Oleksandr Mialyk MSc (PhD Candidate in Water and Land Scarcity, UT). 

    Free lunch; no registration required 

  • Tuesday evening: Tom Middendorp - Climate General

    Tom Middendorp

    Tuesday 9 May | 19:30-21:00 | Vrijhof/Agora

    As Chief of Defence of the Armed forces of the Netherlands Tom Middendorp saw how droughts and water scarcity can lead to armed conflicts. In his book Climate General he concludes that climate change and our security are inextricably linked. Middendorp is an optimist however and proposes concrete steps individuals can take with respect to climate adaptation and mitigation. His motto is: Think big, act small and start somewhere! Tom Middendorp leads a global network on climate & security and is affiliated to Clingendael and HCSS. In cooperation with Scientists4Future Twente, SAB-ITC and Sirius.

    Moderator: prof. dr. Maarten van Aalst, Chief Director and Chief Science Officer KNMI. Van Aalst holds the chair Climate and Disaster Resilience at the ITC (UT).

    Free drinks; no registration required 

  • Wednesday lunch: Marjan van Aubel - Solar futures: designing a post-fossil world

    Marjan van Aubel

    Wednesday 10 May | 12:45-13.45 | Vrijhof/Agora

    Solar designer Marjan van Aubel creates a new narrative for solar energy – one that goes beyond the technological fix on efficiency of blue solar panels. As a designer she wants to make solar power beautiful and accessible for everyone, creating a transition to a post-fossil world. Van Aubel is an award-winning designer who integrates solar power seamlessly into buildings and objects. Her most notable works are Sunne, Current Table, Power Plant and the roof of the Netherlands Pavilion (World Expo 2020, Dubai). In cooperation with Study Tour Kayu Jawa, Scientists4Future Twente and Proto.

    Moderator: Peter Timmerman (Studium Generale)

    Free lunch; no registration required 

  • Wednesday evening: Ignas Snellen - Searching for extrasolar planets

    Ignas Snellen

    Wednesday 10 May | 19:30-21:00 | Vrijhof/Agora

    Does life exists on other planets? Astrophysicist Ignas Snellen scrutinizes worlds that orbit other stars than our Sun. While distances are enormous, making exoplanets extremely faint, he devises techniques to study their atmospheric contents. He tries to find habitable planets, perhaps even a twin Earth. What do these remote worlds teach us about ourselves? Prof. dr. Ignas Snellen is full professor in Astronomy at Leiden University and scientific director of Leiden Observatory. In 2022 he received the Spinoza Prize. In cooperation with Space Society Twente and Arago.

    Moderator: dr. ir. Erik Faber (Lecturer EEMCS/UT)

    Free drinks; no registration required 

  • Thursday lunch: Dai Carter - Mental Power

    Dai Carter

    Thursday 11 May | 12:45-13.45 | Vrijhof/Agora

    Now or never! That’s the motto of Dai Carter, former Special Forces commando. He jumped out of airplanes in the middle of the night and served in several secret missions. Luckily he also managed to write a book about his experiences. In Now or never he gives you a lot of tips and tricks to train your mental strength to overcome obstacles in daily life. Carter features in the Dutch television series Kamp van Koningsbrugge, in which he trains ordinary people to become a commando soldier. In cooperation with Dimensie.

    Free lunch; no registration required

  • Thursday evening: Caroline de Gruyter - Europe in uncertain times

    Caroline de Gruyter

    Thursday 11 May | 19:30-21:00 | Vrijhof/Agora

    Europe isn’t safe anymore. For decades we thought that nothing would threaten our continent. Didn’t we have the diplomatic channels of the European Union, the NATO and other institutions? Commercial trade gave mondial ties and nobody would risk a war. Those myths were blown up by Russia invading Ukraine in February 2022. Drs. Caroline de Gruyter, prestigious commentator on European politics, takes the view that Europe has to be more united and better military equipped. Europe has to show its teeth. In cooperation with Sirius.

    Moderator: dr. Shawn Donnelly, Assistant Professor for Technology, Resilience & Europe (UT)

    Free drinks; no registration required 

  • Friday afternoon: Frans Timmermans - 61th Dies Natalis

    Frans Timmermans

    Friday 12 May | 15:00-18:30 | Waaier

    The Dies lecture of 2023 will be given by H.E. Mr. Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission and responsible for the European Green Deal. He will discuss how the EU and its member states are trail blazing a green transition at home, decarbonising our economy and society and moving towards renewable energy while leaving no one behind. But also how the EU is marshalling partners globally to tackle the climate and environmental crises together. You can also expect an insight from colleagues Albert Vd Berg, Cheryl de Boer and a student from Green Hub on their personal pursuits for climate change.

    Registration required

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