Sanne Blauw: Putting numbers back where they belong

Sanne Blauw: Putting numbers back where they belong

Photography: Willeke Machiels Numbers are being used every day. In the news, in politics, in our jobs, and even in our social interactions. They are used to convince, explain, but also to deflect from what is truly happening. Too often, numbers appear as abstract, objective and difficult. Sanne Blauw’s mission is to make the world of numbers accessible to all. Sanne has broken most stereotypes about someone interested in mathematics throughout her life. From working at the OECD, to being a member of her University Council, to becoming a journalist. Sanne is far more than what most people would expect from a person with a PhD in econometrics. During her PhD, Sanne conducted fieldwork in Bolivia and Uganda to collect data. Using various quantitative methods, she combined applied microeconometrics, psychology and development economics. Sanne is convinced that a better understanding of statistics would make the world a better place. Now, as a journalist for The Correspondent, she strives to convince all of us to second-guess the numbers that shape our worldview. A self-proclaimed nerd, a teacher, a writer, Sanne will now also be able to call herself a TEDx Speaker. We cannot be more excited to hear her talk at our conference. Valentin Calomme Communication and social media facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube flikr...
Samina Ansari: There is home for everyone

Samina Ansari: There is home for everyone

Photography: Brian Megens Samina Ansari is a true citizen of the world. She was born in Afghanistan, then moved to Pakistan, to then emigrate to Norway with her family. After studying Cyber Security Law from the University of Oslo, she spent the following year doing internships with the UN. Afterwards, she found another place to call home, Maastricht. Interested by the focus of the programme, she decided to her master in Globalisation Law at Maastricht University. Her areas of interest include women, peace and security particularly in relation to Refugees and IDPS. She is deeply concerned about the challenges Europe is faced with and worked to create a law clinic for refugees at the Law Faculty during her studies in Maastricht. She is often asked whether she feels Afghan or where does she consider “home” to be. Her answer to that question is simple. “I am Samina, I don’t belong to any country, home is wherever I want it to be”. Through her many travels, she learned that home was not a place, it was a state of mind. She hopes to be able to share this with people struggling with finding their own home. She is currently studying at SciencesPo in Paris. She really appreciates being part of a vibrant and diverse student community. In her latest project, she worked on legal education in Kabul, Afghanistan. She realized that sometimes, legal mechanisms can fall short when working on development and hopes that her time in Paris will help her learning new instruments in peace building. Co-winner of our pitch night, she is happy to come back to Maastricht to give a talk....
Michel Huisman: Art and the human thought process

Michel Huisman: Art and the human thought process

Photo: ©2015 J. von Grumbkow Michel Huisman (1957), Living and working in Heerlen, Michel Huisman is an artist and self-proclaimed morphologist who has devoted himself to studying the communicative aspects of shape and structure. Michel is the inventor and architect of the Maankwartier in his hometown Heerlen. This much-discussed project is transforming the area around the train station into a citadel, thus creating a new connection between the north and south parts of town. Michel is also renowned for his machine-like sculptures. You may also have encountered his beautiful melancholic sculpture in Maastricht city park, which was made to commemorate the bear pit that was in use from 1920 to 1993. The giraffe and the grieving girl are surrounded by sculptures of animals that have gone extinct as a consequence of humanity’s behavior. In his work he examines definitions of love and the human thought process as a whole. In his talk he will focus on the cultural consequences of aiming for profit without simultaneously creating value and the role art might play in the future. Can Michel change your perspective on art, and on life itself? Marin Been Communication and coaching facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube flikr...
Mark Kawakami: There’s something to be said about the unheard voices

Mark Kawakami: There’s something to be said about the unheard voices

Photo by: Harry Heuts Born in Japan, moved to Hawaii, went to boarding schools in New England, trained as a Buddhist monk, served as a cadet at the US Military Academy, worked as an attorney in New York, and now a PhD fellow at Maastricht University, one might think that Mark has many experiences and ideas worth sharing. While this is certainly true, he believes that he needs to listen more instead. As a teacher at the Maastricht University Faculty of Law, Mark deeply cares about creating a better dialogue between students and the teaching staff. He firmly believes that education should be modernised and that teachers could learn a lot from paying attention and listening to their students more. This was the topic of his PechaKucha talk earlier this year. The question Mark is now asking is this: “If we only listen to important people, are we missing out on something?” In other words, are we doing ourselves any favors by listening only to good or smart ideas? He believes that there is much that can be learned from even crazy or silly ideas. Mark will be the first to admit that is not a new idea, but too often, it is not applied in practice. Teachers sometimes fail to listen to their students. Companies focus more attention on shareholders and not enough on their employees. More generally speaking, we are reluctant to listen to others when we do not agree with them or deem that their ideas are somehow less worthy. Through his doctoral research on labor exploitation, Mark has found that organizations that continuously challenge their...