POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Catching up with… Dirk Daenen



Dirk Daenen, pictured, wants to make TedxLuxembourgCity an annual event Jenna Theis/Maison Moderne

Dirk Daenen, pictured, wants to make TedxLuxembourgCity an annual event Jenna Theis/Maison Moderne

The organiser of TedxLuxembourgCity talks about his ambitious plans for the event.

The TedxLuxembourgCity organiser is the first to admit that he underestimated the popularity of the event. The German-born lecturer in communication at UBI University, Dirk Daenen, explains that his chosen venue, the Salle Robert Krieps in the Neumünster Abbey, has a capacity of just 290--not nearly enough to accommodate the more than 1,300 people who pressed the “buy now” button at the same time, making the system crash.

Tickets to this year’s TedxLuxembourgCity sold out in six minutes. But Daenen promises to deliver something bigger in the future, with the help of the Neumünster Abbey.

He cites a potential outdoor Tedx in the summer, and other Tedx related events in Luxembourg.

His ambition? To make TedxLuxembourgCity an annual event (the last was held in 2013) “until people get bored”.

“Considering the interest, it would be a shame not to do it,” he says. Ever the optimist, he is planning on creating a TedxLuxembourgCity “salon” every two months at which Tedx
enthusiasts can come together and watch and discuss Ted talks.

He even plans on organising Tedx youth events for students and Tedx women events. “Tedx is all about getting the community involved you know, just having great ideas and spreading those everywhere.”

In addition to the ten inspirational speakers, TedxLuxembourgCity promises unique performances and an extraordinary “wood furniture” show. Daenen is steering a team of volunteer students from UBI University in Wiltz who have been in charge of everything from the décor to the logo design, from finding the “Uncaging Possibilities” theme (a reference to Neumünster’s past as a prison) and broadcasting the event.

“Tedx as a platform works so well together with education. I mean, it is an educational platform,” says Daenen. Each year, the university gives one of its students the opportunity to speak on stage to reinforce that connection.

“More than a conference, TedxLuxembourgCity is the opportunity for communities, organisations and individuals to find the motivation to carry out their projects,” Daenen says. “The audience at a Tedx event will listen to the ideas and will do something with it.”