Expand your skill set and network as a volunteer

Wednesday 25 July 2018

Our team of volunteers are diverse as they come – hailing from various parts of the globe, and bringing with them an array of passions and skill sets. People join us for different reasons too – some to gain experience in a new area or to upskill in their chosen field, others to step out of their comfort zone, or simply to give back to the TEDx platform that they love!

For Tom Ruys, who has had a number of roles with us, volunteering has been an opportunity to grow his professional, creative and technical experience and gain insight into what is possible for the future of his career.

We caught up with Tom about his time so far with TEDxAmsterdam.

What's your day job?

I am a creative freelancer, doing several creative projects in and outside of Amsterdam. This includes user experience (UX) and visual design, technical development, writing, audiovisual work and user research.

If you were a song, which one would it be?

Bloed, Zweet en Tranen by André Hazes.

What was your first experience with TED?

I had been watching TED / TEDx videos for a while when a freelancer colleague asked me to join a TEDxAmsterdam App Hackathon. From there, I got more involved within the organisation and have been part of the team for 3 years now.

What roles have you had with TEDxAmsterdam?

UX Designer & Front-End Developer, Registration Team Leader, Partnerships Manager & Team Leader, and currently, I’m Visual Producer and Partner Team Communications Liaison.

What is so infectious about TEDxAmsterdam? Why do people stay on for years as volunteers?

The energy from the event, and the city itself, is what keeps me involved.

This resonates throughout, especially during the event, but also in the rest of the year.

What are your top three memories as a volunteer ?

The first TEDxAmsterdam event I volunteered and was present at was a highlight. Also, meeting new people joining in with fresh energy each year. Lastly, Mandy Smith’s talk, Paper Cuts, which has grown to become my favorite TED Talk.

What has been the biggest challenge or learning opportunity for you as a volunteer?

Definitely first starting out, I had a lot of new challenges and unknowns that I have been able to surpass because of the people within the organisation and the team I was leading.

For those considering becoming a volunteer this year, why would you recommend doing it?

You’ll learn new things, do new things and grow your network. You will be able to find and learn new things about yourself and other people too.

I am very grateful for the opportunities and insights that TEDxAmsterdam has given me!


If you’d like to explore new skills, grow your experience, connect and expand your network or learn about yourself, perhaps TEDxAmsterdam is the place for you!


Tell us a little about yourself via our application form.

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