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Festival 2019

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10.00 - 22.00

Digital excites you every day, just as it excites us. No matter whether you’re a tech-head, data pro, or creative mastermind: you believe that pushing digital boundaries can reshape our lives for good, for the better. That’s why you’re one of us.

And that’s why you need to be there when Dept Festival returns to Thuishaven Amsterdam for the fourth time. We’ll help you immerse yourself in an energetic and inspiring variety of digital experiences. Featuring hands-on practices, on-the-spot creativity, and – of course – mind-blowing talks. Beyond that, be prepared for the double D: Drinks and Dancing… Yes, mark September 6, 2019, with bright Post-its and lots of exclamation marks.

We’ll see you there!

Line up 2019
Photo credits: Professor Dava Newman, MIT: Inventor, Science and Engineering. Guillermo Trotti, A.I.A., Trotti and Associates, Inc. (Cambridge, MA): Design. Dainese (Vincenca, Italy): Fabrication. Douglas Sonders: Photography

Dava Newman

Dr. Dava Newman was the first female engineer to serve as NASA’s deputy administrator nominated by President Obama. Currently she’s Apollo Professor of Astronautics at MIT. She is perhaps best known, however, for developing a next-generation spacesuit called the BioSuit. With her body stationed on modern-day planet Earth, this self-described “nerdy kid’ mind hovers around Mars in the 2030s, when she expects to see humanity within the orbit of the red planet. During Dept Festival, she’ll reveal what it will take to put humans on Mars.


Joshua Davis

New York based Joshua Davis is a virtual artist – the mouse is his brush and pixels are his paint. Davis was named one of the Ten Most Creative People by the IPPA, and was the winner of the 2001 Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica, the highest honour in international digital art and design. He exhibited his interactive works at the Tate Modern, le Centre Pompidou, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, PS.1 Moma, and more. Joshua will elucidate us on his projects that - by his own admission, are not always useful - but perpetually bold, inspiring, and a unique combination of creativity and tech.


Muhammed Idris

TED Resident Muhammed Y. Idris, Ph.D. is leading a team of technologists, researchers, and refugees to develop Atar, the first-ever AI-powered virtual advocate that guides refugees through resettlement by helping restore their rights and dignity. Dr. Idris has held teaching and research positions at the University of Washington, The Pennsylvania State University, Concordia University as well as Harvard University. The mission of this self-taught programmer is to help improve social services delivery for all, through collective and artificial intelligence as an entrepreneur and investor.


Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad

Have you ever read the terms & conditions for the apps you use? Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad and his team at the Norwegian Consumer Council have. Speaking to audiences such as the G20, European Parliament, SXSW, Princeton University and TED Myrstad shapes opinion on privacy and security. In a talk about the alarming ways tech companies deceive their users, he will share insights on how they use your data at a scale you could never imagine.



You could call her a modern day digi-magician, because what Chagall does is pretty mystical. The electronic music producer, singer and performer puts on an innovative show full of digital elements. With the aid of body sensors and motion-tracking gloves she controls the instruments, visual and music effects, and even her voice with her movements. She’s currently touring the UK and Europe, and will soon mesmerize us all!


Giulio Soro

Giulio Soro knows what the voice assistant future holds. As Head of Technology Alexa Skills, he will tell us all about the process of designing and developing the next generation of user experience with Alexa. Furthermore, he’ll provide us with the answer to the question: Will we be learning to talk again in a voice-first world?


Blake Cahill

No doubt that when we say ‘an organisation that tackles innovation to make life better’, you’ll think of Philips. Blake Cahill is senior vice-president and global head of digital marketing and media at Philips and oversees both its B2B and B2C marketing across 10 business groups. During the Dept Festival, he’ll share his ideas on the future of healthcare,what it takes for brands to survive and the current challenges of brand marketers in this ever-changing world.


Showhawk Duo

Think acoustic and electric guitar music shouldn’t be mixed? The ShowHawk Duo is ready to prove you wrong. Be prepared for the most unexpected acoustic guitar performance from two British lads (Mikhail Asanovic and Jake Wright) known for their performances at TEDx, Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party, Wilderness, F1 Grand Prix in Singapore and a 20 - date residency at Pacha in Ibiza.


John Lin

You’ve probably heard of WeChat and Alibaba. But are you aware of how these platforms are reinventing the future of retail? One thing is certain: the unimaginable way China is innovating the retail sector will make you question the Western slower-paced developments. John Lin is Business Developer at and will blow our minds with incredibly innovative facts and figures on the Chinese omnichannel approach to retail.


Ron Simpson

As creative serial entrepreneur and founder of The Avocado Show: everything Ron Simpson touches, seems to turn into gold. After years of marketing some of the world’s biggest brands, it was time to start one of his own. What started out as a simple and fun restaurant concept, rapidly grew to a fully funded global brand in less than a year. Ron will share all his secrets about entrepreneurship, going viral and how to sell a concept through social media.


Thomas Karakeko

Street photography is a touching art, and Thomas Kakareko has perfectly managed to make it his own. He blesses the timeline of 700,000 (and counting!) followers on Instagram and inspires them through his pictures. Thomas will share his story and uncovers how he uses his passion in his professional life. He will highlight on the lessons learned while working together with big brands like Samsung and how marketers can get the most out of this new world of impactful ambassadors.


Anna T Iron

Always wanted to see how graffiti art is created? We got you covered. Anna T Iron, a famous graffiti artist from Germany, will show us how it’s done. At the festival, she’ll be busy impressing us with spraypainting state-of-the-art works. The Hamburg-based craftswoman stands out the crowd through her use of colors, tropical plants and retrofuturistic vibes. You’ll recognize her pieces soon enough.


Morrison Schiffmacher

As the daughter of one of Holland’s greatest tattoo artists Henk Schiffmacher, Morrison has got the art of tattooing running through her veins as she was brought up with it. She made her own name in the tattoo world with her iconical pin up style and great free hand skills. She starred as a jury in the TV programme ‘Ink Masters’, and we’ll be asking her all about her view on design,creativity, and the art of tattooing.


Bruce & Frank

What would happen if you let a blatantly honest Depster take over the Dept Twitter account? Well, you will find out this year at the Dept Festival. This mysterious, creative Depster will comment on everything that happens during the day: presentations, (well-known) colleagues, clients, and the festival in general. Watch how things play out on the big screens at the festival or by following @DeptAgency.


Aszyk Music

They make things bold. They make things beautiful. Studio Aszyk creates the most impressive work in areas from design to music and live audio-visual artworks. No challenge is too big for these work-hard play-hard artists. You’ll see them doing their thing live in action - be prepared to be amazed.


WimLex podcast

The famous WimLex Show provides you with a deep dive into top-notch business practice, the best from e-commerce, and most inspiring entrepreneurs like Picnic’s Michiel Muller and Yu Wang, founder of Chinese dating-app 'TanTan’. The two hosts Alexander Graf and Willem Blom, will get together in the Podcast Bus to interview inspiring, insightful people, live at the festival grounds. Make sure you tune in while you’re there!

More to come

This is just a glimpse of the 2019 line up. Stay tuned as we have more exciting speakers and live performances coming up!


Throw yourself into Dept

We can imagine that you want to be there. Unfortunately this is an invite only event. But if you are sweet to Jozien, she can maybe arrange a ticket for you. Contact her by phone or email and let her know why you really, really want to be there.

+31 (0)6 2325 6784  Email Jozien