Dept festival – a unicorn tech experience

Last Friday TechGirl was at the Dept festival in Amsterdam. Maybe you’ve heard about Dept, an agency that is spreading like some kind of epidemic. The history of Dept is quick short. Dept is a group of specialist agencies that come together to for one big collab business. You may recognize these names: TamTam, Expand Online, Building Blocks, a friend of mine, Tricode, Second Degree, Webfactory, Unskippable, and eBrella.

Dept is hosting the Dept festival for the 3rd year and it’s an invite-only event. Of course, Techgirl was there! We were there to learn from unusual speakers and dance to groovy beats. Let’s recap some of the talks.

Daphne Smit – Dept

Yes, you are ready this. Daphne is like me a female developer. That was the message of her talk. Stereotypes about developers and how to break them forever. Her conclusion was when you encounter a developer in the wild, just talk to them and maybe you will be surprised by their characters.

Josh Luber – Stock x

I had not heard about Stock x before, but you have if you are a true sneaker fanatic. The concept of Stock X is very clever. It is a Stock marker of things. For goods that have a limited amount produced like sneakers, bags etc the value on the second-hand market can get sky high. It’s like a great investment, sometimes better than stocks. Stock x is a platform for quick Exchange of buying and selling of goods.

Franklin Schamhart – Dept

Franklin had quite an insight. The technology was created to make our lives easier and save us time, but nowadays it’s consuming our time like crazy. We spend 6 hours a day on our phones not counting work hours. How can we give users time back to create a better experience? Like recording a video instead of filling out a big form to report an insurance complaint.

Marieke de Jong – Dept

Marieke was worrying a lot about her work and couldn’t leave work at the office. She found Herself making work excuses like: I’ve to finish this or can we reschedule it’s so busy at work. Her loved ones get the remains of Marieke at the end of the day. Worn out, tired and still worrying over work. She decided that She had to care less. One of the best tips was to create an end of day routine.

Erik Kessels – Kessels Kramer

Ok, I admit. I’m a bit of an Erik fangirl. I love his vision, his way of thinking and weird hobbies. He showed a nice selection of cases he worked on, but also shared some great lessons. Like, if no one hates it, it’s not worded mentioning. Everything that is considered nice, is pretty much quiet boring. Another great inside was looking at amateurs sometimes, it can spark some new creativity.

Tulku Lobsang

Tulku Lobsang was a special speaker because he is a Buddhist monk. He talked about happiness and how to be a happy person in life. According to Tulku happiness needs a reason in the Western world. I’m happy because … fill in your accomplishment. You are your own happiness and you don’t have to have a reason to feel happy. Live doesn’t have a purpose, you are the purpose.


I like the festival a lot. After the talks, it was time to dance. They had a great selection of DJ’s to end the day like party animals. The talks could have had a bit more depth to it. But it was a nice sunny day with loads of inspiration!


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