Eric de Groot

Eric de Groot

Meeting Designer & Facilitator

Eric talks about:

Cultural differences in the organization of major events.

Im a designer with a journalistic bent

Eric sees himself as a front runner. Someone who observes, watches, listens, and then creates his own vision, and reacts from his specialty: meetings.

“It’s time to re-invent business meetings”, he believes, and he will talk about that during TEDxFryslân.

“We are trapped in a locked up house full of old-fashioned meeting formats, and the key lies under the flowerpot. But you will need to get outside the house first.” 

“I’m always developing, refreshing, trying out things, to the advantage of many. That’s good, but I hope that my work will not be industrialized. The base continues to be ‘always new’. I am a designer with a journalistic bent.” Some people believe Eric is far ahead of his time.

He never talks about ‘work’ or ‘passion’. He talks about ‘connections’. In his case the connections with his clients. The people behind them, that is. Giving people the right incentives, making it appear that they start moving by themselvesIll get out of bed for that.

Activating people is one of his qualities, although he realizes that that not always leads to understanding.

Eric already wrote a book about this topic: Into the Heart of Meetings. His personal version would nowadays be entitled: The Voyage into the Heart of Meetings.


Eric de Groot (1956) travels the world to show people that business meetings, management meetings and conferences can be fun, rewarding, effective and groundbreaking. Educated in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden at the notorious Academy for Expression and Communication AVEK he came all the way from being a drama teacher at a school for kids with a development disorder to the strategic meeting activator he nowadays is. He developed the profession of Meeting Designer and gives Keyshops (plenary workshops for larger groups), courses and coaching on this subject around the globe.

In organizations he encounters the same mechanism everywhere: development starts when post-industrial-risk-avoiding power management is replaced by energetic-role-changing fundamental dialogue. Meetings play a essential part in that process. They are Eric’s focal point.

It is not the prizes he won that make him proud (Golden Giraffe, Eventex Award) or the book he wrote (Into the heart of Meetings). It’s the unexpected idea an employee finally dares to propose during a meeting Eric designed. That makes him glow in the dark, because smiles are more important than reports and results are more important than status.

His favorite TED Talk is the one by Ken Robinson, but also the one called Computer in the Wall.

What is TedX?

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At TEDxZwolle, live speakers will spark deep discussion and connection. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organised.