Is autism, and neurodiversity in general, just a burden, or can it be an asset in both professional and personal life? Dirk van Meer, a successful entrepreneur and CEO of CORE Changemakers, proves it’s the latter, and he will share his inspiring personal story of living with autism and how he managed to turn it to his advantage.
Antonia, Built Environment student and organizer of this Student Take-Over lecture says: “He inspired me to believe that not fitting in is not a tragedy, but an opportunity to value your qualities and let them shine.”
As a small child, Dirk hid under the living room table and cried when his family had guests over because he couldn’t handle the social interaction. Now, at the age of 24, he is considered a promising speaker and entrepreneur in the Netherlands. Dirk's story of overcoming obstacles to succeed in the tech industry underscores the importance of valuing yourself and fostering inclusive learning environments. As a former TU/e student, Dirk understands the dynamics of our university and sees it as a place where innovation and empathy should converge.
About Dirk van Meer
Dirk was born in Uden, a small town in Noord-Brabant. He earned his BSc and MSc in Chemical Engineering at the TU/e. The university experience was quite a social challenge for him, so during his bachelor program 5 years ago, he founded the student team CORE to create an environment where he and people like him could feel included. After graduating, he stayed with CORE to continue giving others the chance to feel included and made it the main goal of his career. In his work, he is passionate about making an impact on society by enabling waste recycling through technological innovation.
This lecture is a Student Take-Over -- a Studium Generale program run BY students FOR students. Once a quarter, we give you, the students, the chance to use our resources to create an awesome Studium Generale program without our interference. Please join us in this experiment!
Riding the Spectrum is a student take-over program by Antonia Ţiplea-Şerban. Antonia is from Romania and is a student in the TU/e’s Built Environment department.
“I joined CORE 3 years ago to work on an assignment related to my study. It was at a time when I had doubts about my future; I didn't know if I had chosen the right discipline or the right place to study. I had a hard time integrating into this new environment, and I thought I was doing something wrong. At CORE, I met Dirk, who listened to my struggle and did everything in his power to give me the tools to find my path, and I eventually found one. So did hundreds of other students he met with. He made me understand the importance of fostering an environment where everyone can thrive. Autism forced him to look for a place where he felt welcome, so he built one for himself and gave it to others, all while achieving success. He inspired me to believe that not fitting in isn't a tragedy, but an opportunity to value your qualities and let them shine.”
Ticket reservation recommended
To be assured of a seat, we recommend reserving a ticket (black "order" button).
SG & USE/ITEC registration
Please register for SG&USE/ITEC at the program by scanning your student ID at the venue prior to the start of the program.
More information about SG & USE/ITEC can be found here.