jitske kramer & deep dive travel stories

Go on a journey with Jitske and learn to see things through the eyes of an anthropologist. Change, mergers and conflicts will never be the same.

In this keynote, through Jitske’s unique travel experiences, you will learn how people around the world encounter similar issues: how to handle change, leadership, conflict, goodbyes, mergers. The different unique cultural answers to these universal questions are food for thought. This is an extraordinary keynote which will challenge your own world view and your ideas about what is normal and abnormal. What is strange becomes familiar. And what is familiar becomes strange.


We will determine the exact route of the journey during the intake session. The journey might include stories from and about the Sinai Desert, the voodoo of Togo, curious rituals in India, marabouts in Gambia, taxi drivers in Malaysia, fountains in Friesland, ta’arof in Iran, wedding drama in Las Vegas, silent meetings among the Quakers…. Jitske uses these travel stories to establish links with your own daily practice. Various themes can be covered here, such as: handling change, working together better, conflicts, mergers, rituals, leadership, goodbyes, and inclusion.

‘An anthropological perspective is trying to experience what is strange, without constantly letting your own opinion get in the way.’

video's deep dive travel stories

Tedx talk - silence, the forgotten human skill

nordic business forum helsinki liminal leadership

A different perspective allows you to see more

In your encounter with another person, you can learn a lot about them, but you can learn at least as much about yourself. You will learn to look beyond your own judgment. And that’s not always easy, because we are full of prejudices and mindbugs. When you see something, you often form an opinion immediately. You often already have an opinion about someone before you’ve even met them. How can you keep looking at things with an open perspective? How do you arrive at your opinions and judgments? And how can we move away from them? How normal is your normal really? You are challenged to really open yourself up, without filling everything in with your own (advance) judgments. To not immediately think: ‘do we have to do it that way?’ Instead, be open, curious and full of wonder. To better understand the other person (colleague, customer, client, student, manager, etc.). And to better understand yourself in the process.

Slight confusion and mild doubts are signs of an investigative attitude. A different perspective allows you to see more. Including in your own work and organization. In addition to the compiled travel programs described above, Jitske also has the following two very special keynotes.

  • Life lessons through voodoo: can you believe in something just a little? As an inspiring speaker, Jitske takes you on a journey like no other. She talks about her poignant trip to Togo, where her experiences confront you with many life questions and dilemmas. How easily would you surrender to the unknown? Jitske Kramer never thought a day at a music festival in Utrecht would lead to a spiritual cleansing ritual in the forests of Togo. On the invitation of a voodoo priest, who was dismayed by the negative image voodoo has and who wanted to let her experience his voodoo, she traveled to Togo in early January 2019. In a nightly ritual, she washes herself naked in the sacred forest. She dances to the rhythm of the gods, discovers her destiny, rids herself of negative energies by being anointed with evaporated milk, gin and Sprite and interviews an almost 100-year old voodoo priest decorated with human skulls. Is voodoo as dark as its image would let us believe? This is a keynote that will get under your skin and which will stay with you for a long time.
  • Silence: a forgotten human virtue A 20 – 30 minute keynote about the importance of silence. We live in a world where we talk more than we listen. Noise predominates silence. But without silence, we can’t form new thoughts or build trust. We need silence as much as we need sound. It’s the combination of the two that makes music. During her travels, Jitske learned a lot about different ways of dealing with silence. In this keynote, she shares important lessons she learned in India, Togo and England. She developed and gave this keynote in English for TEDxWassenaar.
  • A merger is like a marriage. A keynote keynote with clear anthropological lessons on how to merge different organizations to create a new organizational culture together. Mergers are often a major undertaking for leaders and employees. Months and sometime even years later, there are still different blood groups. It’s easier if you know what to expect. Mergers are as old as humankind. We have known for a long time how people, families and tribes merge and which structures and rituals ensure that the new relationship is a promising one. We call this marriage, in which entire kinship systems intermingle. In this keynote, you will learn the importance of components like choosing the new name, the location, the internal power relationships and the power of the ‘liminal phase’ between the old and the new situation. A keynote about organizations and cultural changes, but not in the usual management jargon.