Five Questions: Nelleke van Lindonk

Biz(941) asks Nelleke van Lindonk five questions about PINC, a one-day conference on innovation.

By Susan Burrns August 29, 2014

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Nelleke van Lindonk, co-founder and director, PINC

For 15 years, Dutch native Nelleke van Lindonk has organized PINC, a one-day annual conference on innovation and creativity that takes place in Zeist, just outside of Amsterdam.  On Nov. 6, PINC—which stands for people, ideas, nature and creativity—comes to Sarasota, the first time the gathering will be held outside the Netherlands. Nelleke co-founded PINC with her husband, Peter, who died almost two years ago, and continues their vision to extend PINC’s reach.

Q. How did PINC begin?

“My husband and I had a publishing house for 30 years and we published books that had a creative context—freezing a book into an ice block, for example, or putting a [real] radio on a book cover and broadcasting a special program to people who had the book in their possession. Creativity was always on our minds. My husband saw an ad in Fast Company about TEDx and went there and called me immediately and said, ‘This is fantastic.’ We asked TED founder Richard Wurman if he could start it in the Netherlands and he wasn’t interested. So we started our own.”

Q. Why Sarasota?

“We visited one of our authors in Venice [Fla.] 32 years ago and enjoyed it very much. Sarasota is also a circus town, and my husband had a strange hobby. He was the ringmaster for a circus in Amsterdam for three weeks at Christmastime. Then our son, Olivier, studied sports management in the States and got an internship with Nick Bollettieri and is now a sports agent at IMG in Bradenton. But importantly, [in 2013] Fast Company named Florida as the most innovative state in the country.”

Q. How is PINC different from TEDx?

“We are not looking for the CEO but for the man or woman who has the passion. We want someone who can talk from the heart. We’re also smaller so people can meet one another. This first conference we will only have 220 attendees to hear 16 speakers who each speak for 20 minutes.”

Q. Who will be speaking?

So far, we have Dickson Despommier of the U.S.A., founder of the Vertical Farming Project; David Gallo, U.S.A., of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute; Miles Rohan, U.S.A., founder of the Corduroy Appreciation Club; Jon Jefferson, American author and television documentary maker of The Body Farm in Tennessee; Dorji Wangchuk of Bhutan, [who will speak about] the Happiness GDP; U.K. historian Christopher Lloyd; John Barker [of Germany] on face transplants; and Alan Moore of the U.K. on Reshaping the Rules.”

Q. What do you want your audience to take away?

“We are about capturing the imagination. If you listen to creative people in different fields, you will learn and be able to use their ideas in your own company

or work.”

(PINC Sarasota is an all-day conference, Nov. 6, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. at Florida Studio Theatre in downtown Sarasota. Tickets are $425 and include breakfast, lunch and dinner. For more information, go to

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