Jens Wilms talks about the idea of THYNK and social entrepreneurship (interview).


“We see that in society, globalization, urbanization, and technological development, the way people get their information and which people they come into contact with has changed. People get stuck in their own bubble and this results in thinking boxes and less solidarity with other people. The drastic surge in small interactions gives a need for deep and meaningful conversations.” Team THYNK, participants of the Tilburg University Challenge came up with a solution. In this interview, Jens Wilms talks about their idea and social entrepreneurship.

First of all, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions! To start, can you tell us a bit about yourselves and your idea?

THYNK is a team of ambitious and entrepreneurial people who strive to create a more open society. We organize monthly events, online & offline, where we have interesting conversations about all aspects of life, and often collaborate with other parties such as Studium Generale and TEDxTilburg. The real magic happens inside our conversations; the experience of listening to inspiring stories, getting your ideas challenged, and hearing thought-provoking words that makes your mind race to a million different answers is an experience words can't describe. Our most recent project is THYNK at Home, where we put together the knowledge of the 180+ conversations we hosted into an app, so you can have meaningful conversations at home.

Besides the events we host and the app, something I find cool about THYNK is that the team truly is learning about the community. All of our team members are ambitious and entrepreneurial volunteers, who are eager to develop their skills, create a bigger network, and grow as a person. We focus a lot on individual learning; we have regular feedback sessions, have some budget to follow courses and workshops, and try to see failure (which has been a lot) as learning opportunities. 

Great to hear that this collaboration is so genuine! How do you know each other and how was the idea for THYNK born? 

Like many first-year students in Tilburg, we were always looking for new places to meet people. But, after a while, we realized that we always ended up in networking places that felt more like a sales contest or being wasted in Studio never coming further beyond the ordinary small talk. Why isn’t there a place where you can meet people and have real conversations? And so, THYNK was born. 
It turned out we were not the only ones with this problem; we shared conversations with people from 30+ nationalities, ages ranging from 16 to 83, and almost every field of study you can imagine. Slowly, as more people joined our team we became an organization that does everything around conversations: we host online and offline events, created a facilitators course, developed an app where you can have meaningful conversations at home, and designed conversations that makes a person question his moral values and sparks action towards personal growth. Now, we’re trying to use all of this knowledge to create a more open society. 

Your focus lies on conversation and getting to know people. We are very curious; what is your view on social entrepreneurship? Do you think that it is valuable and profitable?

Social entrepreneurship is necessary for the long run as it adds a sustainability factor to society. In business, the only element that is taken into account is an agreement between two parties, while a third party usually ends up being damaged. With social entrepreneurship, this third part becomes important. Usually, social entrepreneurship is linked to the environment or minorities, but the truth is that social entrepreneurship addresses any issue that matters in any way to society. For that reason, social entrepreneurship can be profitable, as with a proper business model, anything that matters can provide value, and thus, by providing value, profit comes along.

You have probably already talked a lot about subjects that matter to society. How do you think that your company can add value to a socially desirable future?

On the one hand, we see due to globalization boundaries between countries disappearing, yet, on the other hand, you can see nationalism rising in many countries. Polarization is making us see everything in terms of “us vs them” and that calls for human-to-human conversations rather than debates. We hope we can contribute in any way, however small, in enabling people to understand each other and see that most of us are not as different as we think we are. It is hard to imagine that just attending an event will fight polarization, but we tend to see our events as planting the seeds: This seed, this quality to truly listen, understand each other and be open-minded will manifest in all your activities in life. You’ll become a better listener with your family dinners, you’ll become more open-minded when you hear some negative complaints about your work, and hopefully, in the end, little by little, we can contribute to creating a more open society.

Thank you so much for answering our questions! We wish you all the best and luck during your entrepreneurial journey! 

Read more about THYNK on their online profile.

Want to discover what all the fuzz is about? On October 8, THYNK is hosting an online event together with Studium Generale about Altruism! Find more info:

Are you a curious person, who is entrepreneurial and has a growth mind-set? Do you want to develop your skills, become a better ‘conversationalist’ and want to create a more open society? Then joining THYNK might be just the right thing for you! More about joining our team on our website: Any questions, don’t hesitate to send us a message on our socials or an old-fashioned email to
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