about brainwash

We are Brainwash. Through our programmes, festivals, articles podcasts and television broadcasts, we challenge you to think about the state of the world. We offer unexpected insights on economy, ecology, democracy and (mental) health. And we explore the future.

Brainwash – where thought and research are paramount. We don’t have any simple answers to today’s biggest challenges. But we do share surprising perspectives, ground-breaking ideas and, above all, plenty food for thought. On our platform and in our programmes, philosophers, scientists, writers and theatre makers come together to challenge or upend your perspective.

Brainwash Foundation and broadcaster Human have created this platform together. With the foundation devising and organizing all live programmes and Brainwash Festival and Human taking care of all the articles on Brainwash.nl, television, podcasts and radio.

brainwash festival

Every year in October, we organise the Brainwash Festival, the largest thought festival in the Netherlands and Belgium. Our festival brings together writers, poets, philosophers, scientists, artists and theatre makers from the Netherlands and abroad, in the heart of Amsterdam. Every year, the festival consists of over 80 programmes, visited by approximately 5,000 visitors. Speakers at our festival have included Mariana Mazzucato, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Slavoj Zizek, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Kate Raworth, Michael Sandel, Thomas Piketty and Louis Theroux. Read all about our upcoming edition here or check out the highlights of six years of Brainwash Festivals here.

brainwash weekends

Throughout the year we host the Brainwash Weekends. During these weekend-long programmes, we research the most urgent themes of today through conversations, performances and talks. From the loneliness crisis to filter bubbles, new economic systems and inequality.

In 2021 we organized two weekends so far, on Collective Loneliness (February) and Tomorrow’s Economy (April). Read more about our weekends here.

brainwash talks

And there’s more. Because with Brainwash Talks and Brainwash Specials, we offer a stage to even more subjects and separate new ideas spread out throughout the year. Our Talks are recorded three times a year and broadcasted on the Dutch national broadcaster’s channel NPO2 by our media partner Human on Sundays.



Brainwash.nl offers a daily platform for unexpected ideas. Every day, Human publishes an interview, essay or column written by philosophers, scientists and writers that allow us to see the world in a different light.