“You were even better than I had hoped for: AWESOME!”
Bas van der Veldt, CEO AFAS Software

“Attended a super inspiring lecture by “400 letters from my mother” author Joseph Oubelkas. Absolutely great!”
Nicolette van Dam, actrice and presenter

“You do have a choice! Great story by Joseph Oubelkas at #BID2012 about innocent captivity!”
Ben Woldring, entrepreneur (known from

“Finally a speaker that touches and motivates me deeply. Thank you @oubelkas for an exciting evening.”
Marijke Roskam

“Dealing with change and adversity.”
“An (extreme) practical example of personal leadership.”
“You can not influence many things, but you can always choose your own attitude.”

A number of themes and statements running parallel to the story of Joseph Oubelkas. And there are many other themes, linked to his story so far. At the moment, Joseph is a very popular speaker. He lectures for entrepreneurs, companies, government, athletes, schools, institutions and at events. Watch the following video to get an impression of how Joseph Oubelkas speaks to a 600-person audience, who gave him a standing ovation. And watch the English version of his speech, by TEDx.


Some of his clients / references:

Microsoft Europe, AFAS Software, NS, Akzo Nobel, Rabobank Nederland, ASR, Biohorma, Stork, ABN AMRO Bank, TMG, NIBC Bank, AZ Eredivisieclub, TBI, Loyens & Loeff, DELA verzekeringen, MaetisArdyn, ING Bank, Achmea, Equens, Vopak, Manpower, Damen Shipyards, NykampNyboer, Koninklijke Horeca Nederland, NH Hoteles, GE Healthcare, Sanofi, IFS, Dimension Data, Oxfam Novib, Waternet, Kimberly Clark, Arpa, Shell, Numac, Wijzonol, Interactive Intelligence, Strukton, DLL Group, ICI Paris XL, KPMG, Coca-Cola, Obvion, Schwarzkopf, PwC, Ricoh, American Express

Government and healthcare
The Judiciary, Public Prosecution, UWV, Land Registry, Dutch Police, Tax Administration, Custodial Institutions Service, City of Amsterdam, Ministry of Defence, City of Rotterdam

Avans College, UMCG, Fontys College, Zuyd College, Erasmus University, Amsterdam College, Rotterdam College, ROC, Saxion College, Radboud University Nijmegen, ROC de Leijgraaf, ROC Mondriaan, ROC van Amsterdam, ROC Tilburg, ROC van Flevoland, Eindhoven University of Technology

Foundations and events
20th National Quality Congress, Youth Care Association, Streetcornerwork, Go Beyond MBA, Big Improvement Day, Utrecht Entrepreneurship Day

“You were unforgettable! Your story was very impressive again. I’ve also received many compliments about you. Last year we had Hans van Breukelen and it was pretty hard to find a good replacement (good-better-best). Although I’m not sure if we will manage to succeed again next year.”
– Karen Jansen, organizer Utrecht Entrepreneurship Day

“Fascinating, touching and intriguing.”
Joseph Oubelkas is the author of “400 letters from my mother. A story about an unthinkable nightmare: innocent in prison…
In the Netherlands, Joseph has appeared on TV at the Pauw & Witteman Late-night show, The Family Portrait and the Coffee Time Breakfast show (channel RTL4) and channel SBS6. He was also on Radio NOS News Channel, and 3FM Radio Frits Spits and “Spijkers met koppen” and he has appeared in numerous Dutch magazines (including Libelle, HP/De Tijd, Men’s Health, Grazia and LINDA).

“400 letters from my mother” is the true story of Joseph who, at the age of 24, embarks on a business trip to Morocco and there, without evidence or investigation, is sentenced to ten years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Despite obvious errors in the verdict, and the conclusion of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs that no evidence pointed to Joseph’s involvement, he was still unjustly imprisoned for years.

Since his release in 2009, Joseph shares captivatingly about the harsh life in the (various Moroccan) prisons, and how he has learned to turn his anger and frustration into something constructive and positive. In his lectures, Joseph tells in an intriguing way about his trials, friendships with prisoners and guards, and his urge to survive. Wherever Joseph goes, his audience will be captivated from the very first moment.

A lecture by Joseph Oubelkas is not an ordinary lecture. It captivates and fascinates; it’s a lecture you don’t want to miss. As a speaker, Joseph regularly provides lectures for businesses, in which ‘inspiring’ and ‘motivating’ are the key words. With his experiences Joseph focuses on mental survival strength and how essential this is for entrepreneurs, but also for many other aspects in life.
How do you deal with difficult situations, how do you make the most of it, where do you focus on? Themes such as “Leadership , “Managing change”, Dealing with adversity” will be discussed. You will learn how to relativize and come to the conclusion, that you always have a choice!

“One of the best speakers I have seen in ages and who has a controversial story. Joseph Oubelkas #rsaDD @tedx”
– visitor Mark Vellinga

To book a lecture, please complete contactformulierthe contact form or send an email to

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