Looking Back On 2010: Quite A Ride!

With this post I am following the example of my friend Ernst Phaff who created a “TaDaa!” list of the things he did in 2010 that gave him a feeling of accomplishment. As a ‘knowledge worker’ the boundaries of work have become all but invisible, and over the course of a year I work on so many different things that it is easy to forget I what I actually did. The “TaDaa!”-list is a way of resurfacing the things that happened in 2010.

General ‘verdict’: rocky but fun, rewarding and ending well
All in all 2010 was a rocky ride economically. It started out with feeling the effects of economic downturn and being impacted by the fall of the government (which meant some projects I was bidding on were postponed, waiting for the new government to take office 8 months later). Early in the year my work portfolio was basically empty and our reserves were running on empty, and at that point it was also unclear where sizable chunks of work might be coming from in the short run. So a lot of my energy went to establishing new opportunities. It was a year I worked very hard, having made more work hours by October than normally make up an entire year. So the last few months I was mostly very tired. At the same time it was also a year in which I did a lot of things I greatly enjoyed and gained energy from. I certainly ended the year on a high-note, having ensured a work portfolio that will provide the basics for the coming 2 years.

The TaDaa!-list then, in random order:

    • Giving the closing key-note at SHiFT, titled “Maker Households“, where I explored and worded a grand overarching story for the first time, bringing together a number of themes close to me.
    • Contributing with sessions or as moderator to various Open Gov Data events: ODIS in Copenhagen, HackdeOverheid in Amsterdam, Gov 2.0 camp in Berlin, EC PSI Group Meeting in Luxembourg, Open Gov Data Camp in London, Aporta/EPSI meeting in Madrid, Open Data meet-up Graz.
    • Speaking at Lift Marseille (about FabLabs)
    • Speaking at PICNIC (about open government data)
    • Teaching students at the Saxion University for Applied Sciences networking/networked information management and social media, and a course in creativity management
    • Facilitating the discussion around a national government data catalogue for the Dutch Home Office, writing a comparison of similar projects and plan for such a catalogue, and then see it launch in beta last week.
    • Bringing a bit of interaction to an otherwise very scripted and top-down conference, the WCIT conference
    • Guest blogging at the EPSI platform and then joining the EPSI platform as news editor
    • Publishing the first FabLab YearBook ever
    • Seeing 6 new FabLabs opened in Groningen, Arnhem, Leuven, Amersfoort, Maastricht and a mobile truck, as part of the board of the Dutch FabLab Foundation
    • Being, with the entire Dutch FabLab network, host to the worldwide FabLab conference Fab6
    • Working with several dozen students on concepts for the FabLab e-community at HAN University for Applied Sciences
    • Being stuck in Portugal for a week due to the ash cloud
    • Helping my widowed sister move to a new home
    • Sometimes having the most gorgeous morning view from the home office

, or from a home away from home.

  • Struggling to write a European tender, at the cost of disrupting a relaxing visit with Elmine to our friends Paolo and Monica in Italy, but winning the tender, and being sure I wouldn’t have written it quite the same way at home
  • Writing an article on the consequences for government of internet with Waag Society
  • Finding passionate open data people in my home town and together bring open data in our city steadily forward, during the ‘Open Innovation Festival‘ and Global Hackday, and offering the city 11 days of my time in 2011 in exchange for releasing public data sets
  • Joining the TOPinnosense label to work on sensemaking/complexity projects
  • Being part of kicking off the now regular Cognitive Edge business network meetings in Europe

And the absolute best thing last year was that Elmine and me were host to some 40 people for my birthday unconferenceWorking on Stuff that Matters“, and some 80 people for a BBQ party. It was the best birthday gift I ever had: sharing it with so many great peopl. This event gave me energy throughout the year. And it still does.
All of these things were done together with great other people. One of the biggest perks of being self-employed is I get to choose the people I work with all over again for every new activity I engage in.