About me

Welcome! I have been writing in this space since November 2002 about my professional interests, knowledge work, dealing with complexity, and the ways we develop tools and strategies to navigate a fully digitised and networked world. My background is in electronic engineering and philosophy of science, which reflects the crossroads I like to be on; people and the technology they use.
I spend my time with different groups in different settings, but on topics that in my eyes are very much connected. They feel connected because whatever it is I am doing, I am always passionate about increasing people’s ability to act (my working definition of knowledge), and increasing their ability to change (my working definition of learning).

tonzijlstra.eu
I am a self-employed and independent consultant on knowledge work, learning and complex challenges. I own my own job, and seek out others in my network to form context-specific teams when needed. In short I work in networked structures. I am based in the Netherlands and work across Europe, as well as in Central and South-East Asia (the latter mostly as an open government expert for the World Bank). I am a regular speaker on (international) conferences on open data, the impact of digitisation and networks on knowledge work and learning, and digital making.

The Green Land
The Green Land, a European open data consultancy, was founded by me and three partners in 2011. We assist governments and private entities in being open by design, as part of a more comprehensive data governance approach. Based in the Netherlands we work throughout Europe, for supranational, national as well as regional and local government bodies and the private sector.

Each of us have a long track record in open (government) data.
We offer experience in legal, economic, analytical, research, public sector, IT, change management, community building, and knowledge management aspects of the digital disruption wave that is open data.

We have performed key studies and benchmarks on the economic and societal impact of open data, have helped plan and operate national open data portals, guided clients in opening data as part of normal operations, and have been actively building grass roots efforts as well as connecting stakeholders to create networks and ecosystems in which open innovation can take place. We frequently give key note presentations and host workshops at conferences all over Europe, and sometimes beyond.

MakerHouseholds and FabLabs
FabLabs are workshops that put industrial machines into the hands of individuals. It is the digitisation and distribution of production. I was the chairman of the FabLab Foundation BeNeLux (Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg) for a number of years, and still work on network- and community-development in the maker scene, next to creating a FabLab at home. My interest is in how this new making increases the resilience of households in local communities by leveraging global networks: MakerHouseholds.