De eerste Algemene Ledenvergadering van 2019 van de vereniging Open Nederland vindt vanmiddag plaats. Met al meer leden dan we voor dit jaar beoogden, kijk ik uit naar een bruikbare sessie. Als penningmeester heb ik nog niet veel te doen gehad behalve de basics zoals handelsregister, bankrekening en btw-nummer. Daar gaan we hopelijk de rest van het jaar verandering in brengen. Met ons nieuwe kantoor in het centrum van Utrecht zijn we als The Green Land gastheer voor de ledenvergadering.

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16 (photo by Matthieu Sévère, license CC-BY)

A regular week with increasingly nice weather in which I

  • Had a meeting with the National Archive’s open data team
  • Discussed potential training products/services with our new employee Sara
  • Worked on our open data project for a province
  • Discussed organising an unconference to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a professorship
  • Had our monthly ‘all hands’ meeting with my company (we’re currently 8 people), followed by drinks and dinner together
  • Did first quarter book keeping for the VAT returns
  • Wrote some contributions for the 2018 year report for a province
  • Spent a beautiful sunny day with the little one, exploring our part of town with her in the lead, eating fish, and ice cream with her, playing on the slides and swings
  • Spent the Easter weekend outside in the sun, with our own and my sister’s family.
  • Started work to get my e-book collection organised (and duplicated to my local Calibre library, realising how badly Amazon’s Kindle and website interface are designed
  • Sent out the first invites to the IndieWebCamp Utrecht, for 18/19 May.

The Irish government started planning for Brexit in 2014, a full 2 years before the UK referendum, and lobbied both EU and Cameron to secure a yes vote. In contrast it seems the UK started debating the impact of Brexit on the Irish border in earnest about two weeks before the 29 March cliff-edge. “Easiest deal in history” and all that.

Bookmarked How the Irish backstop emerged as May's Brexit nemesis (the Guardian)
Ireland was streets ahead of the UK when it came to planning for Britain’s exit

Another week of light blogging. Maybe fell in the trap of overthinking it again. I did read more though.

This week I

  • Spent most of three days on an open data project for a province, mainly focusing on a comparative transparency study, of which one part was looking at how Dutc provinces publish open data
  • Chaired the first meeting of the board of the Open State Foundation this year, taking a look at the 2018 results
  • Presented the results of a data governance improvement project to the client’s management team
  • Spent lots of time with the little one.
  • With Elmine did some home and garden improvements
  • Decided to attend this years Copenhagen Techfestival (5-7 September)
  • Decided I want to re-use more openly licensed material, so including a photo of this week’s number
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Photo by ondasderuido, license CC-BY-SA

Scariest words today: “Daddy, am I wearing diapers?”, while we’re in the car. The little one has been practicing going without diapers at home, and when she asked I realised we went shopping without wearing a diaper. Back home she ran to the bathroom. Made it!

Chaired my first board meeting of the Open State Foundation tonight. A pleasure to do, and a relaxed and upbeat setting. With the ceo as well as me being new, the experience of the deputy ceo and my fellow board members, and the professionalisation of the past few years, it feels like a good mix to move OSF forward together.

This week I had strong cold leaving me half deaf, with an inability to focus much and causing lack of sleep. I wrote several blogposts, but none of them finished, so a very light blogging week.

  • Went to ‘All Rembrandts’ exhibit at the Rijksmuseum with Elmine
  • Worked on an open data project for a province
  • Tweaked a plan for a Malaysian client, which should finally be the definitive version
  • Went to a funeral
  • Attended my colleague Paul’s farewell party at the Ministry for the Interior
  • Welcomed a new employee
  • Prepared a presentation of project results for next week
  • Outlined a project proposal
  • Did quite a bit of gardening with the little one
  • Spent a nice afternoon walk with my old fraternity friends and their families
  • Spent a nice afternoon with my two sisters and family

For several weeks a pair of pigeons showed up every morning and evening looking for food in our garden. First they’d sit next to each other on the high fence, then one of them would come down first shortly after followed by the other. We’d watch them each day during breakfast.

This week however only one of them shows up every day. The other is no longer there. Did they split up? Did something happen to the other? Makes you wonder what it sounds like when doves cry.

This week I

  • Did some admin and salaries, esp as we have 2 new people on board and a third starting next week
  • Prepared for IndieWebCamp Utrecht in May
  • Wrote several workshop formats
  • A day of meetings at a client’s
  • Discussed a potential new project
  • Planned a presentation of a finished project’s results
  • Set-up new laptop for next week’s new colleague

My friend Juliane created a /now page behind a password, which she shared with me and others. My friend Peter has a public one. I like the concept of the /now page containing “everything you would tell someone you haven’t met in a year to quickly catch up”. I do week notes which are somewhat similar in content yet different in intention, but trying to write a /now page I realised some of the most informative parts are intended for a smaller audience than the general public. Or I’d need to water the information value down to make it fit for general publication. Juliane’s solution helps. Ideally I’d have the same /now page for multiple audiences, with content shown, partly shown or not at all, depending on who’s reading.

Bryan Alexander has been holding online book club readings for both fiction and non-fiction books. The next edition will be reading Shoshana Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. I recently bought a copy, and I will read along with the rest of the group in the coming few weeks. (I’m also thinking about a recently read book list here on this site. I track my reading anyway, and might as well share some of that here.)

What a bleak description from the inside of the House of Commons. There really is no gap between voters and politicians, they’re all blindly groping in the dark. The dread is palpable, with Brexit being a way to express it more than its cause. The dread expresses itself differently elsewhere. We sense change is coming, is here, we sense our institutions and structures are ill equipped for it, while individually we feel change is affecting us like the weather, rolling over us, powerless to change it. The question is does that dread push you to reactionary positions and fear, melancholia for something that never existed in the first place? Or do you look around you for the tools that are within your grasp and start building, disregarding what has no immediate meaning for your own agency? The MP in this article seems to think the existing structures can’t be challenged, even while acknowledging the structures show themselves to be made of sand. Lamenting a lack of agency in the midst of where (in)decision will determine the outcome. Feeling trapped like this MP’s constituents themselves, not realizing the potential tools scattered around her/him. That makes this MP part of the problem, not the forced-to-be-passive-bystander s/he claims to be.

As we near the end of Q1, this was a week that felt sluggish, slow like swimming in syrup.

  • Created some rolling forecasts (liquidity, acquisition, time allocation, and projects) with my colleague Jochem. As we are entering a different phase with my company (e.g. more people), it is becoming more important to have some key things easily visible to my partners.
  • Worked on a project plan for a Malaysian client, current starting data estimated to be in June
  • Provided some input on data granularity to that client, for training they were providing this week to data holders
  • Monthly phone conference with the director and deputy director of Open State Foundation (of which I’m the chairman of the board)
  • Decided on a location for the IndieWebCamp Utrecht in May
  • Spent a day with my company’s partners discussing our course for the next nine months
  • Worked on a project for a Dutch province
  • Voted in the provincial elections and the water authority elections ( Netherlands’ oldest democratic institutions). These were the first elections since we moved into this region 2 years ago, so had to orient myself on what’s what and who’s who.
  • Loaded up on new books, as it is national book week.
  • As weekly hack or rather odd job, with help of the little one, I repaved the roof terrace where most tile stones were askew