I will be working from Copenhagen the full month of October. I am open to discuss possible things to do concerning open data, complex problems and change management issues. Get in touch if you would like to meet up.

Going to Copenhagen for a month is a bit of an experiment. Elmine and I in the past few years have regularly spent a week or 10 days in various European cities, to reconnect with our network face to face. That usually is perfectly fine to start conversations, but there’s never enough time then to follow up as well. Also a week in another European city like that will quickly fill up with all kinds of meetings and conversations, usually leaving little room to breath in between. So as an experiment we are moving to Copenhagen for a longer period: a full month. So there’s room for follow-up. So that there’s room to do some actual work together.

Why Copenhagen? Because it is a city we love, and we know some great people there. It will feel at home right away, we’re sure. We’ve rented an apartment for the month, and the good people at SocialSquare have offered me office space to get started. So, October 1st, we’ll drive up to Denmark, ready to take on Copenhagen 🙂

I can offer to help you with:

  • opening up data for your local government or other government body, in a way that is valuable to the government body itself.
  • finding concrete ways to use open government data to increase participation, or impact policy areas that matter to you.
  • coming up with useful applications that use open data and citizen generated data for specific issues.
  • revolutionizing participatory processes by doing large scale listening to real stories in real time
  • setting up the circumstances to successfully grow a local open data community, or start a group of professional peers inside your own organization.

If you are interested to have a conversation on any of these points, feel free to get in touch via e-mail at ton.zijlstra@gmail.com.  Very much looking forward to meeting you!

In the harbour of Copenhagen.

Last week Peter Rukavina was a guest at our home here in Enschede. Although he was worried his old cat allergy might be rekindled by our two cats, that didn’t happen. He did catch a bug though, the making bug. As it turns out making is an infectious meme.

Now, Peter has always been a tinkerer in the years we know him. Building small clever software tools, or running your own hand operated printing press is not everyone’s daily habit. And earlier he picked up on my ‘find your guy in the blue shirt‘ suggestion for opening up government held public data with equal energy, resulting in ongoing effects. So maybe he is more receptive than others. But infect him we did.

First we showed him our newly acquired cnc router (it was in his guest room) and laser cutter for our home mini fablab. Then Elmine took him to the local FabLab, and asked him “would you like to make something“. Experimenting with making wood type for his letterpress ensued, followed by further work on a laser cutter in Sweden on the next leg of his journey. According to himself his vacation has transmogrified into a ‘makeation‘.

Making is contagious. Better get used to it. A thing to build on as well, when it comes to local resilience in a more connected and complex world.

Our friend Peter Rukavina is traveling through Europe these weeks. He stayed with Pedro and Patricia in Düsseldorf, where we picked him up and brought him to our home town Enschede. As a gift he brought us these hand printed calling cards.

A great gift. Elmine’s and Patricia’s are very stylish. Patricia’s look like a high-end fashion brand label. Pedro’s and my cards are in a type called ‘Grotesk’ Fitting? I like how the I and J are placed, accenting that they belong together. In Dutch they are one letter, abroad this is where people usually spell my name wrong: the L often ends up between them.

I have continued to chronicle my path to a working mini FabLab at home over at MakerHouseHolds.net (which is a pendant to MakerHouseHolds.eu, a site to start collecting material around making in the context of globally networked, resilient local communities.)

So head on over to read how Elmine and I put together the electronics for our laser cutter in “Bringing a Laser Cutter to Life: Phase One“.

The laser cutter as it arrived in the boot of our car

The finished electronic components. Tried and tested.