On 12 March the 2018 edition of the Open Belgium Conference takes place in Louvain-la-Neuve. With my company, next to sponsoring the event as a partner, we submitted several proposals in the open call for speakers. The program and speakers have now been announced. I’m pleased that we’ve been invited to give two presentations.

My colleagues Frank and Jochem will talk about a project we’re doing with a regional government and local governments, where together with civil servants from the local governments we talked to farmers, citizens, entrepreneurs and businesses and simply asked them: ‘what do you do’ and ‘how can we help (with our data)’? The process and results and the way this is a novel experience for both civil service and external stakeholders are story worth sharing.

I will be presenting at the very end of the day, talking about the need for and use of creating systematic and detailed inventories of data assets in a government entity. Increasingly open data, personal data protection, information security, and data sovereignty are overlapping topics and efforts, where most government organisations will still treat them as islands. My and my company’s experience from creating data inventories for 6 different Dutch government bodies shows how data inventories can support data governance, embracing privacy, security and openness, all by design.

I’m looking forward to the conference, and meeting up with both familiar faces, and new ones, as well as get a better overview of all that is happening in Belgium concerning open knowledge. If possible I’d like to find some new contacts for collaboration in Belgium, by transplanting some of our methods and processes.