Last year following my client-turned-friend Ernst Phaff’s lead, I posted a list of things that in 2010 gave me a sense of accomplishment, the Tadaa!-list. As I wrote then “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 [..]” and listing for myself what was accomplished, what I enjoyed doing.
Doing this, going through my calendar looking at what happened in the past year, already last year struck me as very useful: you simply forget so much along the way, as you respond to new things, and get inundated with new stuff. In 2011 I worked 2372 hours, way too much to my liking, a number that guarantees I loose track of the details of the things I did, obscuring the accomplishments behind a list of still-to-do’s and things to improve.
I decided then to do this again for 2011 and put it on my ‘yearly review’ task list. So, in no particular order, and sticking to professional things mostly……. Here’s my Tadaa!-list for 2011.
- The Dutch national government data portalI wrote the plans for in 2010 got formally launched in September 2011, after being in beta since January 2011.
- I helped write an Open Data Motionfor my home town, and saw it adopted by the City Council nearly unanimously.
- I helped bring a FabLab to my home town, and had the honour to speak on behalf of the Dutch FabLab Foundation at its official opening. (I must admit to not having used their facilities yet to make something myself, but Elmine sure has)
- Spent a week working from and sightseeing in Berlin with Elmine, where I also gave a well received talk at the Cognitive Cities Conference, on Spicing Up Your City With Open Government.. It was an inspiring event bringing many new sparks.
Ton Zijlstra at Cognitive Cities Conference from Cognitive Cities on Vimeo.
- Edited and published the second edition of the FabYearBook.
- Made a living for the fourth year being self-employed, while working in what is basically a new market (open data consultancy). Studiously ignored the sensationalist headlines of impending global economic doom, spending energy instead on helping build the structures, scaffolding and systems creating new and alternative ways forward. Sphere of influence and all that Jazz….
- Started working as Community Steward of the ePSIplatform, creating awareness for open government data around Europe
- Gave presentations in Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland, Finland, and of course in the Netherlands, on open data mostly
- Worked a week out of Helsingør and Copenhagen with Elmine, visiting our rockstar-consultant friend Henriette and Thomas, having meetings with various organisations and inspiring people on open data, social media, complexity management, and FabLab
- Presented at a great Spanish conference on digital citizenship in beautiful Donostia (San Sebastian), where I further explored a train of thought I started at Reboot in 2008 on attitudes and skills in dealing with digital disruption, this time in order for our public institutions to survive, as survive they must albeit changed.
- Created the OurServices website, showcasing examples of collaborative e-government services, from around Europe
- Visited our friends Paolo (who turned 40) and Monica in Italy with Elmine, this time without just using their office to write a project proposal like the time before, but simply enjoying hanging out with great people and enjoying the countryside
- Gave input to a Dutch guide on how to ‘do’ open government data for local governments
- Did a project together with Elmine for the European Commission, running a video competition for the Digital Agenda Assembly.
- Enjoyed working for a client in my home town, in the midst of all the travel around Europe. A rare but pleasant treat to be able to cycle to a workshop session, and not taking a plane or train.
- Did most of the work in putting together the new ePSIplatform portal
- Took the time to attend Brigitte’s opening of her new osteopathy practice in Switzerland
- Got to be there for friends in times of need. Thankful they let me be there for them.
- Sat on the jury of the OpenDataChallenge.org, that saw 430 entries.
- Mused about speeding up my actions, extending my range, while taking it very slow for three weeks in the French Alps.
- Enjoyed the heck out of the e-reader Elmine gave me for my birthday. I lost the life long habit of avid reading for a while in 2010, this got me back into it. Thanks dear.
- Started to work with Paul, Marc, Frank as a network to land Open Data projects together, and immediately saw it result in collaborating on project proposals
- Spoke at the EU Ministerial Conference on e-Government in Poznan Poland, on ‘making open data work‘ for government itself.
- Started working in earnest with Harold, Niels, Erwin, Tony and others, on projects around making sense of complexity.
- Brought together a dozen Dutch city governments to exchange their experiences on opening up government data, and experimenting together in bringing it forward.
- Did three sessions at the Open Government Data Camp in Warsaw, one on how open data is an opportunity for local government to reinvent itself, save money and crack complex issues.
- Got to work with long-time fellow Reboot-friend and co-shareholder of the Coworking Boat PAN, Peter Rukavina on a project for a client. It’s great to work with people like that.
- I lost 15kg, bringing me back to a weight I haven’t had in 20 years
- Elmine and I published an e-book “How to Unconference Your Birthday” and sent out special cards to all that attended my Birthday Unconference the year before. We asked the cool people at BuroPony in Rotterdam to do the design. Find the download link in the book’s Facebook page.
Creating the book and having it in our hands, giving it to all the awesome people who were there in 2010, was so much fun and rewarding. An Epic Sh*t Multiplier, as we called it on my birthday then, and in the book now.
That’s the list. I got to work on cool projects, travelled to new places before returning home, and above all got to work with the people I want to work with. More importantly, 2011 was a year that reinforced the notion that it’s your relationships that count, and that the journey is its own goal. Whether it’s grieving together, celebrating together, or even both at the same time, those are the moments I find intense beauty in being with friends. Onwards!