Hello, my name is... The introduce yourself in the BE-group topic


Who am I?

I’m Pieter-Jan Pauwels, for now I’m the sole employee of Open Knowledge Belgium vzw, one of the official chapters of the Open Knowledge network. I’ve been hosting open events and conferences such as Open Belgium Conference myself the last two years. Aside from open stuff I’m happy to go kayaking, play board games, read graphic novels and raising a young daughter in an ever-changing world.

What do I do?

As a community manager at Open Knowledge Belgium I support the Belgian community as much as possible. I also lead the Open Belgium working group which serves as a community portal for ‘open’ news in Belgium and is also a yearly conference that is fully community driven. Besides that I work (or have worked) on different subsided projects such as Apps for Europe (creating a hackathon format for open business models), Datawijs (A Data Literacy video series for youngsters), W4P (A ‘open source’ lightweight crowdsourcing/funding platform, TBA) and many more. Oh and my most fun project each summer is open Summer of code, where we train young technical, communication and business students to create Open Source application with Open Data.

Where did my interest in ‘open’ come from?
I wasn’t aware of ‘open data’ and ‘open knowledge’ as such before I started working at Open Knowledge Belgium but I had been using Creative Commons licenses for music scores to insert into videos or used public domain material when I was a social media manager. And my dissertation in my professional bachelor (2007-2008) was about bringing young people together around the concept of Electronic DIY or tinkering, which now is more commonly known as Open Hardware projects, which was way before Fablabs, hackerspaces and open events started to emerge in Belgium.

As a ‘open advocate’ myself I’m mostly interested in open culture, open content, open hardware and open design.

I’m also on Twitter if you want to know more about me.