Utopian Thinking about Data-driven Government in Leuven

In October 2016, I was invited to the “Futures Seminar” of the European Perspectives for Public Administration project at the KU Leuven. On the occasion of the 500-year-anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s “Utopia”, the seminar strove to tackle some of the crucial topics for the future of Public Administration Research.

The topics included “Future Cities and Utopian Architecture”, “Future Citizens and Diversity”, “Ecotopia”, and finally “Big Data & Internet of Things” – the session I was invited for. I was to comment on the presentations of Ed Parsons of Google, who talked about the possibilities of ambient computing, and Geert Bouckaert, who painted a vision of an entirely virtual, data-driven society.

Overall, the seminar was an unusual and stimulating academic endeavour, even if many discussions stayed at a very general level. Public Administration Research can certainly benefit from more utopian thinking, beyond the structures and processes of the status quo.

If you want to know what I had to say at the seminar, have a look here:



csm_logo_eppa_01_c264a4fe78 Comment “Data-driven Government: An Opportunity for Public Administration Research” (Manuscript & Presentation) to the session “Big Data & Internet of Things” at the “European Perspectives for Public Administration: Futures Seminar” at KU Leuven, 20-21 October 2016


Photo credits: University library of Leuven in 2009, licensed CC-BY by Hühnerauge

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