In my master thesis, I assessed the ‘smart city’ from a political economy perspective following Henri Lefebvre’s ‘Right to the City’, which demands for citizens to be the makers of their urban environment. Since then, I remained fascinated by the ups and downs of the smart city, and the role that we as citizens assume in its shaping. Today, I am lucky to be a PhD researcher at this path-leading research center. Core to my project are data protection impact assessments; introduced in the general data protection regulation as an instrument to foster transparency, hold stakeholders accountable, and (potentially) to strengthen the position of data subjects, i.e. citizens in the case of the city. Before I could focus on this exciting topic, I worked on big data, data markets, data business models, IoT, stakeholder engagement, co-creation and service design in various European and Flemish projects. Always in the light of my main interest: how can we make our cities truly smart.
I work for imec-Smit-VUB since August 2013. A bachelor degree in European Studies from the University of Maastricht, and a Master of Science in Communication Studies (with Great Distinction) has provided me with the right tools to tackle scientific issues. A cosmopolitan life and a passion for inter-cultural communication learned and cultivated while working and living in international environments provides the rest.