Better Work Together

Do you want to work on stuff that matters? Since 2010 a group of people in Wellington, New Zealand have been organizing themselves to do just that. Now you can read how they did it!

Continue Reading →

Open Call: carpenter for children’s playground in refugee camp Greece

On of the members of the Designers With Refugees community, which is part of innovation lab Latra, shared the following open call:

Subject: My quest for a compassionate Carpenter

Continue Reading →

Open Call for Design Challenges

Would you like your product-related Design Challenge solved for free?

Do you have a brilliant idea for an innovative product for the beneficiaries of your mission-driven organization or for your colleagues in the field? Or do they use an existing product that needs serious improvement?

Then here is your chance: have a team of Industrial Product Design students create that for you!

Continue Reading →

Open Innovation & Open Design

This article originally appeared on about my presentation and workshop on Technology Trends, Open Source and Open Design for Humanitarian NGOs and other organizations:

On November 27th 2018, The Spindle, in collaboration with HumanityX, organised a Future Session about global technological developments and open innovation & open design. Participants to this meeting came from various organisations, sectors, and backgrounds, which provided fruitful input and discussions, especially during the workshop part of the session.

Continue Reading →

Reinventing Startups

Once we have come to realize that the Silicon Valley model of startup-based innovation is not for the betterment of people and planet, but is a hyper-accelerated version of the existing growth-based capitalist Operating System increasing inequality, destroying nature and benefiting the 1%, the question arises: is there an alternative?

Continue Reading →

Fab Lab-enabled Humanitarian Aid in India

Since June 2018 the state of Kerala in India has endured massive floodings, as you may have read in the news. This article contains a brief summary what the international Fab Lab Community has been doing until now (early September 2018) to help the people recovering.

Continue Reading →

The Fairy Tale of the Unicorn and the Zebras

Once upon a time hippies where roaming the world. They were a happy bunch, living in freedom and spiritual abundance. A small group of them lived in a place called California, or to be more specific, an area that had the appearance of a lush valley. In that valley life was good. A new kind of technology called computers made that entrepreneurial life flourished and people had steady jobs. But the computers were big, clunky and expensive. They were exclusive to big corporations, governments and universities who had the space for them, both physically and in their budgets.

Continue Reading →

Should you donate to Open Source Software?

In short: yes, you should! If you are a regular user and can afford it. For the longer version: read on. In this article I will explain donating is not just “the right thing to do”, but also a practical way of supporting Open Source Software (OSS). I will show you a fair and pragmatic method that I use myself. You will see that donating does not need to cost you much (in my case less than € 25 per month; 25% of the proprietary alternatives), is easy and gets this topic “off your mind” for the rest of the time.

Continue Reading →

The Invisible Hole in Doughnut Economics

Doughnut Economics is one of the best books I have read in the past few years. I believe it should be standard reading for any economics student and fills in a big gap in “normal” economics theory. Kate Raworth excellently points out how and why the traditional models and theories do not work (anymore) and even better, replaces them with new concepts and pictures.


Continue Reading →

Do European Governments Publish Open Source Software?

From time to time I come across news articles about Governmental bodies in Europe adopting the use of Open Source Software. This seems to be a slowly increasing trend. But if European Governments make software for themselves, or are having it made for them, do they publish that software as Open Source?

Continue Reading →

How to feel happy using your Apple MacBook (again)

In short: wipe Mac OS and install Elementary OS. In some more words: read on.

If you are thinking: “I am feeling happy using my MacBook, what is he talking about?”, then open your calendar and make an entry for in 2 years to come back to this post. See you then!

Yes, in time your MacBook gets slow, right? Using it just does not feel as swift and smooth anymore as it once did. Everything you do is becoming a bit sluggish. Up to a point where it even becomes almost unusable. High time to go buy that new model!

Continue Reading →

No Time To Waste!

How are we going to feed 9+ billion people by 2050? Last week this question was at the heart of the Thought For Food Summit in Amsterdam and I had the honour and pleasure to be giving a Clinic on Opening Business Models and being invited to co-judge on the special Open Business Model Prize in the TFF Challenge Finals.

In a thrilling finals award ceremony team WasteBuster won the special Open Business Model Prize. Michael Kock, head of IP of main sponsor Syngenta, awarded the prize mainly for the potential the WasteBuster concept has for opening up their business model and open licensing their technology.

Continue Reading →

Stop Trying To End Poverty

In the past months I have started to explore and getting myself involved in Humanitarian Aid organizations (NGOs), from an innovation perspective.

What I find striking is how many times I read and hear about the goal to “End Poverty”. Besides the problematic term ‘poor’, which can mean to have no money for a prolonged time, but can also mean ‘of low quality’ (low quality people? Do you see the problem here?), I believe thinking about it in this way already limits the solution space tremendously. For one, money is just a proxy for something else, nobody dies of a lack of money, people die because of a lack of food, shelter, safety, healthcare, etcetera. So focusing on solving that money problem, discards opportunities to find solutions in a different way.

Continue Reading →

Unbox your Dropbox? Forget about TransIP Stack (for now)

Do you want to get rid of privacy-invading centralized Silicon Valley Cloud services like Dropbox, Google Calendar and Google Documents? Me too! However, that is easier said than done.

Continue Reading →

Conquer the World with Open Source

Last week I had the privilege and pleasure to do a talk at the Open Source Software and Hardware Congres (OSSH Event) in Den Bosch, The Netherlands. Since I got some positive reactions on this talk, I decided to write this Blog Post about it, containing the main points.

The organization asked me to talk about “earning money with Open Source”, a topic I have been talking about at several other conferences. However, this time I decided not to just focus on explaining various Open Source Revenue Models, but instead focus more on the disruptive global successes an Open Source Strategy can bring about. Therefor the somewhat grandiose title of my talk: Conquer the World with Open Source.

Continue Reading →

Shaping a vision of the future

I met Jesús Pérez, a friend of my wife, while on vacation on Tenerife. He invited to guide us on a trip on the island, driving up the 3000+ meters tall volcano El Teide. While enjoying the amazing Mars-like views up the mountains, we got talking about the things that really interest us.

Continue Reading →

The Promise of Quantum Computing

CWI, the Research Center for Mathematics and Computer Science in Amsterdam, did a whole day of lectures on Quantum Computing and I was fortunate to be able to attend these lectures. This post contains some notions I picked up during the day, mainly from the practical applications and impact perspective, as these topics are most interesting to me personally.

Continue Reading →

The Innovator’s Toolbox

Over the past years I have been using various models, methods and frameworks while developing innovative products and services with clients, for our own initiatives and as mentor or participator at hackathons. These have become like a ‘toolbox’ that I always have with me and can use whenever necessary.

This post gives an overview of my most favorite tools. Use them to your advantage. In the coming months I will write more in-depth posts of each of the tools, giving my personal experience and good practices.

Continue Reading →

Can NGOs benefit more from Innovation and Technology?

Recently we applied for UNICEF’s Wearables for Good Challenge and I read some interesting pieces on NGOs and innovation. Since these gave me the impression that NGOs could benefit more from innovation and new technologies, I decided to offer my expertise and part of my time to help NGOs innovate, or at least to assist in evaluating if innovation and technology could benefit them.

Continue Reading →

Getting hands-on with FireFox OS and Geeksphone

By: Diderik van Wingerden and Mirjam Bekker

While we are developing our own Open Products we also always keep an eye out for cool Open Products that are out there. And once in a while we like to get our hands on one of these products, test it and learn what we can.

A few weeks ago we thought it was time to finally get our hands on one of the most “open” smartphones currently available: one running Mozilla FireFox OS and see what that is all about. Sure, we ran into the Mozilla guys a couple of times, talking to them about the phones they brought, but we never actually took the opportunity to check it out thoroughly.

Continue Reading →

The top-10 “open” tech and digital moments in 2014

What happened in a year of “free and open technology”? This post highlights the main “open” tech and digital moments in 2014 for you. This top-10 is the “open” alternative specifically to The Guardian’s “Top 10 tech and digital moments in 2014”, as well as to countless other 2014 top tech lists.

Continue Reading →

Apps for Energy Hackathon

Being one of the partner organizations of the “Open Data Estafette” conference on Renewable Energy, my client Enexis together with Grid Operator Liander had the idea of organizing a hackathon on the subject. Meaning: going beyond the talks of the conference (mainly public servants) and towards creating innovative solutions with open data. For this idea Enexis asked for my help.

Continue Reading →

We need Radical Innovation

It is not hard to see that many things have fundamentally gone wrong in our world. Just think of how rapidly we are: destroying nature, depleting natural resources and using nonrenewable fossil fuels.

Furthermore, so many of us are living in complete and increasing poverty, war, sickness and just utter misery, while so many others (including me) can live life so comfortably and even a very small percentage owns most and an ever increasing part of all there is on earth.

My stance is that it is our common responsibility as the human species to strive for conditions that give the opportunity of a happy life to all that lives on this planet.

Continue Reading →

Rock Stars? No way!

Having witnessed the first Rockstart Smart Energy Accelerator Demo Day in Amsterdam, I can conclude only one thing. Are these guys (yes, not a single girl, how unfortunate) rock stars? Well, their stage performance can lead me to only one conclusion: no way!

Continue Reading →

Free Software, Free Society

Free software is a requirement for a modern free society. At least, according to the theme at the LibrePlanet Conference this year in Boston. I attended this excellent conference and had a great time, meeting lots of great people, listening to interesting speakers and learning a lot about what free software is about, and why it is important.

This post sums up the take-away points of LibrePlanet. Read my previous post about ‘free software’, if you have no idea yet of what it is (or if you think it has something to do with freeware).

Continue Reading →

Your Laptop wants to be Free

Do you want your laptop to free? Well, ‘free’ as in ‘freedom’ that is. If you looking for ‘gratis’, then this is not the article you want to read (or is it…?). But if you are fed up like me with Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS with their increasing restrictions, Planned Obsolescence, selling your personal data and giving it to the NSA, then read on.

Continue Reading →

Privacy, who cares?

Are you becoming more and more aware and concerned about your on-line privacy and related security of your digital data? I have… Of course due to the media attention to Snowden and related news, but also because of some very good documentaries on Tegenlicht and

“it just not seems feasible to really be in control of your on-line privacy and data security.”

Continue Reading →

How the 99% will have it all

This post contains some of my random thoughts about a subject that has been going through my mind for quite some time now. It is coming from my deep inner conviction of optimism about our future as humanity, when we shed ourselves from our limitations and live up to our full potential.

It is about how I believe that “the 99%”, which is you and me and pretty much all of us, will have unlimited opportunity for happiness, connection, peace and personal development. I see glimpses of this future sprouting everywhere. The biggest hurdle is our own limited beliefs: our thoughts create the world, our thoughts limit what is possible (well, at least for 99%), so once we start unraveling the illusion, once we start realizing we are inside “The Matrix”, we can all fly.

Continue Reading →

Where is that green MacBook?

Late last year I bought a new Apple MacBook Pro. An amazing device that I love to work with every day. The design, the feel of the keys, the clarity of the screen are simply great. Mac OS is pretty good as well (not as good as it was apparently, but that is another story).

However, somewhere I did feel and still do feel somewhat guilty for buying it.

Continue Reading →

10 tips to connect to people at business events

In this post a crash course in business networking: 10 tips and tricks I have learned over many years and that still help me in every networking opportunity I get!

Continue Reading →

How to get a Unique Business Card that People Remember

The idea: a really original business card that people would remember.

Continue Reading →

Waar is Collaborative Consumption in Nederland?

This post is in Dutch. You can use Google Translate to read it in English.

*** Update van de initiatieven in Nederland dankzij David Demper van op 12 maart 2012.

Continue Reading →