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3rd S-Direct Seminar 2018 

 The Data-driven   economy:


 for developing


 & citizens




Leo van Audenhove

Media & Data Literacy: Empowerment or the freedom to be disempowered ?


Ilse Marien

Inclusive data-driven societies: Challenges and Solutions

Wouter Gevaert

AI: Science Fiction that became reality


Wouter Grove/Johan Breytenbach

Using data to build smarter communities


Arthur Wade Anderson

Data for determining socio-economic impact of community interventions


Partners & Participants


Speaker Profiles


Prof Leo van Audenhove, imec - SMIT Vrije Universiteit Brussel


Leo Van Audenhove is professor for new media and international communication at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). He is currently the Head of the Department of MEdia and Comunication Sudies at VUB.  Since 2014 he is also extraordinary professor at the University of the Western Cape. Apart from his academic work, Leo is currently also the director of the Flemish Knowledge Center for Media Literacy, which develops media literacy content, initiatives and projects in Flanders. His research interest covers e-inclusion, media literacy, ICT4D and Internet Governance.



Dr Ilse Marien*, imec - SMIT Vrije Universiteit Brussel

& Dr Rob Heyman- SMIT Vrije Universiteit Brussel


*Ilse Marien will present this research


Ilse Mariën is working as a post-doc researcher at imec-SMIT, a research centre attached to the Free University of Brussels (VUB) where she has been involved in several projects related to digital inequalities, e-skills and other policy aspects related to digital media. For the moment, she is leading a 4-year federal research project - IDEALiC - that aims at setting the future scene of e-inclusion policies in Belgium. In 2016, she also successfully defended her Ph.D. that entails (1) a more contextualized and comprehensive theoretical framework for digital inequalities; and (2) a concise strategic framework for developing sustainable e-inclusion policies.


Rob Heyman is working as a post-doc researcher at imec-SMIT, a research centre attached to the Free University of Brussels (VUB). He obtained a PhD in communication sciences at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2016. His dissertation researched social media's evolution and increasing use of personal information for advertising purposes. He identified privacy impacts by observing daily use of social media and the specific way these interfaces are designed. After his PhD, he used these methods to identify privacy impacts in smart cities, advertising and IoT applications through privacy impact assessments.



Wouter Gevaert, Howest, Belgium


Graduated as electrical engineer. Currently teaching at Howest, University College West Flanders in New Media & Communication Technology (NMCT) and Energy management (ENM).


Also visiting lecturer at Ghent university. His interests are in the field of machine learning, artificial intelligence, audio- and video signal processing and computer vision.



Arthur Wade Anderson, Founding member: AFRICASGOTGAME 




Olivia Dyers, Director for Digital Leadership, Western Cape Department of Economic Affairs and Tourism

Olivia Dyers is a career civil servant and currently the Director for Digital Leadership at the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism. Qualified as a City planner, Olivia has spent most of her working life of almost 20 years, employed as an economic development practitioner, having been at the cold-face of the development and implementation Western Cape Government’s biggest single recent investment, namely the Western Cape Broadband programme.

Dr Mmaki Jantjies, HOD, Information Systems Department, UWC


Dr Mmaki Jantjies is a senior lecturer and Head of Information Systems department. Her research on ICT4D explores the role of technology and skills in education, governance and business in developing countries.. Furthermore she is the holder of a Google grant to develop curricula and teach teachers how to use technology to support computer science learning in schools, finalist in the MTN/Kagiso Media Women in ICT Partnership For Change Awards, panelist at the 2017 G20 Women 20 Dialogue in Germany, one of the Mail & Guardian Young 200 Top Achievers Under 35 for 2017.


Dr Johan Breytenbach, Senior Lecturer, Information Systems, UWC


Johan Breytenbach is a senior lecturer in the Information Systems department at the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa. His principal research areas are system design, the design and use of platform systems, distributed ledger systems (block-chains), mobile technologies, digitizing business models, and preparing traditional businesses for the digital economy.


Wouter Grove, Project Manager, Western Cape CoLab, Ph.D. Student, (UWC-VUB)


Wouter Grove is a project manager in the Western Cape CoLab, as well as a joint Phd Student at UWC & VUB (Belgium). His research focuses on Digital Platforms, Living Labs, and Digital Social Innovation. He has lectured at undergraduate level in IFS and post-graduate level for the Masters Degree Module on Management for Nanoscientists, Nano Science Platform. He worked in various roles within the management consulting, risk management, information technology and operations management fields.

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