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BSD appoints Marcel Thaens and Ben Kokkeler as chairmen of the Data Advisory Team and Ethics Team.

In Brainport Smart District (BSD) we want to handle data in a responsible manner. And future residents must retain maximum control over their data. In short, these are the starting points for the Data Governance project. To support the organization with these important social issues, BSD has set up a Data Advisory Team and an Ethics Team. Marcel Thaens and Ben Kokkeler respectively have been appointed as chairman of these two advisory committees by the BSD board of the foundation.


Marcel Thaens is a public administration expert and, from his role as CIO for the province of Noord-Brabant, is involved in the practice of data-driven working. From his past as a consultant and professor by special appointment, he has extensive experience with ICT and strategic innovations in the public sector. He is also a member of BSD's Q-Team.

Ben Kokkeler is a professor in Digitalization and Security at Avans University of Applied Sciences and principal consultant at the Technopolis Group. Kokkeler is not only an expert in the field of digitization and security, but also bridges the gap between practice-oriented research, education and innovative practical projects, such as Brainport Smart District, in his role as professor .

As chairmen of the Data Advisory Team and the Ethics Team respectively, Thaens and Kokkeler will play an important role in good mutual cooperation in creating conditions for a responsible and successful digital (experimental) environment and design of this district of the future. Both teams advise the Q-Team and the board of the Brainport Smart District Foundation respectively.

Data Advisory Team
The objective of the Data Advisory Team is to advise on the implementation of digital experiments, innovations, the design of digital infrastructures and the use of data in BSD. The starting points and ambitions as expressed in the Data Manifesto and the Q-Book of BSD form an important starting point.

Ethics Team
BSD is a living lab in which social experiments are organized in a responsible manner with digital data, software, homes and devices. BSD is a leader in this in the Netherlands. These experiments that companies, governments and knowledge institutions are conducting together with citizens will raise questions about ethical and social impact. The Ethics Team does not aspire to answer these questions directly, but the Team ensures that people can actively learn from the various initiatives and projects. At the same time, the Team assesses these new initiatives and mobilizes citizens and professionals to participate in guided dialogues and practical research. This creates a closer view of the possible answers that are needed.

Data Manifest
The Data Advisory Team and the Ethics Team are part of the Governance of BSD. This smartest neighborhood in the Netherlands aims to guarantee the responsible use of data and (digital) technology, for the well-being of citizens and to offer them maximum opportunities to further shape their own neighborhood and living environment. In June 2020, the foundation board adopted the Data Manifest. Citizens are central to this Manifest. The Manifest provides the basis and direction for citizens and other parties who wish to participate. Parties participating in the development of Brainport Smart District are asked to make maximum effort to realize the ambitions of the Data Manifest.

For questions about the Data Governance project, please contact Carlien Roodink via

Read more about the Data Governance project.


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