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Ton Zijlstra

Into the European (Green Deal) Data Space: The EU's Data Strategy and the single market for data as geo-information's new frontier

With both the Digital and Data strategies the EU is shaping a geopolitical proposition w.r.t. digitisation and data. Anchored to maximising societal benefits and strengthening citizen rights and European values as measures of success, a wide range of novel legal instruments is being created.  Those instruments provide companies, citizens, knowledge institutes and governments alike with new opportunities as well as responsibilities concerning the use of data. The forming of a single European market for data sharing and usage, the EU data space, also has consequences for all applications, including AI and digital twins, that are dependent on that data and produce data in return. Geo-data has a key role to play, not just in the Green Deal data space, and finds itself at the center of a variety of ethical issues. The EU data space will shape the environment in which data and geo-data is being shared and used for the coming decade, and requires elevating the role and visibilty of geo data across other sectors. The key note will explore the EU Data space as geo-data's new frontier, to provide you with an additional perspective and some questions for your participation at BeGeo.



Ton Zijlstra has been active in open government data, data governance and data ethics for some 15 years, and in complex change management for longer. With a background in technology and ethics he is focused on how technology, such as digital data, creates new agency and affordances for more people. He co-founded The Green Land in 2011, a European consultancy working with mostly public sector bodies on responsible data use. In parallel he worked for the World Bank's Good Governance Global Practice as an open data expert, mostly in Central Asia and non-EU Eastern Europe on national data action plans. In the past two years, having written the earth observation, environmental and meteo chapters of the EU's high value data assessment, he's tracking the forming of the EU data and digital legal framework. He advises geo-data holders on adopting the Data Governance Act, High Value Data Implementing Act, the coming Data Act and AI Regulation, as well as the forming of the EU Data spaces. He contributed to the draft reference architecture for the Dutch national system of digital twins for the public environment, to align it with the EU data strategy. He has been blogging about his interests for two decades, and every few years organises a conference on his professional interests as his birthday party.

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