DECODE business infographic
DECODE Amsterdam

DECODE: Data commons & the city

It's becoming painfully clear that our digital sovereignty is under serious pressure. How can we ensure that it’s us, the citizens, and not big tech-companies, who decide how our data is collected, stored and used? Is it possible to develop tools that enable individuals to collectively share personal information on their own terms? And if so, how do we design these tools?

DECODE is a 3-year project, funded by the European Commission, providing tools that put individuals in control of whether they keep their personal data private or share it for the public good. It’s a crucial project for the European Commission to protect the data and online identity of its citizens and in protecting their sovereignty. The project is already widely discussed in the media, such as in The Financial Times and the BBC.

By looking at various initiatives from the European DECODE project, we challenge you to look at data from a different perspective this evening: not as commodities, but as part of the commons. How can you use your data to benefit the city you live in? Four inspiring speakers will shine their light on this topic.


  • 20:00 Welcome - Caroline Nevejan (moderator)
  • 20:05 Reason & urgency of the topic - Evgeny Morozov
  • 20:20 Decode the project - Francesca Bria
  • 20:35 Round table discussion about designing a democratic digital city - Caroline Nevejan (moderator), Ger Baron, Saskia Naafs, Francesca Bria, Jaap-Henk Hoepman
  • 21:10 European policy on this topic - Fabrizio Sestini
  • 21:20 Dutch policy on digital data sovereignty - Douwe Leguit
  • 21:30 Round table discussion on data commons and the city of Amsterdam - Marleen Stikker & representatives of political parties D66, GroenLinks, Piratenpartij, VVD, SP & PvdA
  • 22:05 Reflection on the evening - Evgeny Morozov


Evgeny Morozov 
Evgeny Morozov is a well-known writer and researcher from Belarus who studies political and social implications of technology. As publicist for The Guardian he has contributed many articles with critical views on the implications of technology on societal and political issues.

Francesca Bria 
DECODE project coordinator Francesca Bria is Chief Technology and Digital Social Innovation officer at the municipality of Barcelona. She has a background in social science and innovation economics, a PhD from Imperial College, and an MSc in E-business and Innovation from the University College of London, Birkbeck.

Presentation (pdf) Data sovereignty for citizens

Jaap-Henk Hoepman
Jaap-Henk Hoepman is associate professor in the Digital Security group at the Institute for Computing and Information Sciences of the Radboud University Nijmegen, and principal scientist of the Privacy & Identity Lab. He is also an associate professor in the Law & IT department at the University of Groningen. His main research interest are privacy by design, privacy friendly protocols for identity management and the Internet of Things.

Fabrizio Sestini
Fabrizio Sestini is Senior Expert (Advisor) in Digital Social Innovation within the unit "Net Innovation" of DG CONNECT of the European Commission. He is leading the team managing the multidisciplinary initiative "Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation", which aims at stimulating bottom-up innovative ideas for collaborative platforms to include citizens, grassroots organisations and civil society in participatory social innovation processes.

Saskia Naafs
Saskia Naafs is a journalist and researcher with a background in urban sociology. She is specialised in urban development, spatial planning, climate adaptation, housing, real estate, and city life in general. As an investigative journalist, she frequently writes for the weekly De Groene Amsterdammer. She recently published an article on the risks of privacy violations by municipalities that position themselves as a ‘smart city’.

Ger Baron
As Chief Technology Officer of the Amsterdam Economic Board, Ger Baron stimulates innovation and cooperation between corporations, knowledge institutions and government. His goal is establishing sustainable economic growth in Amsterdam and its surroundings.

Douwe Leguit
Douwe Leguit is program manager “Burgers en Bedrijven in Regie op hun Gegevens” for the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. Goal is to define what (policy) is necessary to realize Personal Data Management in the Netherlands, using trust frameworks and solutions, by learning from societal initiatives. His drive is to create a better information society for everyone.

Caroline Nevejan (moderator)
Dr. Caroline Nevejan, Chief Scientic Officer of Amsterdam, is a researcher and designer who has been involved with the emerging network society and digital culture since the 1980's. Nevejan is a regular presenter at national and international fora. She is an advisor to national and European policy makers.

DECODE has many European project partners, and Amsterdam is represented by Dyne, the City of Amsterdam and Waag.

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DECODE is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Programme, under grant agreement number 732546.




Pakhuis de Zwijger, grote zaal, Piet Heinkade 179, Amsterdam


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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 732546.