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Our Flemish Government Starts a Data Utility

Co-Inpetto started as a recruitment cabinet for IT professionals and business consultants in 1999.
Exchanging personal data was my core business. I began to watch out for a data utility; I missed it for my business. I had my prototype for better value creation.

One of my clients for recruitment was a start-up in the electricity market. If you listened to the long history of infrastructure for electricity, it wasn’t hard to imagine that the collaborative act for data would follow.

Everyone and every organization want to get connected to personal data services safely and cost-effectively. And no one can build that new core infrastructure alone. A data utility is all about protocols between parties, with an important one that can get empowered: the individual with its own capabilities and data.

As long as we have governments in a healthy democratic system, they will act as actors and regulators. That’s what I wanted to believe. And it seems that in 2021, the path gets paved further.

Our Flemish government announced the start-up of a data utility.
A data locker for personal data for every person will be part of the data utility. It will be based on Solid. Solid is a project of the founder of the internet, Tim Bernes Lee.

Some more examples of what happened:

  • The upcoming Digital Governance Act includes a framework for the creation of data spaces in different domains. I look forward to it. They will drive innovation in all different domains of society.
  • Threefold became part of the European Horizon Cloud initiative. Threefold’s digital twin for personal data can become a carrier of Solid pods. (1)


At the same time, the Covid Safe Ticket, contact tracing, etc., brought people on the street because of (a pretended ?) loss of digital privacy. The final goal of these tools would be to rule society with programmable money. Really? Is it?

I care about democracy. Civic awareness is what the digital world needs. But fear without reason gives power away, which would be a real pity. Technology is becoming available for everyone (with and without governments) to upgrade the quality of life.

It is up to us to think, connect, and create the best possible outcomes. Who else will do it?
There’s no room for facts when our minds are occupied by fear, is a quote from Hans Roling. Caroline Pauwels, the rector of the VUB, borrows the word “possibilist” from him (2) (3).

A possibilist believes that we always can make things better.
I wish you meaningful things, merry Christmas, and a happy new year.

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(1) Read what Threefold is doing elsewhere in the world: Threefold & Take Action Global partner to bring internet access to 1 billion people across the globe.
(2) “I’m a very serious “possibilist.” That’s something I made up. It means someone who neither hopes without reason, nor fears without reason, someone who constantly resists the overdramatic worldview.” –  Hans Roling
(3) I read the book written by Caroline Pauwels “Ronduit, overpeinzingen van een possibilist”, it is energizing and makes you think. Send me a message if you want to borrow it.

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