Keynote speakers

Hennes de Ridder

Prof. dr. ir. Hennes de Ridder is Professor Emeritus of Integrated Design at the faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of the TU Delft. Hennes will give a keynote at the Geo Promotion conference concerning LEGOlisation (in Dutch, LEGOlisering).

LEGO is a very familiar product to most of us. With one box of building blocks, a large variety of buildings can be constructed, even by children. The main reason for this is that the geometric relations between the elements are standardised and small in relation to the end-product.

LEGOlisation as a development in its core focuses on the identification and application of these barebones principles of the built environment in such a way that they apply to multiple types of construction. The aggregated relationships and elements of the built environment form a coherent structure. LEGOlisation is a form of artificial accelerated evolution, where data can be used to build or adapt man-made structures, and change our physical environment. This makes the building process more efficient, and gives guidance towards a circular construction economy.

Tom Berendsen
Tom Berendsen is a Dutch member of the European Parliament on behalf of the fraction of the European People’s Party. He will give a keynote at our conference concerning digitalisation, regional development and role of European legislation.

After Tom Berendsen finished his study of public administration at the Universities of Tilburg and Leuven (Belgium), he completed an internship at the lobby office of Brabantstad in Brussels. Following that, he worked as an employee of the CDA (Christen Democratisch Appèl) for over 6 years in the European Parliament. From on 2015 he was active for over 4,5 years at the Consultancy Office until he was officially appointed member of the European Parliament in July 2019.

Digitalization hugely affects regional developments within the European Union. Not only economically, but also from a social and demographic perspective. How does European legislation have to respond to and lead the way for these developments? Furthermore, how does the European Union serve to protect the digital infrastructure in reflection to the increasing power of Big Tech companies? There are plenty of pressing issues that need to be dealt with adequately!

Tess Osborne

Dr. Tess Osborne is a researcher in the faculty of Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen. Tess will give a keynote on the relationship between digital technologies and people focusing on the quantitative self and virtual reality.

For her PhD, she used psychophysiological measures to measure emotional responses to heritage landscapes in Birmingham and virtual historic landscapes. She became increasingly interested in digital worlds in geographic research and became a founding member of the Digital Geographies Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society. Her research has focused on the relationship between people and digital technologies; how the digital can enrich people’s capabilities and how digital technologies can help us to better understand ourselves.

While focusing on virtual reality and embodied measures (such as fitbits), Tess will discuss the potentials and issues linked with everyday technologies with society and research. Using examples, she will stress that everyday technologies, while with promise, raise issues related to privacy and ‘solutionism’.