Meet the family; 1 minute with Jos van den Broek of BrabantKennis

27 October 2022

MindLabs is not only an association with dreams and ambitions, we are also a partnership of many different parties. One big family, with members and partners we are all proud of. In the section 'Meet the family; 1 minute with...' everyone takes turns to introduce themselves. Very briefly, because the family is big. In this edition: Jos van den Broek, director of BrabantKennis.

Jos, to get straight to the point: what is the core business of BrabantKennis? 
BrabantKennis is a think tank focusing on the future of North Brabant. We are part of the provincial organization, but independent in our choice of topics and approach. We examine which developments and related issues are relevant in social, technological or economic areas. And we explore the consequences for Brabant. We gather knowledge in cooperation with various parties such as scientists, publicists, artists and research agencies. Together with them we add value to the information we collect. We share this result in an innovative and stimulating way with policy makers and the broader public; through documentaries, podcasts, publications and events, for example. Recently, we wrote a publication - in collaboration with Prof. Dr. David Criekemans - on the position of Brabant in the world. We investigated, for example, what the increasing power of China means for our province. Among other things, we will show this in a documentary about the relationship between Brabant and China, which will premiere on December 8 this year. The documentary is a way to start a conversation on the subject.

How is artificial intelligence involved in this?
Technology and artificial intelligence play a major role in shaping the future and development of the province. But with its emergence, new, complex issues are also emerging. For example, it is important for our work to consider how to prepare ourselves most effectively for the opportunities and challenges that AI will bring in the future. But also, we are making the connection between social issues and the opportunities offered by new technology. As a result, the connections between AI, policy and governance are getting stronger. This is the reason for our affiliation with MindLabs: making connections and strengthening them, preferably together with other (Brabant) organizations that are familiar with artificial intelligence.

What is your dot on the horizon? 
The topics we cover are ones that we or our stakeholders are interested in, and have an impact on. We explore them with the aim of offering insight into the issues facing Brabant. In this way we learn to understand the province better bit by bit, and policy makers can in turn make well-founded decisions. But as mentioned, we are taking a slightly different approach. By offering the material in a creative way, we hope to excite everyone a bit more. Giving significance to knowledge is essential to the well-being and future of our province. That's why we do what we do.

Out of ambition? Idealism? Or passion? We explore the future of Brabant in our own way; independent, curious and innovative in form. From our vision that every decision taken for the province is based on adequate knowledge.

Op welke manier zijn jullie aan MindLabs verbonden? 
We are scale up partners with MindLabs.

And how long have you been in the family? 
We joined just before the summer of 2022. So only a few months. I was able to attend the annual event as a partner last minute.

What is the holy grail in this collaboration as far as you are concerned? 
Starting the conversation with others. Which parts of policy require solutions with AI? Which ones do not? And how do we approach this best? It would be great if we could find a way to use artificial intelligence in policy issues in a socially responsible way. I see a lot of potential in collaborations with other partners in this area.

And what does it bring you in the meantime?
We are already working regularly with Fontys Colleges at the moment. Something I obviously hope to continue and expand. I haven't spoken to many other MindLabs partners yet. But I am also very much looking forward to the possible collaborations with those other parties.

Did you know that BrabantKennis has created a podcast series with MindLabs' founding father Fontys Hogescholen and the Ministry of the internal affairs? In 'Onzekere zaken' they discuss how to deal with an uncertain future. More information? Want to listen to the podcast? Or order the guide? Click here.

Earlier this year BrabantKennis organized a knowledge café with the theme AI in Brabant. Read more about this interesting meeting here.