Our volunteers

We have too many volunteers to sum them all up by name but Open Knowledge Belgium wouldn’t be complete without its passionate volunteers. All of our working groups and most of our projects rely on the great work of volunteers, and we’re greatly thankful for that. Want to become a volunteer yourself?

Our board of directors


Toon Vanagt Chairman

Toon Vanagt

Toon Vanagt is a entrepreneur with broad experience in all aspects of setting up and managing ventures in the Benelux. He has hands-on experience with e-business, consulting, big data and ICT projects. Toon holds a “commercial engineering degree” from Solvay Business School at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and was awarded “ICT manager SME of the year 2002” by the Belgian Datanews jury. His website was born as a start-up weekend project in January 2011 and was incorporated on 29/02/2012 with the ‘open data’-spirit in mind for published Belgian company information. was launched to disrupt the business information broker industry and share company records easily.


Thimo Thoeye Vice chairman

Thimo Thoeye

Thimo Thoeye studied software engineering at Ghent University and now works for the City of Ghent, which allows him to combine his love for his city with his passion for data and information management. He is a strong Open Data advocate both within the local government and beyond, and his Open Knowledge Belgium membership greatly strengthens his case.


Mathias Van Compernolle Secretary

Mathias Van Compernolle

Mathias Van Compernolle is a researcher in Open Data at Ghent University. He has helped organising Apps for Ghent, Apps for Culture, Apps for Whisky, and many more.


Pieter Colpaert Financial & representative of the iRail working group

Pieter Colpaert

Pieter Colpaert is a researcher in Linked Open Data and member of the board of Open Knowledge Belgium. Back in 2010, he started iRail together with Yeri Tiete, a website which got into trouble for using public data. Ever since, he has been advocating Open data in Belgium as a means to improve data quality, as a means to become a better society, as a means to unlock economic potential, and much more.


Pieter-Jan Pauwels Personnel and volunteering representative

Pieter-Jan Pauwels

Pieter-Jan Pauwels is a Foresight Specialist at Digipolis Ghent with a predilection for involving communities in co-creating smart city contexts. As a former employee he was the driving force behind Datawijs, W4P, Open Belgium and open Summer of code from 2014 to 2016. His mission is bringing Open Knowledge and Open Data to a level playing field, where people with all sort of backgrounds, technical and non-technical can use, reuse and create knowledge in a sustainable way.

Raf Buyle Representative of the Open Tourism working group

Raf Buyle

Raf Buyle is promoting Public-Private data-partnerships in order to set the grounds for a thriving data-driven economy in Belgium, where information and insights are accessible to everyone. Raf is involved in strategic e-Government projects for local and regional governments since 2002. As an advisor in e-government strategy, he tries to implement a more rational, interoptable e-government, promoting open data, open standards and open processes.


Ben Abelshausen Representative of the OpenStreetMap Belgium working group

Ben Abelshausen

Ben Abelshausen is a long-time Open Data enthousiast, OpenStreetMap-addict and boardmember of Open Belgium and lead of the OpenStreetMap Belgium Working Group. The opportunities that arose from the freely available OpenStreetMap-data and the opendata movement caused him to become a full-time freelancer in everything OpenStreetMap. The biggest chunk of projects are related to an open-source project called OsmSharp, built for routing and rendering of maps based on OpenStreetMap-data.


Inge Van Nieuwerburgh Representative of the Open Acces Belgium working group

Inge Van Nieuwerburgh

Inge Van Nieuwerburgh is a board member of Open Knowledge Belgium and leads the Open Access Belgium working group.


Gwen Franck Representative of the Creative Commons Belgium working group

Gwen Franck is a consultant in the field of open science. After starting out at Ghent University Library as a collaborator for Open Access Belgium and OpenAIRE, she was the regional coordinator for Creative Commons in Europe until end of 2016. Currently she is the Open Access ¨Programme Coordinator for EIFL and an Open Access Programme Officer for LIBER, working on established European Open Science projects such as OpenAIRE and FOSTER Open Science. She is also active as a trainer and consultant on open science and open licensing related topics.



Bert Jehoul Representative of the Open Badges Belgium working group

Bert Jehoul

Bert Jehoul is a Federal civil servant, convinced of the power of openess to reduce bureaucracy, increase trust & facilitate citizen-engagement and private-public coöperations. He helped initiating the Be Badges platform at Selor (Selection Office for the Belgian Government) and supports the Bologna Open Recognition Declaration. Bert has a background in Psychology and Psychometrics and is an enthusiastic user of the statistical software R.


Our employees


Dries Van Ransbeeck Project Coordinator

Dries Van Ransbeeck

Dries is full-time project coordinator at Open Knowledge Belgium. He is the driving force behind Open Belgium and is in charge of open Summer of code. His mission is bringing Open Knowledge and Open Data to a level playing field, where people with all sort of backgrounds, technical and non-technical can use, reuse and create knowledge in a sustainable way.

Stephane Roelandt Financial

Stephane Roelandt

Stephane Roelandt is an avid Open Data enthusiast and co-founded data driven start-ups like schoolKID and ontoforce. Since day one, Stephane has proven to be a great help for Open Knowledge Belgium. First as a member of our board and later as a financial manager.