What was my dream when I was little?
I always had many dreams for the future, which also changed quite often. I remember that I wanted to become an inventor, a cartoonist, a writer, a pharmacist, a math teacher and an architect. I hope to combine them – at least partly – in my PhD in which I try to prescribe a ‘recipe’ for architecting digital business innovation in the public sector. Still wondering when the cartoons will come in handy, though…
What am I doing when I am not working on my PhD?
I like reading, cycling, or combining the two in Bar Bidon while having a coffee. I like travelling, cooking, and eating, or combining all of this in Italy while practicing my Italian.
What is my PhD about?
My PhD research focuses on digital business innovation in government. I want to understand what a digital-era government looks like, how boundary breaking this is from the way the public sector works right now and how to realize this view for the future.
Why is this important for practice?
Our lives, work and environment are becoming increasingly impacted by ‘the digital revolution’. Companies are already tapping into this and government cannot stay behind. Knowing the implications of working in this digital environment on the organization, management and governance of the government will be key.
Fons Leroy, CEO, VDAB
What convinced you to take part in this PhD research?
VDAB funds a “digital business innovation of public services” multi-year research chair at KU Leuven. The labour market is constantly changing, so we need to change the way we work accordingly. To experiment with new ways of working, and to ensure that we learn from this and actively build new capabilities, we engaged in a close collaboration with KU Leuven and Vlerick Business School.
Why is this research relevant to your company?
VDAB, as one of the fore-runners of the public employment services in Europe, wants to invest in researching the possibilities for further digitizing public services. We are looking for innovation of business processes, services and service models in digital ecosystems for public services.
How did you apply the research results in your company?
We created a lab with the ambition to develop new services and disruptive innovations. The set-up of the lab and the strategy we use is inspired by research and has already delivered some successful projects. We want to keep investigating, together with the researchers, how the methods we use in the lab can be industrialized.