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Gone are the days when data science was strictly the domain of the data scientist, engineer or technologist. We’ve moved forward to the age of the data entrepreneur, and with that mindset, into collaboration with businesses at the intersection of innovation. Most days you’ll find me here, the mediator and advisor between data scientists, analysts, business leaders and innovators. For me, it’s the sweet spot — helping find solutions to real world problems, and discovering opportunities for growth.

It’s also afforded me a wide (and growing) knowledge of various industries — from professional boxing to transport, energy and urban planning. But as you might know, I especially focus on the food and agriculture space, and I’m continually surprised at the level of creativity and determination towards bettering the industry that I see. …

In search of his ikigai, Yama Saraj drove all the way from the Netherlands to Afghanistan to give kids boxing lessons

The inner path to becoming SensAI

Recently I did a proof of concept hackathon with Yama Saraj for his startup SensAI. Such hackathon forces founders to express their vision on their business model and their technology stack. There is a big difference running a social entreprise on DIY technology or a startup with a stack in the cloud and a clear exit strategy. And in Yama’s case he might be going for both…

Yama characterizes himself as a “crazy development economist”. When he was young, his family had to leave Afghanistan and they ended up in the Netherlands where he became a succesful student. Yama first studied electrical engineering then economics, but there was something missing. …

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If you follow me on LinkedIn or Twitter, by now you’ll have noticed I’m nature driven and data obsessed. A lot of the work I’m doing these days at JADS — through hackathons, our Data Entrepreneurship in Action (DEiA) program, and recently, development of my proof of concept lab — has a focus on agriculture, farming and food.

DEiA students have been working on real world case studies, and the latest business to benefit from their equally data obsessed minds is Marleenkookt — healthy meals made and delivered to your door. …

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The winning team, with Henk Huijgen & myself missing. But in the picture Paul van Zoggel, Daam Rutten, Douwe Korting (Herenboeren), Michiel Wesseling, Dirk-Jan Kloet, Armand Sol & Shanglin Yang

How Data fuels the Transformation of our Food System

Last week I attended FarmHack’s Short Supply Chain Hackathon. Like always there were many interesting challenges, with lots of data prepared by the organization. I decided to join Daam Rutten (a Jheronimus Academy of Data Science graduate) for the Herenboerderij challenge that focuses on a demand driven cultivation plan.

TL;DR: we won the 2019 short supply chain FarmHack 🏆.

From the original challenge: The “Herenboerderij” is a small farming cooperative, owned by approximately 200 families (“Herenboeren”). Together they decide what to eat and what the farm shall produce. The farmer, who is employed by the cooperative, grows a dozen types of fruits and vegetables and looks after the farm animals that produces meat and eggs. …

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Mats Einarsen in our shared times. Photo by Mike Nicolaassen.

Hacking Kindness: optimization tactics for better behavior

Some time ago I did interviews with people that inspired me. And then I didn’t feel like it anymore. But when I recently saw what my mentor back in my days, Mats Einarsen, was up to, it was time for yet another interview.


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See also:

Hacking Kindness?

It’s a set of tactics for making people behave better. So far it’s a PDF online at, next step it’s a printed set of cards.

That is very noble.

If you say so!

You worked in industry for a while now, combining behavior science and data science. Making a lot of money for companies like, OpenTable and Kayak. …

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Photo by Garage48. Minutes before we would do the final pitch.

How can your idea be truly put to the test without a prototype?

Last month I attended Garage48’s Hackathon for the Future of Mobility in Riga. Focused on innovating the future of mobility, we were asked to look at alternative mobility, traffic data and smart urban logistics, among others. Teams were formed and coffee was had, before getting down to business. You might have seen my posts on LinkedIn. A Hackathon Mentor, I joined Team #Urbanomics — declaring that the future of mobility lies in more data, not more asphalt!

I’m happy to report that we won ‘best validated idea’ and as a prize, we’ll go to Latitude59, a tech festival in Tallinn, Estonia, in May. Also got to meet Dutch Director General of Mobility Mark Frequin and the Latvian minister of Transport Tālis Linkaits. …

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Picture: John Eli

Fundamental paradigms of the free market should also be scrutinized by data science

An unobservable market force that helps the demand and supply of goods in a free market to reach equilibrium automatically and efficiently is what we call the invisible hand. But I am a data scientist, I don’t deal in unobservable forces, no observations means the phenomenon doesn’t exist. Computer says no.

If there is a force driving the market I want to find it. As an entrepreneur I even want to make money from these forces. And with the coming of the Data Economy, this will probably be the main business model.

In this post I will argue that:

  • Data science is impacting many (if not all) scientific fields of research, testing paradigms, theories and concepts with real…

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My daughter Liis at the annual blockparty.

Via a female first policy I hope to change STEM a little

Can you remember the last dick that was frustrating your project? Or maybe there was an asshole being a dick at some meeting? Maybe there were some old farts not doing their job, but you had to go along because these farts were important people?

Or that time the annoying brat didn’t feel like collaborating and claimed it all for himself, although surely there was enough for everyone. The backstabbing kind of manager, the power hungry boss, the deskmate that only toots his own horn. Sound familiar at all?

Pretty sure most, if not all, of these jerks were male.

Of course I am oversimplifying, but probably less than you think. …

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Introducing computational personalization: data science methods for personalized health

Maurits Kaptein, principal investigator of the Nth Iteration Lab, was the first professor to gave his inaugural address at the Jheronimus Academy of Data Science in the Mariënburg Chapel. Below is the full text version of his speech (PDF with references is avalaible here).

TL;DR according to Maurits Kaptein it’s unethical to use randomized controlled trials to personalize healthcare because new data science methods have better outcomes… (yes, there is a trade-off between transparancy and the use of blackbox algorithms. If you want to understand the details continue reading)


In the last decade authoritative scientific journals such as Science (Ng et al., 2009) and the New England journal of Medicine (Hamburg and Collins, 2010), as well as legislative bodies such as the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Union (EU), have stressed the importance of personalized healthcare. By personalizing medical treatments, where the term treatment covers a broad range of interventions, from medication to education to eHealth, we can improve their effectiveness, decrease costs, and provide better care. …


Arjan Haring

Helping new data science initiatives materialize @jadatascience @scailable

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