Walter De Brouwer

WALTER DE BROUWER (b. 1957) is a Belgian businessman and Internet entrepreneur. At present, he is the CEO of the European branch of [http://www.laptop.org Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop per Child] . OLPC Europe is based in Brussels and collaborates with the [http://www.kbs-frb.be/start.aspx?goto=/index.aspx King Baudouin Foundation] .

In 2008 Walter De Brouwer was elected Chairman of the (British) [http://www.thersa.org Royal Society of Arts] . Since 2003, he has served as a Director of the [http://www.tauzero.aero/ Tau Zero Foundation] , which was formerly known as NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program.

Walter De Brouwer is one of the founders of London-based [http://www.cardiodna.com CardioDNA] , a DNA sequencing company set up together with the Spanish cardiologist [http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedro_Brugada Pedro Brugada M.D, Ph.D.] , who discovered a genetic disease now called Brugada Syndrome which increased the risk of sudden cardiac death (the mirror image of the long QT syndrome).

Academia

De Brouwer studied Germanic philology at the University of Ghent (Belgium) before doing his PhD in Semiotics at the University of Tilburg (Netherlands). Since 2005 he has been an ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ at the Judge Business School of the University of Cambridge [http://www.cfel.jbs.cam.ac.uk/about/residence/residence_debrouwer.html] (United Kingdom), and also acts as an adjunct professor at the University of Monaco, where he has taught Entrepreneurship since 2004 [http://www.monaco.edu/Faculty/faculty_over.php#] . Walter De Brouwer has recently joined the editorial team of the [http://info.emeraldinsight.com/products/journals/journals.htm?id=jce Journal for Chinese Entrepreneurship] [http://info.emeraldinsight.com/products/journals/editorial_team.htm?PHPSESSID=4j767h7mctgrfs3lvt91k9tsd1&PHPSESSID=4j767h7mctgrfs3lvt91k9tsd1&id=jce] .

Publishing

After having taught for several years at the University of Antwerp [http://www.ua.ac.be/main.aspx?c=.ENGLISH&n=25878] (Belgium), he set up Riverland with the help of Bill Ziff (William Bernard Ziff, Jr.) in 1990 to publish the first personal computer magazines [http://www.pcmweb.nl/] in the Benelux. In 1994, when Ziff announced the sale of the publishing empire to Forstmann Little & Company, De Brouwer sold his titles to VNU. He continued publishing WAVE, a cyberpunk ‘techno-gigazine’, but plans to merge the publication with Mondo 2000, with which it shared some writers such as R.U. Sirius, did not materialize as expected.

The Dadaist (Dadaism) magazine, with editor-in-chief Michel Bauwens and designed by graffiti legend [http://www.nielsshoemeulman.com/ Niels Shoe Meulman] , [http://www.behindthescene.org/person-128-en.html] was put on display for a period in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art [http://www.behindthescene.org/person-128-en.html] , but eventually ceased publication due to the success and market domination of Wired Magazine Wired (magazine).

Other Internet companies related to Riverland were ultimately merged into Riverland Holding, which went on to become one of the founding members of Tim Berners-Lee’s Web Accessibility Initiative alongside [http://www.microsoft.com/en/us/default.aspx Microsoft] and [http://www.ibm.com/ IBM] [http://www.dinf.ne.jp/doc/english/Us_Eu/conf/csun_98/csun98_058.htm] .

Internet

In 1995, De Brouwer reinvested the money gained from his publishing venture into PING, a spinoff of Eunet, the commercial company around the former EUUG, European Unix Users Group. In April 1998, Eunet acquired [http://www.alacrastore.com/storecontent/Thomson_M&A/EUnet_acquires_Ping-833485040 PING] before being sold to Qwest Communications International for 154,400,000$ in stock [http://www.cbronline.com/article_cg.asp?guid=B12FACDA-226F-417B-A30F-1F62372AF00F] .

In 2001, Jobscape, De Brouwer’s electronic employment site was bought by [http://www.stepstone.com/EN/ Stepstone] before going public on both the London Stock Exchange [http://www.londonstockexchange.com/en-gb/about/Newsroom/Media+Resources/Welcome+Stories/2000/14-03-2000.htm?WBCMODE=3dpresent,3dpre] and the Oslo Bors (Oslo Stock Exchange).

cience

From 1996-2001, De Brouwer was a sponsor of the MIT Media Lab [http://www.zuper.com/portfolio/riverland/r_r&d/index.html] , and sat on the programming board of Nicholas Negroponte’s Digital Life project. Inspired by Negroponte’s work, he set up the ‘Fundamental Research’ laboratory [http://www.space-time.info/StarlabArchive.html Starlab] , [http://web.archive.org/web/20011024012123/starlab.org/about/beliefs/beliefscontent/01/01TowardsBlue.php3] that together with Microsoft Founder Paul Allen’s Interval Research Corporation and Xerox Parc (PARC (company)), specialized in Blue Sky (Deep Future) research [http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/business/soa/Charting-the-future/0,139023166,120208321-1,00.htm] . The laboratory initially worked on BANG (the consilience of Bits, Atoms, Neurons and Genes) [http://www.quantumbionet.org/eng/index.php?pagina=70] , and had at its peak a full-time staff of 111 scientists from 36 countries with combined expertise across 40 disciplines [http://www.space-time.info/starlab/gartner.html] . The laboratory met its demise with the end of the dot-com bubble in 2001 after five years in operation.

Starlab produced generic patents in [http://dictionary.sensagent.com/i+wear/en-en/ i-wear] , the fusion between clothing (fashion) and computing (technology). I-wear was the brainchild of [http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/fet-open/contacts_en.html Walter van De Velde] (now EU FP7 FET Open [http://cordis.europa.eu/ist/fet/wv-00.htm] ) who worked with Walter Van Beirendonck for creative design [http://www.waltervanbeirendonck.com/HTML/home.html?/HTML/CV/cv.html&1] , [http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_magazine/previous_issues/articles/2003_04_18/noDOI.12297471983215289318 Alex Hum] (now Orange (brand) Imagineering) and [http://students.creol.ucf.edu/ozan/Research.html Ozan Cakmakci] ( [http://www.creol.ucf.edu/ Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL)] , Florida). The patents were later sold to Philips Electronics (U.S. Patent 6,842,116). Starlab also worked on the Alcubierre Drive for which the Russian physicist Serguei Krasnikov was recruited, and laid the foundations for further research into MPEG-21.

Much like the funding model employed by MIT Media Lab, academic and corporate partners received shared intellectual property rights to research and patents generated by the lab. Consortia members, clients and sponsors included local and national governments, international corporations and private investors including NASA, the National Science Foundation, Levi Strauss & Co., France Telecom, Adidas, Siemens, Philips, Bekaert, Energizer, W. L. Gore and Associates, [http://www.recticel.com/ Recticel] , Samsonite, [http://www.verhaert.com/cms/ Verhaert] , Nokia, the Institut National de l'Audiovisuel and the European Commission.

Investors behind Starlab were Starscape NV/SA, [http://www.hunza.com.my/ Hunza Consolidation] (Malaysia), TMT One AB (Sweden), Rowland Family (UK), Martin Velasco(Spain), Baron Guy Ullens, Pythagoras Participations, [http://www.lucdevos.com/ Luc De Vos] , Patrick van Glabeke, Johan Helsingius, BBL (Bank Bruxelles Lambert) and Nicholas Negroponte.

Cutting Edge

In 1998, De Brouwer organized the ‘First International Conference of Quantum Information and Computation’ [http://www.hoise.com/vmw/99/articles/vmw/LV-VM-02-99-6.html] at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels - sponsored by the European Office of Aerospace Research and Development of the United States Air Force. He also sponsored the Centre for Quantum Computation of the University of Oxford.

Since 2003, he has served as a Director of the [http://www.tauzero.aero/ Tau Zero Foundation] , which was formerly known as NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program. Dan Brown's novel Angels and Demons’ treatment of anti-matter as a key plot-element is said to have been inspired by [http://www.lascruces.com/~mrpbar/howebio.html Steve Howe] [http://internet.cybermesa.com/~mrpbar/howebio.html] , a practioner of the [http://www.tauzero.aero/ Tau Zero Foundation] .

Banking

From 2002 to 2008, De Brouwer was the President of [http://www.forkcapital.com/ Fork Capital] , an investment vehicle in the Private equity secondary market.

Recognitions

Starlab received much media attention: the Financial Times reported it as attracting “ [http://web.archive.org/web/20010823073007/globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=010402010132&query=Starlab the world’s brainiest nerds] ”, Discovery Channel“ [http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=0X_HDSQXMI0 Nerd Heaven] ”, CNN listed it as a “ [ [http://archives.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/europe/11/22/etime.tech/ lab of the last chance] ”, Silicon Alley Reporter [http://www.covehurst.net/misc/leoclips/sar08092000.txt] nicknamed it “The Chocolate Factory” (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) [http://www.nynatur.dk/english/global_organism_1.html] and Peter Hessendahl (LEGO), referred to it as Captain Haddock's Marlinspike Hall (Tintin).

[http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/ The Sunday Times Magazine] called De Brouwer a “collateral thinker’, [http://www.corriere.it/ Corriere della Sera] the “ [http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2004/dicembre/20/Tutti_hanno_sogno_sogno_piu_ce_0_041220065.shtml Woody Allen del businesses] ” and Silicon Alley Reporter “ [http://www.covehurst.net/misc/leoclips/sar08092000.txt the Willy Wonka of innovation] ”.

For the 20th Anniversary Report (The World in 2023) The Wall Street Journal Europe, looked into the future of 2023 and therefore tapped the brains of Walter De Brouwer, John Naisbitt and Shai Agassi.

De Brouwer was cited by [http://www.alanbarrell.com/ Alan Barrell] , holder of the Queen’s Medal for Enterprise Promotion, as a contributor to the future success of Silicon Fen: The Cambridge Phenomenon. He is also believed to have served as a model for Hubertus Bigend, a character introduced in William Gibson's cyberpunk novels Pattern Recognition (2003) and Spook Country (2007).

De Brouwer is married, has two children, and currently lives in Brussels. His wife, Samia Lounis, is the President and CEO of [http://www.pajamanation.com/ Pajamanation] .

Publications

1. Notes & Queries: Mary Imlay, Analytical Reviewer (Oxford, 1982), 29: 204-206

2. Notes & Queries: Joshua Toulmin in The Analytical Review (Oxford, 1983), 30: 209-212

3. Computer Buzzwords (Wolters Leuven, 1984) ISBN 90-309-0815-7

4. Cybercrud (Wolters Leuven, 1985)

5. [http://www.101things.tv/ 101 Things I Wish Somebody Had Told Me] ( [http://www.rentingeyeballsentertainment.com/ Renting Eyeballs Entertainment] , 2002)

6. The Biology of Language (University of Tilburg, 2005) ISBN 908100221X

7. Echelon: Three can keep a Secret, if Two of them are Dead (Delaware, 2004)

8. [http://www.ariadnecapital.com/journal/v6e1/comment/lovegen.htm Free the Love Generation] (London, 2005)

External Links & References

1. [http://www.ziedaar.nl/article.php?id=184 Blind: Het StarLab Experiment]

2. [http://www.101things.tv/ 101 Things I wish Somebody had Told Me]

3. [http://archives.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/europe/11/22/etime.tech/ CNN: The Website That Wants Your Spit]

4. [http://www.kennislink.nl/web/show?id=138347 Kennislink: De Weg naar de Sterren]

5. [http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-7961369_ITM Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News: European Entrepreneur Bids for Boulder]

6. [http://www.space-time.info/starlab/gartner.html Gartner: Case Study, Starlab]

7. [http://www.foresight.org/SrAssoc/98Pics.html Foresight Nanotech Institute: Senior Associates Gathering]

8. [http://www.home.zonnet.nl/vanweperen/brouwer.htm WAVE 25: Interview met Walter De Brouwer]

9. [http://webapp.uvt.nl/fsw/spitsjohn.nb_lib.frmToonNieuwsbrief?v_nieuwsbrief_id=3360&v_taal=&v_rubriek_id=118 University of Tilburg: Newsletter, September 2005]

10. [http://webapp.uvt.nl/fsw/spitsjohn.nb_lib.frmToonMaandoverzicht?v_maand=9&v_jaar=2005 University of Tilburg: PhD Promotion for ‘On the Biology of Language’]

12. [http://listserv.arizona.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind9812&L=quantum-mind&D=0&P=11360 Quantum Mind: Physics of Information Symposium]

13. [http://www.covehurst.net/misc/leoclips/sar08092000.txt Silicon Alley Daily: Belgium: Europe’s overlooked Diamond-in-the-Rough]

14. [http://www.sudinfos.com/Documents/2005_01_cap_risk.html SUDINFOS: Sommet international du capital-risque à Sophia]

15. [http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/life/article176782.ece M&S Opens Chip Shop]

16. [http://www.space-time.info/starlab/StarlabArchive.html Starlab: Starlab Archive]

17. [http://www.geek.com/articles/news/smartclothes-2001012/ Geek.com: Smart Clothes]

18. [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4156/is_20001210/ai_n13955745 Sunday Herald: Hi-tech Clothes to stitch up Thieves]

19. [http://www.letemps.ch/odyssee/articledisplay.asp?ArticleID=57453 Le Temps: Survol d’un nid de cervaux]

20. [http://www.tornado-insider.com/news/Article.asp?id=10433 Tornado Insider: Lights Out at Starlab]

21. [http://www.stalbansreview.co.uk/news/563498.conference_role_for_citybased_interfaith_expert/ St. Albans Observer: Conference Role for City-based Interfaith Expert]

22. [http://whoswho.senescence.info/people.php Who is Who in Gerontology?: People]

23. [http://www.w3.org/Press/IPO-announce PRESS RELEASE: World Wide Web Consortium Launches International Program Office for Web Accessibility Initiative]

24. F. Lane - [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=bd2_Vn3jczYC&pg=PA277&lpg=PA277&dq=Naked+Employee,+The:+How+Technology+Is+Compromising+Workplace+Privacy&source=web&ots=ck1Oc-scC_&sig=WE42I6jr14i2RIPFKo8gDjMh82w&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result Naked Employee, The: How Technology Is Compromising Workplace Privacy] (2003).

25. [http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2004/dicembre/20/Tutti_hanno_sogno_sogno_piu_ce_0_041220065.shtml Corriere della Sera: Tutti hanno un sogno, io sogno più forte]

26. [http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2004/dicembre/20/Tutti_hanno_sogno_sogno_piu_ce_0_041220065.shtml Cambridge University Entrepreneurs: Enterprise Tuesday Awards]

27. [http://www.prleap.com/pr/29202/ PR Le
]

28. [http://www.cad.fr/presse/pages/detail_communique.php?communique=113&societe=1&language=ukPRESS RELEASE: The 8th International Venture Capital Summit]

29. [http://blog.shazz.tv/2007/10/what-they-dont-teach-you-in-business.html Walter De Brouwer: What they don’t teach you in Business School]

30. [http://www.aslib.co.uk/caa/abstracts/protected/97-1542.html ASLIB: 97-1542 New agents of change?]

31. [http://www.europeanagenda.eu/pnews/000000905.php European Agenda: Walter De Brouwer, Chairman of RSA Europe Fellowship]

32. [http://stardust1.jpl.nasa.gov/overview/microchip/names2d5.html NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Stardust Mission]

33. [http://www.amazon.com/Nature-Yearbook-Science-Technology-2002/dp/0333971477 D. Butler - Nature Yearbook of Science and Technology 2002]

34. [http://www.nu.nl/news/1628585/50/Actie_'Een_laptop_per_kind'_blijkt_succes.html NU.NL: Actie 'Een laptop per kind' blijkt succes]

35. [http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=719 Centauri Dreams: On Foundation Building and Starflight, Tau Zero]

36. [http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/tech/0,1518,112593,00.html Der Spiegel: Die Jacke denkt mit]


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