Prof. dr. Lieselot Danneels

Prentje Lieselot DanneelsContact details / research disciplines / publications

Question & answer

What is your hidden talent?

I have a great eye for detail. If there is a typo somewhere or if a presentation is out of alignment, it will immediately catch my eye. Fortunately, I use my talent not only to act the language purist, but also to notice that one bird in the distance or a special front door in an otherwise rather bland street. Perhaps an eye for wonder sounds better, more positive, than an eye for the one - often wrong - detail.

What is your research about?

My research is about digital transformation in government: how can digital technology not only improve the way we work, but also radically change it? What can government look like in the digital age, and how can it realise that vision for the future?

Where did the interest in that subject come from?

My interest in the subject grew gradually. I received an education that was more tailored to the private sector, and during my first job as a consultant, I mainly helped identify and avoid risks. Somewhere down the line, that changed, away from the private sector and risks to a focus on government and on new opportunities created by technology. I believe this is mainly due to interesting encounters, but they must have triggered something that was already there in me before: an urge for innovation, creativity, relevance.

Why is your research socially relevant?

We all use technology every day. We think it's normal to be able to make payments, shop, book taxis, watch films anytime, anywhere... We expect such services not only from companies, but also from governments. However, designing digital services that meet the expectations of citizens and businesses and fully using digital technologies for new opportunities is not what governments are built for. Research can teach us how governments can best deal with this.

What do you still hope to achieve in your academic career?

I hope to be able to convince the general public that (digital) innovation and government can definitely go hand in hand. I hope to be able to teach (future) government managers how they can achieve this. In order to do so, I hope to keep conducting cutting-edge research on this, and to motivate people around me to contribute to this.

What is the first thing you do when an unexpected slot opens up in your schedule?

Unfortunately, this is a rare event, which is why I deliberately schedule an hour of yoga every week. If a period of time does become available, I try to break away from work by grabbing a coffee with a colleague or taking a walk with a podcast. It is often during or just after times like these that I come up with the best ideas. Although, to be honest, I may actually let the moment slip by replying to that e-mail that just arrived or finally reading that interesting paper on my to-do list.