Meet: Frank Huynen

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The Keynote

Empathy in the public sector

The world is transforming to digital. Digital is having a bigger impact than ever on our daily lives. We adapt the way we play, learn, communicate, buy, consume, … It impacts “you”, the group, or family, you are part of. It impacts society. Companies will have to transform or become obsolete, governments will have to adapt to our daily digital life style.

Transforming to digital, if not developed with an outside-in perspective, merely increases complexity and dissatisfies citizens. And outside-in is NOT looking out the window and applying “my view of the world”. It requires an empathic ability to design solutions that hide their technological complexity and demonstrate simplicity and value.

Frank has more than 30 years’ experience in the IT Industry, predominantly gained in commercial and government business environments. He is a leader in digital government transformation, and brings a pan-EMEA view to the key building blocks – from legislation, policy, to enabling technologies - to help deliver open government and digital citizen services.  

Frank has fulfilled multiple executive and management roles, mostly in the area of consulting/advisory, marketing and portfolio management. He also led the Southern European organization as Regional Operations Director.

During the past 10 years Frank has fulfilled the role of Director Strategy and Innovation and has led a strong team to facilitate the innovation and transformation initiatives at key clients in the EMEA region.  Frank leads the Digital Government Experience Centre in Mechelen, Belgium.


I will focus on some practical cases where empathy was introduced in the design phase of new services. How observing citizens, users of the public services, has led to an improved client satisfaction. How designing ‘BY and FOR a group’ leads to a motivated civil servant.