Ger Baron is the Chief Technology Officer of the City of Amsterdam. The CTO office works with all of the diverse offices within the municipality to foster innovation and aid in digital transformation. They help these departments reach their goals through the use of ethical technology in areas such as e-health, e-education, sustainability, smart mobility and the sharing economy, among others.
These collaborations have resulted in projects around cyber security, fake news, Covid-19 measures, waste management programs and many more. The CTO Office also helps the city be proactive and prepare for digital transformations and their impact on how citizens live, work and play in the city. Additionally, they define a digital strategy for the municipality itself to insure its success as a 21st century government for the people. Ger emphasizes the importance to build a digital world that is inclusive for all citizens in order to protect their rights. Their team of software engineers, design thinkers, philosophers and more all root their innovative choices in ethics and are pushed to confront, understand and remove their personal assumptions in order to think outside of the box. Ger believes it is imperative for people working in this field to truly understand the context of the problem before applying solutions. He says that a key element to achieving this mindset is to teach people how to listen.
The CTO Office offers workshops in topics such as Socratic Design, agile working and philosophy to help employees further develop themselves and their curiosity about the world. Using these foundational soft skills, programming and data science can be used ethically to help people and build a more respectful and responsible city. Ger looks for new employees who both have the technical skills to understand and work with data and have a deep curiosity for the world around