Originally posted on LinkedIn, August 20, 2018.
I learned with great sadness of Hendrik Grothuis’ sudden death. He was a colleague, friend and a great advocate who championed open data insight with spirit and integrity.
I met Hendrik many years ago when he was a researcher at Cambridgeshire County Council interested in analytics, data and geographic information. We were reviving the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) Local Public Services Interest Group to advocate the value and importance of geospatial information in connecting people and places and deriving insight. Hendrik took over the helm of the Group in 2010.
Hendrik and I worked together again for the Making open data work for you initiative led by the Local Government Association to engage with local communities and drive innovation and economic growth. Hendrik set-up the Cambridgeshire Insight and Open Data partnership, developed a data portal and shared his knowledge enthusiastically with the open data community. He became a cofounder of the Open Data Camp and a member of the Open Data User Group in 2014 to represent Local Government. He then advocated Open Insight for Smart Cities before working for the University of London at the Layers of London Project.
Again our path crossed just a few months ago when Hendrik was looking for new opportunities and very recently he became a delivery manager in the Defra data programme taking forward several data innovation projects. He brought to the programme drive, enthusiasm and a wealth of knowledge and expertise.
Hendrik combined a hard working attitude with pragmatism and wit. He was a great collaborator and able to pick up situations quickly, listened and offered his valuable advice. He shared what he knew on social media and was always open for finding out more over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.
Hendrik, you will be hugely missed at work, in the community and as a friend.