Walter De Brouwer

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Walter De Brouwer
Walter de Brouwer 2011-11-09.jpg
Born Walter De Brouwer
(1957-05-09)9 May 1957
Aalst, Belgium
Residence Brussels, Belgium
Occupation Entrepreneur
Religion Christian
Spouse(s) Samia Lounis
Children 3

Walter De Brouwer ([dəˈbʁʌuəʁ]; born May 9, 1957) is a Belgian internet and technology entrepreneur, futurist and semiotician.


De Brouwer was born in Aalst, Belgium. He earned a Masters degree in linguistics from the University of Ghent in 1980 and a PhD in Semiotics from Tilburg University in 2005.[1] He was a lecturer at the University of Antwerp (UFSIA) and an adjunct professor at the International University of Monaco from 2001-2004.[2] He is an Entrepreneur in Residence with the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge since 2004.[3] He sits on the editorial advisory board of the Journal for Chinese Entrepreneurship.[4]


De Brouwer set up Riverland Publications in 1990 to publish personal computer magazines.[5] In 1994, De Brouwer sold his titles to VNU. He then published the cyberpunk magazine Wave, edited by Michel Bauwens and designed by Niels Shoe Meulman. Wave was a cult Belgian avantgarde magazine which joined Boing-Boing and Mondo 2000 as bridge between the underground and the world of the future.[6]


In 1996 De Brouwer was one of the founders of PING, later sold to EUnet.[7] In April 1998 the company was sold to Qwest Communications International, which in turn later merged EUnet in with the ill fated KPNQwest.[8] In 1999, his electronic employment site Jobscape[9] merged with eight similar sites to make up Stepstone. Stepstone went public with a price tag of £365m on the London Stock Exchange.[10] In 2008, De Brouwer set up OLPC Europe, the European branch of One Laptop per Child.[11][12][13]

Research labs[edit]

In 1996, he set up Starlab.[14][15][16] It specialized in blue skies research,[17] deep future research,[18] and BANG (Bits, Atoms, Neurons and Genes) research. Starlab produced generic patents in intelligent clothing,[19] and worked on time travel.[20] One of its spinoffs ( was collecting spit for personal genomics typing.[21] The laboratory closed during the dot-com bubble in 2001.[22][23]

In 2011 De Brouwer joined the Brain-Computer-Interface company Emotiv, where he became the CEO of Europe.[24] He is a board member of Tau Zero Foundation, formerly known as NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program which recently published the state-of-the-art work The Frontiers of Propulsion.[25] He is also currently the CEO of Scanadu, a company located at the NASA Ames Research Park in California, which plans to develop hand-held health diagnostic devices, similar to the tricorder from Star Trek.[26][27]

Other activities[edit]

De Brouwer is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and served as President of RSA Europe from 2006 to 2008.[28] He is a member of TED, a Founding Member of TEDGlobal, and curator of TEDxBrussels and TEDxKids Brussels. He is a Knight in the Order of Leopold and a member of the Education Board of the Lifeboat Foundation.[29] Since 2009 De Brouwer is the Director of the Founder Institute Brussels.[30] He has guest posted on Quantified Self.[31]

De Brouwer has two children with his current wife and a daughter from a previous marriage.


  • De Brouwer, Walter; Ayris, Stephen (1985). Computer Buzz words : Teacher's guide. Wolters Leuven, ISBN 90-309-0815-7
  • De Brouwer, Walter (1985). Cybercrud : computer terminology for advanced students of informatics and industrial engineering. Wolters Leuven, ISBN 90-309-0819-X
  • Vanneste, Alex; Geens D, De Brouwer, Walter (1987). Het Nieuwe Landschap, Wolters Leuven, ISBN 90-309-0825-4
  • De Brouwer, Walter (2004). Echelon: Three can keep a Secret, if Two of them are Dead. Delaware, ASIN B004J3UHGG
  • De Brouwer, Walter (2004). The biology of language: the post-modern deconstruction and denarration of modern and pre-modern grand narratives. Universiteit van Tilburg, ISBN 978-90-810022-1-9


  1. ^ De Brouwer, Walter (2004). The biology of language: the post-modern deconstruction and denarration of modern and pre-modern grand narratives. Universiteit van Tilburg, ISBN 978-90-810022-1-9
  2. ^ International University of Monaco Faculty: Walter De Brouwer (Adjunct)
  3. ^ Entrepreneur in Residence Walter De Brouwer via University of Cambridge Judge Business School
  4. ^ Journal for Chinese Entrepreneurship
  5. ^ BELGIUM Major Manufacturers Directory. Business Information Agency, ISBN 978-1-4187-8348-8
  6. ^
  7. ^ Schroller, Alex; King, Tim (January 4, 2010). Smart ways to improve innovation. European Voice
  8. ^,-Qwest-team-on-European-network/2100-1033_3-218186.html)
  9. ^ Schroller, Alex; King, Tim (January 4, 2010). Smart ways to improve innovation. European Voice
  10. ^
  11. ^ Fildes, Jonathan (December 23, 2009). OLPC Unveils slimline tablet PC. BBC News
  12. ^ Hartley, Adam (May 1, 2010). How OLPC plans to give 30 million kids in Africa a laptop by 2015. TechRadar
  13. ^ Curtis, Sophie (January 11, 2010). Poor Families to get Government Laptops. eWeek Europe
  14. ^ Kalia, Kirin (August 9, 2000). Belgium: Europe's Overlooked Diamond-in-the-Rough (Part II). Silicon Alley Daily
  15. ^ Lane, Frederick S. (2003) The naked employee: how technology is compromising workplace privacy, p. 54. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn, ISBN 978-0-8144-7149-4
  16. ^ Bilefsky, Dan (April 2, 2001). Where the deep future is familiar territory The Financial Times
  17. ^ Geary, James (November 22, 2000). The Web site that wants your spit. CNN
  18. ^ Discovery Channel (September 2000). StarLab segment via YouTube
  19. ^ Fashion at the Edge: Spectacle, Modernity, and Deathliness’, C. Evans, pg. 276
  20. ^ D'Amico, Mary Lisbeth (July 2, 2001). Tornado Insider: Lights Out at Starlab Tornado Insider
  21. ^
  22. ^ Giles, Jim (2001). Utopian dream in tatters as Starlab falls to earth. In D. Butler, Ed. Nature Yearbook of Science and Technology, p. 412 Palgrave Macmillan (2002) ISBN 978-0-333-97147-5
  23. ^ Casonato, Regina; Jones, Nick (2002) How will enterprises achieve a return on investment in knowledge management? Gartner, Inc.
  24. ^!/emotiv/statuses/83300043666370560
  25. ^
  26. ^ Scanadu Raises $2M: “Check Your Body As Often As Your Email”, Robin Wauters, TechCrunch, November 8th, 2011.
  27. ^ Scanadu Incorporated, Businessweek, December 27, 2011.
  28. ^ Chairman of RSA Europe Fellowship
  29. ^ Lifeboat Foundation Advisory Board: Dr. Walter De Brouwer
  30. ^ Director- Walter De Brouwer via Founder Institute Brussels
  31. ^ Carmichael, Alexandra (February 14, 2011). HIT – Health Internet of Things. Quantified Self