TRIPLE: Behind the Scenes #6: Maxime Bouillard

In the series “TRIPLE: Behind the Scenes” we feature individual staff members from the TRIPLE project team, to give a face to the people behind the scenes. What is their role in the project, what is their background, and how did they get in touch with the Open Science movement?

Maxime Bouillard. (Photo: Private)

This time, we introduce to you Maxime Bouillard. Maxime works at MEOH, a nonprofit think-and-do tank established in Brussels. Meoh is dedicated to studying how human trust can inform new models of cooperation and governance, and to develop a platform for users to connect to reliable partners. 

Maxime, what is your role in the TRIPLE project?

My role is to co-design the Trust Building System (TBS) through workshops with various stakeholders who may use the GoTriple discovery platform in the future. The Trust Building System will operate as a trusted referral network, enabling users to reach viable thresholds of cooperation and creating synergies within, across and beyond the SSH community.

We from MEOH lead Task 3.3, which is “Trust building system user design research”, in which we have by now conducted a series of eight workshops to deliver the design of the tailored trust system for the SSH community. 

We also lead Task 5.3 (“Trust building system”), which consists mainly of integrating the user co-design into the GoTriple platform (result of Task 3.3) and managing the user experience.

What is your background in terms of previous work experience and academic discipline, and which specific perspective(s) does that background contribute to TRIPLE? You may also mention when you first heard about “Open Science” in your career, and how you “got into it”.

The first time I heard about Open Science was during my studies, where my hackers’ friends were all part of the Open Science movement, which naturally got me hooked before I even graduated from university.

Ever since, I have always advocated for a more open and fairer society. My focus has been on making multistakeholder cooperation more inclusive and efficient, developing tools and brainstorming ideas on how to optimise it. First in 2006, by helping EU local and regional authorities facilitate regional collaborations and partnerships, thanks to an open and rapid exchange of knowledge. At that time, cohesion and collaboration among EU regions were pretty weak: We were missing a Trust Building System that could have helped people discover new trusted partners and establish more dialogue beyond their usual circle of peers.

Then, in 2009, I joined the European Commission to help tackle the economic and financial crisis. I dealt with hundreds of stakeholders who were too often operating in their own bubble, which caused tremendous delay in an efficient economic recovery. Again, we were missing a Trust Building System that could have helped best align European Commission structural reform proposals and the local real needs thanks to appropriate feedback loops!

Co-designing the TRIPLE Trust Building System is therefore like co-designing the tool I have been missing for 15 years! 

What are you currently working on in the TRIPLE project?

In work package 3, we have conducted eight co-design workshops, as well as a survey to assess what kind of Trust Building System end-users would like to have. In work package 5, a prototype of the Trust Building System should be integrated into GoTriple by the end of 2021.

In both work packages, it is really about being a team, just as it is in the other work packages WP1, WP7 and WP8 in which we are involved. Hereby, a big THANK YOU to my colleague Gaël and to the whole TRIPLE consortium partners and people!

How has the pandemic changed your working routines in the TRIPLE project?

In one word: Survival. As expats (we are French and Danish but live in Brussels), we’ve never got one hour of any family support for the kids, so I’ve trained myself with military commando sleeping habits in order to be fully present both with the little kids during the day and for work at night, and sleep very little for more than a year. I attended the daytime meetings often with kids on my knees like many other parents did too :-). It was a great way to improve task prioritisation, deep focus and efficiency. Only when my 1.5-year-old threw my phone through the 3rd-floor balcony and tried to break my PC did I start attending fewer meetings – because he was right! On a personal note, I wished that all meetings had been planned for nighttime, but everyone had their own constraints. Now that the kids are about to become 3 and 6, I would be curious to experience a new lockdown to see if it is easier with that age range than with 1.5 and 4.5 year olds (joke).

On a more formal note, instead of organising face-to-face TRIPLE workshops, we hold them online. By the end of 2021, the launch of GoTriple should include the Trust Building System!

On a personal basis, being based in Brussels city centre, and coming from Bretagne in France, I take advantage of online tools to visit new landscapes and get some inspiration from Mother Nature: this has helped me tremendously for working at night, and because our kids’ school and daycare facilities have only been open one week a month on average in 2021 until mid-May, and not much at all in 2020: hereby I wish all my best to those who had a hard time finding free time for themselves during the lockdown 🙂 !!!

Since 80% of the lines above about working routines concern my personal life, the conclusion must then be that the pandemic has had the great advantage to teach me a deep level of resilience and optimisation, which I am sure are reflected in the design of the Trust Building System.

Maxime, thank you so much for the interview! 

On the TRIPLE YouTube channel, you can also find a video with Maxime and Gaël from MEOH (Oct. 2020) where they talk about the Trust Building System:


EU Flag The TRIPLE project is funded by the European Commission, under Grant Agreement No. 863420. Project coordinator is Suzanne Dumouchel (Huma-Num), Co-coordinator of OPERAS. For more information please contact her at Suzanne.Dumouchel[at]huma-num.fr.


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