Advisory Board

Professor Stefan Leijnen

Stefan Leijnen, Ph.D. is Chief Technology Officer at War Child Holland, Director at The Asimov Institute, and Associate Professor at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences since 2011. His research focuses on creativity in learning computer models.

Stefan enjoys making technology understandable and useful for solving real-world problems. He is a public speaker on artificial intelligence, deep learning, humanitarian innovation, and ethical implications of emerging technologies. Throughout his career, Stefnan learned about strategy, scale up, leading development, R&D, and data/ML.

He earned his Master’s Degree of Science in Artificial Intelligence at Utrecht University in 2008. He earned his Ph.D. in Machine Learning at Radboud University Nijmegen in 2014 with the dissertation Creativity and Constraint in Artificial Systems. In 2006, he studied Artificial Intelligence at the University of California, Berkeley.

As CTO at War Child Holland, he oversees the Can’t Wait to Learn literacy and numeracy program, offering e-learning to an expected 170,000 students by 2020. These children live in rural or refugee areas in Africa and the Middle East and currently don’t have access to education. War Child Holland was the winner of the DCHI Public Award for Best Humanitarian Innovation 2018. He has been there since 2017.

Since 2016, Stefan has also been the Director of The Asimov Institute, a non-profit AI research institute that explores the relation between deep learning and creativity. The Asimov Institute publishes on fundamental breakthroughs in neural network research, advises on the societal and business impact of data and AI, and develops tools for the creative industry.

Prior to The Asimov Institute position, Stefan was Freelance Consultant at Leijen Technology while also a Researcher at the University of British Columbia (2010–2011), focusing on the development of computational models of creativity at UBC Kelowna’s Psychology Department and earning his Ph.D. at Radboud University between 2011 and 2014. Previously he was Visiting Researcher at Tufts University, where he conducted Psychology of Creativity research at Tufts’ Center for the Psychology of Abilities, Competencies, and Expertise.

In 2007, Stefan cofounded the Moo! Mobile Technology, a startup providing mobile ticketing services.

When Stefan is not focused on his work, he enjoys practicing Karate, where he is also the President of the Student Karate Organization O-Ki-Do Utrecht.

Stefan was an invited speaker for the 2018 Institute of Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS) Conference.

Watch The full AI interview with Stefan Leijnen (Asimov Institute). Listen to Bits vs Bytes Podcast #021 – Stefan Leijnen, CTO for Can’t Wait to Learn programme (War Child).

Read Institute Presentation: Autonomous Intelligent Robots at Utrecht University.

Visit his homepage, Asimov Institute page, LinkedIn profile, GitHub profile, dblp page, and ResearchGate profile. Follow him on, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.