ECGBL Biographies

Below are the ECGBL Biographies of the Conference and Programme Chairs, Key Note Speakers and Mini-Track Chairs.

Conference and Programme Chairs

Dr. Ton Spil teaches in the area of Business Information Systems. He is track chair on e-health in main conferences and published on ISI A level. In 2021 his main topics are adoption of IT, business modeling, serious gaming and digital strategies applied on (tele)health, music, and banking.

Dr. Guido Bruinsma has built on his passion for research methodology, technology and human behavior over the years. Guido’s current focus is on the development and the implementation process of game based interventions; and health, performance, and data driven systems for esports performance.

Dr. Luuk Collou finalized his PhD in 2020 at the University of Twente during which he developed and tested a simulation model and serious game for strategic human resource management (HRM). Currently Luuk is working as an associate lector for the research group strategic HRM of Saxion University for applied Sciences in Enschede, the Netherlands.

Key Note Speakers

Professor Sara de Freitas is an international author, educator and researcher with a specialism in digital technologies. With a PhD in data science, she has worked across sectors exploring how digitization and the use of digital technologies can transform lives. As a researcher and Director of Research, she has supported the foundation of the London Knowledge Lab (now UCL), established the Serious Games Institute and is currently setting up the Digital Futures Institute to push forward on the frontiers of what we know to support improved natural human computer interfaces and implement positive feedback and reward systems. In support of her theoretical studies, based on systems thinking, her field studies have focused upon quality service provision and growth in regional development. Towards that end, Sara has led academic portfolio areas in four campus-based universities, three colleges, two schools and a network of study centres in the UK, Europe and Australia, including the management and support for tens of thousands of on-campus, online and international students. Her digital strategies and systematic view of education placed her well to make huge improvements in online and edtech provision across her own and other institutions around the world.

Jan Willem Huisman, a cum laude graduate of the Art Academy in Utrecht, obtained his Master's Degree from the distinguished Royal College of Arts in London in 1996. During his academic pursuits, he developed a keen interest in the potential of interaction and the digital space to facilitate unrestricted play for individuals. Subsequently, he co-founded IJsfontein with two of his college friends, employing play as a tool to stimulate growth and development among users. IJsfontein has since evolved into a prominent studio in Europe, collaborating with numerous international universities over the past 25 years to explore the impact of games on user development and to develop effective game design strategies. Jan Willem's expertise has made him a highly sought-after international speaker, renowned for his ability to establish a pertinent relationship between theory and practice.

Professor Pumela Msweli is CEO and Executive Dean in the Graduate School of Business Leadership at the University of South Africa. She obtained her PhD from the University of Exeter; an MPhil in Development Finance from Stellenbosch University. Msweli is a Certified Integral Coach, and an accomplished scholar with  extensive leadership experience across multiple geopolitical settings.

Mini Track Chairs

Stavroula Andreopoulos is a Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto. In 2017, she was recognized by the Faculty of Medicine for her multi-year contribution to undergraduate teaching with the Sustained Excellence and Innovation in Life Sciences Education Award.

Dr Panagiotis Fotaris is Principal Lecturer and Course Leader for Digital Games Development at the University of Brighton, UK. He is Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has previously held positions at King’s College London, University of East London, University of West London, Abertay University, and University of Macedonia. A game-based learning evangelist with a diverse background that combines computing with applied arts, games, and music, Panagiotis focuses his research on the pedagogic potential of escape rooms and immersive technology in the context of computing and design education. His current research projects include designing educational escape rooms for cybersecurity awareness training and information literacy.

Thorkild Hanghøj is a Professor of Games and Learning. He coordinates the KILD research group, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, and is also a founding member of the Board Game Collective. His work focuses on exploring links between games, dialogue, and literacies, as well as how to learn through designing games. He currently manages the research project GBL21: Game-Based Learning in the 21st Century (, which explores how students learn by redesigning games within the school subjects Danish (L1), mathematics, and science.

Gunver Majgaard is an Associate Professor at the Game Development and Learning Technology Unit of the University of Southern Denmark. Since 2001, she has been teaching and conducting research at the university, leveraging her background in electrical engineering and a PhD in robots and learning, which she earned in 2011. Majgaard founded the Game Development and Learning Technology engineering program and has developed a growing interest in the use of technology to enhance learning in formal education. Her research focuses on emerging technologies in education, game-based learning, design of digital educational tools, participatory design processes, learning processes, and program and curriculum development.

Workshop Facilitators