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OKFestival Topics of 2012 Announced, 2nd Call for Proposals Published, Experimentation Encouraged!

OKFestival 2012 Organising Team

For those looking for yet another reason to join us for OKFestival in Helsinki this September, the OKFestival Core Organising Team is proud to announce the inspiring public outcomes of our unconventional First Call for Proposals – and to request your participation for our Second Call to share your ideas in Finland.

As we’ve noted previously, because OKFestival is the first event of its kind, combining Open Knowledge Conference and Open Government Data Camp together for a week-long celebration of action and collaboration, we decided to take a risk by opening up over 2/3 of the week’s programme to you as festival participants.

So last month, we released the First Call for Proposals, crossing our fingers expectantly as we did it. A few of us on the Core Organising Team (photo) were, admittedly, a tad worried – would global communities rise to the challenge? Or would we be left alone in cyberspace without even a programme to our name? We presented the festival to audiences at FREE CITY in Tallinn, at Re:Publica in Berlin and to local stakeholders in Finland. And we waited in anticipation.

In the end, we didn’t have to worry at all. The response to our First Call for Proposals was both overwhelming and encouraging. Open knowledge and data enthusiasts around the world did take the reins – and now, a month later, we have a groundbreaking, action-focused programme planned in co-operation with citizen teams of Guest Programme Planners all over the world. For a summary of the Open Knowledge Festival planning process in 14 slides, see our first Slideshare presentation here.


As you'll see above, the First Call for Proposals allowed the Core Organising Team to determine the most important themes and salient ideas, the subjects of which are highlighted through our 13 guest-organised Topic Streams of 2012:

  1. Open Democracy and Citizen Movements
  2. Open Government Data
  3. Open Cities
  4. Open Design, Hardware & Manufacturing
  5. Open Cultural Heritage
  6. Open Development
  7. Open Research and Education
  8. Open Geodata
  9. Open Source Software
  10. Data Journalism and Data Visualization
  11. Gender / Diversity in Openness
  12. Open Business and Corporate Data
  13. Open Knowledge and Sustainability

The breadth of these topics is quite diverse - indeed, the variance is somewhat unprecedented for an event of this kind. Going through the topics above and learning more about how their Guest Programme Planners are determining the programming on the Public Planning Wiki, it's hard not to feel a sense of excitement about what's to come.

For the Second (and last!) Call for Proposals, we encourage ideas that further enrich each of these themes with new perspectives. We want your lightning talks, lectures, panel discussions, workshops, hackathons and all things in between. Let's fill Helsinki's streets with innovative new ideas, new collaborations between civil society and government, and new projects that provoke openness in unexpected ways.

It is our hope that together, these themes will illustrate the importance of diverse understandings within open knowledge and open data communities - and we look forward to seeing even more of you get involved in this inspiring process.

The Second Call for Proposals is here. Deadline for submission is June 1st - go to okfestival.org for details. And feel free to mix and remix the Slideshare presentation above for your own uses - it's meant to be shared!

Core Organising Team at work in Helsinki

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