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The Global Open Knowledge Foundation Network

Since 2004, the Open Knowledge Foundation has been connecting people and building communities in open data and open knowledge around the world.

People in the global Open Knowledge Foundation network run meetups and workshops, campaign for open data, train, advise, and create open source tools and materials to help everyone work with data.

The network has grown rapidly and is now present in 40 countries and new local groups are starting on an almost weekly basis. Anyone can join the network – both organisations and individuals, and whatever your interest in open knowledge and open data!

Local groups within the Open Knowledge Foundation network have developed their own projects, communities and funding – some, such as Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, now have a very significant level of activity with their own staff and projects.

Check our map to see if there’s already an Open Knowledge Foundation presence in your area where you could get involved. If there’s not a group already, why not start one?

Each local group within the network is independent and has a local focus but, at the same time, is part of the global community-run network and benefits from the support, sharing and collaboration within that wider network.

Some recent highlights from around the network include:

  • The Brazilian Open Knowledge Foundation group organised an open science event in São Paulo, with over 60 people participating in round tables covering the many aspects of openness in science: education, publications, tools, data, citizenry and research.
  • Japan has 19 cities with Where Does My Money Go sites only a year after the first site was set up in Yokohama, and enthusiastic engineers are forming a community of practice to share know-how and get more cities on board.
  • The Greece Chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation has done development work on the Greek Open Data portal, and released the first version of want2know, a platform which lets citizens request data they want open access to, motivated by the Open Data Census.
  • The Spanish Chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation organised the first Conference of Data Journalism and Open Data in Spain, titled “When data tells stories”
  • The Ambassador for Morocco was invited on national television to discuss the Moroccan e-gov project with the Minister of Trade, Industry, and New Technologies; they talked about open data, the CKAN open data management system, and the Moroccan Open Data Portal, and as a result the Ambassador was subsequently invited to work with the government to help improve the national portal.

Joining the Network

Over the last year or so we’ve been bringing in some greater structure to our international network to support its growth and make it easier to join. There’s a way to get involved for everyone:

Chapters

Open Knowledge Foundation Chapters are autonomous and independent non-profit organisations, and are leaders working on open data and open knowledge in their countries. Chapters share their expertise and learning on the ground and with other local groups to ensure they thrive, are sustainable, and can have the greatest impact with their work. If you’re already part of a non-profit organisation working on openness, or a local group looking to incorporate, then get in touch to explore what being a Chapter would involve.

Local Initiatives

Local initiatives are groups working together on open advocacy, campaigning and projects of all kinds in a local context and connected with others around the world through the network.

If you’re part of an existing group working on openness, or you’ve met others in your region who would like to do more with open knowledge, you can apply to become an Open Knowledge Foundation Local Initiative.

Ambassadors

Ambassadors are community leaders working to bring together the Open Knowledge community in their area and make a real difference with open information.

If you’re an individual looking to start open activity in a country or region where the Open Knowledge Foundation does not currently have an established presence, become an Open Knowledge Foundation Ambassador. We welcome multiple Ambassadors per region too.

OKF network

Working Groups

As well as local groups, the network includes working groups which focus on specific areas of open data and open knowledge, enabling people with similar interests to gather to discuss, lobby, code, write, promote and explore particular areas of openness.

Creators and Makers

Because we love to make things as well as advocating for openness, there are many concrete projects and activities around the network where you can design, code, and write, including the Open Knowledge Foundation Labs and many other projects about open stuff.

Get in touch with our local groups team on local@okfn.org, or join the okfn-discuss mailing list.

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