Open Knowledge Austria Summer 2016 update

This blog post is part of our summer series featuring updates from chapters across the Open Knowledge Network and was written by the team of Open Knowledge Austria.

The last two months have been very vibrant within Open Knowledge Austria. We co-organized the monthly Vienna Open Data Meetup, but no other public appearances, because we had set up some major projects. We also had our bi-annual plenary meeting and the election of the new board.

First the projects:

  1. Our project OpenDataPortal, in cooperation with Wikimedia AT, got funded by the Austrian Ministry for Mobility, Innovation, and Technology (BMVIT). In the so-called “Data Pioneers” project, we work with companies on open innovation strategies around using and sharing open data. The central goal is to work out use-cases and narratives for companies in order to get them to open up some of their own data. We will organize two workshops and one hackathon in the next months and we will guide the companies during the opening process.
  2. We will organize our second data literacy event for kids, the first time under the branding of the german project “Jugend hackt”. The 3-day event will take place with Open Commons Linz at the beginning of November and will show children between 12 and 18 how to code with open data.

Second, our governance.  

Out brand new board of Open Knowledge Austria for the next two years are:

  • Stefan Kasberger – @stefankasberger, stefan.kasberger@okfn.at
  • Christopher Kittel – @chris_kittel, christopher.kittel@okfn.at)
  • Clara Landler – @clara_l, clara.landler@okfn.at)

They are now planning the activities for the next half year, setting up a working group for a funding-strategy and one for a community-strategy, and are figuring  out a guideline for better handling of projects. The current situation in numbers does not look good: we have 1 employed person for 5 hours a week, a few thousand euros to survive the next months and about 30 volunteers members. The good thing: it’s getting better each day, but there are still huge challenges in front of us.

The next months will be the most active time of Open Knowledge Austria so far. The very active and well organized Open Science working group will organize a hackathon and a meetup around OpenKnowledgeMaps and disseminate their past activities and involvements, like the Vienna Principles and the copyright recommendations from the OANA (Open Access Network Austria) working groups. Additionally, Michela Vignoli, the coordinator of the Open Science group alongside Peter Kraker, was nominated for the EU Commissions Open Science Policy Platform for her involvement in the YEAR network and will also represent the interests of the Open Science community.

We will also start an Austrian City Open Data Census and start a project about Open Data in elections after the disastrous last presidential elections, called “Offene Wahlen Österreich”. Next to the already mentioned Jugend hackt and BMVIT events, we will co-organize as usual the Vienna Open Data Meetups and co-organize a panel about net political processes at European level at the Elevate Festival in Graz. And last but not least: The above-mentioned working groups on funding- and community strategy will start their activity, input welcome.

In terms of collaboration, we can offer expertise in the field of Open Science, Knowledge Discovery, Content Mining, Open Data Repositories, Data Literacy and Data Science Trainings. If there is an interest in the outcome of the funding- and community strategy, just ask, and we will try to translate it at the end. In general, we are always happy about international cooperation and we are looking forward to requests and feedback from other Open Knowledge chapters.