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Open Knowledge Festival – the story so far…

Theodora Middleton - July 16, 2014 in OKFestival

It is hot hot hot here in Berlin, and the Festival is in full swing! In every corner, little groups are clustered, sharing ideas, plotting, and putting faces to profiles. From graffiti walls to linked budgets, from destroying printers to building a social contract for open data – the only problem is that you can’t be in five places at once!

Last night we proudly announced our School of Data Fellows – 12 amazing individuals from around the world, who will work with civil society and journalists in their regions to bring the power of open data to their work. You can read all about them here.

Today we heard inspiring keynotes from Patrick Alley, founder of Global Witness, and Beatriz Busaniche, founder of Wikimedia Argentina. We also heard from the awesome Ory Okolloh, activist, lawyer and blogger from Kenya, before dispersing into a whirlwind of workshops, talks and connecting.

Here are a few photos from the past couple of days. We’ll bring you more tales from Berlin soon, and you can keep up to date on twitter, storify and through the Festival website.

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#OKStory

Heather Leson - July 9, 2014 in Events, Ideas and musings, Interviews, Network, OKFest, OKFestival, Open Knowledge Foundation

Everyone is a storyteller! Just one week away from the big Open Brain Party of OKFestival. We need all the storytelling help you can muster. Trust us, from photos to videos to art to blogs to tweets – share away.

The Storytelling team is a community-driven project. We will work with all participants to decide which tasks are possible and which stories they want to cover. We remix together.

We’ve written up this summary of how to Storytell, some story ideas and suggested formats.

There are a few ways to join:

  • AT the Event: We will host an in person meetup on Tuesday, July 15th to plan at the Science Fair. Watch #okstory for details. Look for the folks with blue ribbons.
  • Digital Participants: Join in and add all your content with the #okfest14 @heatherleson #OKStory tags.
  • Share: Use the #okstory hashtag. Drop a line to heather.leson AT okfn dot org to get connected.

We highlighted some ways to storytell in this brief 20 minute chat:

Make Some Story Noise

Heather Leson - July 4, 2014 in Community Stories, Events, Network, OKFestival, Open Knowledge Foundation

Stories wanted! We’re building a community storytelling team starting with OKFestival. Whether you are in Berlin for the big event or across the globe, our goal is to co-create and compile all the best OKFestival Stories. Many of you tell stories with video, photo, images and text. Some of you are master wordsmiths and aggregators. One could even opine that hardware, art and code are very much stories. Well, at OKFestival we will run the gamut of all things open from science to education to balloon maps to budgets and graffiti.

The community will be sharing content across many tools using many methods. We are building an in person and remote Storytelling team to capture all the gems, visions and tidbits. Even if you are not at the event, you can be our eyes and curators.

(All the links are on our OKFest Storytelling wiki page)

We have a few ways you can participate: Suggest some stories, Join a Storytelling team (digital or in person) or Go rogue! Be sure use some of the recommended ways to share. We will be remixing this as we co-create our Community Playbook.

Make some noise – join our OKFestival Storytelling Team Learn more in our Community Session

  • Date: Wednesday, July 9 , 2014
  • Time: Date:July 9, 2014 Time: 08:00-9:00 EDT /12:00-13:00 UTC / 13:00- 14:00 BST /14:00 – 15:00 CEST (worldtimebuddy.com)
  • Register here

If you can’t join the hangout, please be sure to reach out to heather.leson AT okfn DOT org or neal.bastek AT OKFN DOT org. We’ll be sure to brief you and collaborate on the next steps.

We are the Community: Join our OKFest community summit

Guest - July 4, 2014 in OKFestival, Open Knowledge Foundation Local Groups

This is a guest blog post by Kersti from Open Knowledge Netherlands and Rayna from Open Knowledge France/OpenMENA. Both are leading the organisation of the Open Knowledge Community Summit with the support of the Open Knowledge Central team.

Less than two weeks to go until the global open community will meet in Berlin and at digital and physical fringe events all over the world. OKFestival is driven by the shared values and the enthusiasm for openness of hundreds of people from all cardinal directions.

We are all engaged with the Open Knowledge network for a reason, for a cause. But what is it that brings us together and how do we want to shape this community for the future? These are crucial questions and we wish to dedicate a full afternoon to discuss, define and shape it together!

WE ARE THE COMMUNITY and as such, we would like YOU to join a very special fringe event, the OKFestival Community Summit

Everyone is welcome to participate, whether you consider yourself an active member of the community or are simply interested in meeting people over an in-depth discussion about strengthening digital communities.

When and Where?

The OKFestival Community Summit will take place on Tuesday July 15th, 2014 from 13:00 to 16:00. We have booked a space at the OKFestival Venue, the Kulturbrauerei, and so you can find us in the Franz Club.

Why is this event important?

The OKFestival Community event offers the unique occasion for everyone to meet, discuss and craft our identity as the Open Knowledge community, the way we envision it and the way we can all continue to identify with it.

We are a fast-growing group of like-minded individuals who have had the pleasure of contributing to the rapid expansion of open knowledge community over the past few years. Such organic growth also poses new challenges and motivates us to rethink the way we interact with staff members and the different paths through which we can channel expertise and knowledge within the community. It is thus in our hands to shape a community that enables everyone to identify and engage with the path forward we choose to take!

Therefore, it will be imperative to shape this way forward together.

What will we discuss?

Through consultation with the community leading up to the festival, we have identified a handful of topics that we will discuss during the session:

  • How do we provide better support and follow-up to local groups, ambassadors, working groups and individual community members?
  • How do we develop mentorship opportunities and peer-to-peer support within the community?
  • How do we root more of some shape of organized effort in the Global South? What are the different challenges, depending on local contexts and more globally?
  • Community or organisation: how do we decide? Are we a network, a movement, a community — and what implications does that have for our structure and actions?
  • Community programming: what next? Co-building and interaction online.

There is still room for more ideas, so bring yours along!

We really hope you can join the summit. There are still tickets available — hurry up! If you would like to participate, sign up here!

Looking forward to seeing you all at the summit!

Open Knowledge Festival streams, pt. 2: The Society Stream

Christian Villum - July 1, 2014 in OKFestival

This is a cross-post from the OKFestival blog, see the original here. Read also about the first stream we presented, the Knowledge Stream.

In this 3-post series, we turn the spotlight to the the narrative streams of this year’s Open Knowledge Festival. We’ve already highlighted the Knowledge stream; today’s stream of choice is Society. This stream is kindly supported by the Omidyar Network, although all sessions within the stream remain editorially independent.

Society Stream

“Knowledge and tools are never developed independent of society. What we know is a shaped by our experiences and tools we develop reflect our needs and our perspective. For open knowledge to effect change, we need to explore the role society, people, cultures and perspectives, play in the change process.”

The Society Stream at OKFestival will explore how communities are designing open institutions,  holding governments and corporations to account, developing open business models, ensuring the protection of privacy and ultimately shaping a more equitable world. We will explore how different contexts affect and cultural norms interact with open principles in the aim of deepening our understanding about how to to build more equitable societies. Here is just a taste of what you are in for:

Towards Transparent and Accountable Institutions: 

By opening up data and democratising access to information, citizens are better able to monitor how governments are spending money on their behalf or to determine where corporations are sourcing their materials. In the Society Stream we will take a closer look at how citizens using data and information to create more accountable and more transparency societies.

Citizens have the right to know how governments spend public money  and the creation of a usable and flexible Open Contracting data standard will ensure that, as the Open Contracting movement gathers pace, partners across the world can gain access to ‘joined up data’, supported by an ecosystem of tools and services, rather than facing many silos of disjointed contracting data. These efforts are intended to complement other efforts by organisations such as the Stop Secrets Contract campaign supported by Open Knowledge and others.

 City governments have to navigate their legal and institutional framework, political willingness and the capacity to be open. However, they must also consider the state of their data and the implications on the demand for open data,the choice of technology and its influence on democratising data creation and use, and the role of citizens and intermediaries in opening up a city. The session is unique as it allows for joint conversations among government officials from the four cities as well as groups that engage with them. The discussions will be situated in the intersection of data, technology and citizen participation, and will aim to develop a policy, advocacy and implementation road map for open cities that governments can adopt to respond to their local contexts.

Beyond Access: Opening Up Institutions and Processes through Participation

In the Society Stream we will move beyond access to look at how we can use participatory practices to open up traditionally closed institutions and processes.

This session will facilitate the learning process of embedding Public Lab methodology into DIY style making for environmental good. In this session, participants will learn the importance of grassroots co-creation in conceptualising tools and techniques for environmental health monitoring. It will demonstrate the importance of community involvement in methodological design, from the first step of problem identification, to show how open hardware and software tools can be scaled and replicated into other locations.

For more details on this session, check out Shannon’s interview with OKCast here

The UK Cabinet office will lead us in crowdsourcing ideas for a manifesto for an open data era – a social contract between government and citizens. By engaging people in the lead up to OKFestival using social media and then over the course of the 2 days of the festival, this session will collect ideas for inclusion in the manifesto that will ultimately be collaboratively drafted on the second day. At the end we will leave the manifesto online & invite people to comment on it over the following month.

Power, Surveillance and the Dark Side of Opening Up 

We recognise that opening up information and processes often challenges entrenched power structures and in the Society Stream we will explore how power and inclusion as well as government surveillance and privacy impact our ability to effect change.

What does creating knowledge access, designing tools for knowledge sharing, and implementation of “open society” mean for all users in context? When thinking about “open” in government, data, and society, the contextual factors that affect people’s needs often go neglected. These factors, in all their challenge and complexity, are important pieces of the open society puzzle.Drawing on an example from Reboot’s work, when building a citizen feedback tool to encourage engagement between government officials and citizens in Nigeria, we were working within political constraints affecting how, when, where, and what kind of service delivery would work. We also recognised cultural, logistical, and geographic challenges that affect people’s emotions and behaviours.

Open Government created a global movement using public data to create a better world. Snowden’s revelations about the role of NSA and other agencies spying on citizens came as a shock to the international open government community. How should we address illegal surveillance from an open government perspective? How should the open government community react to threats to privacy and other fundamental human rights? How do we address address issues related to data traffic and surveillance? This session will explore ethical, normative and empirical approaches to secure fundamental human rights in an age of open government and open data. The session aims to address a usually ignored yet crucial issue about human rights, open data and surveillance.

 

This year, Omidyar are sponsoring the Society track and we’re grateful to them for supporting conversations about the many ways knowledge and society intersect. Sessions in this track remain editorially independent unless marked as a sponsored session.

Omidyar logo

 

OKFestival Keynote Spotlight: Beatriz Busaniche

Katelyn Rogers - June 25, 2014 in Events, Featured

The Open Knowledge Festival team is thrilled to announce that Beatriz Busaniche will be joining us as a keynote speaker in Berlin this year. Beatriz Busaniche is a free software and culture expert and advocate, a board member of the Vía Libre Foundation in Argentina, a professor at the University of Buenos Aires, a core team member at Creative Commons Argentina and a founding member of Wikimedia Argentina

     

Beatriz Busaniche’s “Freedom has Never Been Cheap – A Call to Action for Freedom and the Public Domain” will draw on the wealth of experience she has in fighting to keep the internet open and free. This talk will do more than simply explain how the public domain is at risk; Beatriz will call on all OKFestival participants to lead the way for the entire global open knowledge community.

Because ‘free’ as in ‘freedom’ has never come cheap, she will ask that we go beyond passive learning by joining forces and putting ourselves on the front line in the fight for a free public domain. To help us take those first steps, Beatriz will offer examples of and learnings from her own experiences as an activist fighting for the freedom of the public domain and, in doing so, her keynote will aim to truly address and impact the challenges which we are currently facing in the intellectual property debate.

Here is a sneak peak (in Spanish) of Beatriz speaking at TEDxCordoba, and as you may be able to see, we have a lot to look forward to!

Beatriz Busaniche’s Keynote will be followed by a Q&A session moderated by Creative Commons Board member and href=”https://webwewant.org/”>Wed We Want, Renata Avila. We will open up the discussion to questions from the audience as we begin to develop long term strategies for engaging the entire open knowledge movement in the defence of the public domain!

There are still tickets left, join Beatriz Busaniche and hundreds of other members of the global open knowledge community at OKFestival from July 15th to July 17th to share experiences, learn from peers and collectively build a stronger open knowledge movement. Don’t miss out, buy your OKFestival tickets today.

Capture your events

Heather Leson - June 24, 2014 in Community Stories, Events, Featured, OKFest, OKFestival

We’re on a skillshare craze leading up to OKFestival. A few weeks ago we hosted a session all about how to create great videos with our guest Sam Muirhead. This week we are inviting you to join a Photography Skillshare. Events is one of the top ways that you are involved in Open Knowledge. So, while we might be focused on OKFest, the skills transcend storytelling any event.

Photography Skillshare

Join us on Thursday, June 26, 2014 for a Photography Skillshare. The team and community will share best practices in photos as well as

  • Times: Thursday, June 26, 2014 @ 9:30 EDT/ 13:30 UTC/ 14:30 BST/15:30 CEST
  • To join

We will record it to share back in case your timezone or work schedule is different.

Video Skillshare

Does your video or photos look like this? While it is super artistic, it might not show your story in the best context. While the camera for this session was not playing nice, the content is full of all kinds of tips and resources to make your video shine. Thanks to Sam Muirhead of Camera Libre for donating his time. See the G+ hangout notes for a stack of resources to help your video learning.

Note: Community Sessions are taking a break for the summer. Stay tuned for more sessions in the future.

OKFestival Spotlight: Patrick Alley

Katelyn Rogers - June 20, 2014 in Events

This year, we have the great honour of welcoming Patrick Alley, co-founder and director of Global Witness, to the Open Knowledge Festival stage.

Patrick Alley took part in the organisation’s first investigations into the Thai-Khmer Rouge timber trade in 1995 and  has since participated in over fifty field investigations in South East Asia, Africa and Europe. His focus has primarily  been on natural resource governance issues in resource-rich countries.

Patrick’s talk will draw on over two decades of experience in obtaining and using hard evidence in order to expose corruption related to natural  resources, funding of conflict and the looting of entire states. He will talk us through how we can best highlight the human,  environmental and economic consequences of illegal, immoral or unethical practices - and by doing so, how we can deepen and broaden our impact - in an effort  to ultimately achieve long-lasting global change. If you want to learn from a true change-maker, then there is no better person or place than Patrick speaking at Open Knowledge festival 2014.

Can’t wait for July? Here is sneak peak of Patrick Alley describing a perfect crime – industrial logging – at  TEDxExeter.

There are still tickets left; buy yours now to join Patrick Alley, Neelie Kroes and hundreds of other members of the global open knowledge community to share experiences, learn from peers and collectively build a stronger open knowledge movement.

Don’t miss out, buy your OKFestival tickets today.

OKFestival Keynote Spotlight: Neelie Kroes

Katelyn Rogers - June 17, 2014 in Events, Featured

We are pleased to announce that Neelie Kroes, the Vice President of the European Commission and a staunch supporter of open data, open government and open access, will join us in Berlin this year as a keynote speaker.

Neelie Kroes is responsible for the Digital Agenda for Europe, one of seven flagship initiatives of Europe 2020, the European Union’s strategy for inclusive and sustainable growth. The Digital Agenda for Europe recognises that the digital economy is growing seven times faster than the rest of the economy and lays out seven priority areas that must be addressed in order to ensure that European citizens are truly able to take advantage of and receive the full benefits of digital technologies.

Opening up public sector information is a key part of the Digital Agenda for Europe and progress on open data in Europe has benefited significantly from the strong and unwavering support from Neelie Kroes. In a recent interview with OpenSource.com, Mrs. Kroes stated,

“Data is at the heart of the knowledge economy. All our decision-making is becoming ever more determined by data as a basis, not only inside companies, but also in our capacity as ordinary citizens. The products of the future are information-based products that will make our lives easier. Opening up data for use and reuse has therefore an enormous potential to change the way we live and make choices. A better use of data will thus contribute to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, the creation of jobs and the promotion of web-entrepreneurship and start-ups throughout the EU.”

We couldn’t agree more. We are honoured that Mrs. Kroes will take part in this year’s Open Knowledge Festival and look forward to engaging her in a fruitful discussion about how we can better harness the power and potential of open data for the benefit of society.

There are still tickets left, join Neelie Kroes and hundreds of other members of the global open knowledge community to share experiences, learn from peers and collectively build a stronger open knowledge movement. Don’t miss out, buy your OKFestival tickets today.

The OKFestival keynote excitement begins!

Megan McGrattan - June 16, 2014 in Events, Featured, OKFestival, Uncategorized

This is a cross-post from the OKFestival blog, see the original here

The time is now. The time is today!

If you haven’t already, it’s time to buy your tickets because today, we announce the names of our four amazing keynote speakers!

This year, we have the pleasure of welcoming this stellar line-up of activists, experts, founders, leaders and visionaries who have each impacted the world as we know it in significant ways; pushing forward reform, demanding accountability, increasing transparency and creating new points of contact between governments and their people – to name but a few of their achievements!

We’re delighted to be able to confirm that these incredible speakers will be opening both full days of the festival and we hope that their ideas and stories will inspire you to think harder, make better and connect more during the discussions and activities which will follow later each day.

We’ll be letting you know more about each of our Keynote’s talks throughout this week, with a daily drop including their bios, their keynote details and some stellar prep material you can watch to get you excited about how incredible it will be to see this lot live!

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, later this week we’ll let you in on an extra special addition to this line-up, so stay tuned to Twitter for hints on who it might be and tuned to our site for in-the-moment updates! Don’t miss out, OKFestival is the best place to be Open this summer!

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Neelie Kroes Vice President & EU Commissioner for Digital Agenda, European Commission

Neelie Kroes is currently Vice President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda for Europe. Since 2004, she has worked as one of the 27 European Commissioners aiming to maintain a peaceful and prosperous Europe. From 2004 to 2009, she was Competition Commissioner, responsible for ensuring a level playing field for business in Europe. In 2010, she became Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda for Europe. This portfolio includes ensuring trust and security for the Internet and new technologies; building world-class European research and innovation in this sector; and above all getting every European Digital, with access to fast broadband, so Europe can make the most out of the Internet to support a strong economy and society.

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Patrick Alley Founder of Global Witness and a member of the WEF Global Agenda Council for Conflict prevention.

Patrick Alley is a director of Global Witness and co-founded the organisation in 1993. He took part in Global Witness’ first investigations into the Thai-Khmer Rouge timber trade in 1995, and since then has taken part in over fifty field investigations in South East Asia, Africa and Europe, and in subsequent advocacy activities. Patrick has focused on natural resource governance issues in resource-rich countries, including post-conflict, including Cambodia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Zimbabwe, and focuses on the thematic issue of Conflict Resources, and on forest and land issues, especially challenging industrial scale logging and land grabbing in the tropics. Patrick is involved in the strategic leadership of Global Witness, and is a member of the WEF Global Agenda Council for Conflict prevention.

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Eric Hysen Director of Google’s elections and civic engagement products and programs, creator of tools for Harvard Institute of Politics designed to drive youth voter turnout through social media.

Eric manages Google’s elections and civic engagement products and programs. His team has launched tools that have helped hundreds of millions of people vote and engage in the political process in over 25 countries, including India, Kenya, Germany, Australia, the US, Mexico, and Egypt. Eric’s team recently launched the Google Civic Information API to make it easier for developers to build useful new civic apps. Prior to joining Google in 2009, Eric built tools to drive youth voter turnout through social media at the Harvard Institute of Politics. Eric holds a BA with honors in Computer Science from Harvard College, and has published research on using advanced crowdsourcing techniques to solve complex problems.

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Beatriz Busaniche Founder of Wikimedia Argentina and key member of Argentina’s Fundacion Via Libre

Beatriz Busaniche is a member of the Fundacion Via Libre and is also a founding member of Wikimedia Argentina, local chapter of Wikimedia Foundation. She has a Mass Communication Degree from National University of Rosario, and is currently a part time professor at Social Sciences Faculty, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She’s preparing her Master Degree on Intellectual Property at FLACSO Argentina.

Join us!

The Open Knowledge Festival 2014 invites you to come and learn from these experts; to hear their thoughts, share their ideas and discuss the progress that we can make towards a more Open world when we work together. Come and join the conversation at OKFestival 2014, knowing that when you leave, it will be with more inspiration, more connections and more conviction than you might have imagined possible.

See you next month!

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