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OKCon 2013 Guest Post: Which bar to raise?

Guest - September 11, 2013 in OKCon, Open Government Data

The following post is by Paul Maassen, who together with Daniel Dietrich and Anders Pedersen will be coordinating the workshop ‘Raising the bar for ambition and quality in OGP: workshop to develop a ‘Civil Society National OGP Review’, to be held on Tuesday 17 September, 14:45 – 16:00 @ Room 5, Floor 3, as part of the Open Data, Government and Governance track at OKCon. Get in touch with them to book your place!


When asked what makes the Open Government Partnership model different I always mention 3 elements: the guaranteed seat at the table for civil society; the concrete, ambitious commitments made, and the independent monitoring of the process and promises.

Two years after the OGP was launched at the UN General Assembly the first set of independent reports are being released. That brings the first cycle for the founding countries to a close. The last 12 months reformers in close to 60 countries have experimented with the OGP process, testing it out as a new tool to deliver change and get more transparency, more accountability and more participation.

Image: Open Development Technology Alliance

Image: Open Development Technology Alliance

Not surprisingly civil society across the globe has been watching OGP closely. Embracing the idea of creating space for reformers, but critically vocal on all three key elements, as well as the criteria to get into the partnership. In ultra short summary: the eligibility threshold is too low with too little criteria; the commitments are not ambitious and the consultations not inclusive and ‘real’ enough. All okay to an extent for the ‘test drive’ of the first action plan cycle, but not for the second round.

The team working on the independent reports (IRM team) have worked hard the last couple of months to get their methodology right, find the best researchers, balance the interest of government and civil society. This week the very first report – on South Africa – will be published and the coming weeks 7 more will follow. Hopefully the reports will bring about a dialogue on key learnings, rather than serve as a simple scorecard to praise or denounce national efforts. Solid thinking and resources have been put into this exercise and the reports should push the reviewed countries in the right direction and create fresh energy.

Read the rest of this entry →

OKCon 2013 Guest Post: Open governance groups around the world compare local authority finances

Guest - September 10, 2013 in OKCon, Public Money

This article, by Marc Joffe and Ian MakGill, originally appeared on the Guardian website on 01 August 2013. Marc Joffe will be speaking in the Open Finance and OpenSpending – Workshop on Wednesday 18 September, 14:45 – 16:00 @ Room 7, Floor 2.


Open governance groups around the world compare local authority finances

Council finances are being compared for greater transparency, but a lack of standardised data is holdings things back.

We built a website in the US that maps the finances and credit scores of 260 Californian cities. You can click on a town and find out about their revenues and expenditure, debt levels and even retirement plans for staff. California City Credit Scoring

The California fiscal transparency project is one example of how open governance initiatives are increasingly being used to compare local authorities, accessing their spending priorities and financial conditions. A similar site exists in Denmark and one will launch in Israel shortly using a new open source software platform.

However, projects like this that compare authorities finances face a number of challenges – many of which arise from a lack of standardised, machine-readable data. While corporate financial data analysis is aided by the XBRL standard, there is no analogous standard in the realm of government financial reporting.

Our work on California required us to locate and extract data from audited financial reports filed by each city. In virtually all cases, these reports were stored in pdf files, and completing this project required a lot of manual inputting. We got the best results by selecting portions of the pdf to convert within the software.

So, would something like this be possible in England? The raw material for such a project is available in abundance. Local councils in England are required to publish audited financial accounts, and typically do so in pdf form. Tax receipts, investments and borrowing data for all councils are published in Excel format by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

But it is not certain whether these statistics tie out to the audited financial reports. In California, we found widespread inconsistencies between audited financial reports and standardised data collected by the state controller’s office. The Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accounts also collects and standardises council financial data, but they sell their compilations for several hundred pounds.

The UK is significantly ahead of the US in the area of reporting transactions. In the UK, councils are required to publish all transactions above £500; some voluntarily report smaller transactions.

The only problem is that there are varying interpretations of what data is being completed in each field and inconsistency in data formats and field headers. Although transaction reports are supposed to be issued monthly, some councils publish them less frequently.

While most councils provide their spending data in machine readable formats, others only provide pdfs. We sent a freedom of information request to East Riding council, asking them to publish their data in comma separated variable (CSV) format instead but the council refused on the basis that the data in the new format might be used fraudulently.

Some of the local government transaction data has been aggregated on the Open Knowledge Foundation’s global Open Spending project and at Openly Local.

City councils in the US and the UK both publish budgets which include estimates of future spending. In our California project, we initially excluded budgets because budget reporting formats are less consistent than those used in audits (since the latter are governed by accounting standards).

However, because budgets are forward looking, citizens find them more interesting. As a result, they have been the focus of the Denmark effort as well as many individual city-level transparency projects such as Open Oakland.

In California, the impetus for developing our transparency site was a desire to provide an alternative to credit ratings for assessing the likelihood of municipal bond defaults. In recent years, the state has had a number of high-profile bankruptcies, so investors may require greater transparency before purchasing bonds issued by California cities. We meet this need by running city financial statistics through an open source credit scoring model.

UK councils have not accessed the capital markets, but that could be about to change. Before becoming reliant on the credit rating agencies, local leaders may wish to build a transparency platform like the one in California.


Marc Joffe is the principal consultant at Public Sector Credit Solutions and Ian Makgill is the managing director of the Spend Network.

Get ready for the OKCon workshops!

Zara Rahman - September 5, 2013 in Events, OKCon

Sign up now for workshops!

Lovely attendees of OKCon, it’s time to make plans for the workshops you want to attend! Each workshop session now has detailed information about moderators and speakers, topics that will be covered, and practical information about capacity limits and where and when they will be taking place.

There are three very easy steps to follow:

Step 1 – Go to the Schedule
Step 2 – Click on your favourite workshop(s)
Step 3 – Get in touch with the organisers via the email address given to express your interest, begin collaborating, and book your place – hurry, seats are limited!

The workshop organisers are ready and waiting for your input and ideas, and can’t wait to fine tune the session with you! Don’t hesitate to get in touch with them if you have any questions about the workshop.

Why not check out:

…and there are many more!

OKCon 2013 Guest Post: Is Open Source Drug Discovery Practical?

Guest - August 30, 2013 in Events, Join us, OKCon, Open Knowledge Foundation, Open Science

The following guest post is by Matthew Todd, Senior Lecturer at the School of Chemistry, The University of Sydney and Sydney Ambassador of the Open Knowledge Foundation. As part of OKCon 2013 Matthew will host a satellite event entitled ‘Is Open Source Drug Discovery Practical?’, taking place on on Thursday 19 September from 09:00 – 12:00 at the World Health Organization (WHO) – UNAIDS HQ. (Find instructions about how to get there below, and register to attend the event here).


IsOpenSourceDrugDiscoveryPracticalIf we value collaboration as a way of speeding scientific progress, we should all embrace open science since it promises to supercharge the collaboration process, both by making data available to anyone but also by allowing anyone to work on a problem. Open science can obviously promise this because of its essential and defining condition: openness. We, as humans, default to this way of interacting with each other, but such norms can be overridden where there is some advantage in keeping secrets. A possible advantage might be financial, meaning there may be an incentive to work in a closed way if something one has done can be capitalized on for financial reward, leading to the idea of “intellectual property” and its protection through patents.

So we appear to have two opposing forms of enquiry. One that is open (without patents) and one that is closed. Clearly there are examples of great things arising from both.

One of the areas of science that has been of late dominated by the private sector is the pharmaceutical industry. Many effective medicines have been developed using the current model, but is it the only way? Might drug discovery that aligns with open source principles be possible?

My lab has been involved in trying to answer this question, both in developing ways to improve how we make medicines and how we discover new ones. The latter project, Open Source Malaria, directly challenges the idea that something new and of potential value to health should be sequestered away from public involvement. The OSM project abandons the protection of intellectual property so we may take advantage of the greatest number of people working on the problem in a barrierless, meritocratic collaboration.

There are historical arguments that patents are not necessary to drug discovery. Therapeutics of great value have been developed without patents, such as penicillin and the polio vaccine. The ability to patent molecular structures (rather than the methods used to make them) is a relatively recent invention. Patents have been accused of allowing companies to innovate less frequently.

But is an open approach really possible for the development of a new drug? Who would pay for the clinical trials? Who would invest money in the medicine if there is no monopoly on selling it downstream? Is there a realistic economic model that can take a promising new therapeutic and turn it into a medicine for treating millions of people? If open drug discovery is possible for diseases such as malaria, where there is little prospect of a profit, can the same model be applied to a disease like cancer, or Alzheimer’s, where the predicted profit would be very high under the current model?

These questions will all be addressed at a session I am hosting at the Open Knowledge Conference. This satellite event, taking place on the Thursday, is entitled “Is Open Source Drug Discovery Practical?“. I am very excited to have assembled a highly knowledgeable panel to discuss these issues, and in some ways it is lucky that OKCon is taking place in Geneva, where so many of the people most relevant to the current method of finding new medicines are located. The speakers are from the World Health Organisation, the Medicines for Malaria Venture, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, GlaxoSmithKline, the World Intellectual Property Organisation and the Structural Genomics Consortium. If anyone is able to answer the session’s main question, these speakers can.

These panel members will have 10 minutes to speak about their organization’s efforts related to a more open approach to drug discovery. We will then have some coffee, and then turn to addressing some of the key questions above. There will be ample chance for members of the audience to take an active role in the discussion. If you are interested in the quandary of how we are going to find the drugs that we most need for the coming generations, and how we might be able to use open data and open research to do that, then this session is for you. The subject is so interesting because the discovery of effective new medicines is very hard: we assume, then, that the best way to do the research is using a massively distributed collaboration with lots of open data, yet that model is a real challenge today because of the structures we have put in place to support the industry.

Please join us! The session will take place at WHO’s main headquarters from 09:00 till 12:00. So we ensure we don’t overflow the room, please register to attend here, where you will also find more detail of the specific items for discussion and the panel members.

Location: Initially sign in at the WHO main building then go across to the WHO-UNAIDS building, meeting room D46031 (take lift 33/34 to go to the 4th floor).

Instructions on getting to WHO by public transport

[Picture credit]

OKCon 2013 Guest Post: Open Data Toolkits and Assessment Tools

Guest - August 28, 2013 in Events, OKCon, OKF Switzerland, Open Development, Workshop

The following guest post is by Iulian Pogor (World Bank), Meghan Cook (University at Albany, Barbara Ubaldi (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development– OECD), and Ton Zijlstra (Open Knowledge Foundation) who are among the coordinators of the workshop Open Data Toolkits and Assessment Tools, which will take place at OKCon 2013, as part of the Open Development and Sustainability programme, on Tuesday 17 September. Cross-posted from the OKCon Blog.


OPEN DATA TOOLKITS AND ASSESSMENT TOOLS

A growing network of governments, corporations and civil society organizations around the world are working to expand the availability of open government data by removing technical and legal barriers to data re-use, and engaging the public to unlock the full potential of open data as valuable economic assets and drivers of civic engagement. There are currently hundreds of open data initiatives and a large number of organizations providing assistance to run them. However, the vast majority of them are focused on developed countries and only a few institutions are providing technical assistance to developing countries’ open data initiatives.

The Open Data Toolkits and Assessment Tools workshop to be held on September 17 from 11:30 to 13:15 within the Open Knowledge Conference will present some technical assistance tools and the emerging lessons from implementation of those in developing countries and discuss options for their improvement. The workshop will be broken down in two parts: (i) short presentations and discussion on the World Bank’s Open Government Data Toolkit (by Amparo Ballivian, Chair of the Bank’s Open Government Data Working Group) and the United Nations Guidelines on Open Government Data for Citizen Engagement (by Daniel Dietrich, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs), and (ii) longer presentations and discussion on the open data readiness assessment methodologies from the World Bank and the Web Foundation (by Tim Davies, Research Coordinator), the Center for Technology in Government (by Meghan Cook, Program Director), OECD (by Barbara Ubaldi, E-Government Unit Project Leader) and the Open Knowledge Foundation (by Ton Zijlstra, Independent Consultant on Change, Complexity, Knowledge Work, Learning) along with the lessons learned from their applications in developing countries. This second session will aim to gather ideas for improvements of these assessment methodologies.

Please see below short descriptions of the respective tools. We invite your feedback regarding the workshop and the tools in the comments section of this post before, during, and after the conference.

OpenGovernmentDataToolkitThe World Bank Open Government Data Toolkit is designed to help practitioners get “up to speed” in planning and implementing an open government data program, while avoiding common pitfalls. Resources include:

  • Open Data Essentials – answers “Frequently Asked Questions” about open data with many examples.
  • Technology Options – describes open data scenarios with different levels of complexity, and suggests technical solutions for open data platforms appropriate to each scenario.
  • Demand and Engagement – offers a ‘menu’ of services to promote and support ‘Open Data Literacy’, the goal of which is to catalyze, engage, and inspire strategic multi-stakeholder groups to see the value and potential of open data, and what it means for local, national, and regional development in a practical, hands-on way.
  • Supply and Quality of Data – discusses basic examples of data quality standards and useful tools to review, refine, clean, analyze, visualize and publish data.
  • Readiness Assessment Tool – provides a methodological tool for conducting an action-oriented assessment of the readiness of a government – or even an individual agency – to evaluate, design and implement an Open Data initiative. The tool has been applied in Ulyanovsk (Russia),  Antigua and Barbuda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Peru.

OpenGovernmentDataAndServicesThe Guidelines on Open Government Data for Citizen Engagement is a practical and easy-to-understand guideline for policy makers and technologists developed by the UN Public Administration Programme. It can be used to understand, design, implement and sustain open government data initiatives. The toolkit is tailored to the needs and constraints of developing countries, but it can be used by anyone interested in opening up data. It contains the core principles of openness, best practices and case studies, checklists, step-by-step guidelines and practical policy recommendations.

WebFoundationThe Web Foundation has completed initial assessments of two countries’ readiness for implementing open government data programs, in Ghana and in Chile and a third feasibility study is expected to be conducted in Indonesia. Initially, the Web Foundation developed a methodology and a set of composite indicators to define open government data readiness of a given country. These indicators range from political willingness, the public administration readiness, and the civil society interest and readiness. The Web Foundation followed this by conducting research to provide quantitative and qualitative data in preparation for in-country visits, during which the Web Foundation met with key stakeholders to refine the assessment of open government data readiness in their country.

20year_logoFor over 20 years, the Center for Technology in Government (CTG) at State University of New York has developed tools and guides that help governments assess their capabilities, gauge readiness, and inform the design and implementation of open government and open data initiatives. Some selected CTG’s resources to build knowledge and assess readiness include:

Most recently CTG conducted an open government readiness assessment in the Republic of Nigeria using a blended approach of both World Bank and CTG’s tools and techniques.

OECDThe OECD project on Open Government Data (OGD) aims to develop a knowledge base on OGD policies, strategies and initiatives. The ultimate goal of the methodology proposed in the Working Paper on OGD Towards Empirical Analysis of Open Government Data Initiatives is to map practices across the OECD and to identify metrics to evaluate costs and benefits of OGD. This provides a framework for data collection to assess the economic, social and good governance value generated by making government data open, as well as the required conditions for successful implementation of OGD initiatives.

The assessment will also underlie policy support and capacity building activities to help governments in OECD and developing countries improve the impact of their OGD policies and practices. The assessment methodology includes: (i) An Analytical Framework for examining OGD initiatives, planning and implementation, and (ii) survey data collection on: OGD strategies and policies, implementation of OGD initiatives and portals, value generation and creation of relevant ecosystems, challenges to implementing OGD policies and initiatives.

OpenDataCensusThe Open Data Census assesses the state of open data around the world. The Census is a community-based effort initiated and coordinated by the Open Knowledge Foundation but with participation from many different groups or individuals. It collects and presents information on the evolution and current state of open data.

Open Education Working Group and Panel at OKCon 2013

Marieke Guy - August 20, 2013 in Events, Join us, OKCon, Open Education

Cross-posted from the OKCon Blog.

OpenEducation

 

Discussions around open education tend to focus primarily on Open Educational Resources (OER) – freely accessible, openly licensed resources that are used for teaching, learning, educational, assessment and research purposes. However open education is a complex beast made up of many aspects, and the important elements of opening up relevant educational data and changing of both institutional and wider culture are often neglected.

linkedup

The EU-funded LinkedUp Project is set up to specifically focus on increasing the exploitation of open data available on the Web by educational institutions and organizations. In the Veni Competition, part of the running LinkedUp Challenge, we have challenged competitors to create innovative prototypes and demos for tools that analyse and/or integrate linked and open web data for educational purposes.

We are keen to see the discussions around open data in education pulled into the wider debates around open education, and therefore, we are setting up an Open Education Working Group. The group is still at an early stage of development but we’re keen to get the community involved from the start so they can help shape the objectives and initial activities. Sign up to the mailing list and help us begin to think about what this Open Education Working Group needs to do.

Some of the ideas will be explored in more detail in a panel session delivered at OKCon which is sponsored by the LinkedUp project. The panel session is entitled: The facets of open education: resources, data and culture and will take place on Tuesday 17 September, 11:45 – 13:15 @ Room 13, Floor 2. It will consider questions such as What is Open Education? What role can open data play to make education better, more accessible and more open? How can we ensure that open education really widens participation?

The session will be moderated by Doug Belshaw, Badges & Skills Lead, Mozilla Foundation and panelists will include:

  • Jackie Carter, Senior Manager, MIMAS, Centre of Excellence, University of Manchester, UK
  • Mathieu d’Aquin, Research fellow, Knowledge Media Institute, Open University, UK
  • Davide Storti, Programme Specialist, Communication and Information Sector (CI), UNESCO

The panel session will end with presentations from competitors in the LinkedUp Project Veni Competition. We have challenged competitors to create innovative prototypes and demos for tools that analyse and/or integrate linked and open web data for educational purposes. There have been some great entries and the shortlist has just been announced, so we urge you to come and see the presentations the competitors give!

We will then be announcing the winners of the Veni Competition later in the day on the main stage.

We really hope to see you at OKCon and at the Open Education Panel Session! Register today!

OKCon 2013 Accommodation Subsidy Programme launching today!

Beatrice Martini - August 6, 2013 in Events, Join us, OKCon, OKF Switzerland, Open Knowledge Foundation

PB100744
Cross-posted from the OKCon Blog.

We are glad to invite our attendees who haven’t been awarded a travel bursary and would benefit from a little help to join us at OKCon to apply for our Accommodation Subsidy Programme, providing a simple and basic accommodation solution for a price of 50 EUR per night.

Our accommodation subsidy offers:

  • bed in a same-sex (women-only, men-only) dorm room (2-10 people) in an hostel in Geneva

  • for 3 nights, from Monday 16th September to Wednesday 18th September (please note that we will not be able to offer different dates)

  • at the price of 50 EUR per night (total for 3 nights: 150 EUR)

Because we are a community-driven, mostly volunteer-run event, OKCon ticket costs are not covered by the accommodation subsidies. If you are awarded an accommodation subsidy, you will be asked to purchase your ticket within the two following business days after you’ll have received our confirmation.

You can find further details, instructions and the submission form on the OKCon 2013 Accommodation Subsidies webpage. The OKCon Accommodation Subsidy Programme starts today (Tuesday 6th August) and ends on Monday 12th August, 23:59:59 GMT.

We are looking forward to receiving your applications. See you in Geneva next month!

OKCon 2013 Guest Post: Open Data Portal on Land Rights

Guest - July 30, 2013 in Events, External, OKCon, Open Data

Cross-posted from the OKCon Blog.

Introducing a series of guest posts by OKCon 2013 speakers that we will publish over the coming weeks. This first post is by Laura Meggiolaro, Land Portal Coordinator, International Land Coalition, who will be speaking on the main stage during the Open Development and Sustainability session on Wednesday 18th September at 10:15.


logo-land-portal-transparenThere is a wealth of information and data online about land governance. However, much of this content is fragmented and difficult to locate, and often it is not openly licensed to enable wide dissemination and reuse. Bringing this information together in one place, actively addressing gaps in the available information, and providing a range of ways for the information to be accessed and shared does increase use of the available information. This supports more informed debates and policy making, and greater adoption and up scaling of best practices and promising innovations, leading to improve land governance practice. Through a focus on localisation of content creation and use, the Land Portal aims at tipping the balance of power towards the most marginalised and insecure, promoting greater social justice in land tenure practices across the world.

Access to knowledge is essential for individuals and communities seeking to secure land rights, particularly for women. Stronger networks between government agencies, CSOs, and emerging social movements are needed to support more just, equitable and gender aware land governance. Over recent decades land governance groups have come to use the Internet in their practice, but it’s full potential is by no means realised. The land Portal can support land advocacy and governance, drawing on learning from current practice, and highlighting emerging frontiers of relevance to the field. Recent online dialogue that focused on monitoring women’s land rights in Madagascar demonstrated that the Land Portal as a platform for open content and open data offers a collaborative approaches to land governance.

As Madagascar has recently been debating its new progressive tenure reform, it provides an interesting case study to show how internet-based tools such as the Land Portal gives the opportunity – provided the basic infrastructure is available and those accessing it have functional literacy skills – to enhance participation and allow for diversity of insights and perspectives on questions like “is land reform in Madagascar a model for replication?” or “how legal pluralism may restrict or promote women’s access to land?”.

Over the last years we found out that online discussions, in particular, are effective means to promote inclusion, knowledge sharing and promote social changes.

logo

The discussion on “land reform” had the objective of involving civil society to debate experiences of the land reform implementation and which key lessons could be transferred to other countries. The more recent discussion provides an interesting insight of how women’s access to land might be affected by a legal pluralism. Insights from Malagasy people or land experts in region aimed at revising and improving data on the FAO Gender and Land Rights database (GLRD).

The LP is based on open source, open data and open content and applies principles of openness in its governance, its use of technology and in its outputs. Through the pursuit of more transparent and open information on land governance the Portal seeks to become a leading example of open development in action. However, the Land Portal does not adopt openness uncritically, but instead focuses in particular on identifying where openness can help tip the balance of power in favour of the marginalised, rather than where openness could ‘empower the already empowered’ (1.). Land Portal seeks to ensure that a diversity of knowledge is included and represented, and that those best placed to act in the interests of those with the most insecure land rights and the greatest vulnerability to landlessness have effective access to the open data and knowledge that is made available.

landportal_card

Besides documenting land rights, the Portal also encourages social information exchange, debate and networking. It aims at becoming the leading online destination for information, resources, innovations and networking on land issues; support more inclusive and informed debate and action on land governance and increase adoption and up-scaling of best practices and emerging innovation on land tenure.

The Land Portal is a partnership project supported by a network of international and grassroots land organisations focussed on land governance, development and social justice. Its innovative approach to engaging stakeholders on the highly complex issue of land governance ensures that the Portal is coordinated, managed and populated with content by the stakeholders and users who are actively involved with land from far and wide.


(1.) Gurstein, M. (2011). Open data: Empowering the empowered or effective data use for everyone? (2.) Link to article


With almost 10 year work experience in the land governance sector collaborating with both UN Agencies and Civil Society Organizations in information and knowledge management, partnerships building and communication for development, Laura is strongly committed towards social change and the improvement of life conditions of disadvantaged groups within societies, focusing in particular on gender dynamics.
Since she has been assigned the overall Land Portal coordination in 2012, she has been leading an in deep project self-assessment and promoting a major re-development of the Portal to better address its main target audiences, respond to the ever-evolving technological innovations and opportunities for better quality and reach, but also to increasingly make the Portal a hub for Open Data and a clear example of open development in action contributing to open land governance information and knowledge in order to increase transparency on land related issues.

OKCon 2013 travel bursary programme launching today!

Beatrice Martini - July 4, 2013 in Events, Join us, News, OKCon, OKF Switzerland


_MG_5057
Cross-posted from the OKCon Blog.

OKCon 2013 is happy to announce that we have received a grant to support travel bursaries to help some people with limited financial resources take part in the conference this September. A special thanks goes to the Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI), a Swiss charitable foundation within the Open Society Foundations, which helped to make this possible.

Our travel bursaries cover:

  • international travel and transport costs from your city of departure and back

  • accommodation (which we’ll be glad to book for you)

  • lunch at the conference venue on Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th September.

You can find further details, instructions and the submission form on the OKCon 2013 Travel Bursaries webpage.
The OKCon travel bursary programme starts today (4th July) and ends on 14th July, at 23:59:59 GMT. We are looking forward to receiving your applications!

Read all about OKCon 2013 and get your ticket now on the conference website!

OKCon 2013: selected proposals, updated programme and Early Bird tickets!

Beatrice Martini - June 18, 2013 in Events, Featured, Join us, OKCon, OKF Switzerland, Workshop

_MG_5069

Cross-posted from the OKCon Blog.

We received more than 300 proposals and selecting the submissions that we could fit in the 2-and-a-half-day schedule was a real challenge. We had to leave out several truly exciting applications and believe us, that wasn’t easy.

But today: here we are, ready to announce the list of selected proposals and our freshly updated programme! Please find them in our Call for Proposals and Schedule pages. Workshops, talks, lightning talks, panels, sessions and a selection of fine bars and clubs to bring on the conference discussions and working groups plans after dark.

Some highlights?

Monday:

  • kick off afternoon with workshops – from Open Data Census to CKAN, a collaboration between The Engine Room and the Information Innovation Lab and a data viz hands-on session by Interactive Things
  • Law Mining Hackathon, first day (the hackathon will end on Thursday, 19th September), run by Christian Laux and Jean-Henry Morin
  • a selection of high-level Swiss speakers presenting the state of the art of open data in Switzerland
  • a session of talks from our global community focussing on open government with projects and presentations from Nepal, US, North Africa, Asia, Europe & more
  • launch of the Swiss Open Data Portal, a milestone for openness in Switzerland, and celebratory drinks

Tuesday:

  • keynote lectures by Ellen Miller (Sunlight Foundation) and John Ellis (CERN)
  • Open Data, Government and Governance session: with Kimberly Roberson (UNHCR), Chris Taggart (OpenCorporates), Amparo Ballivian (World Bank) among the others
  • Technology, Tools and Business talks and panel: with speakers such as Francis Irving (ScraperWiki), Thomas Gauthier (Geneva School of Management/ Biometis), Khristine R. Custodio (GEF/UNEP/SEASTART IW:LEARN)
  • Open Science and Research session: with Victoria Stodden (Columbia University), Ernst Hafen (ETH Zurich), Kaitlin Thaney (Mozilla Science Lab), Puneet Kishor (Creative Commons)
  • LinkedUp Award Ceremony
  • Urban Data Challenge exhibition and vernissage

Wednesday:

  • Open Development and Sustainability talks and panel: with Chris Vein (World Bank), Jack Townsend (University of Southampton), Florian Bauer (REEEP), Anahi Ayala Iacucci (Internews) and many more
  • Evidence and Stories: with Justin Arenstein, Federico Ramírez Corona (Fundar), Eva Vozarova (Fair-Play Alliance), Julia Keserű (Sunlight Foundation) and further speakers to be announced
  • Open Culture: with Anna Gold (Kennedy Library, California Polytechnic State University), Merete Sanderhoff (Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen), Building the Digital Commons Workshop team and the Open Humanities Award ceremony
  • a booming closing party, of course!

Thursday, day dedicated to satellite events around town, like:

  • Scholarly International Infrastructure Technical Summit
  • KNOWeSCAPE workshop, by Christophe Gueret
  • Is Open Source Drug Discovery Practical? Workshop run by Matthew Todd
  • Build a Better Transparency Technology Project: Lessons from the TAI mentors: panel with Sarah Schacht, Lucy Chambers (Open Knowledge Foundation), Gabriela Lula and Miriam McCarthy (Transparency and Accountability Initiative)
  • Law Mining Hackathon, final day and demos

Further details will come in the next few days and weeks, keep your eyes peeled!

Have you got your tickets yet? Now’s the time to buy, the Early Bird tickets are only on sale until 23rd June and after then the prices will rise.

We can’t wait to meet you all in Geneva, it’s going to be amazing!

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