Events have a significant role for the Open Knowledge Foundation. They focus attention on the key issues of the day, gather interested individuals and organisations around specific topics, and represent the public face of the open knowledge community and its many and various projects. They also provide occasions for open data enthusiasts to meet face-to-face, working and learning (and socialising) together.

The Open Knowledge Foundation runs a multitude of events every year, from major international events to local meetups, and supports events organised by others around open topics. Also, we are involved in many events at which our staff and community speak on the Foundation’s behalf.

So what are our main events – OKCon and OKFestival – and what’s coming up this year and next?

  • OKCon A conference-style event, OKCon is primarily organised by Local Groups – an Initiative or Chapter – in collaboration with OKF Central. It can be more formal than OKFestival, with a centrally-planned 2-3 day conference format rather than a big multi-stream festival, and can have a specific focus (such as a topic or local emphasis). The programme may be topic and/or region specific. This year, OKCon in Geneva will be running over 3 days (16th-18th September) with a fantastic programme plus additional workshops and exhibitions. We’re currently working on how to develop the format for future events, in different countries and with variable frequency.
  • OKFestival This is our major international event for the whole community, with an informal, relaxed and celebratory feel. Organised by OKF Central, it is a place for debate and networking where all elements of open knowledge are welcome. Offering a crowd-sourced multi-layered programme spanning about a week, it also includes lots of satellite events, workshops – and parties! Our next one will be in 2014 – just in time for the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Open Knowledge Foundation!

We want to ensure all these events get excellent support and promotion, and for this reason we have strengthened our team in 2013:

  • Beatrice Martini joined us in January as Events Coordinator. She kicked off her work developing how-to guides, encouraging our project managers and Local Groups to run great events for the organisation and community, both big and small, online and offline. While supporting events of all formats, from the global Open Data Day to a great School of Data workshop in Berlin, Beatrice has been working with our community and the Swiss Chapter on OKCon 2013 and is preparing a brand new Events page premiering soon on the Open Knowledge Foundation website.
  • Elaine Shaughnessy joined the team as Marketing and Events Manager in May, and is working with Beatrice on the Foundation’s global events as well as with the Network Team on marketing activities.

(Want to know more about how we can support you locally in running open knowledge events? Apply to become a Local Group Ambassador today!).

We will keep you posted about all our events; in the meantime, keep yourself up-to-date following the OKCon Blog, join us in Geneva (Early Bird tickets are on sale until 23rd June!) and watch this space to be the first to know about the upcoming plans of our Events team. See you soon!

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Naomi joined Open Knowledge Foundation in 2011. At various points she has been involved with administration, finance, project management, HR, the community network, events, communications, and other miscellaneous areas where a helping hand was needed.