Last week I gave the Open Knowledge Foundation’s first 1-day Introduction to Open Data training course. Participants from a diverse group of organisations joined me at Friends House in London for a day of presentations, discussions and workshops.

The course course covers the basic concepts – what does it mean for data to be ‘open’? What are the reasons for Open Data and why is it such a hot topic? – as well as a range of things that organisations planning to release data need to consider. Licensing, collection, data protection, open data portals, community-building and more were all discussed during the day.

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Participants on the course (author, far left)

The eight participants came from organisations including Barnet council, the BBC, Global Witness and the African Development Bank. What united them was a need to learn more about open data – either with a view to publishing it, or equipping themselves with the tools to campaign more effectively for data release.

Thankfully, participants didn’t have to listen to me all day, since their range of experience and knowledge led to lively and fruitful discussions through the day. The course was well-received to judge from the feedback, which included ‘Excellent overview of the key concepts regarding Open Data’; ‘Great session, great location, great participants!’; and my favourite response, ‘A great introduction to the issue. Engaging delivery, more interesting than I expected!’

The course will run again in the new year. No dates are fixed yet but to express an interest in attending, or in running the course in-house for your organisation, contact

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Mark is the Open Knowledge Foundation's Open Data Evangelist. Follow him at @opendatamark on Twitter.