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.