March 4th is Open Data Day! Open Data Day is an annual celebration of open data all over the world. For the seventh time in history, groups from around the world will create local events on the day where they will use open data in their communities.
For me, Open Data Day is a special day. This is not because I am busy organising it, but because I am always inspired by the different activities that we can all pull off as a community one weekend every year. Let’s be fair, while International Pancake day, which is celebrated today, is delicious, Open Data Day is important. It shows our strength as a community and brings new people to the discussions.
We all know, however, that open data is not only a one-day thing. It is a 365-day effort. Don’t get me wrong, even if you have done one event this year, and it is Open Data Day, you are fabulous! I do think, however, that this is a time to mention others in the community working all year round to try and make progress on different international topics. Whether that progress is being made through promoting the International Open Data Charter or working on standards for contracting or creating the world’s biggest open data portal for humanitarian crises. In the regional level, we see great examples of initiatives like AbreLatam/ConDatos or the African Open Data Conference.
Open Data Day, whether done locally or on a global-scale, is a good time to reflect on what happens in other places, or how you (yes, you!), can help and shape this open data ecosystem where we work. In my belief, if it’s open, everyone should have a right to express their opinions.
Lucky for us, there is a tool that tries to look at the community’s burning topics and set the way forward. It is called the International Open Data Conference Roadmap, and it is waiting for you to interact with and shape further.
Before you leave this post and read something else, I know what you might be thinking. It goes somewhere along the lines of “Mor, but who cares about my opinion when it comes to such high-level strategy?” Well, the whole community cares! I wrote this blog about the IODC just a year and a bit ago, and look, now I can actually help and shape this event. And who am I really? I am not a CEO of anything or a government official. I don’t think that only the noisy people (like me…) should be the individuals who are shaping the future. This is why your written opinion matters to us, the authors of the roadmap. Without it, this whole movement will stay in place, and without people understanding and working with the roadmap, we will not go anywhere.
I am aware that this post might come too late for some of you: your schedule for Open Data Day is full, you need more time to get organised, etc. Got 30 minutes? Here is my suggested activity with the report and I would love to get comments on it on our forum! Got only 10 minutes? Pick a topic from the roadmap, the one that you feel most connected to, read about, a write a comment about it on our forum.
Activity suggestion: International Open Data Roadmap – what are we missing?
Time: 30 minutes
Accessories: Laptops, post-its, pens, good mood.
Number of participants: 2-15
Step 1: Read the Roadmap main actions to the group :
– Open Data principles– Broaden political commitment to open data principles
–Standards – Identify and adopt user-centric open standards
– Capacity building – Build capacity to produce and effectively use open data
– Innovation – Strengthen networks to address common challenges
– Measurement – Make action on open data movement more evidence-based
– SDG– Use open data to support the sustainable development agenda
Step 2: Choose one action – If you have more than 4 people, divide the big groups into groups of up to 4 people.
Step 3: Read about the actions and what the mean in the report (pages 33-43). Discuss in the group about the meaning of the action. Do you understand it? If not what are you missing to understand it better? If yes, do you agree with it?
Step 4: On a post-it , write what do you think can help us to act and complete the actions or what are missing.
Step 5: Take a picture of your post it, upload it to the forum, with an explanation about it. You are also welcome to share it with on Twitter by using the hashtag: #IODCRoadmap.
Have a great open data day event! Don’t forget to tweet about it #opendataday and send us your posts!