OPEN UP! COMES TO A CLOSE WITH A SECOND ‘VISION FOR THE FUTURE’

After a full day of debates, discussions and networking, The Open Up! conference on technology and open government closed with the second of two ‘Vision’ talks . We heard from two of the sector’s most experienced practitioners, Michael Anderson, UK Envoy to the High-Level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda at the Department for International Development, and Ethan ZuckermanDirector of the Center for Civic Media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Michael and Ethan shared their final insights into how technology can promote more transparent and accountable government, and more engaged citizens. (more…)

OPEN UP! PARTICIPATION: EMPOWERING CITIZENS TO DEMAND CHANGE

After a lively Guided ‘Show And Tell’ Gallery Tour, which saw important connections made between participants and technology for development organisations, the conference moved onto a series of lightning talks on the topic of ‘Participation: Empowering Citizens To Demand Change’, from Felipe Heusser (Fundacion Ciudadano Inteligente), Gustav Praekelt (Praekelt Foundation), Kepha Ngito (Map Kibera), Gautam John (Akshara Foundation), Yemi Adamolekun (Enough is Enough Nigeria), Jay Bhalla (Open Institute), Chris Taggart (OpenCorporates) and Gavin Starks (Open Data Institute).

Each speaker had five minutes to share their insights about how to engage citizens and encourage participation. Here are the key takeaways: (more…)

OPEN UP! GUIDED ‘SHOW AND TELL’ GALLERY TOUR

It has been a packed and engaging morning at the Open Up! conference in London’s tech city. We’ve already heard from governments, experts and technology for development practitioners, who have shared their knowledge and inspired debate.

The first session of the afternoon was the Guided ‘Show And Tell’ Gallery Tour, which linked up conference participants with organisations currently working in the field of technology and open government. (more…)

OPEN UP! OPEN SOCIETIES, OPEN ECONOMIES

After an exciting discussion and Q&A on ‘Open Development: Improving Service Delivery’, the next session at Open Up! was a panellist debate on ‘Open Societies, Open Economies’. Conference participants were addressed by the Rt. Hon. Justine Greening, MP, UK Secretary of State for International Development, who had just sent her very first tweet, and Tim O’Reilly, Founder of O’Reilly Media.

Rt. Hon. Justine Greening, MP, UK Secretary of State for International Development, discussed the need to take the opportunities offered by web and mobile technology to boost citizen engagement and service delivery. (more…)

OPEN UP! OPEN DEVELOPMENT: IMPROVING SERVICE DELIVERY

The Open Up! conference is fully underway as the third session ‘Open Development: Improving Service Delivery’ comes to a wrap. In this session, we heard first from Rakesh Rajani, executive director of Twaweza. Rakesh expressed his belief that government should be about building on what works, which is a central tenant for Twaweza.

Rakesh shared two stories of failure from Twaweza as a way of illuminating the importance of learning, iterating, innovating and improving. (more…)

OPEN UP! VISIONS FOR THE FUTURE 1

After introductions and opening remarks from David Rowan, editor of Wired, and Stephen King, partner at Omidyar Network, and a video address from UK Prime Minister David Cameron, the Open Up! conference on transparency and open government continues with a session called Visions for the Future. This is the first of two ‘Visions for the Future’ sessions, which bookend the day.

In this session, moderated by David, Jennifer Pahlka, founder and executive director at Code for America, offered insights into how the relationship between government and the governed will continue to change. (more…)

OPEN UP! INTRODUCTIONS AND OPENING REMARKS

The Open Up! conference on transparency and open government is underway, hosted by the UK GovernmentOmidyar Network and Wired UK.

The event was opened by David Rowan, editor of Wired, and Stephen King, partner at Omidyar Network, who addressed entrepreneurs, aid agencies, governments and organisations who have gathered in London’s tech city.

David said the concept of Open Up! is to bring together entrepreneurs, aid agencies, government, ‘policy wonks’, and organisations working in the field of technology for development, not only to discuss tools that are empowering citizens but also to create networks to enhance the work that each participant is doing. He articulated the the aim of today’s conference – to look at tools that can open up government, boost political transparency and give citizens more control of what is happening in their name. (more…)

SHOW AND TELL AT OPEN UP!

Tomorrow, in London’s tech city, the Open Up! conference on transparency and open government will be hosted by The UK Government, Omidyar Network and Wired UK.

We’ll be welcoming technology for development practitioners from around the world to take part in a variety of events and sessions throughout the day. One of these, the ‘Show and Tell’ Gallery Tour, is a much-anticipated opportunity for conference participants to meet and talk to organisations about their experiences using technology to encourage governments to open up. (more…)

Sir Tim Berners-Lee: Raw data, now!

This post first appeared on Wired on November 9, and is by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and founder of the World Wide Web Foundation.

Originally, the acute frustration which led me to invent the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1989 was all about documents. The frustration was that all kinds of documents were sitting in disks on machines. Even at a very advanced place like the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), a networked world in which most computers in my environment were connected, one couldn’t easily browse through all the files. The WWW design offered a solution, and the world of linked documents exploded dramatically. (more…)

The Open Knowledge Foundation And The Power Of Data

Over the past few years, there has an explosive growth in open data with significant uptake in government, research and elsewhere. Open data has the potential to transform society, government and the economy, from how we travel to work to how we decide to vote. However, to be useful data (open or otherwise) needs to be used: it needs individuals and institutions to analyze it and to act on that
analysis, it needs companies and communities to build apps and services with it, and it needs tools and processes developed to facilitate doing those activities.

The Open Knowledge Foundation has now been involved for nearly a decade in building tools and community to create, use and share open knowledge and data. Some of the open tools and projects the Foundation has been working on include: (more…)