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Thoughts on OKCon 2011

This years OKCon was my first, and thanks to all of you it was most awesome. I don’t know where to start: all the amazing, friendly people, all the great projects and talks (though I have to watch most of them now on video) and this incredible dense community feeling.

It was really inspiring to hear about crazy, funny and important projects. Showing what can be done with data, how to change the world using technology, one step at a time. Move to a universal internet archive (yes, we know how big the internet is right now) or how P2P can work among people, companies and governments to create a brighter future.

Sophisticated ways to deal with information and to think about the change it can affect. And to make all this accessible for everyone. That’s what we will work on in the future to create an open world. If you want to join us, you are more than welcome. At next years OKCon, for sure. Or come visit us in Cambridge, in Berlin, right here on the internet or in all the other cities we will be in shortly, thanks to you!

Cultural heritage and the public domain meetup with Communia GLAM WG

As part of the COMMUNIA Association ( – presentation on Friday – Maarten Brinkerink is chairing a Working Group on Galleries, Libraries, Museums and Archives (GLAM).

The Association’s mission is to educate about, advocate for, offer expertise and research about the public domain in the digital age within society and with policy-makers.

The COMMUNIA GLAM WG is a continuation of the former Working Group 3 from the EU funded COMMUNIA project ( and looks at the digital public domain from the perspective of the cultural heritage sector.

For anyone interested in participating, please meet Maarten at the get together on Thursday for an (informal) meetup and possible dinner (at own cost) to further discuss possibilities to collaborate.

We will probably join in with the social dinner at:

You can also contact Maarten through Twitter (@mbrinkerink) or e-mail (mbrinkerink [at] beeldengeluid [dot] nl).

OKCon 2011 – Update

**The following post is from Hauke Johannes Gierow who is on the [OKCon 2011] organising team, and is a Community Coordinator at [OKF Deutschland].**

At the Open Knowledge Foundation we work towards an open society with open content, open data, and free/open source software all over the world. We work with developers, designers, civil servants, lawyers, scholars, students, activists, and everybody who shares our dream. The annual Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) is the place where it all comes together, where lots of great people meet up to discuss the future of open knowledge.

The Conference

This year we put together a great schedule with many knowledgeable speakers: Richard Stallman will talk about the relationship between free and open software and open public data. Michel Bauwens will speak on the interactiveness between an open society and open knowledge. We will host a great panel on open hardware and open standards, as well as one about the future of data driven journalism.

Find out more about our amazing Speakers here.

The conference will give you the opportunity to be an active part of the process. You can share your ideas at the 3 min. Lightning talks which are scheduled on both days. Or you participate in one of our many workshops.

We are thrilled about the fantastic line up in the programme

Pre OKCon Workshops 27th-29th June

Even before the conference starts, you can take part in our Pre OKCon-Workshops. Registration is free, but you can choose to support us if you buy a Supporter Ticket.

On June 27th to 28 you can team up with Friedrich Lindenberg to hack the UK’s federal budget as part of the OpenSpending hackweek. Please email friedrich.lindenberg [at] if you would like to participate.

On 28th June there is the opportunity to learn about the future development of CKAN. Register now!

On 29th June the Open Spending Project invites you to for an in-depth exploration into features of OpenSpending. Register now!

Also on 29th there will be a workshop on Open Data and Privacy chaired by Jan Schallaböck, Javier Ruiz and Daniel Dietrich. Register here!

June 27th and 28th will see our Scraper Wiki workshop, chaired by the amazing Julian Todd. Find your Ticket here.

The City

The conference will be hosted in Berlin this year. You can find many coworking-spaces, small art and hacking projects and everything else you can expect from a capital. Our conference will be just in the center, so there will also be opportunities to go sightseeing.


As we are very excited about our programme (FIND IT HERE) we have a special offer for you. The first 50 people who register, can take advantage of this 5 € Voucher Code (Just enter the code OKBERLIN when registering here).

Scraping Day with ScraperWiki

On June 27th and June 28th, as part of the Pre-OKCon 2011 events we are inviting You (yes: you!) to a Screen Scraping Day with ScraperWiki! We are delighted to have Julian Todd in Berlin who will chair the Workshop.

Is your data spread over the web? In different formats? Messy? Then come to the ScraperWiki workshop to find out how to make your data work for you. Bring data you want to dig.

Please Register Here for free

We will focus on Berlin Local Public Sector Information and other available Data. Participants will be led to take available public sector data, convert it to an open, structured format, and publish the result on the Web so that others can build on their work (Just as our friends did with the Big Clean).

It`s a one-day workshop dedicated to improving the quality of the data produced by the public sector bodies. Its aim is to transform unstructured data (e.g., HTML pages) that can be found on the websites of public institutions into richer, structured data. Such data can processed automatically with a greater efficiency, can be fed directly into data analysis and information visualisation tools to discover new insights, provide a source for a newspaper article or a report, or power a new application.

Shouldn’t all the publicly accessible data be also legally and technically re-usable?

The German government is starting to move towards open government data, but the change will take time.

* What kind of data my city or local government has?
* How screen scrapers are programmed, is it difficult?
* Is it legal to make a screen scraper and republish the data, how to avoid juridical problems?

The Twitter hash-tag for the workshop is #okcon2011

Pre-OKCon 2011 Workshops

OKCon2011 is glad to announce that registration has now opened for the pre-OKCon workshops. More details can be found below.

Pre-OKCon2011 CKAN Workshop

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 from 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM (GMT+0100)

A chance to get hands-on with the technical side of working with CKAN. In each session, a core CKAN developer will talk through the aspect, giving a live demo. Subjects will cover installing CKAN, through customising its theme and forms and go on to extending it in several ways. We welcome participants bringing a laptop and having a go with the examples provided, or work on your own stuff, whilst drawing on the support of CKAN developers.

Workshop leaders: James Gardner, David Read

Sessions will cover:

  • using the API
  • installing a CKAN instance
  • theming CKAN
  • introduction to the architecture
  • form customisation
  • writing extensions
  • CKAN core code sprint (participants pairing up with core devs)

To register for the workshop, please use the event’s eventbrite page

Getting Involved with OpenSpending

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 from 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM (GMT+0100)

The workshop will deliver in-depth working sessions on the features of OpenSpending. We will work with EU spending data, modelling, visualizing and exploring interesting features of the data. The workshop is aimed at journalists, researchers, developers and anyone else who’s interested in public spending!

Workshop leader: Friedrich Lindenberg

Working sessions will include:

  • Financial data types, sources & acquisition, refinement
  • Visualization, analysis and exploration of data
  • Contextualising the data: story telling and analysis

To register for the workshop, please use the event’s eventbrite page.

For any queries regarding the workshops please contact: daniel [dot] dietrich [at] okfn [dot] org


OKCon 2011 Presentation and Speaker Preview

Although the list of keynote speakers and presentations is not set in granite yet, it is crystallizing and the names are already carved on a wooden tablet. We are so exited that we just had to give a sneak preview of this amazing list (alphabetically):

* Adrian Pohl (HBZ)
* Alison Powell (Media and Communication London School of Economics)
* Andreas Blumauer (Semantic Web Company)
* Andreas Meiszner (United Nations University)
* Anna K. Croft (School of Chemistry, University of Wales)
* Benjamin Yolken (Google Data Exporer)
* Chris Bizer (Free University Berlin)
* Chris Taggart (Openly Local)
* Christoph Dowe (Zeit Online)
* Federica Cocco (OWNI)
* Georgia Angelaki (Europeana)
* Glyn Moody (Technology Writer)
* James Boyle (Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke Law School)
* Jaron Rowan (FCForum)
* Jeanette Hofmann (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung)
* Jeremie Zimmermann (La Quadrature du Net )
* John Sheridan (National Archives)
* Julian Todd (ScraperWiki)
* Jürgen Neumann (Open Hardware OHANDA )
* Michel Bauwens (P2P Foundation)
* Michelle Thorne (Creative Commons)
* Nagarjuna G. (Gnowledge lab/ Scientist)
* Nigel Shadbolt (Professor of Artificial Intelligence)
* Nina Paley (Artist & Filmmaker)
* Paul Bradshaw (Help Me Investigate )
* Philipp Mueller (Salzburg School of Management)
* Pippa Buchanan (School of Webcraft with Mozilla and P2PU)
* Richard Stallman (Free Software Foundation)
* Rufus Pollock (Open Knowledge Foundation)
* Simon Rogers (Guardian)
* Stefan Candea (2011 Nieman Fellow at Harvard and Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism)
* Stefan Meretz (Oekonux)
* Till Kreuzer (iRights)
* Tom Lee (Sunlight Foundation)
* Wouter Tebbens (Free Knowledge Institute)

Please note that submission is still open until May 1st. You can either submit a presentation or workshop proposal or submit a (5-10 page) paper to the Academic Track. Details can be found on the Call for Participation page.
Hope to see you all on 30th June & 1st July, 2011 in Berlin