[okfn-announce] The Open Knowledge Foundation Newsletter, July-August 2012

Theodora Middleton theodora.middleton at okfn.org
Fri Sep 14 12:42:06 UTC 2012

The Open Knowledge Foundation Newsletter, July-August 2012

This newsletter comes to you on the eve of the world's biggest ever open
knowledge event, *OKFest 2012 <http://okfestival.org/>*. It has been an
incredible journey getting to this point, as a movement and as an
organisation. We really hope you'll be making the physical journey with us
to Helsinki next week, to create, innovate and celebrate together. If you
haven't got your tickets yet, there are still a few available
although some types are already gone. Don't miss out on this moment in our

Somehow, in amongst all the festival fever, we have managed to do quite a
lot of other things in the last couple of months, some of which you can
find out about below. And *you've* been busy too! From Mexico to Georgia,
we love hearing your tales, here and on the blog <http://blog.okfn.org/> -
so get in touch if you've got a story to tell!

The OKFN is a not-for-profit organisation – all our community services are
provided openly and for free. We rely on the generosity of our
institutional and individual supporters – and we need your help now more
than ever. Please visit http://okfn.org/support/ to find out more about
becoming an Open Knowledge Foundation supporter.

You can read the nice shiny version of this Newsletter over on the
with pictures and stuff!

OK Festival!!

It's literally days away now, and we can barely believe how fast it's come
around! Our bags are packed, and we're just about ready - are you? With
over 600 people registered, OKFest is set to be the world's biggest ever
open knowledge event. In an era of global digital communications,
significant benefits are gained in all sectors of the society by opening up
knowledge, including science, culture, governance and economy. Next week
will reveal what can happen when hundreds of community-builders,
developers, scientists, academics, government and civil society
representatives, teachers, students and open data experts come together to
build new things and provoke positive change. It is a crucial moment in the
open knowledge movement. Here's a little round up of what to expect...

   - Over 13 different topic streams, from “Transparency and
   Accountability” to “Openness in Sustainability” - you can get all the
   details through the online Festival
   - Prestigious and inspiring keynote
   from Hans Rosling to Anneli Jäätteenmäki to Farida Vis to Carl-Christian
   Buhr to Carlos Rossel
   - Crowdsourced evening events including an Open
Sauna<http://opensauna.org/> evening,
   a Helsinki barhop, a series of Thematic Dinners based on the Harvard
   Berkman Centre model, and loads of other stuff to surprise and delight!
   - Free Public Hackathons and Calls for Participation, including a News
   App Hackday<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/09/04/hackday-for-news-apps-at-ok-fest/>
   by Helsingin Sanomat, Take Action lightning
talks<http://piratepad.net/TAKEACTION> on
   gender equality and diversity hosted by Wikimedia, a Green
   by us, and much, much more!

If you've (somehow) missed out on the excitement until now, you have until
September 16th to grab the last remaining
We *really* can't wait to see you there!

(Some of) What we've been up to...

*OKFN Labs*

OKFN Labs <http://okfnlabs.org/> is our (fairly) new home for experimental
and prototype projects, and is generally a very cool place to hang out.
Incorporating some of our more long term endeavours like
Annotator<http://annotateit.org/> and
YourTopia <http://yourtopia.net/>, it's a veritable hotbed of new activity
and development. One of our favourite projects at the moment is
a free, open-source crowd-sourcing and micro-tasking platform. It enables
people to create and run projects that utilise online assistance in
performing tasks that require human cognition such as image classification,
transcription, geocoding and more. Get involved! <http://pybossa.com/app/>

Another nice little product was our Ending
with Global Witness, creating visualisations to explain why global
transparency rules matter. And if you'd like to join in with our Labs work,
why not come to a Labs Sprint <http://sprints.okfnlabs.org/>? The first
will be focused on energy
in Berlin from the 1st-8th October - do come along!

*OKFN** in India*

The lovely Laura and Lucy from the OKFN community team went on a visit to
India (lucky for some!), sharing stories and experiences with the rapidly
expanding open data movement over there. You can read about their journey
on the OKF blog, as they travelled from the Fifth Elephant Conference in
Bangalore <http://blog.okfn.org/2012/08/21/open-data-bangalore/>, onto
Chennai <http://blog.okfn.org/2012/08/23/open-data-chennai/> where they
hooked up with locals Transparent Chennai, then organised their own
workshop in Mumbai <http://blog.okfn.org/2012/08/28/open-data-mumbai/>,
 and finally arrived in
the "policy capital" of India. Phew!

*Open Bibliography*

The Open Bibliography crew have been hard at work as ever, and July saw our
biggest ever celebration of Open Bibliographic Data,
Work was begun on a "Bibliographic Toolkit," which would bring together
Open Knowledge Foundation projects like TEXTUS <http://textusproject.org/> and
BibServer <http://bibserver.org/> with other tools available on the web. In
August, the JISC Open Biblio 2 project was brought to a successful
conclusion, after second year of development and advocacy - you can read
the full report
Keep up to date with all our bibliographic work on the Working Group
homepage <http://openbiblio.net/>.

*And some new members of the family...*

   - Our new Data
   was launched, a community-driven effort to develop simple, light-weight
   protocols and formats for distributed and collaborative work with data.
   - The Linked Open
   officially joined the Open Knowledge Foundation family, providing
   single-stop access to the Vocabulary Commons ecosystem.
   - And we got some real-life new members, in the shape of Jane Silber and
   Gavin Starks<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/09/11/new-members-of-the-open-knowledge-foundation-board-jane-silber-and-gavin-starks/>,
   who have joined the OKFN Board!

(A bit of) What you've been up to...

And of course, you lot have been super busy too! Here are a few of your
news highlights from the blog:

   - OpenDataMX <http://blog.okfn.org/2012/09/04/opendatamx/> saw the
   production of some great new work in just 36 hours, based on public sector
   - The Declaration on Parliamentary
   launched by the National Democratic Institute to promote legislative
   - The first Open Data and Democracy Initiative
   place in Cape Town, South Africa, with results suggesting a bright future
   for the Open Data movement over there.
   - We heard about
   a new crowdsourcing tool to help improve the security of communities in the
   turbulent Shida Kartli region of Georgia.
   -  Creative Commons brought out a new set of
   v4.0, which aim to better meet the needs of open data publishers and users.
   - And Open Data Research are offering $25-75,000 to fund
   into the impact of open data initiatives in developing countries.


In case you missed it, here's some of the stuff we've been thinking about
on the blog - do get in touch <blog at okfn.org> if you have thoughts to share!

   - *Rufus Pollock* wrote a two part piece on "Managing Expectations",
   available here <http://blog.okfn.org/2012/07/24/managing-expectations/> and
   looking at the limitations of open data and the strategies necessary to
   ensure it fulfills its potential, socially, culturally and economically.
   - While *Jonathan Gray*'s post, "Science, Data and the
   published by the Guardian), explored the likely impact of developing EC
   policy on access to scientific information on science and public engagement
   with science.

Dates for your diary

There is life beyond OKFest - lots of it! Here are a few key dates for your
diaries, and remember to check
Meetups<http://www.meetup.com/openknowledgefoundation/> for
details of OKFN stuff in your area

   - OKFN Energy Lab
   1st-8th October, Berlin
   - OpenStreetMap
   19th-20th October, Edinburgh
   - The Big Clean<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/09/12/recycle-public-sector-data-with-the-big-clean-on-november-3rd-2012/>,
   3rd November, Prague and everywhere
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