[Okfn-no] introduction : miska knapek

miska knapek contactmiska at knapek.org
Wed Dec 4 15:52:46 UTC 2013

Hello everyone,

I'm Miska Knapek, I'm sort of lacking titles these days, as what I once
studied ( graphic information design and interaction design ) has
generously been superseded by all the opening and sharing of
knowledge/data, changing the fields entirely. ( Sorry, this leads to a long
explanation… but at least there's some thoughts about the open scenes of
Norway and the Nordic countries towards the end. )

About me
But I've basically been involved with making interfaces to information - I
really enjoy the new understandings we can have of society through new
information visualisation/interfaces and open knowledge/data - which builds
on my interests for societal transparency, information access, and
open/networked societies. Given the latter I've also been involved in
building the open knowledge scene in Finland - where I happen to live - and
internationally, mostly through various OKFN activities, including the 2012
Open Knowledge Festival.
The topic of decentralising relations and organisations to government and
society has also led me to help out starting one or two Fablabs in Finland,
and I'm hopefully now helping out with a environmental crowd sourced
internet-of-things project run by fablab Barcelona - SmartCitizen.me .
Besides that I've recently been helping out the World Wide Web Foundation
with information visualisation.

Before there was all that much open data, I experimented a little with the
forms that data can take, on a more aesthetic level, and so my website is
perhaps filled with a lot of traces of my experimental doings. I really
believe in the importance of getting inspiration from different fields,
even though it can look a little funny sometimes :)
Being from the North ( I was brought up in Denmark/Sweden by Czech parents
) naturally my experimental infovis work has focused on the Nordic weather
and light :)
( Which reminds me that I quite enjoy the design of the interface and
openness of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute :)

About Norway and the Nordic region
I got to know the Norwegian scene a bit more than I did already following
various open knowledge related .no tweeters,  thanks to me helping out the
Open Data Barometer ( http://opendatabarometer.org ) project of the World
Wide Web Foundation this summer, surveying Norway.
Norway definitely has a lot going for it. Remembering my Norwegian friends'
ways, I'm quite certain a rather fun community can and will be built.

On a related note, I'm happy to see the Nordic region open data/knowledge
scenes and communities expanding (as well as the same globally of course
:). . The first Freedom of Information Acts were crafted in the Nordic
countries (yeah, I'm afraid those Swedes got there first… by way of a
Finnish-Swedish priest ( Anders Chydenius ). But we can still beat them for
open data :) . . It would be rather great if this legacy could be extended
contemporarily into the open data/knowledge sphere.

Though we're supposed to be rather modest in the Nordics, I'm happy to note
that the local OKFN Finland has done a lot of good work developing the
local open data scene. I look forward to helping share this knowledge and
arrange contact with the relevant folks responsible for all this.

Sorry about the long introduction.
Looking forward to hearing at least as much from the rest of you, as well
as collaborating :)

ps. Jo, jeg kan godt forstå Norsk ;)

All the best,


miska michael knapek - your local illusionist (designer)
mob. +358-50-320-2616
web: http://knapek.org
animations: http://vimeo.com/miska
images: http://flickr.com/miska_too/sets
code/github: https://github.com/miskaknapek
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