I was very lucky to be there in the in the OKFestival 2014 at Berlin Germany. Thank you very much to the Financial aide that was granted by the organizers of the festival and for bringing me here.This was a great opportunity for me to know the people working with Open Knowledge Foundation. The same interest of knowing as well the OKF ambassadors, chapter leaders, open knowledge activists, advocates, and all others who have the passion to change the world. Changing the world by embracing openness. Making the government transparent and accountable. Using the data to share stories of our government, community and the society. By using and harnessing the technology to provide information and better services to the people. Connecting us all into a better society, where government, education, health, resources, wealth, and among others are ultimately equally important to everybody.
I’m here in this Festival because of the same motivation we share – to change the world for the better by embracing openness. As a data activist and advocating open government data in the Philippines, this festival is the best place to learn from the rest of the world.
The “Open government data updates from around the world” presented the highlights and activities of open data movement on each country. The open government data can be the initiative of the national government, civil society, local interest groups, universities, and technology enthusiasts. The initiatives can be in a national scale. While others are research platform using the technology. There are also open data movement working with other groups making government transparent and accountable for budget and expenditures. Others are exposing stories through the use of blogs, websites, and social media by presenting data visualization and a lot more. Further extent was a research action and movement of open data activists for their country to open government data specially national budget and expenditure, legislation, procurement, national resources, government services in education, health and welfare, and others.
There were other things happening in the festival. The keynote of Patrick Alley of Global Witness is a scale of how we can expose the wrong doings of individuals with high profile and power by following the money they spent and the trail of papers from different people involved in the pipeline. The fire side chat with Ork Okolloh is an inspiration for women with all the credentials on her wing she managed to help the society in so many ways. Also the presentation of Eric Hysen of Google “building the network of civic technology” was very creative in a way of connecting the roads leading to an ecosystem of data and technology where everything is “structured, updated and licensed.” The event was also showcased with arts and culture. There were artist and performers all over the place. The food and beer were readily available in the courtyard. People are moving in and out of the Palais building, Maschinenehaus, Soda Club and Restaurant in the Kulturbrauerei complex. Everybody was celebrating because of their new found friends, new colleagues, partners, and the bonding as well as opportunities that can be across the globe.
This was a wonderful experience to share. I was able to meet in person the people behind OKF, like Rufus Pollock, Christian Villum. Daniella Mattern and the rest of the cohorts of volunteers and participants. It was also a great opportunity to meet an discuss with the global ambassadors and chapter leaders of OKF network which we can only relate on our mailing list of okfn-local-coordinators. Having brainstorming with other participants on each session as well as sitting in the courtyard with a glass of beer and a sausage as lunch or dinner. It was also a great time in Berlin, where they were also celebrating their German national team winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
I have some sort of photographs to share. The memories captured during and after the event. I’m looking forward to the next OKFestival 2015. Hopefully I can make it again this time to share our local accomplishments and work with the cohort of data activists with other local groups and chapter for an innovative project of OKF.