A revolution in technology is happening and it’s changing everything we do. Never before has so much data been collected and analysed. This year, the Open Knowledge Festival, brought together over 1,000 people from 60 countries to share their skills and experiences in order to ensure that the knowledge and insights derived from this data are open and publicly accessible to all. If we as a society are going to find solutions to our shared challenges, it is imperative that everyone from citizens and scientists to entrepreneurs and activists has access to the information they need to shape the societies they want. However, in order to gain access to this wealth of information currently locked behind paywalls or held by governments, institutions and corporations, we need to come together to break down knowledge silos, share our expertise and build a cohesive, global open knowledge movement.
At the root of change lies passionate people with inspired ideas but it can be challenging to translate ideas into actions and as such the aim of OKFestival was to translate open minds into tangible outcomes that are having a real impact on the world. With over 85 sessions, 30 fringe events, a parallel unconference and countless breakout sessions, discussions and meet-ups, we came away from OKFestival with a vibrant anthology of stories to tell!
In the weeks that followed the festival we talked with governments, funders, technologists and NGOs who had attended the festival to get a better idea of their experience at the event. We sat down with community leaders, government representatives and a few of the OKFestival sponsors to find out more about their experience at OKFestival, why they chose to participate and the outcomes and impact of the sessions they helped to facilitate and participated in! Here is what we learned.