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Open Knowledge Sweden is going to a Media Innovation Hackathon from Al Jazeera!

- November 27, 2014 in Al Jazeera, Canvas, Data Journalism, Doha, event, hackathon, Internationellt, Media in Context, Qatar

  Al Jazeera, together with the platform Canvas organizes an inaugural hackathon entitled “Media in Context. Designers, developers, media experts, journalists and people with a passion for social innovation – totally around 90 specialists will gather in Doha (the capital of Qatar) and during three days will brainstorm new ideas in the field of Media technologies. Organizers offer $50,000 in prizes and awards! Participants will try to answer the following questions:
  • How can we apply the idea of context to media and journalism?

  • How do different contexts affect the different phases of media, from production, to distribution, to consumption and interpretation?

Media in Context hackathon will help us tell a better human story, believe organizers.

There are 12 challenges for the participants to work on. A full list of them you can check here. Open Knowledge Sweden is taking part in this event, so stay tuned with the latest news from the Persian Gulf and learn firsthand about “how it went!” on our website!  

“The problem we have with surveillance isn’t really in big corporations”

- November 25, 2014 in Digital Single Market, eu, event, hackathon, online mobbing, Open Data, Open Innovation, Open Knowledge, surveillance

Joakim Jardenberg – a Swedish Internet debater and an expert in social media shares his views on surveillance, Digital Single Market and mobile mobbing.

Joakim Jardenberg

Joakim Jardenberg

Jardenberg is a Head of Internet of Helsingborg since November 2013. He is a business angel who runs the company and the blog Mindpark. Moreover, he was an appointed “expert” to work with the Swedish Prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldtat on the Northern Future Forum.

Jardenberg had a speech on Open Data Hackathon in Örebro on 20th November, 2014. The whole presentation you can see here.

OKFN Sweden met Joakim in Örebro and asked him some questions.

- As an Internet expert, what level of surveillance, do you think, is right for the open democratic society?

- It depends. If the surveillance per say is open as well then I think we can allow pretty much. But, if we don’t know about the surveillance or it is done stealthy or within closed rooms when we can’t survey the surveillance, then we have a real problem.

In terms of Internet specifically, I think the problem we have with surveillance isn’t really in big corporations. Because we can choose to leave Google, we can, it’s true. We can choose to not be on Facebook. What we can’t choose is the country’s level of surveillance that have to stand with. I think for instance, in Sweden the FRA-law* is horrible. This is the thing that we should not accept in a civil society…

The important thing for everyone is to be knowledgeable about what surveillance is being undertaken.We should be informed about what we can do and how we can argue against it and work against the levels of surveillance that we think is going too far.

*FRA law (in Swedish FRA-lagen) is the informal name given to a series of legislative changes in Sweden as well as a new law on electronic communication and on signals in defense intelligence, which came into force on 1 January 2009. Försvarets radioanstalt (FRA) by means of FRA-law got extended rights to conduct surveillance. The law has been repeatedly criticized by the media and society.

In terms of our Open Censor Data Network in Helsingborg we have no individual data there whatsoever. Everything is just aggregated data. Since we don’t collect it ,we can’t misuse it. So we try to keep the very high level of integrity in everything we do.

- What is your opinion about the EU-initiative of establishing the Digital Single Market**?

**Digital Single Market – is a new project initiated by the EU. The idea behind is that many barriers still block the free flow of online services and entertainment across national borders. The Digital Agenda will update EU Single Market rules for the digital era. The aims are to boost the music download business, establish a single area for online payments, and further protect EU consumers in cyberspace. Here is a mission letter of Andrus Ansip who is the new Vice-President for the Digital Single Market. More information on Digital Single Market is presented by the European Commission.

- I am not quite familiar with this project. I have a fear for initiatives like this because they usually tend to take the path of the most resistant parties. If we talk about Copyright, what we’ve seen is that every effort to unify the Copyright laws has extended the Copyright term. So it has been extended, it has been longer, more intrusive and turned into a really bad situation. So, I think in broad initiatives like this we should make sure that we go as open and wide as possible, which is often not the case. In this specific initiative, I see certain fears that for instance, legislation containing how we should handle long files and what kind of traceability we should have, is going to be extended. Generally, when we try to unify legislation in very broad areas it tends to go very wrong.

If we talk about terms like mobile roaming and sales taxes, I would be happy to see the EU as one market, absolutely. That would be a good thing. But if it goes beyond than tearing down borders and opening up for possibilities then it might go over to the flip side.

- From which age, do you think, children should be introduced to the Internet? Do you have any rules or restrictions in Helsingborg’s schools or kinder gardens?

In Helsinborg, we think that accessibility to the Internet and tools you need to use the Internet should be provided as soon as you feel the desire to, so that could be at the age of two or eleven month, I don’t know. We don’t put any restrictions or don’t have any general ideas that before the age of seven you shouldn’t be allowed to do that.

In terms of health, which is a big discussion, our brain changes all the time. I don’t see it as a problem that our brain is being changed and adapted to using digital tools. The only restrictions, I would like to set up, are to prohibit schools from taking cell phones from pupils. A lot of schools do that today. I think that is a massive intrusion on our privacy and integrity and it’s counterproductive to anything that could be evolving into a great possibility to learning. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

There are also schools that put restrictions on what be should available online. They see bulling on or they see bulling on this app called Secret and they decide to restrict the accessibility to those services by different means which is absolutely ridiculous. We shouldn’t do that, cause we are not censors here.

We should work hard to try and get our pupils and citizens in Helsinborg to understand the true values of citizenship and human rights and respect for each other. And these are the same questions in the physical world as they are in the digital world. We shouldn’t put specific digital restrictions in the digital space. So, open and free and available for everyone.

And if we see a lot of bulling online then we are actually in a good position because we can finally see the bulling. We can see and work with what is actually happening as opposed to traditional bulling which takes place around the corner, wherever there isn’t an eye of an adult. This hidden bulling is a real problem.

The problems we have in a digital space are like a litmus paper of the problems we have in a physical world. We can use that litmus paper and spotlight on the problems and bring it in into the physical world and say ‘Hey, should we really be treating each other like this? Someone actually said this in this classroom. Is that OK? Is that the kind of relationship we want to have with each other?’ And we have physical prove of what is happening. We never used to have that. So, this is a big possibility to solve some of the fundamental human problems we have in our interpersonal relationships. So, no restrictions!

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E-Hälsa helgen närmar sig!

- November 4, 2014 in APPlicera Hälsa, event, hackathon, KTH, Open Data, stockholm

Hackathon Nov.8-9

Du är inbjuden till vara med och köra Sveriges friskaste hälso-app tillsammans med OKFN Sverige! Tolv lag ska skapa Sveriges bästa hälso-app på 24 timmar. Följ tävlingen live på Fotografiska museet och lär dig mer om teknik, innovation och e-Hälsa.

E-Hälsa helgen innebär två dagar av engagerande föreläsningar och viktiga samtal där vi svarar på frågan: “Hur kan vi utveckla den svenska sjukvården med hjälp av teknisk innovation?”  Hela programmet finns HÄR.

Inträde är gratis men vi börjar få slut på biljetter, så säkra din plats! Klicka HÄR för biljetter.

Ta med familj, vänner och kollegor för att lära er mer om personorienterad vård och teknisk innovation. Mingla med oss, heja på våra lag och kolla in våra utställare!


NOV. 8: 11.00 – 20.00

NOV. 9: 10.00 – 20.00


APPlicera hälsa partners: Partners

J++ Stockholm about the development of data journalism in Sweden

- October 30, 2014 in coding for journalists, datajournalistik, J++, Open Data, Open Journalism, stockholm

Journalism++ — is a network of companies and individuals who share common passion for data-driven story telling. According to the manifesto, they define journalism as “making interesting what is important” and not the opposite. “We believe that open beats closed. Open source is our default behaviour”, — said in the manifesto. Now J++ consists of six independent agencies in Porto, Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne, Berlin and Stockholm. Journalism++ Stockholm was created in January 2013 by Jens Finnäs and Peter Grensund, two of the best data-driven journalists in Sweden. They produce several interactive apps and data-heavy investigation for the top newspapers in Scandinavia.
J++ Stockholm team

J++ Stockholm team

OKFN Sweden talked to Jens Finnäs about the J++ project and the development of data journalism in Sweden.  

- Hi Jens. How did it all begin? How did you start with data journalism?

I started around 2011 when I was living in Finland. I have a traditional journalistic background. I studied journalism and political science (graduated from University of Helsinki). Then I started to learn about the concept of data journalism in the American and UK context. Through different tutorials such as webscraping by ProBublica, I opened up programming and coding for myself. When I was younger, I made some websites and had the idea that I’d like to learn coding. And I really enjoyed it. So, it wasn’t like “ok, now I start to do something for data journalism”. No, at first, it was just fun to do scraping and data analysis. Then I progressed and started using data-driven methods while working as a freelancer. I did more and more data-driven stories and eventually I started to sell visualizations.

- That means you are completely self-educated in this field?

Yes, all the things I’ve learnt about programming I’ve learnt on my own.

- How did J++ Stockholm begin?

Three years ago, I moved to Stockholm, started working as a freelancer and got a job at Sveriges Radio after a year. So, I was working for one year in different newsrooms there. And one and a half years ago I founded Journalism++ Stockholm project together with Peter Grensund. We are the first journalists in Sweden specialized in data journalism.

- How did you decide to join J++ project?

It was a lucky coincidence. I met Nicolas Kayser-Bril (one of the founders of Journalism++ project) through conferences, mentioning that I could start something in Sweden. At the time they had already founded J++ Paris and Berlin projects and were thinking about the expanding the network. J++ Stockholm became the next project joining the network. So, that was a coincidence.

- Who is in your team here in Stockholm?

It’s only me and Peter who work full time but then we have other specialists involved for different projects. We work together with statisticians and developers. Currently, we also have one intern – a journalistic student.

- What are your most successful projects so far?

Our projects about the Swedish Parliamentary elections 2014 are pretty exciting. Valkompassen – a voting advice application for the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet is one of them. interview-1 The second project I would mention is “Kan du lova” – a local initiative organized together with MittMedia. Kan du lova

- You gathered a lot of information about different tools and programmes in data analysis in your blog. But in your everyday work what are the most frequently used tools?

Now I am more and more towards programming. So, I’m trying to move away even from using Excel. That means that Python (a programming language) becomes more important. Recently I also started to use R – statistical programme language. What I like about programming is that it allows you to trace your mistakes and be more flexible in case the data you analyzed has changed. Personally, I try to do more and more with code.

- What are your recommendations for beginners in data journalism? How to start?

First, you should learn about the field, you should have an idea what you can do, what’s difficult for you and what’s not. I don’t think that programming is for everyone. I think one should try it out and see if it’s fun. You should see the potential in it and see how useful it can become for you.

- Do you think that courses in coding and programming should be included in journalistic education?

They could be included in journalistic educational programmes at least not as mandatory courser. I visited Columbia University in the City of New York and they did Python classes for their journalistic students. And that’s probably an idea where we are heading. Certainly, journalists should learn about data-thinking and basic Excel skills. Knowledge about regressions and correlations together with courses in SPSS can be very useful not only in research but in journalistic work. It is important to have different perspectives on these tools and skills that can be applied not only in academic research.

- How do you see the development of data journalism in Sweden?

It’s been a huge change since I started it. When I started, it wasn’t even a concept and now for example Södertörns Högskola already includes this concept in their courses. The first data journalism conference in Nordic countries was arranged last year in Stockholm. So, certainly the interest has risen. However, I think there are only few newsrooms that have actually been able to incorporate programmers in their news making processes. Still, traditional journalism prevails. I see, for example, that several Norwegian papers have made it further than Swedish ones.

- Is there a high demand for data journalism in Sweden?

I’ve been working as a traditional freelancer before and it was much more demanding to be on that market and sell “normal” stories or interviews. It’s easier to value your work this way. But for sure, data journalism skills will raise your chances to be employed. Skills in data journalism are certainly your advantage. There is not really a big competition in this field in Sweden. I think the more journalists practice data journalism, the more this field will be established and become better.

- Did you think about making some special courses for journalists in Sweden?

We have thought about doing some courses. I have an idea about doing some programming basics for journalists. But on the other hand we’re teaching quite a lot, giving workshops and trainings for the media. And I don’t want to spend all my time teaching journalists. It’s more fun to do stuff on your own.

- Is it easier for a journalist to learn programming or for a developer to become a journalist?

Well, difficult to say. If I were in charge of a newsroom, I would experiment with trying to hire people with different skills. Interesting things usually happen when people with different skills work together. I think this is the next step for the newsrooms.    

Fem skäl till varför journalister bör delta i Hackathon

- October 2, 2014 in datajournalistik, Forum för Välfärd, Google, hackathon, Investor, journalism, McKinsey, Open data health, Open Journalism

Många journalister är inte intresserade i programmering, eftersom de oftast har humanistisk bakgrund. Dessutom har journalister ofta inte möjlighet att arbeta direkt med utvecklare och designer. Datajournalisten Natalia Karbasova som jobbar i Hubert Burda Media (Tyskland) förklarar, varför hackathon är bra för journalisters utveckling. För att motivera journalister delta i hackathon - har vi därför en kort sammanfattning av hennes artikel. Om du som journalist har viljan att lära sig att arbeta i ett team med programmerare och skapa digitala produkter från grunden, det är ett billigt och snabbt sätt att göra det – delta i hackathon. Vad är ett Hackathon? Hackathon (på engelska en sammansättning av «hacker» + «marathon») är ett evenemang som pågår som regel under två dagar där olika team av programmerare, designers, ibland journalister och människor med andra bakgrunder & kompetenser skapar nya produkter och lösningar. Hackathon kan utgå från en specifik API (Application Programming Interface) och sponsras ofta av ett privat företag för att få fram nya idéer till potentiella produkter eller nya användningsfall. Några Hackathon kan ägnas åt ett specifikt ämne. Ett exempel är HälsoHackathonet (8-9 november, Stockholm) som är finaldelen av app-tävlingen APPlicera Hälsa. Målsättningen är att hitta en applikation som på något sätt möjliggör för patienten att vara mer delaktig och med enkla medel ta ett större ansvar för sin egen vård. HälsoHackathonet anordnas av Forum för Välfärd (FfV) med stöd av Investor AB och McKinsey & Co samt Open Knowledge Foundation Sverige (OKFN). Läs mer här. För att hitta hackathon som utvecklats med journalister i åtanke, besök gärna Knight-Mozilla Stiftelsens OpenNews-webbplats. Nu är det dags att förklara varför det är viktigt att  delta i hackathon som reporter och journalist, även om en inte kan programmera. 1. Du kommer ut ur din komfortzon och prova nya roller.  Tror du att ingen behöver journalister på hackathon? Tänk igen. Kodare behöver människor som kan förklara och kommunicera galna saker de har precis gjort – berättare (storytellers)! Eftersom journalister gör det professionellt varje dag – pratar med experter, läser specialiserade publikationer för att få mer insikt i ett visst ämne och slutligen presenterar det till sina målgrupper på ett enkelt och tydligt sätt, är de vara mycket användbara vid hackathon. I detta Medium-inlägg “Hackathon-ing as a Non-Developer”, kan du lära dig mer om hur en icke-kodare kan vara användbara vid ett hackathon.   2. Du lär dig om kod – gratis och bara under två dagar. Även om du inte bör förvänta att du skulle bli en stjärna kodare efter att ha gått ett hackathon, kommer du definitivt plocka upp ett par saker som kan motivera dig att lära dig mer.   3. Du skapar ett verktyg och lösning som skulle kunna användas i dina eller andras egna medier.   4. Du lär dig att tänka som en av grundarna och arbeta under extrem tidspress. Att förstå i grunden vad det innebär att lära sig hur nystartade organisationer arbetar kommer definitivt att vara en stor fördel för din kompetensutveckling. Entreprenörskultur är något medieorganisationer bör lära sig för att fortsätta spela en roll i medialandskapet, och en av dem som redan erkänt det är New York Times vilket läcktes i deras Innovation Report.   5. Du får erfarenhet att köra din egen hackathon Om du vill veta mer kan du läsa här handledningen på öppna data hackathon. Här finns också några användbara tips om hur man organiserar ett hackathon.   6. Bonus: Du förstår slutligen att kodare och designer är trevliga personer!   7. Bonus: Under Hackathon lär du känna nya människor och bygger nätverk som kan innebära intressanta samarbeten i framtiden!   Den originala artikeln på ryska finns här – OKFN Ryssland.