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Be an open hero, run for the Open Knowledge board!

- December 1, 2018 in Board, changemaker, Events, Featured, hallitus, Official meeting

Wrapping up 2017 – Lots of

- December 17, 2017 in 2017, 2018, annual meeting, autumn general meeting, awards, Board, chaiperson, Featured, hallitus, highlights, kohokohdat, Newsletter, Nofications, Official meeting, palkinnot, puheenjohtaja, syyskokous, vuosikokous, yhdistyskokous

Congratulations to the new chairperson and board of Open Knowledge Finland for 2018!

The Autumn General Meeting of the association was on December 13th. As most important decisions, the action plan and budget of 2018 were approved – and most importantly, the new chairperson and board were elected. Pic. OKFI 2018 board. The laptop does not represent an AI member of the board. Chairperson/Puheenjohtaja: Susanna Ånäs Board/Hallitus: Kaisa Haverinen Riia Järvenpää Elina Kiiski Kataja (not in the pic) Hanna Pakaslahti (not in the pic) Raoul Plommer Outi Puukko Aki Saariaho Blina Meta Shala Tero Toivanen Secretary (called from outside the board): Pia Adibe Internal operations auditors (toiminnantarkastajat): Tuukka Hastrup Vladimir Kuparinen

New people, new energy, new skills – what an amazing team we have lined up!

There are many firsts and other new things. First time the gender balance tips over, with chairperson as well as the majority of the board being female. We’ve done an ok job in gender balance before, but still, this is a new situation. It marks also the first time we have non-Finns on the board – and the sentiment at the autumn meeting was to increase the international approach in the association communications and relations. We will appreciate e.g. the communications expertise of the board, as well as linkages to understanding foresight, democracy and legal technologies, to name a few. All in all, it will be great to build on the fantastic work of the outgoing board (Mika Honkanen Mikael Seppälä Jessica Parland-von Essen Oskari Lappalainen Liisi Arya Soroush Susanna Ånäs Raoul Plommer Aki Saariaho + treasurer Antti Jogi Poikola). Without a doubt, it can be said that Mika as the chairman and Jogi as the treasurer, have contributed tons of energy and action for the organisation.

2017 Open Heart awards – celebration of a great year!

At our Autumn General Meeting we recognized some great open data work of 2017 with special “Open Heart” -awards. The awards are 3D-printed and based on an open design for use also in the future. We gave awards to two organisations “outside” of the Open Knowledge network – but definitely within the Finnish open data ecosystem. The -service (open spending data and visualisation tools), is a great collaboration between Hansel, the Ministry of Finance and many other organisations. Hansel has great visions of putting spending and procurement openness into a law –  and further, sees openness as a step towards more ethical procurement in other ways, too. The Humanitarian Open Streetmap (HOT-OSM) community was also awarded for their great work outside of OKFI. The community has done important crisis work (voluntary map creation for crisis arease) together with the Finnish Red Cross. In many ways, it has been a very admirable grassroots work, with the idea that anyone can help and at the same time learn about open maps and open, distributed collaboration. “Internally”, we gave awards to the Open Science working group (steered by Heidi Laine and Leo Lahti) and Lobbying transparency (originally initiated by Joonas Pekkanen as part of Open ministry work) group for great persistent work within OKFI. These awards were designed by Tuukka Päivärinne and produced together with Martin Genet. Thank you!!!

2018 action plan and budget

The action plan and budget we discussed, debated and approved – with comments that openness and participatory processes should be done in a way that revision suggestions should also be available well before the meeting. Key changes in the budget dynamics include that memberships fees and donations should be a notable larger part of the “core association” (i.e. association activities outside of funded projects) income should be coming from membership fees and donations. Membership fees for individuals are voluntary, however. In 2017, we received a bit over 2000 euros in donations and voluntary membership fees. Our goal is to increase this type of income we can freely use, so we appreciate it if you want to pitch in (0/15/50/100 eur for individuals; membership fees for organizations are 100/500/1000/5000 eur/year). Membership fees for organizations are 100, 500, 1000 tai 5000 eur/year.  In addition, projects will have a lower overhead, with the goal of going down from 20% to 15% over time. In 2018, we will also have trainees for the first time, to help with the growing operations. We will finally renew our website and financially support grassroots activities initiated by members. In general, the financial situation is more stable than usually at the end of the year. In terms of operations, the agreed key theme of 2018 is “Finding your place”. This refers to both the renewal of the strategy, to be done in a thorough and open process throughout the year, as well as to the goal of empowering members to find the right way to  make themselves at home in the association. 2018 will be an interesting year in many ways, as right now there is still time to influence the political programs for the parliament elections of 2019. On the other hand, it is a year that will see the implementation of new laws on data protection, i.e. the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation. 2018 will also be a year of MyData 2018, Open Knowledge Summit and other community building events. More details to follow. Hope you can participate in some of these!

Some highlights of the second half of 2017

To sum up the year, some of our highlights during the second half of 2017:
  1. The MyData 2017 conference was a huge success, bringing together over 700 people from over 30 countries. A wide volunteer base was vital in ensuring the success of the event.
  2. The dispute with the Parliament of Finland and the Lobbaus läpinäkyväksi (Lobbying transparency) campaign and citizen initiative triggered over 60 media articles. Over 20 lobbying organizations now support the campaign.
  3. The Open Science working group received the Openness Award of the Ministry of Education and Culture, for great work for openness of academic publishing.
  4. We received funding for the ‘Avoimet juuret’ (‘Open roots’) project (48 000 EUR), through a new experimentation oriented instrument.
  5. A Danish MyData White Paper was released. MyData was strongly present in Stockholm (Internetdagarna, Nordic Open Data Forum) and in Aarhus (MyData Community Meeting)
  6. We were awarded the Chydenius Foundation Medal of Openness for our work to advance the openness of lobbying and the debate around that.
  7. We received a Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant (5 000 USD).
  8. We received a grant from the Internet Society’s Beyond the Net program (25 000 USD).
  9. We received funding from the Kone Foundation for the Microhistorywiki project (36 000 EUR).
  10. We gave awards to the -service and HOT-OSM (Humanitarian OpenStreetMap) community for their great work outside of OKFI.
  11. We gave awards to the Open Science working group and Lobbying transparency group for great persistent work within OKFI.
Thank you once again for a fabulous 2017. The post Wrapping up 2017 – Lots of <3 for Open Knowledge appeared first on Open Knowledge Finland.

Calling team players to join our board – let’s make Open Knowledge great!

- November 21, 2017 in äänestys, annual meeting, autumn general meeting, Board, Events, Featured, hallitus, Nofications, Official meeting, okfi, syyskokous, visio, vision, vuosikokous

The new board for Open Knowledge Finland is to be elected in the Autumn General Meeting on Dec 13. Will you be a changemaker and on our board!? There’s no need to make open knowledge or open data great again, because it already IS. However, Open Knowledge Finland is calling out to its members and to-be-members, and asking: Are you willing to help take this association one step further?!

Where are we now – where are we going?

Open Knowledge Finland is turning 5 years old before the end of the year! We’ve grown fast and become an influential player in the Finnish civil society, especially in the domains of digitalization, information society, data economy and open participatory co-creation. Right now our budget is over 500 000 eur annually, we have nearly 500 members, we foster the community of over 5000 open data enthusiasts. We’ve implemented dozens of projects and our events have had visitors from over 30 countries! Most importantly, we have helped make changes in the Finnish society.  For further details, have a look at the 2016 annual report. In our current vision for 2020: We are a well-known significant player in the Finnish societal discussion on digitalisation and data economy, bringing forward especially the views of data users, data subjects and advocates of openness – from the grassroots. OKFI brings together and foster the community of open data and open knowledge enthusiasts and stakeholders. We are a laboratory of openness, continuously experimenting with new ideas and ways of working. We implement open data and open knowledge projects that have a significant societal impact. In addition to innovation, we serve the society by providing trainings and services. We work across borders and are an active participant in international discussion.

Looking ahead. 

We are in the process of planning 2018 and onwards. We hope you can participate:

OKFI board for 2018 – senior expertise and young blood?

Many of the board members have served for 2 or even more terms. Thus many are wanting to step down and give room to others. It will be great to have a great combination of fresh blood and old experience! The board is on its way to becoming a bit less operative, and a bit more strategic – as it should be.

Why apply for the board?

Being on the board gives you a great position to influence the association and the impact that it makes. You get to meet and work with some of the sharpest minds in Finland and internationally – both at OKFI as well as its partenrs and others stakeholders. Building on YOUR strengths and passions, you will help OKFI grow. While being a board members requires some work and has some responsibilities, it is also a blast! Do it! If you are willing to be candidate for chairman, board member or other position of trust (e.g., regional, working group lead), please let us know! Big thanks and hugs to everyone who has served on our board in our first 5 years!!! The post Calling team players to join our board – let’s make Open Knowledge great! appeared first on Open Knowledge Finland.

The summer is long gone – a brief look at past months at Open Knowledge Finland

- October 14, 2016 in 2016, Board, Featured, projects, Update, Working Groups

This blog post is a slightly revised cross-post of an posting that was  part of the series featuring chapter updates from across the Open Knowledge Network and was written by the team of Open Knowledge Finland. Summer was a great time in Finland. However, there was no time for extended holidays at Open Knowledge Finland – we had a very busy summer. Here is our update for the Open Knowledge Network, with key news from the last few months.

Open Knowledge Finland has a new board in action since June!

In a bit of old news, one of the most important yeary news  was our annual meeting back in May. OKFFI held its annual meeting on Monday May 30 at the Helsinki office. Nearly 40 people (well over 10% of members) attended face-to-face or online – quite a good number, in fact! finland1 Pic: May 30, 2016 – Annual General Meeting post-celebration Antti ‘Jogi’ Poikola was unanimously selected to continue as the chairman. The new board consists of 3 old members (Jogi, as well as Lilli Linkola and Mika Honkanen) and no less than 5 new members – Susanna Ånäs, Liisi Soroush, Raoul Plommer, Mikael Seppälä and Jessica Parland-von Essen. In its first meeting, each board member was assigned a primary and secondary role as follows: Antti Poikola – chairman and  web communications Mika Honkanen – vice chairman and  2nd treasurer Lilli Linkola – secretary and working group contact Mikael Seppälä – treasurer and working group contact Raoul Plommer – web communications and tools and international relations Susanna Ånäs – internal communications and international relations Liisi Soroush – collaboration networks and member secretary Jessica Parland-von Essen – external communications  and collaboration networks finland3 Pic: New board (+ non-board Teemu and Jaakko), having an open board meeting in September. With the new board, it is nice to see the gender split is at 50-50. It is also a great sign that there are a lot of people who want to apply for the board (13 candidates) and that we have great new people aboard to help steer the community. Congratulations and good luck to the board!

Open Knowledge Finland is growing!

Currently, 8 people are employed by Open Knowledge Finland. However, this number will soon decrease slightly as projects are ending. For this year, we have had a number of new people joining us – Emilia Hjelm, John Sperryn, Konsta Happonen. Previously active members like Heidi Laine, Mika Honkanen have received part-time contracts. On average, we have about 4-5 FTE in staff. In terms of finances, we have managed to grow at a good pace – from just under 200k eur in 2014, to about 300k eur in 2015 – and still on the rise, a total of nearly 500 000 eur in total turnover expected in 2016. The funding is short-term, fragmented and diverse – which is both exciting as well as a cause of concern (for longer term planning). Open Knowledge Finland currently has over 350 members – and hosts an Open Knowledge Network of nearly 4000 people in Finland.

MyData 2016 gathered about 700 international people to Helsinki – and accelerated the movement for human-centric personal data

finland4 Pic: Chairman and MyData activist & researcher Jogi Poikola at MyData 2016 introduction. 2016 is the year of MyData. Open Knowledge Finland is all about the free flow of information. Open data, open knowledge, open collaboration – and, we believe this also includes free (user-controlled) flow of personal information. The MyData movement encompasses concepts and tools not only to build more transparent societies – but also to develop effective services and create new business in the digital domain. Actions around the MyData conceptual framework represents the BIGGEST concentration of effort for us this year. In particular, Open Knowledge Finland’s key actions for the fall of 2016 were geared towards the MyData 2016 conference (31 Aug – 2 Sep) and the Ultrahack MyData hackathon running in parallel with the conference. finland7 Pic: Ultrahack 2015 – one of the highlights of that year. Intense hacking on smart cities & civic tech in the picture. We had some 700 visitors in total – over 500 conference visitors, over 100 hackers or hack visitors, over 30 partner organisations involved. Amazingly, we had 140+ speakers, in 40+ sessions. Visitors came from about 30 countries. The feedback has been excellent – a great results for a first-timer conference! Check out the event images on the Flickr pool: Conference video archive is available at . Please stay tuned to and @mydata2016 on Twitter. More wrap-ups and posts to follow. And yes, MyData 2017 is on the drawing board!

That’s not all, folks!

In addition to MyData, many of our 9 working groups have interesting ongoing projects, ranging in size, duration and scope. In a nutshell, here are a few of the active ones: The 3 year EU project “D-CENT” (Democracy WG) is wrapping up soon. D-CENT is a Europe-wide project creating privacy-aware tools and applications for direct democracy and economic empowerment. Together with citizens and developers, we are creating a decentralised social networking platform for large-scale collaboration and decision-making. Contact : Yhtäköyttä (Democracy WG), “Common knowledge practices in research and decision-making”,  is our first project for he Finnish Government’s analysis and assessment of research activities (VN TEAS) coordinated by the Prime Minister’s Office (VNK). The aim of the project is to find out what kind of tools and methods could be used in government in order to utilize knowledge management and research data better and to improve evidence-based decision making. This project will involve theoretical study, 30+ interviews and 4 experiments in new tools and methods such as data visualization, open impact assessment, real-time document editing, real-time fact-checking. Contact: Cost-effective utilization of open data and basic registers: The research project’s goal is to better understand and measure the impacts of open data and the use of the basic public registers. As an outcome, we expect policy recommendations and suggestions for new methods, processes or technical changes to help improve cost-efficient publishing of open data and increase the impact of the basic registers. Contact ; Open Citizen Science:  Citizen science has most notably been used as a method for creating observational data for life science research. Against the backdrop of current technological advancement, we need to create Citizen Science v 2.0 – open, diverse, responsible, dialogic and academically excellent. In terms of outcomes, we envision a set of concrete recommendations for national stakeholders; we willcreate understanding, awareness and discussion about citizen science as a scientific method and a community; and we will catalyze a research agenda for a new kind of open citizen science. Contact: Creative Commons Licensing Support: As Creative Commons licenses are the official recommended license for open data in the Finnish governmental sector, awareness and instructions for using them in practice are needed across many sectors of society, including for public open bids, content creation subcontracting, and data purchasing. Contact: Other projects…to be updated in the next blog! See also summary of OK Finland projects in a few slides.

Get in touch!

In October, we will also be having an extraordinary general meeting and plan to change our rules to better accommodate for scaling. Stay tuned – more to follow! Want to get in touch? Contact executive director Teemu Ropponen or one of the board members. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook. The post The summer is long gone – a brief look at past months at Open Knowledge Finland appeared first on Open Knowledge Finland.