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WANTED: Open Knowledge Foundation seeks visionary leader to steer the world towards a free, fair, and open society

- July 9, 2020 in Featured, Join us, News, Open Knowledge Foundation, Our Work

You are a charismatic, innovative champion of openness, and a strategist with leadership skills and experience of engaging highly motivated teams and funders. We are the Open Knowledge Foundation, building a better future where knowledge is shared so all can live happier and healthier lives. Together, we will spread the global message of openness and establish new rules to counter the unaccountable tech companies monopolising the digital age. We will tear down the artificial constructs built between communities that stem the tide of progress and create greater inequality. And we will address the future of AI and algorithms, intensify our work on frictionless data, and create fruitful, exciting partnerships with a growing list of global organisations. We will achieve all of this as the world struggles to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, and faces a new global recession and an ongoing climate emergency. There is a crossroad ahead, with a choice between two paths – open or closed. We must be the inspiration for others to follow and ensure society takes the most equitable route. It is an exciting time for our organisation. As we say a warm goodbye to our current CEO Catherine Stihler, we are all reflecting on what we have achieved and where we can go next. Catherine moves on to pursue an open world in her new role as CEO of Creative Commons in August, while OKF seeks an inspirational individual to lead us on our ongoing journey. The process of recruiting a new CEO will commence over the next few weeks. An open future has never been more important – will you join us to create it?

Catherine Stihler to leave Open Knowledge Foundation to lead Creative Commons

- July 9, 2020 in Featured, News, Open Knowledge Foundation

Catherine Stihler OBE

Catherine Stihler. Photo: David Iliff / CC BY-SA.

Our Chief Executive Catherine Stihler OBE has accepted a new opportunity and will soon be leaving the Open Knowledge Foundation.

She goes with our very warmest wishes and we hope to continue a strong relationship with her in her new role as CEO of Creative Commons.

Catherine joined the Open Knowledge Foundation in February 2019 and has overseen a new chapter for the organisation to celebrate our 15th anniversary.

Under her leadership we have redefined our campaign for a fair, free and open future with a renewed mission to create an open world, where all non-personal information is open, free for everyone to use, build on and share; and creators and innovators are fairly recognised and rewarded.

As we work to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, we face a new global recession and an ongoing climate emergency.

Our vision of a fair, free and open future has never been so important.

Vanessa Barnett, Chair of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said: “On behalf of the Open Knowledge Foundation board, I’d like to thank Catherine for her work overseeing a positive new chapter for our organisation.

“She leaves with our best wishes and we look forward to collaborating with her in the future through our partnerships with organisations across the world which champion openness. “The strong team at Open Knowledge Foundation will continue to campaign and help deliver programmes for an open future: our work and distinct skill sets have never been more important than they are today.” Catherine Stihler said: “It was a huge privilege to join the incredible team at the Open Knowledge Foundation. “I will always be grateful for the opportunity to work with so many talented people who campaign tirelessly for a more open world. “I wish the Open Knowledge Foundation every success in the future and look forward to watching the organisation continue to grow.” The process of recruiting a new CEO will commence immediately.

Πρόγραμμα Active citizens fund: Έργο “Non-profits & Media advocating for good!”

- May 8, 2020 in Featured

Η συνηγορία διεθνώς αποτελεί σημαντικό εργαλείο της Κοινωνίας των Πολιτών, στην προσπάθειά της να επιφέρει θεσμικές αλλαγές σε κοινωνικά προβλήματα. Στην Ελλάδα και ειδικά στην περιφέρεια, οι δράσεις συνηγορίας είναι είτε περιορισμένες, είτε περιορισμένης αποτελεσματικότητας, με εξαιρέσεις στα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα, το περιβάλλον και ενίοτε την κοινωνική πρόνοια. Τα αίτια εντοπίζονται στους εξής παράγοντες: 1) την έλλειψη […]

Exceptional times call for new and open solutions: #osoc20 will be fully remote

- May 5, 2020 in Featured, Open Data, Open Innovation, Open Knowledge, Open Source, open Summer of code, osoc20, projects, remote

A virus is throwing a spanner in the works for businesses and organisations around the globe. At the same time, we are witnessing a surge in innovation, creativity and flexibility from all parts of society. Open Knowledge Belgium wants to take on the challenge and be part of the solution. How? With Open Summer of Code, we provide both private and public organisations with the opportunity to tap into the creativity of digital natives and build a prototype for digital projects in only 4 weeks time. Changing times call for thinking out of the box Open Summer of Code will be celebrating its tenth anniversary this summer. This unique summer program – where student teams devise and develop innovative digital solutions for societal and other challenges – has become an institution. Throughout the years, we have managed to make Open Summer of Code grow with more students, partners and impact. As a result of the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, we’re ready to take on a new challenge: organising #osoc20 as a fully remote edition. Thanks to our experience and solid supporting network of coaches and partners, we are confident and excited to turn this fully remote aspect into an opportunity for more and faster digital transformation. We are currently adapting our program in such a way that we make it work remotely. Here are a few changes that you can expect for this remote edition:
  • Set-up of the infrastructure for effective remote collaboration
  • Review of our code of conduct so it works remotely
  • Documentation will take precedence over explanation
  • Supporting coaches with tutorials & an online skill board
  • Demo day: live-streaming all project presentations to a broad audience.
Does this imply that we’ll never meet each other face-to-face? Not necessarily! We want to keep the door open for small physical meetings. If governmental measures allow, we might organise smaller team gatherings, but remote work will be the norm. In case it’s difficult for students to work from home, we will provide them with a desk. Open is the key to innovation The pandemic has forced many of us to isolate but this hasn’t stopped the world from coming together to fight the corona virus. Traditional silos are being demolished while new ways of collaboration are popping up everywhere. From researchers to makers, from app developers to citizens with a sewing machine, … Magic happens when all noses point in the same direction. As an umbrella organisation for the open community in Belgium, we are proud that Open Knowledge, Open Data and Open Source have played a significant part in these developments. We strongly believe in the power of open as a motor for innovation. All applications and solutions that are developed during Open Summer of Code are Open Source, and often based on Open Data. This way we can introduce the projects and partners to the (Belgian) open community while training a next generation of open advocates. Of course we ourselves try to practice what we preach by using as many open alternatives when organising Open Summer of Code. Even more so now that we are preparing for a fully remote edition. Together with you, we want to develop the world of tomorrow This year’s edition of Open Summer of Code provides a unique opportunity: it combines the societal need for more digital transformation and the strong motivation of talented students in a remote setting. 171 students have already submitted their application to be part of #osoc20. Today, we’re still looking for more partners who want to build a prototype for their digital project and give a team of students the chance to put their skills into practice. In previous editions of Open Summer of Code, teams of students have built prototypes for many different kind of projects – to highlight a few: In short, what can you as a project partner expect to get out of Open Summer of Code?
  • The opportunity to turn your project idea into a prototype in only 1 month thanks to the digital creativity and dedication of a talented team of students and coaches.
  • Joining a network of organisations, coaches and nearly graduated students who are eager to make a difference.
  • Social impact, as thanks to you students get the chance to work on an impactful digital project.
  • Becoming a digital pioneer and gain visibility before, during and after the program with your next digital project.
  • Being a part of a larger innovative hub where synergies arise spontaneously.
Do you recognize yourself or your organization in the description above? Then osoc is what you’re looking for! You can become a partner by contacting us directly via For more info, take a look at:

Annual Spring meeting

- April 26, 2020 in Events, Featured

The spring general meeting will be arranged as a virtual meeting on Tuesday 11th May, 18:00. The meeting will approve the financials of year 2019 and update the composition of the board. The working language of the meeting will be Finnish. Members have received invitation to spring meeting via email 26.4. If you are a member and can’t find yours contact jasenasiat [at] Time: Monday 11.5.2020 at 17-19. Program Workshops 17-18 Annual spring meeting 18-19

Launching the Open Knowledge Justice Programme

- April 14, 2020 in Featured, Open Knowledge Foundation, Open Knowledge Justice Programme

Supporting legal professionals in the fight for algorithmic accountability Last month, Open Knowledge Foundation made a commitment to apply our unique skills and network to the emerging issues of AI and algorithms. We can now provide you with more details about the work we are planning to support legal professionals (barristers, solicitors, judges, legal activists and campaigners) in the fight for algorithmic accountability.  Algorithmic accountability has become a key issue of concern over the past decade, following the emergence and spread of technologies embedding mass surveillance, biased processes or racist outcomes into public policies, public service delivery or commercial products.  Despite a growing and diverse community of researchers and activists discussing and publishing on the topic, legal professionals across the world have access to very few resources to equip themselves in understanding algorithms and artificial intelligence, let alone enforce accountability. In order to fill this gap, we are pleased to announce today the launch of the Open Knowledge Justice Programme.  The exact shape of the programme will evolve in response to the feedback of the legal community as well as the contribution from domain experts, but the our initial roadmap includes a mix of interventions across our open algorithm action framework as seen below:
Shared definitions Standard resources Literacy
Accountability Contribution to the public debate through participation to conferences, seminar and outreach to experts

Building a global community of legal professionals and civic organisations to build a common understanding of the issues and needs for actions raised by algorithms and AI from a legal perspective
Participation to the elaboration of the European Union’s AI policy Contribution to current UK working groups around algorithms, AI and data governance Participation to other national and international public policy debates to embed accountability in upcoming regulations, in collaboration with our partners Developing open learning content and guides on existing and potential legal of analysis of algorithms and AI in the context of judicial review or other legal challenge
Monitoring Mapping of relevant legislation, case law and ethics guidelines with the help of the community of experts Delivering trainings for legal professionals on algorithm impact investigation and monitoring
Improvement Curation, diffusion and improvement of existing algorithm assessment checklists such as the EU checklist Training and supporting public administration lawyers on algorithmic risk
  How these plans came about These actions build on our past experience developing the open data movement. But we’ve also spent the last six months consulting with legal professionals across the UK. Our key finding is that algorithms are becoming part of legal practice, yet few resources exist for legal professionals to grapple with the issues that they raise.  This is due in part to the lack of a clear legal framework, but mainly because the spread of algorithm-driven services, either public or private, has accelerated much faster than the public debate and public policies have matured. What is an algorithm? What is the difference between algorithms and artificial intelligence? Which laws govern their use in the police force, in public benefit allocation, in banking? Which algorithms should legal professionals be on the lookout for? What kind of experts can help legal professionals investigate algorithms and what kind of questions should be asked of them?  All these questions, although some are seemingly basic, are what lawyers, including judges, are currently grappling with. The Open Knowledge Justice Programme will answer them.  Stay tuned for more on the topic! For comments, contributions or if you want to collaborate with us, you can email us at

OKFI tarjoaa: Maksuton ja turvallinen videoneuvottelu

- April 11, 2020 in Article, Blog post, Featured

Tiiviisti: Jitsi on avoimen lähdekoodin videoneuvottelupalvelu, joka ei seuraa käyttäjiään eikä myy tietoja mainostajille. Sen käyttöön ei edes tarvita käyttäjätunnuksia! Open Knowledge Finland tarjoaa nyt Suomessa toimivan palvelimen, jossa kuka vain saa järjestää 2-200 henkilön välisiä videokokouksia. Tervetuloa osoitteeseen!  — Monessa yhteisössä, oppilaitoksessa ja työpaikassa on todella nopeasti jouduttu ottamaan käyttöön etäpuhelut ja etäkokoukset. Etenkin Zoom-niminen palvelu on kasvattanut käyttöään monikymmenkertaiseksi. Valitettavasti Zoomista on paljastunut lukuisia ongelmia: se sisältää tietoturva-aukkoja ja jakaa kaikkien käyttäjien tiedot Facebookille (ja luultavasti käyttäjien tiedot sekä ääni- ja videotallenteet sekä USAn että Kiinan tiedusteluviranomaisille). Sitä ei ehkä kannata ensisijaisesti käyttää. Erityisen haasteen edessä ovat julkishallinnon palvelut, kuten vaikkapa koulut. Opetuksen järjestäjä, kuten kunta, on vastuussa koulujen ja opettajien käyttämistä välineistä. Jos välineet vuotavat oppilaiden yksityistietoja ulkomaille, on kunnan opetustoimi tästä loppukädessä vastuussa. Jos opetuksessa on käytössä Zoom tai WhatsApp, oppilaiden tiedot ovat käytännössä annettuja amerikkalaisille mainosfirmoille. Tulikohan kysyttyä jokaisen oppilaan ja huoltajan suostumus ennen näiden käyttöönottoa? Toki jos oppilaitoksella on kunnon sopimukset esim Google Classroomin tai Microsoft Office 365:n käytöstä, niiden toimintoja tulisi ensisijaisesti käyttää. Mutta jos viralliset välineet loppuvat kesken, olisi käytettävä sellaisia, joiden käyttöön opettajat, oppilaat ja huoltajat vapaaehtoisesti suostuvat. Ja lähtökohtaisesti olisi hyvä ehdottaa välineitä, jotka eivät myy oppilaiden tietoja eteenpäin. Pikaviestintään ammattilaiset suosittelevat Signal-sovellusta, joka on täysin kryptattu pikaviestin. Se on tietoturva-ammattilaisten auditoima, federoitu ja turvallinen käyttää. Sillä onnistuvat kahdenväliset ja ryhmien väliset teksti- ja kuva- ja videoviestit sekä kahdenväliset ääni- ja videopuhelut. Kaikki yhteydet ovat suojattuja eikä käyttäjien tietoja kerätä minnekään. Signalin saa Android- ja Apple-laitteille sekä tietokoneille. Ei maksa mitään. (Sivuhuomiona: WhatsApp käyttää Signalista paloja mm. viestinnän kryptaamiseen, mutta kerää tiedot käyttäjistä ja keille he viestivät ja milloin, ihan mainosprofilointia varten.) Videokonferenssien osalta eräs hyvä suositus on Jitsi, joka on avoimen lähdekoodin videokokouspalvelu. Se toimii selaimilla sekä Android- ja Apple-laitteilla. Kokoushuoneen perustamiseen ei vaadita mitään tunnuksia. Kokouksia ei tallenneta, keneltäkään ei kerätä kirjautumistietoja, eikä kokoushuoneesta jää mitään jälkeä palvelimelle sen päätyttyä. Kuka vain voi perustaa kokouksen osoitteessa, mutta Suomen sisällä voitte myös käyttää Open Knowledge Finland ry:n pystyttämää Jitsi-palvelinta osoitteessa Myös Electronic Frontier Finlandilla on tuore serveri osoitteessa Pari vinkkiä Jitsin käyttöön: Valitse kokoushuoneellesi riittävän omaperäinen nimi, jotta sitä ei aivan heti ulkopuolinen keksi. Ja avattuasi kokouksen lisää siihen salasana. Kerro linkki ja salasana osallistujille, niin varmistatte, etteivät ulkopuoliset häiritse kokousta. Turvallista etäyhteyksien aikaa meiltä OKFIsta!

Open knowledge, AI and algorithms

- March 13, 2020 in Featured


As the Open Knowledge Foundation turned 15 years old, we took the time to look at the changing landscape of challenges faced by society.  The tumultuous debate around algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) appeared to us as an opportunity to mobilise our unique experience with open data and data literacy and create positive change. After all, the issues of transparency, accountability, ethics and civic empowerment that we’ve addressed while working on open data are also present in the civic and political debate around algorithms and AI. Even more, it appears to us that our experience building communities, defining shared concepts, and raising data literacy translate directly to this new field.  This is why today the Open Knowledge Foundation is making a new commitment – to apply our unique skills and network to the emerging issues of AI and algorithms.  We are aware of the existing work around these issues by celebrated academics, civic organisations and even private companies and do not intend to reinvent the wheel. Nonetheless, the conversations we have been having with multiple stakeholders for the past year have convinced us that our experience can strengthen existing communities, projects and research on the topic, with the help of our existing and future partners around the world. Working with partners across civil society, academia and governments, we’ll apply to AI and algorithms each of the building blocks that we believe made the open data movement impactful: 
  • Shared definitions (what kind of algorithms are we talking about?)
  • Standard tools and resources (to facilitate transparency around algorithm and AI use)
  • Literacy among stakeholders (citizens, but also lawyers, civil servants and others)
Cutting across those building blocks will be three themes which will guide our action: 
  • Accountability: training lawyers and journalists to make sure that problematic algorithms can be investigated and challenged
  • Monitoring: training journalists, CSOs and citizens to monitor the impact of algorithms, which is sometimes the only way to really understand their effects
  • Improvement: we will train public and private organisations, and the lawyers advising them, to push them toward a better use of this technology
The table below shows some of the activities we are researching:
Shared definitions Standard resources Literacy
Accountability Mobilising thematic communities of researchers, activists, civil servants, private organisations and other stakeholders to define common concepts and methods Participation in public policy debates to embed accountability in upcoming regulations Creating learning content and guides on legal and non-legal ways to enforce transparency and accountability around algorithmic usage
Monitoring Mapping algorithm & AI usage across government (and delegated agencies) Training journalists in algorithm impact monitoring
Improvement Training watchdog civic organisations on legal frameworks and best practices Training government lawyers on algorithmic risk
  Stay tuned for more on the topic! For comments, contributions, or if you want to collaborate on this programme, you can get in touch with us at

Advocacy – Media & ΜΚΟ

- March 8, 2020 in Data Journalism, Featured, News, Εκδηλώσεις

Το HIGGS (Higher Incubator Giving Growth & Sustainability), στο πλαίσιο ενημέρωσης του νέου προγράμματος «Non-profits & Media advocating for good», σε συνεργασία με το Ίδρυμα Ανοικτής Γνώσης Ελλάδος – Open Knowledge Greece, το Αριστοτέλειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλονίκης και την Πρωτοβουλία για τη Δημοσιογραφία, σας προσκαλούν την ερχόμενη Τρίτη 10 Μαρτίου 2020 και ώρα 16:00-18:00 στην ενημερωτική […]

Get ready for Hack4FI in Ateneum 13–15 March 2020!

- March 3, 2020 in Events, Featured, projects

Hackers, developers, designers, and GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museum) professionals. Come and get creative with the treasures of cultural heritage at our fingertips. From datasets to APIs and open content platforms, open cultural heritage is there to be reinvented. Let’s learn and play together!