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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.

OpenSpending stewardship moving to Datopian

- July 9, 2020 in Datopian, News, Open Knowledge Foundation, Open Spending, OpenSpending

  OpenSpending is one of the longest running projects both at Open Knowledge Foundation and within the open data ecosystem in its entirety. Starting life in 2009 as Where Does my Money Go?, OpenSpending has played a vital role in the publication of open budget and spending data by governments world over.  Over the past five years, much of the work around OpenSpending has been in collaboration with the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT). Via this collaboration, the Fiscal Data Package – a data standard for a wide range of public financial data – has been adopted by multiple countries, which use OpenSpending as a platform for publishing data in the Fiscal Data Package format. Given Datopian’s long-standing association with OpenSpending and Fiscal Data Package, it was agreed that Datopian would take on the stewardship of OpenSpending going forward with Rufus Pollock, the original creator of OpenSpending, in the lead. Datopian will be consulting with the community to plan the evolution of the platform over the next few weeks and will also continue to provide updates on progress with GIFT, including they ways in which they plan to increase the adoption of Fiscal Data Package and aid governments to publish timely financial data.  For now, existing users and community members can reach out to the Datopian team via a new discord channel,  where they will be happy to chat and answer any questions.This post has been republished from datopian.com.

Opinion poll: majority of Brits want government action against online disinformation

- May 7, 2020 in COVID-19, News, Open Knowledge Foundation

A new opinion poll has revealed that a majority of people in the UK want ministers to take action against disinformation on social media sites. The poll by Survation for the Open Knowledge Foundation found that 55 per cent of people in the UK believe the Government should ‘impose compulsory action on social media sites to prevent the spread of disinformation on their sites’. One-third (33 per cent) said social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter should take voluntary action to tackle disinformation, and only 7 per cent said no action should be taken. Over half of people (51 per cent) said they have seen content about COVID-19 they believe to be false or misleading. One of the most common claims which has been discredited by medical experts is a link to 5G phone masts. The poll also asked respondents about micro-targeting – the marketing strategy that uses people’s data to create small groups for targeting through adverts. The results show that 43 per cent of people believe the UK Government should ‘impose compulsory action on internet platforms to restrict micro-targeting’, while 32 per cent believe internet platforms should take voluntary action to restrict micro-targeting. Only 10 per cent said no action should be taken. Catherine Stihler, chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said: “The spread of fake news and disinformation on internet platforms has been ignored for too long, and now it is causing major concern during a global health emergency. “It is sadly not surprising, and yet deeply worrying, that a majority of people in the UK have seen COVID-19 related information they believe to be false. “The best way to tackle disinformation is to make information open, allowing journalists, scientists and researchers to provide facts to the public. “Tech giants have a responsibility to increase transparency and work closely with fact checkers, but voluntary action is never going to be enough by itself. “It’s encouraging that a majority of people in the UK want the UK Government to take action against social media platforms to prevent the spread of fake news. “The UK Government should take account of these results and work towards a future that is fair, free and open.” The Open Knowledge Foundation has been campaigning for greater openness amid concerns about micro-targeting. Recent recommendations from the UK government advisory body on data technology include regulation of the online targeting systems that promote and recommend content like posts, videos and adverts. But Facebook has refused calls for it to change its policies on fact-checking political adverts and limit micro-targeting. Google previously said it is limiting political ads audience targeting to more general categories, and Twitter has banned political ads. Catherine Stihler, chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said: “Restricting micro-targeting and tackling some forms of false information will help rebuild trust in the political process. “But the long-term solution to this does not involve self-regulation. The only way to build a fair, free and open digital future in the UK and across the world is to update analogue laws for the digital age.”
Poll results Opinion poll conducted by Survation on behalf of the Open Knowledge Foundation. Fieldwork conducted 27-28th April 2020, all residents aged 18+ living in UK, sample size 1,006 respondents. Download the full report. Tables available here. Q. Disinformation is false information which is intended to mislead, including claims about COVID-19 which have been discredited by medical experts, such as a link to 5G phone masts. Have you seen any content about COVID-19 on social media sites such as Facebook, instagram or Twitter that you believe to be false or misleading?
  • Yes: 51%
  • No: 37%
  • Don’t know: 12%
Q. Thinking about social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, which of the following statements best reflects your views?
  • There should be no action taken to prevent the spread of disinformation on social media sites: 7%.
  • Social media sites should take voluntary action to prevent the spread of disinformation on their sites: 33%.
  • The UK Government should impose compulsory action on social media sites to prevent the spread of disinformation on their sites: 55%.
  • Don’t know: 5%.
Q. Micro-targeting is a marketing strategy that uses people’s data – about what they like, who they’re connected to, what they’ve purchased and more – to create small groups for targeting through adverts. It is commonly used by political parties and campaigns, as well as companies. Which of the following statements best reflects your views?
  • There should be no action taken regarding the use of micro-targeting: 10%.
  • Internet platforms should take voluntary action to restrict micro-targeting: 32%.
  • The UK Government should impose compulsory action on internet platforms to restrict micro-targeting: 43%.
  • Don’t know: 15%.

Brits demand openness from government in tackling coronavirus

- May 5, 2020 in COVID-19, News, Open Knowledge Foundation

  A new opinion poll has revealed that people across the UK want openness from the government as it tackles the coronavirus pandemic. The Survation poll for the Open Knowledge Foundation found that in response to COVID-19, people want data to be openly available for checking, they are more likely to listen to expert advice from scientists and researchers, and they oppose restricting the public’s right to information. The poll found:
  • 97% believe it is important that COVID-19 data is openly available for people to check
  • 67% believe all COVID-19 related research and data should be made open for anyone to use freely
  • 64% are now more likely to listen expert advice from qualified scientists and researchers
  • Only 29% believe restricting the public’s right to information is a necessary emergency measure
  • 63% believe a government data strategy would have helped in the fight against COVID-19
The UK Government has faced calls for greater transparency over the scientific advice given to ministers on the coronavirus outbreak. The calls came after The Guardian revealed that the Prime Minister’s top aide, Dominic Cummings, had been attending meetings of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). Ministers have said they are following ‘the best science’, but concerns have been raised about data secrecy with the UK Government accused of acting too slowly, lagging behind on testing, and having insufficient supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Over a number of years the UK government has been developing a National Data Strategy with rules and guidelines on how to share data between organisations like the Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS. The strategy has not yet been published. Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has also been criticised for measures to tighten Freedom of Information legislation. Catherine Stihler, chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said: “At the heart of the response to the pandemic is data, which tells us what is happening in our communities. “Ensuring that data is open is the first stage in the battle against the coronavirus. “This poll shows that people in the UK want COVID-19 data to be openly available for checking, and that research and data should be made open for anyone to use freely. “This is important as removing barriers to the use of intellectual property will ultimately help lead to a vaccine. “The poll shows that measures to restrict the public’s right to information must be avoided, as transparency is more important than ever. “People still trust the government to take the right decisions, but this will be eroded if information is withheld. “One particularly encouraging finding is that people are now more likely to listen to expert advice.  “I am hopeful that the acceptance of basic facts will return after this pandemic and there will be a renewed focus on building a fair, free and open future.”
Poll results Opinion poll conducted by Survation on behalf of the Open Knowledge Foundation. Fieldwork conducted 27-28th April 2020, all residents aged 18+ living in UK, sample size 1,006 respondents. Q1. During the COVID-19 crisis, lots of information provided to the public has been based on data. How important is it to you that this data is openly available for you to check? Very important: 58% Quite important: 28% Somewhat important: 11% Not so important: 2% Not at all important: 0% Don’t know: 1% Q2. Knowledge becomes ‘open’ when any non-personal content, information or data is free to use, re-use and redistribute – without any legal, technological or social restriction. Closed knowledge is when non-personal content, information or data is not shared. How important is it to you that knowledge relating to the COVID-19 crisis is open? Very important: 54% Quite important: 30% Somewhat important: 11% Not so important: 3% Not at all important: 0% Don’t know: 2% Q3. Over a number of years the UK government has been developing a National Data Strategy with rules and guidelines on how to share data between organisations like the Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS. The strategy has not yet been published. Which of the following statements best reflects your views? A government data strategy would have helped in the fight against COVID-19: 63%. A government data strategy would not have helped in the fight against COVID-19: 20%. Don’t know: 18%. Q4. The UK government has said that it will be guided by scientists when it comes to lifting the national lockdown and planning social measures needed to prevent future COVID-19 outbreaks. Not all of the data provided to politicians has been made public. Which of the following statements best reflects your views? I trust the UK Government to take the right decisions for the country based on confidential evidence and data: 59%. I do not trust the UK Government to take the right decisions for the country based on confidential evidence and data and they should be more transparent: 35%. Don’t know: 6%. Q5. Thinking about the work being done by scientists and drug companies towards creating a COVID-19 vaccine, which of the following statements best reflects your views? All COVID-19 related research and data should be made open for anyone to use freely: 67%. All COVID-19 related research and data should be kept private: 17%. Don’t know: 16%. Q6. Has the COVID-19 pandemic made you more or less likely to listen to expert advice from qualified scientists and researchers? Far more likely: 31% Slightly more likely: 33% Neither more or less likely: 28% Slightly less likely: 4% Far less likely: 1% Don’t know: 3% Q7. Governments across the world are passing new emergency laws to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Many governments have temporarily altered, delayed or suspended the public’s right to information. In the UK, the Scottish Government has granted time extensions for responding to Freedom of Information requests from the public. Which of the following statements best reflects your views? Restricting the public’s right to information is a necessary emergency measure: 29%. Restricting the public’s right to information is an unnecessary emergency measure: 52%. Don’t know: 18%.

New opinion poll – UK contact-tracing app must take account of human rights

- May 4, 2020 in COVID-19, News, Open Knowledge, Open Knowledge Foundation

A new opinion poll has revealed that an overwhelming majority of Brits want any coronavirus contact-tracing app to take account of civil liberties and people’s privacy. The Survation poll for the Open Knowledge Foundation comes ahead of today’s evidence session at Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights on the human rights implications of COVID-19 tracing apps. The poll has found widespread support for the introduction of a contact-tracing app in the UK at 65 per cent, but 90 per cent of respondents said it is important that any app takes account of civil liberties and protects people’s privacy. A total of 49 per cent of people in the poll of over 1,000 people in the UK said this was ‘very important’. An NHS contact-tracing app designed to alert users when they have come into contact with someone who has coronavirus symptoms and should seek a COVID-19 test will be trialled on the Isle of Wight this week. Human rights campaigners have raised questions about how the data will be processed, who will own the information, and how long it will be kept for. The UK is understood to be working towards a centralised model, but this approach has been abandoned in Germany due to privacy concerns. Other countries, including Ireland, are using a decentralised model, where information is only held on individual smartphones, not a server. Today, a series of experts will be giving oral evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights, including the UK Information Commissioner. Catherine Stihler, chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said: “Technology will rightly play a key role in the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, and there is clear support in the UK for a contact-tracing app in the UK. “But what is even clearer is that people want the app to take account of civil liberties and ensure that people’s privacy is protected. “We must not lose sight of ethical responsibilities in the rush to develop these tools. “It is vital to balance the needs of individuals and the benefit to society, ensuring that human rights are protected to secure public trust and confidence in the system.” Poll results Opinion poll conducted by Survation on behalf of the Open Knowledge Foundation. Fieldwork conducted 27-28th April 2020, all residents aged 18+ living in UK, sample size 1,006 respondents. Q) Smartphone software called ‘contact-tracing’ is being developed to alert users when someone they were recently close to becomes infected with COVID-19. Contact-tracing apps log every instance a person is close to another smartphone-owner for a significant period of time. It has not been announced how your data will be processed, who will own the information, and how long it will be kept for. To what extent do you support or oppose the introduction of a contact-tracing app in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic? Strongly support: 28%
Somewhat support: 37%
Neither support nor oppose: 18%
Somewhat oppose: 6%
Strongly oppose: 6%
Don’t know: 4% Q) How important is it to you that any contact-tracing app in the UK takes account of civil liberties and protects people’s privacy? Very important: 49%
Quite important: 29%
Somewhat important: 13%
Not so important: 5%
Not at all important: 1%
Don’t know: 4%

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 […]

Με νέα ιστοσελίδα, νέο λογότυπο και νέο ιστολόγιο το Open Knowledge Foundation

- February 16, 2020 in Featured, Featured @en, News, ανοικτά δεδομένα, ιστολόγιο, ιστοσελίδα, Νέα

Το Open Knowledge Foundation, στο πλαίσιο ανανέωσης, παρουσίασε πριν από λίγες μέρες το νέο λογότυπο, τη νέα ιστοσελίδα και το νέο ιστολόγιό του. Ο στόχος και οι επιδιώξεις του OKF παραμένουν σταθεροί, με όραμα για ένα μέλλον δίκαιο, ελεύθερο και ανοικτό, στο οποίο οι έννοιες «ανοικτά δεδομένα» και «ανοικτή γνώση» θα είναι ευρέως κατανοητές. Η αποστολή […]

Οι Ανοιχτές Πηγές Εκπαίδευσης (Open Education Resources – OER) λαμβάνουν διεθνή υποστήριξη με ψήφο της UNESCO

- December 11, 2019 in News, Open Data, ανοικτά δεδομένα, ανοικτή πρόσβαση, κοινωνία πολιτών

    Ο διεθνής οργανισμός UNESCO ενέκρινε μέτρο για την ενθάρρυνση της ανάπτυξης και της περαιτέρω εξέλιξης των ανοικτών εκπαιδευτικών πηγών (OpenEducationResources – OER)  – το ελεύθερο, κοινόχρηστο εκπαιδευτικό περιεχόμενο που έχει κερδίσει ισχυρό προβάδισμα σε πολλά σχολικά συστήματα στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες. Η συγκεκριμένη σύσταση πολιτικής, που εγκρίθηκε πρόσφατα  από την UNESCO, προωθεί τη συνεργασία […]

Δελτίο τύπου: Πολιτική πολιτικών διαφημίσεων της Google “ένα βήμα προς τη σωστή κατεύθυνση”

- December 2, 2019 in Featured, Featured @en, News, ανοικτά δεδομένα, Νέα

Η Google εξέδωσε μια ενημέρωση σχετικά με την πολιτική πολιτικών διαφημίσεων της, η οποία θα έχει άμεσο αντίκτυπο στις Γενικές Εκλογές του Ηνωμένου Βασιλείου. Ο γίγαντας του Διαδικτύου δήλωσε ότι περιορίζει τη στόχευση του κοινού των εκλογών στις γενικότερες κατηγορίες. Αυτό σημαίνει ότι δεν θα επιτρέψει στους πολιτικούς διαφημιζόμενους να στοχεύουν τους ψηφοφόρους με βάση […]