Mozilla Weekend is coming to Berlin


In less than 2 weeks, Berlin will be lightened up by one of the flagship Mozilla community events: Mozilla Weekend, organized on the 11th and 12th.
As the name suggests, the whole weekend is dedicated to Mozilla, its products and its initiatives, especially, but not limited to, Firefox and Firefox OS. After the German speaking community meetup in February, Mozilla Weekend aims to cater to new contributors and help the onboarding process.



The first day of the event (Saturday) will be filled with presentations and will take place at the Wikimedia Offices, while the second day will focus on workshops. Also, don´t miss out on the AMA (ask me anything) sessions as the Mozilla Leadership will be there!
The variety of presentations offers something for anyone, no matter if technical or not. Afterall, the passion for the open internet is the greatest common ground for us. You can register your (free) ticket via Eventbrite on mozweekend.de
Of course there will be free goodies and drinks, so even if you cannot attend the whole day, feel free to pass by!


 

Wikimedia Office (Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24)

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Mozilla Office (Voltastr. 5)

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Mozilla German-speaking Community Meetup 2015 in Berlin

I had the pleasure to be invited to the annual Mozilla german speaking community meetup in Berlin this year. Although I am based in Albania and not in Germany, Austria or Switzerland; I contribute from time to time also to the German community, having helped out for the Firefox 10h Anniversary campaign and various other stuff (Firefox has a market share of almost 50% in Germany!).

As I grew up in Germany, I am quite familiar with the culture and speak the language also fluently. However I am most of the time unable to put my German into good use in Albania, for obvious reasons, so it always feels good to practice it.

This was my first time in Berlin and my first time in Germany in almost 4 years. I never visited a Mozilla office before either, so I was really excited for the meetup this year.

Disclaimer: This is a short summary from everything which happened during the community meetup. I am including here Michael Kohler’s notes from his blog, simply due to laziness. Kudos to Mexikohler for being so awesome! Check out his blog for the German version also.




Day 1

The meetup was held on February 20 to February 22 2015. To facilitate the coordination between all volunteers and staff living/working in the German speaking countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) we meet once a year to discuss any topics, plans and goals for the year. Further it’s important to meet regularly to have certain discussions in person since these are faster and more efficient. In total 27 persons attended this meetup.

On Saturday we started the first official day at 10am.

Start End Topic Duration Who?
10:00 10:30 Getting to know each other, Mozilla in general 30′ Everyone
10:30 12:00 Introductionary Discussions + Mozilla Goals 1h 30′ Everyone
12:00 13:00 Discussions / Group Planning 1h Groups
13:00 14:00 Lunch in the Office 1h Everyone
14:00 15:30 Feedback of the working groups + Discussions 1h 30′ Everyone
16:30 17:30 Participation 2015 (English) 1h Everyone
17:30 19:00 Community Tiles 1h 30′ Everyone
20:00 22:00 Dinner 2h 30′ Everyone

We began the meetup with a short introduction round since not all of the attendees knew each other. It was nice to see that from all around the Mozilla projects people came to Berlin to discuss and plan the future.

After that Brian introduced us to Mozilla’s goals and plans for 2015. Firefox (more focus on Desktop this year), Firefox OS (user driven strategy), Content Services (differentiate income) and Webmaker were the focus. To reach our goals for the community we also need to know about Mozilla’s overall goals so we can align them.

To know where we currently stand with our community, we did a “SWOT” analysis (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).


Strengths:

  • • L10N:  amount of work that was done and the quality of it
  • • a lot of different projects are worked on by the community
  • • we had more (and more impactful) events in 2013
  • • Being spontaneous
  • • …

Weaknesses:

  • • a lot of work
  • • “bus factor”
  • • communication
  • • not a lot of social media activities
  • • weekly meetings aren’t very efficient
  • • ….

Opportunities:

  • • Web Standards
  • • Rust
  • • Privacy
  • • Firefox Student Ambassadors
  • • …

Threats:

  • • Fragmentation
  • • Chrome + Google Services
  • • …

 

We splitted up in different groups to discuss group-specific topics and report back to everybody. We had “Localization”, “Developer Engagement / Programming”, “Community Building” and “Websites”.

We discussed the first outcomes of the groups together. Please refer to day 2 to see the results.

Markus, a local developer from Berlin, came by on Saturday. He’d like to organize regular events in Berlin to increase the presence of Mozilla in the city and to build a local community. We like this idea and will support him in 2015!

(Photo: Mario Behling)

After the group discussions Brian had further information: Participation. Please refer to Mark Surman’s blogpost to get more information about that.

At the end of the official part of the day we had a discussion about the “Community Tile”. When you open a new tab in a new Firefox profile you’ll see an overview of different sites you can visit. One of these links is reserved for the community. We discussed our proposal and came to the conclusion that we should focus to tell everyone what the German speaking community does and especially that there are local people working on Mozilla projects.

 

CommunityTiles(Photo: Hagen Halbach)

Want to see who was there? See for yourself!

(Photo: Brian King)

You can find all pictures of the meetup on flickr.




Day 2

On Sunday we once again started at 10am at the Berlin Office.

Start End Topic Duration
10:00 13:00 Plan 2015 / Events / Goals / Roles etherpad 45′ Everyone
13:00 13:45 Content mozilla.de 45′ Everyone
13:45 14:15 IRC Meeting + Summary Meeting 30′ Everyone
14:00 … Departing or other discussions … Everyone

At first we had the same breakout groups again, this time to evaluate goals for 2015. After that we discussed those together with the whole group and decided on goals.


Localization

The l10n group has worked out a few points. First they updated multiple wiki pages. Second they discussed several other topics. You can find the overview of topics here.

Goals:

  • • Finish the documentation on the wiki
  • • Get in touch with the “Localizers in Training”


SUMO

SUMO has done an introduction into the new tools. Further they decided on a few goals.

Goals:

  • • Have 90% of all articles on SUMO translated all the time
  • • For Firefox releases all of the top 100 articles should be translated


Programming

Goals:

  • • organize a “Mozilla Weekend” (this does not only cover developers)
  • • give a talk on Jetpack
  • • continue the Rust meetups
  • • developer meetups in Berlin
  • • recruit 5 new dev contributors

 Community Building

In the community building group we talked about different topics. For example we looked at what’s working now and what’s not. Further we talked about Firefox Student Ambassadors and recognition. You can find the overview here.

Goals:

  • • have at least 10 FSA until the end of the year
  • • have 2 new Reps in the north of Germany
  • • get WoMoz started (this is a difficult task, let’s see)
  • • finish the visual identity (logo) until end of Q2
  • • have at least 5 events in cities, where we never did events before
  • • Mozilla Day / Weekend
  • • define onboarding process
  • • better format for the weekly meeting

Websites

All German Mozilla sites are currently hosted by Kadir. Since Kadir doesn’t have enough time to support them, the goal is to move them to Community IT. This was agreen upon at the community meetup. You can find the relevant bug here.

Goal:

  • • transfer all sites
  • • refresh the mozilla.de content

All these plans and goals are summarized in our Trello board. All German speaking community members can self-assign a task and work on it. With this board we want to track and work on all our plans.

(Photo: Hagen Halbach)

After that we discussed what features should be on the mozilla.de website. In general, all the content will be updated.


  • • product and project overview
  • • landing page for the community tile
  • • list of events
  • • Download-Button
  • • link to “contribute”
  • • link to the mailing list (no support!)
  • • link to the newsletter
  • • Planet
  • • Social Media
  • • prominent link to SUMO for help
  • • link to the dictionaries

(Photo: Hagen Halbach)

At the end we talked about our weekly meeting and drafted a proposal how to make it more efficient. The following changes will be done once everything is clear (we’re discussing this on the mailing list). Until then everything stays the same.


  • • biweekly instead of weekly
  • • Vidyo instead of IRC
  • • document everything on the Etherpad so everybody can join without Vidyo (Workflow: Etherpad -> Meeting -> Etherpad)
  • • the final meeting notes will be copied to the Wiki from the Etherpad

Feedback / Lessions learned

  • • planning long-term before events makes sense
  • • the office is a good location for these kind of meetups, but not for bigger ones
  • • there is never enough time to discuss everything together, so individual breakouts are necessary

I’d like to thank all attendees who participated in very informative and constructive discussions during the weekend. I think that we have a lot to do in 2015. If we can save the motivation from this meetup and work on our defined plans and goals, we’ll have a very successful year. You can find all pictures of the meetup on flickr.

India Open Data Summit, 2015

ODSummit1Open Knowledge India, with support from the National Council of Education Bengal and the Open Knowledge micro grants, organised the India Open Data Summit on February, 28. It was the first ever Data Summit of this kind held in India and was attended by Open Data enthusiasts from all over India. The event was held at Indumati Sabhagriha, Jadavpur University. Talks and workshops were held throughout the day. The event succeeded in living up to its promise of being a melting point of ideas.

The attendee list included people from all walks of life. Students, teachers, educationists, environmentalists, scientists, government officials, people’s representatives, lawyers, people from the tinseltown — everyone was welcomed with open arms to the event. The Chief Guests included the young and talented movie director Bidula Bhattacharjee, a prominent lawyer from the Kolkata High Court Aninda Chatterjee, educationist Bijan Sarkar and an important political activist Rajib Ghoshal. Each one of them added value to the event, making it into a free flow of ideas. The major speakers from the side of Open Knowledge India included Subhajit Ganguly, Priyanka Sen and Supriya Sen. Praloy Halder, who has been working for the restoration of the Sunderbans Delta, also attended the event. Environment data is a key aspect of the conservation movement in the Sunderbans and it requires special attention.

ODSummit2The talks revolved around Open Science, Open Education, Open Data and Open GLAM. Thinking local and going global was the theme from which the discourse followed. Everything was discussed from an Indian perspective, as many of the challenges faced by India are unique to this part of the world. There were discussions on how the Open Education Project, run by Open Knowledge India, can complement the government’s efforts to bring the light of education to everyone. The push was to build up a platform that would offer the Power of Choice to the children in matters of educational content. More and more use of Open Data platforms like the CKAN was also discussed. Open governance not only at the national level, but even at the level of local governments, was something that was discussed with seriousness. Everyone agreed that in order to reduce corruption, open governance is the way to go. Encouraging the common man to participate in the process of open governance is another key point that was stressed upon. India is the largest democracy in the world and this democracy is very complex too.Greater use of the power of the crowd in matters of governance can help the democracy a long way by uprooting corruption from the very core.

ODSummit3Opening up research data of all kinds was another point that was discussed. India has recently passed legislature ensuring that all government funded research results will be in the open. A workshop was held to educate researchers about the existing ways of disseminating research results. Further enquiries were made into finding newer and better ways of doing this. Every researcher, who had gathered, resolved to enrich the spirit of Open Science and Open Research. Overall, the India Open Data Summit, 2015 was a grand success in bringing likeminded individuals together and in giving them a shared platform, where they can join hands to empower themselves. The first major Open Data Summit in India ended with the promise of keeping the ball rolling. Hopefully, in near future we will see many more such events all over India.

DNAdigest Symposium: A tour in Open Science in human genomics research

This past weekend, DNAdigest organized a Symposium on the topic “Open Science in human genomics research – challenges and inspirations”. The event brought together very interested in the topic and enthusiastic people along with the DNAdigest team. We are very pleased to say that this day turned out to be a success, where both participants and organizers enjoyed the amazing talks of our speaker and the discussion sessions.

The day started with a short introduction on the topic by Fiona Nielsen.

DNAdigestSummit1

Then our first speaker, Manuel Corpas was a source of inspiration to all participants, talking us through the process he experienced in order to fully sequence the whole genomes of his family and himself and to share this data widely with the whole world.  Here is a link to the presentation he introduced on the day.

The Symposium was organized in the format of Open Space conference, where everybody got to suggest different topics related to Open Science or choose to join one which sounds most interesting. Again, we used HackPad to take notes and interesting thoughts throughout the discussions. You can take a look at it here.

DNAdigestSummit2

We had three more speakers invited to our Symposium: Tim Hubbard (slides) talked about how Genomics England gets to engaged the research community, in the face of genomic scientists and patient communities, to collaborate on both data generation and data analysis of the 100k Genomes Project for the public benefit. Julia Wilson (slides) came as a representative of the Global Alliance. She introduced us to the GA4GH and explained how their work helps to implement standards for data sharing across genomics and health. Last, but not least was Nick Sireau (slides). He walked us through an eight-step process to show us how exactly the scientific community and the patient community can engage in collaborations, and how Open Science (sharing of hypotheses, methods and results, throughout the science process) may be either beneficial or challenging in this context.

DNAdigest Symposium

The event came to its end with a summary of learning points and a rounding up by Fiona Nielsen.

We have also made a storify summary where you can find a collection of all the tweets and most of the photos covering the duration of the day.  Also there is a gallery including all pictures taken by our team members.

Now to all former and future participants, If you enjoy participating in these events please donate to DNAdigest by texting DNAD14 ÂŁ10 to 70070, so that we can continue organizing more of these interactive and exciting events in the future. You can also buy some of our cool DNAdigest T-shirts and Mugs from our website shop.

It was great to see you all, and we look forward to welcoming you again for our next events!

DNAdigest team: Fiona, Adrian, Margi, Francis, Sebastian, Xocas and Tim

This event would not have been possible without the contributions of our generous sponsors:

DNAdigestSummit_sponsor3

DNAdigestSummit_sponsor

DNAdigestSummit_sponsor2

WikiAkademia and AdaCamp in Berlin!

I’ve been to a number of open source and technical conferences over the last few years, most of which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. But AdaCamp is a special kind of experience.

AdaCamp is a conference dedicated to increasing women’s participation in open technology and culture: open source software, Wikipedia and other wiki-related projects, open knowledge and education, creative fan culture, remix culture, and more. AdaCamp brings women together over two days to build community, share skills, discuss problems with open tech/culture communities that affect women, and find ways to address them.

Adacamp gave me the ability to see how a major conference’s code of conduct was deeply flawed and the confidence to approach them with suggestions for how to fix it.

It’s encouraged me to speak frankly about diversity in our communities and how to improve it.

It’s helped me to meet so many incredible women, to share experience and to learn a lot.

I finally met others Wikipedians from all over the world. I have a year that I am contributing for Wikipedia and I had never met anyone in person. That motivates me a lot and made me feel proud of my work with WikiAcademy Albania. I’ve created contacts that will lead to exciting and future workshops/events at our hacker space Open Labs.

One of the best things about AdaCamp was learning about imposter syndrome. That session was empowering. The belief that one’s work is inferior and one’s achievements and recognition are fraudulent — in open technology and culture endeavors where public scrutiny of their work is routine.

Workshop about clean code was so useful thanks to Franzi.The compliments corner was funny and inspiring as well. The discussion about femnisem, women in open culture, non-open culture, code, education, social events and everything else in there, made Adacamp the perfect place to be those two days.

Now I know that I want to reach out to other women that identify as “geek”, “feminist” or both. I realized that I was among not only amazingly smart women, but also very generous people.

If you’ve never been to a feminist conference, you’re missing out a lot.

If you’ve never found yourself surrounded by dozens of brilliant, empathetic, creative and determined women, you should consider giving it a try. If you’ve never gone from learning about how open source cloud computing platforms work straight to a discussion of microaggressions and how to deal with them, finishing things off by sharing your favorite feminist response gifs – well, maybe you should go to AdaCamp.
Writen By: Greta Doçi
All photos and posts are CC-BY SA

The best of ConDatos, the top Open Data event of Latin America

Three weeks ago, a most important serie of Open Data events took place in Mexico City. The biggest megacity of the whole American continent was chosen to hold the second edition regional conference for Open Data: ConDatos, after the success of the 2013 edition in Uruguay.

The main exhibition was enhanced by many parallel conferences, meetings, workshops and hackathons, with the objective of showing Latin American countries not only have joined the Open Data movement, but also have understood its potential and are decided to make use of it.

Imagen_ Abrelatam3

ConDatos: A new conference on its way to earn a global reputation

Apart from the well-known Open Knowledge Festival, very few are the Open Data events of this size, financially and logistically speaking. The organizers manifestly wanted to show the world that Latin America, and especially Mexico, had taken the Open Data turn.

ConDatos_Foto

The reunion took place in good standing cultural places: the Biblioteca Municipal de Mexico and the Cineteca Nacional, buildings that are big enough to gather 180 speakers, 1000 registered people, 15 sponsors (such as Google, IBM or Deloitte), and host 50 conferences on 2 days, according to the information provided by the organizers.

And these data don’t even take into account the numerous parallel events that took place during week. Workshops, Hackathons, “disconference” and other community meetings which gathered developers, lawyers, lobbyists, aid workers, entrepreneurs and public officials.

It clearly meant to be a complete review of the region’s challenges and opportunities, covering diversified themes such as economic development, mapping, journalism, privacy, health, environment, civic engagement, administrative transparency, international politics, data science or open licence.

Mexico_Karte

The finest to exhibit regional potential on Open Data matters

ConDatos gathered most of the international “crème de la crème” on Open Data and Transparency (and also a bit of Open Source): Open Knowledge Foundation, Open Data Institute, Transparency International, Sunlight Foundation, Knight Foundation… even some high representatives of public administrations Such as the OECD, Secretaries for digital transformation of Mexico, Chile, Uruguay….

Obviously, all relevant local actors were here, such as Ciudadano Inteligente, Desarrollando América Latina, Argentina’s La Nación datablog, Wingu, and Codeando Mexico. Many of them attended an Open Knowledge Foundation meeting after the conference, the occasion to acknowledge the importance of the Open Data community in Latin America: the mere Argentinian chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation claims about 500 volunteers, and many local groups were represented, such as Costa Rica, Salvador, Mexico, and Brazil.

Codeando Mexico, the organization responsible for editing the first Open Data website in Mexico, told us about some of the very innovative features of their portal, showing a civil society initiative can be an interesting alternative to governmental portals. Codeando Mexico’s portal uses the OKFN’s open source software: CKAN, and integrates two made-in-google tools highly appreciated by any data user: Open Refine and Google Big Query (analysis of massive data).

datamx_screenshot

ConDatos 2014 has definitely shown that Latin America is bursting with energy when it comes to Open Data matters. The event is likely to earn a reputation after such a demonstration, and become a reference on the global level. Which will see next year in Santiago de Chile, where the 2015 edition will take place.

Beyond the general optimism, reluctance to transparency and lack of startups

If there’s clearly a shared optimism about the numerous Open Data initiatives and their potential to bring change and innovation, a few remarks can be made both about active transparency (governments intentionally liberating the data) and passive transparency (citizens asking for public information).

About active transparency first, most of Government’s open data portals register only a few datasets. Salvador, for instance, only has 57 datasets on its portal (as a comparison, there are more than 13.000 datasets published in France, and more than 150.000 on the US portal). Chile does a bit better with about 1200 datasets, but Brazil’s 350 datasets don’t look impressive considering the size of the country and the size of its administration. Argentina seems once again to be ahead: not only is has a furnished national open data website, but two of its biggest cities have one: Buenos Aires (26 datasets) and Bahia Blanca (200 datasets).

About passive transparency, a lot of the participants complained about the difficulty to access to public data, even where a transparency law exists. The administration regularly shows reluctance, through excessive paperwork or excessively long processes. In some countries, Open Data advocates even declare to fear retaliations if they ask for compromising data.

DataMarket

Beside, startups seemed underrepresented. Although there were a few ones like Junar, Socrata and Grupo Inco, almost every speaker was representing or an NGO, or a public entity, giving the impression that Open Data was only a dialogue between civil society and governments, leaving the private sector world out of it.

In Europe, startups such as ScraperWiki in the UK, Data Publica in France or Spazio Dati in Italy helped shaping the Open Data environment of their respective countries. We can only hope that a data startups movement will start to grow in Latin America, bringing their piece to the edification of a productive Open Data environment.

Discussing the hottest topics of the decentralized web at GET-D

„If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” is a more than adequate motto chosen by GET-D‘s organisers to give character to this event, a conference aiming to explore the status, possibilities and challenges of the decentralized web. In its first edition, GET-D took place between the 17th and 19th of September in the amazing Agora Collective space in Berlin-Neukölln.

BxuQ_imCEAEQSRa.jpg_large

Decentralized web is a relatively new topic for many, as it is my case, and completely unknown by the vast majority of the internet users. If you belong to the latter group, let me explain briefly what I understand behind this term: The internet that most of the people use today (let me call it mainstream web) is structured in a centralized manner and a huge percent of the information is stored in big data centres and routed through servers owned by gigantic corporations. This makes possible that we all enjoy great services such as our favourite social networks, search engines and cloud storage services but has several negative implications such as poor inter-operability between information sources and, as you might already be aware of, governments accessing your private data.

As an opposition to the current infrastructure, the decentralized web proposes a much more democratic approach, where logic and storage is more balanced across the nodes of the network. Going back to GET-D’s motto, this idea also supports strongly the principles of collaboration. Because, in order to make things work, every node needs to work with the others. Last but not least, the re-use of resources (being digital information or physical assets) is also one of the main benefits of this approach.

What can we expect from a new and decentralized web?

As part of GET-D’s programme, we had the opportunity to discover very interesting projects that bring a new perspective to aspects of our current digital lives. To mention just a few, we enjoyed the presence of the folks developing Mail Pile, a free, add-free and Open Source email client that you can run on your local machine or server so you actually have total control of your data. Or Leihbar, a platform that tries to shift our consumer society towards a sharing economy. Leihbar envisions a network of boxes spread through the cities, where users can have access to all kind of products for particular occasions: from a projector to watch a movie, through tools for fixing your bike to an inflatable boat to enjoy a day at the lake. This way, we do not need to buy stuff that we are going to use just from time to time, we share it with others.

Internet of things (IoT) is also a hot topic nowadays. We are seeing how all kind of devices are becoming connected to the internet. Cars, public infrastructure or even coffee machines are now capable of interacting with the digital world and between them, in a de-centralized manner. At GET-D, a couple of IoT-related projects were presented: Starting with RiotOS, a free LGPL-licensed operative system for those devices the IoT is being built upon, or Gatesense, a project which encourages the community to imagine and shape the future of this field. With such a vast amount of devices generating tons of information, initiatives are also being launched to help us managing it efficiently. It is the case of Jolocom, a distributed visualisation tool which helps users make sense of complex connections between persons, projects, sensors and devices from the Internet of Things.

Hackaton: After theory it comes coding

I personally enjoyed the hacking sessions. Parallel to a series of interesting presentations and hangouts with folks working on decentralized web projects around the globe, they shaped the 3 days we spent at GET-D. Together with other participants, I worked on a project I would like to introduce here. Portable Linked Profiles (PLP) are set of components which offer an easy way for users, organisations and venues to create their public data, and most important, host it wherever they want. Thanks to its modular design and its Open Source nature, developers can create applications on top of PLP. This applications (named Browsers) would be something like our Open Knowledge directory which aggregates and maps contact information of individuals and organisations working on Open Knowledge worldwide. Expect more details about this on our blog soon.

GETD-am-17.09.14-um-17.16-2

Stay tuned for more GET-D

This first edition had already very good outcomes and the great thing is that there will be more to come. The topic of Decentralized web is still in a young state and more research, discussion and implementation is still needed. As we could experience, such an event offers a perfect environment for this and we are looking forward to attending next editions of GET-D.

Software Freedom Day 2014 celebrated in Nepal

Software Freedom Day (SFD) is a worldwide celebration of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). In Nepal, FOSS Nepal Community has been regularly organizing and celebrating Software freedom day since 2005. From 2007 to 2009, for three consecutive years, FOSS Nepal’s SFD celebration was recognized as the best event in the world. This year also with an aim to enrich the open communities rather than outreach upon the Free and Open Source movement, FOSS Nepal Community organized Software Freedom Day 2014, Kathmandu at Trade Tower (Elite Hall), Thapthali, Kathmandu, Nepal on the date of 20th September 2014. The way of celebration was completely different from the past year software freedom day. This year it was an half day event, where more than 14 different open communities who are currently working under open philosophy gather at the same place and the schedule of the event was also so simple.

Here goes the schedule of an Event.

Communities Like PHP Developers Nepal, Google Developer Group (GDG) Kathmandu, Robotic Association of Nepal (RAN), Wikipedia (Nepali), Mozilla Nepal, Open Street Map (OSM) Nepal, Open Knowledge Nepal, Ruby Developers Nepal, Google Business Group (GBG) Kathmandu, WordPress Nepal, Chitwanix, Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) Nepal and many more was playing an celebrating partners role for this year Software Freedom Day. Event was Supported by Nepal Government Department of Information Technology, Rooster Logic and Computer Association of Nepal (CAN).

As Per the schedule event was officially started by the host Ms. Shristi Baral and Mr. Rajan Kandel, not exactly in the same time according to schedule but 15 minute late because of some management issues. After a short introduction of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Nepal Community and Software Freedom Day 2014, they invited Mr. Sagar Chhetri, first presenter of the event, who was there to give presentation on Chitwanix OS.

Mr. Sagar Chhetri utilized his total 15 minutes by defining what is Chitwanix OS, Chitwanix Student Partners (CSP), Chitwanix Associate Program etc. He said that Chitwanix community is slowly growing and going to make vast impact in the coming future. After his presentation about Chitwanix the event host called Mr. Saroj Dhakal to give presentation and short talk on Nepali Linux & Nirvikalpa. Saroj Dhakal started his presentation form the question: How many of here know about Nepali Linux? And most of the hands inside the hall were raised because Nepali Linux was that first Linux based Nepali operating system which was developed with the help of Nepal Government and Madhan Bhandari Pustaklaya. He said that Nepali Linux is going to reborn again and new version will be released soon. He also gave an short introduction about Nirvikalpa “Nirvikalpa is an collection of Open Source software which can be used at Microsoft Windows too”.

After Saroj Dhakal presentation on Nepali Linux and Nirvikalpa, Host of an event called Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) Nepal Team for their introduction and presentation. LTSP project was lead by the students of Kathmandu University (KU) and all of them where an active member of their college open source community named Kathmandu University Open Source Community (KUOSC). Presenter shows their progress on LTSP and some images.

Now, It was a time for the presentation of Wikipedia (Nepali). Mr. Ganesh Poudel one of the active Wikimedians of Nepal was called on stage for the presentation. His presentation was like progress report and story sharing. He shares how Nepali Wikipedia community is growing day by day and he also gave an open invitation to all participant of Software Freedom Day 2014, to be volunteer of an Nepali Wikipedia and request everyone for the help.

Presentation session continues, after 15 minutes presentation of Nepali Wikipedia, Host called Mr. Nikesh Balami from Open Knowledge Nepal to give short introduction of Open Knowledge Community. Nikesh Balami topic was focused on Open Data and CKAN. “CKAN is a tool for making open data websites, It helps you manage and publish collections of data”. He also explain the future plans of Open Knowledge Nepal and shows different example website, which was made by using CKAN tools.

Host of an event called Mr. Nirab Pudasaini from Open Street Map (OSM) Nepal after Nikesh Balami presentation. Mr. Pudasaini define what is Open Street Map (OSM) at first and also define how student, company, researcher etc. can use OSM for their project. He explain how Kathmandu Living Labs (KLL) is supporting Open Street Map (OSM) Nepal and he specially thanks student because most of the student where helping them for mapping. He shows his interest of taking Open Street Map (OSM) Nepal outside of Kathmandu valley.

Event was running is the cool way but everyone get shocked suddenly when the host called team of PHP Developer Nepal because most of the participant was unknown about the group. The team started their presentation by defining how PHP language is helping to keep web secure. They also gave a short demo on how we can enjoy and utilized all software if it was made in web.

Now, the turn was of Mozilla Nepal and representative of Mozilla, Mr. Surit Aryal was there for the presentation. He gave a presentation on the topic “Moz Stumbler” and “Mozilla Location Services”. He introduced what kinds of project it is and also make clear how public can get benefits from it.

Again, after the presentation of Mozilla Nepal, Mr. Sakin Shrestha representative of WordPress Nepal was called on the stage for the presentation. He shares how WordPress Nepal is getting global recognition and also discuss a little bit about Wordcamp Nepal. He says that number of WordPress users in Nepal is increasing and suggest participant to use WordPress CMS which is free and secure.

Turning and interesting point of the event came because it was a time of Ruby Developer Nepal presentation. Bunch of team was there wearing “I Love Ruby” t-shirt. The team gave an introductory presentation about what does Ruby Developer Nepal do, what kinds of programming language is Ruby, what are its important etc. Everyone inside the hall was listening their presentation because the way they present was very unique. They suggested different link for the visit.

After, Ruby presentation host of an event called Mr. Bhupal Sapkota from Google Developer Group (GDG) Kathmandu. Mr. Sapkota defines what kinds of event does GDG organized and how to join GDG group. He also called his teammates Mr. Saroj Dhakal on the stage again to give presentation about Google Business Group (GBG) Nepal. He shares GBG journey, How GBG was started and what kinds of platform is it.

Final presentation of event was about Open Hardware and Mr. Dipesh Kharel from Robotic Association of Nepal (RAN) was called on the stage to give a short talk on it. He first defines how robotic can help us, and also make clear why Robotic Association of Nepali (RAN) represent Open Hardware. He said that in Nepal it was really difficult to work on hardware but nowadays the people working on Open Hardware is increasing.

With that last presentation on Open Hardware both the host Mr. Rajan Kandel and Ms. Shristi Baral handover the MIC in the hand of President of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Nepal community, Mr. Subir B. Pradhanang and says thanks to all participant for joining the event. Then Mr. Pradhanang introduced the Software Freedom Day 2014 organizing team (Only new faces) and thanks them for organizing such an wonderful event.

Then again he also handover the MIC to Mr. Hempla Shrestha for the Panel Discussion and Open Discussion. During the panel discussion everyone changes their sitting arrangement and made one big circle by using chairs. Everyone introduced themselves one by one at first round of the discussion. In the second round of the panel discussion community were asked to shared their view, What kinds of problem are they facing inside the community, what are their future planning etc.
At the last round of the Discussion Session, participant were asked to come up with new ideas, which they want to work in the coming future and must say that round was brilliant. Six participant present their ideas and other interested participant who like that ideas joins them. Hope they will be working till the last on the same ideas in the coming future.

Event was ended and everyone moved for the lunch.
#SFD2014

OKFest, Berlin, 15th-17th July

It has been a long time we didn’t post any news, not because there is nothing to document from Berlin where the Open Steps journey came to its end one month ago, but for the simple reason we were very busy preparing the next steps of our project. You should have heard about that if you happened to attend the OKFest last week. The OKFN had the great idea to organize its annual event in Berlin this year, and we were more than happy to be part of this international encounter, together with more than 1000 participants from all over the world. Of course, we met again numerous activists we got to know during these last 12 months in their home country. Seeing them at the other side of the world was a very warm feeling and simultaneously the best opportunity to follow up the latest status of their projects we documented on the way. But, as the list of OK related projects don’t stop there, we could discover many new faces of the community and are now eager to blog about them.

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The 3-days conference took place in the Kulturbrauerei, an old beer fabric made of red bricks in the Prenzlauer Berg district of the German capital. On the first day, an OK fair was scheduled and Open Steps was invited to have a stand. Perfectopportunity to present what we have learnt during the journey, discussing about the difficulties arising in Europe, India, Asia or South-America and sharing our overview on what have already been achieved. You can read our final report here. At the same time, we introduced the newest version of our directory, renamed Open Knowledge Directory which consists on mapping individuals and organisations from all over the world and actively supporting the Open Knowledge principles, what ever they are focusing on: Open Data, Open Government, Open Science, Open Source, Data journalism or other related fields. The tool directly responds to challenges we experienced on first hand by travelling: first, it has the goal to increase worldwide the visibility of OK projects, both inside and outside the OK community (because it is still difficult for an uninitiated public to have an overview on what is going on). Secondly, to facilitate the communication and collaboration across borders (it is obvious to say there is a big potential to share forces and know-how). If you haven’t taken a look on it yet, please check it now, fill out the 2-minutes form to be listed, and spread the word!

DSCF9003The programme of the rest of the festival was full of interesting sessions, which made very difficult to choose some of them, not speaking about the unconference which happened at itsside and the fact that we were volunteering during the 3 days, helping around in order to make such an amazing event possible and running from room to room. On the last day, Neelie Kroes, EU-Commissioner for Digital Agenda and Vice-President of the Commission, honoured us with her speech, encouraging all of us to keep working hard and promising good perspectives regarding the political support in Europe, starting an Erasmus for Open Data in September and granting funds through the programme Horizon 2020 and the FI-WARE initiative. Brilliant!

Digital Tuesday @ Belo Horizonte, Brazil

tdt-logo2On the 20th May, we have been invited to participate to the 2nd Brazilian Data Tuesday, taking place this time in Belo Horizonte, the capital city of the state of Minas Gerais. An event focused on Data, Technology and Innovation renamed over here Digital Tuesday. Since we were already in town before the day of the event, we could get an impression on the status of the Open Knowledge ecosystem of the region beforehand.

DSCF7944That’s why we landed at Seed, an accelerator program managed by the government of Minas Gerais to bring young entrepreneurs from all over the world along with their ideas to Belo Horizonte and support the creation of innovative start-ups with 6-months funds and a special coaching agenda. A 3-level co-working space, regular talks also available online (seedcasts), the best networking opportunities and a swimming pool full of balls to jump in if you feel stressed; the Seed offices represent the best environment imaginable for each one who want to put his ideas into practise. On the long list of start-ups initiated there, we definitely need to say a few words about CityHeroes, a collective platform where citizens can report any security incident or risk situation. The data is shared online to all users, including competent authorities such as the police, the next fire station or further public services in order to act and solve the problem as soon as possible.

DSCF7990Not surprising that these initiatives have occurred in Minas Gerais since the regional government has showed itself committed to innovate and support the use of new technologies. Regarding Open Data, 2 platforms have been recently created: one dedicated to economical data, Data Viva, developed in partnership with the MIT Media Lab, where you can search, download and visualise data by choosing one of the 8 visualisation charts. Apart from the UN Comtrade, the data comes also from two federal ministries where the information was already available online but far away from what we can call user-friendly. The aim behind Data Viva is to boost the economical growth in Minas Gerais and Brazil by giving entrepreneurs and companies the knowledge on how to make business and attract investment. On the same line, the platform helps the government of Minas Gerais as well to define its economic policies. The tool is Open Source and a new version is planed to add data on 3 further subjects: education, taxation and technical jobs. But DataViva it has not been conceived to compete with the second platform, Numeros, which was created beforehand and focus on indicators and social topics.

Outside of Belo Horizonte and Minas Gerais, local public administrations experiment Open Data/Open Government initiatives in the cities of SĂŁo Paulo and in Rio de Janeiro too. According to two research articles from the ODDC, which we covered recently, in SĂŁo Paulo there is still a lot to do, but in Rio the actual state is much more advanced. At federal level, Brazil counts already with its Open Data platform and another site dedicated to strengthen transparency. The national state is member of the Open Government Initiative and takes part in the OGP too since 2011 which gives indications for further engagement on the topic.

During Digital Tuesday, we could enjoy interesting presentations on topics such as Big Data, Data Visualisation and Internet of Things. On this last topic, Ewerson Guimarães from the local Hackerspace Area31, gave us a cool introduction to the technology, risks and potential of RFID/NFC micro biochips that can be “installed” on your hand.

Not forgetting that Brazil is a gigantic and multi-faceted country, we could say that the general momentum in terms of Open Knowledge is very good. In February this year, the local OKFN group got the status of full chapter and they have been quite active organising events since then. Also, we have discovered initiatives such as “Politica Esporte Clube”, an original way of encouraging citizens to follow the performance of its politicians and act as a barometer, as if it was a football league. Perfect to the upcoming world cup!