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.
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!
The 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!