Yesterday I was at the Open Data Institute first year anniversary summit. It was a fabulous opportunity to celebrate the achievement of the two great knights Sir Tim Berners Lee and Sir Nigel Shadbolt.
Tim kicked off with a thank you and a reflection on all that has been done. He paid tribute to Gordon Brown who recognised the importance of opening data up and also committed the first funding to the project.
Gavin Starks, the CEO, curated and showcased some brilliant international projects and how some of the ODI’s influence was spreading.
I was part of a panel about finance and politics which I hope the audience enjoyed listening to as much as we enjoyed participating in.
I tried to pull out these themes :
– open data has huge power but needs to move from technologists to mainstream
– the uk cannot rest on its digital laurels. we must equip the private , public and not for profit sector with the skills to handle technology better
– the ODI and others need to go on a charm offensive to make the case for more and better data
There were many interesting points made – especially a fervent cry by Kenneth Cukier for government not to throttle open data as he argued has happened with postcode data.
Clearly we are right at the start of the power of open data – the potential to revolutionise and improve public services and therefore the life of all citizens is huge but I would argue it’s not going to happen by stealth – we need to keep up pressure.
Gavin expresses the key issues in an article here : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/10414071/ODI-data-literacy-will-help-solve-worlds-biggest-challenges.html