A fair, free and open future- new chapter to celebrate Open Knowledge Foundation's anniversary

May 20, 2019




The Open Knowledge Foundation is celebrating its 15th anniversary by launching a new campaign for a fair, free and open future. The organisation has warned that we live in a knowledge society where we face two different futures: one which is open and one which is closed. A closed future is one where knowledge is exclusively owned and controlled leading to greater inequality and a closed future. An open future means knowledge is shared by all – freely available to everyone, a world where people are able to fulfil their potential and live happy and healthy lives. Open Knowledge Foundation was launched in Cambridge, UK, by entrepreneur and economist Rufus Pollock on May 20, 2004. It has previously been known as Open Knowledge International, but is returning to its roots under new chief executive, Catherine Stihler. Its future work will focus on health, where access to medicines requires new thinking, and on education where new EU-wide copyright law impacts on both academic research and on people’s ability to access knowledge. The Foundation will also concentrate on employment, including tackling the growing inequality from working patterns and conditions, and the ability for creators and innovators to be fairly compensated. This reaches to the heart of a fair, free and open future where there is opportunity for all.

Catherine Stihler, chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said: “When our organisation was launched 15 years ago, our founder Rufus Pollock foresaw the importance of access to information for everyone about how we live, what we consume, and who we are - for example, how our tax money gets spent, what’s in the food we eat or the medicines we take, and where the energy comes from to power our cities. “Today, our world has changed dramatically and large unaccountable technology companies have monopolised the digital age. “It’s time to return to our founding principles and fight for a fair, free and open future. Our renewed mission is 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. “With inequality rising, never before has our vision of a fair, free and open future been so important to realise our mission of an open world in complex times.”



More information about the Open Knowledge Foundation can be found at: www.okfn.org

An anniversary blog from Catherine Stihler can be read here: https://blog.okfn.org/2019/05/20/for-a-fair-free-and-open-future-celebrating-15-years-of-the-open-knowledge-foundation/

Contact: Alan Roden at alan.roden@okfn.org or +44 (0)7753 904 531


Our vision is for a future that is fair, free and open. Our mission is to create a more open world – a 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.

Open knowledge is any content, information or data that people are free to use, re-use and redistribute without any legal, technological or social restriction. The Open Knowledge Foundation helps governments, universities, and civil society organisations by providing them with skills and tools to publish, use, and understand data.

Read more here: https://okfn.org

The Open Knowledge Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation. It is incorporated in England & Wales as a company limited by guarantee, with company number 05133759. Registered office address: 86 - 90 Paul Street, London EC2A 4NE, UK.

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