Press Release: 18.12.2013
In the past month, a string of achievements at the Open Knowledge Foundation have shown the open movement is becoming both mainstream and global, including the signing of an Memorandum of Understanding with the BBC and recognition as a leading democratic innovator. As the Open Knowledge Foundation approaches its tenth anniversary year, the pace of change looks set to keep increasing.
In recognition of the changing nature of democracy in the digital age, the Open Knowledge Foundation was among a group of civic innovators from around the world who were honored by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) for their efforts to use technology to expand opportunities for citizen participation and to make governments more transparent and accountable.
A week earlier Rufus Pollock, Founder and CEO of the Open Knowledge Foundation, was made a Fellow of the prestigious Ashoka network, the world’s leading network of social entrepreneurs. These two awards point to growing understanding of the significance of open knowledge to achieving positive social change and deepening democracy in the twenty-first century.
The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the BBC at the start of the month was a landmark moment for open data. The BBC is an enormous repository of data and content, and is now taking a leading role with the assistance of the Foundation in pushing forward the open agenda.
These achievements have rounded up a year in which the Open Knowledge Foundation has provided training to over 1200 people from Nairobi to Bogota, expanded to have Local Groups active in over 40 countries, and brought together thousands of people at events including OKCon in Geneva.
Laura James, CEO of the Open Knowledge Foundation said:
“It’s been a whirlwind end to a fantastic year. It’s brilliant to see the open movement increasingly recognised for its system-changing potential, and we’re really proud that the Open Knowledge Foundation is at the forefront of that movement. We’re looking forward to celebrating all the incredible successes of the past ten years with our community in 2014.”
Karin Christiansen, Chair of the Open Knowledge Foundation board said:
“The Open Knowledge Foundation has been driving the open agenda for nearly ten years, and it’s great to see the team getting the recognition they deserve. At the heart of our mission is ensuring that technology empowers people everywhere to build a world they want to live in. It’s really exciting to see that message reaching more and more people.”
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The Open Knowledge Foundation is an international non-profit working to open up information around the world so it can be used to empower citizens and organizations to build fair and sustainable societies. See: http://okfn.org/
The National Democratic Institute Democracy Dinner took place on December 10th. Other honorees include Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter; Toomas Hendrik Ilves, president of Estonia; Belabbés Benkredda, founder of the Munathara Initiative, a Tunisia-based debating forum; January Makamba, deputy minister of communication, science and technology in Tanzania;and Jennifer Pahlka, deputy chief technology officer of the United States and co-founder of Code For America
Rufus Pollock became a fellow of the Ashoka network on November 21st. The Ashoka network is the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs —men and women with system changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. See http://uk.ashoka.org/
The BBC signed MoUs with The Open Knowledge Foundation, the Mozilla Foundation, the Open Data Institute, and the Europeana Foundation on 25th November. For more information see the press release: http://okfn.org/2013/11/25/bbc-signs-memorandum-of-understanding-with-the-open-knowledge-foundation/. The full text of the MoU is available at http://okfn.org/memorandum-of-understanding-between-the-bbc-and-the-open-knowledge-foundation/
The Open Knowledge Foundation’s training programmes are provided by the School of Data: http://schoolofdata.org/