Open Knowledge Festival 2014 report: out now!

Today we are delighted to publish our report on OKFestival 2014!

Open Knowledge Foundation-Festival 2014 at Kulturbrauerei in Berlin.

This is packed with stories, statistics and outcomes from the event, highlighting the amazing facilitators, sessions, speakers and participants who made it an event to inspire. Explore the pictures, podcasts, etherpads and videos which reflect the different aspects of the event, and uncover some of its impact as related by people striving for change – those with Open Minds to Open Action.

Want more data? If you are still interested in knowing more about how the OKFestival budget was spent, we have published details about the events income and expenses here.

If you missed OKFestival this year, don't worry – it will be back! Keep an eye on our blog for news and join the Open Knowledge discussion list to share your ideas for the next OKFestival. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Revisiting OKFestival 2014

This blogpost is by Susanne Kendler, Communications Manager at Open Knowledge.

Hard to believe that a full month has passed since the end of a fantastic OKFestival 2014. While our team is hard at work following up on all the great ideas and impulses from the event, and evaluating what we can learn, we would like to highlight some of the magnificent write-ups and other documentation that has been made in pretty much all of the community around the world.

Over 1000 people from 60 countries came together to enjoy a slice of summer in Berlin. But they also were there to discuss, share, think, create new ideas and to collaborate with a focus to open minds to open action.

We are especially grateful for our fab team of community volunteers who created these storify-collections to mark each day of the event

Here are some reminders for OKFestival 2014 in pictures

Here are some more of our favorite things

A big thank you to all who shared thoughts about OKFestival 2014 on social media, who wrote blog posts and articles about the event, and who helped us spread the word about what we learnt. Here are just some of the reflections we collected:
#OKFest14 – Outcomes, Impressions & Thoughts

And finally, here’s our fantastic short video, which summarizes impressions from OKFestival 2014 perfectly

Let us know if you are taking any new partnerships and ideas formed at OKFestival 2014 forward, we’d love to hear about any follow-up projects!

Thank you for joining us at Open Knowledge Festival 2014!


Thank you for joining us in Berlin and helping to shape OKFestival and the future of the open knowledge movement!

We hope that the event provided you with the opportunity to learn, to share and to connect with open knowledge advocates from around the world. While we were excited and inspired by the collaborations and activities we saw springing up over the course of the week, we know that we can always do better and we want to hear from you about what we did well and what you would change. Furthermore, we'd like to encourage all the festival participants to keep sharing – ideas, blogposts, photos, videos, anything which can make the work done last week together resonate with everyone who was there but also everyone who couldn’t join us in person but can still fuel the upcoming projects online!

So, in the spirit of Open Minds to Open Action – let's call for action!

i) Tell us how it was for you! Firstly, we'd like to ask for your feedback about the event to help us with planning for the future. We’d really appreciate your answers to this survey, which shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to complete:

ii) Content from the festival Next, we'd like to remind you of all the great content created at – and around – the Festival, and to encourage you to check it out and contribute to it.

  • Etherpads
    Every session had an etherpad, which is an online tool for note-taking. You can find them listed on the Sched page for the corresponding session or you may want to browse the “pad of pads” where they're all listed.
  • Photos
    We saw lots of great photos being tweeted from the event and would love to collect as many as possible in the festival Flickr pool so that everyone can find them. So whether you snapped people enjoying ice cream or artists creating graffiti, please do add your images to the group here.
  • Articles & blog posts
    Again, we've seen lots of tweets sharing blog posts about the festival – if you’ve written one or seen one you liked, please add it to this document so we can gather them all in one place and put the links up as a record on the festival website.

Finally, if you’d like to relive some of the festival, you might want to check out our short video celebrating the event. Enjoy!

Thanks once again for your energy, contributions and enthusiasm in making Open Knowledge Festival 2014 our best event yet.

With love,
Your OKFestival Team

Accessibility at OKFestival 2014

Equality and inclusivity of all people, in all our varieties, are core values for OKFestival. We think that openness is not only about open knowledge and data, but also about opening possibilities and opportunities for everyone. Opening up our societies also means making activities and communities accessible to all people.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 8.17.33 PM

We know that there's no “standard participant” at OKFestival – we all vary in our cognitive, emotional, and physical skills; we differ in age and experience. When building the event, we focussed on accessibility in two forms: attitude and infrastructure.

i) Attitude
We gain strength from diversity, and we actively seek participation from those who enhance it. That's why we crafted the OKFestival User Guide, our code of collaboration. The User Guide exists to ensure that diverse groups collaborate to mutual advantage and enjoyment. We will challenge any prejudice that could jeopardise the participation of any person in the festival. We aim to welcome to everybody to an event that celebrates our infinite diversity, so that we can all just relax and contribute.

ii) Infrastructure
Participants are the true experts on what they need. It follows that the more information we provide, the better equipped they are to judge whether the event will work for them. OKFestival want to be honest about the access we can’t provide, even if this requires admitting that we can't offer all the options we would have liked, in order to save our participant from having expectations we can’t meet.

What we WILL be able to provide at OKFestival 2014:

  • Screen reader accessible material: all printed materials will be available in electronic form. This makes them accessible for people who use screen reader technology (used by some sight impaired people).
  • Reserved row of seats: in the rooms hosting the keynote sessions we'll mark off some chairs in the front of the room for hard of hearing and deaf. These chairs will be front and centre for lip readers.
  • Wheelchair accessible restrooms: the venue has two wheelchair accessible restrooms, both are clearly labelled in the venue map.
  • Gender neutral restroom: a more welcoming restroom option for transgendered people and others with non-traditional gender identities, nursing mothers looking for a private space to breastfeed or use a pump, parents of different sex children or different sex caretakers of the elderly or disabled needing a space in which they can comfortably be together and those with conditions needing more privacy than a traditional restroom can provide.
  • Food: food options at the festival will cater for both meat and vegan lovers and the catering staff will be happy to provide informations essentials to those with food allergies and sensitivities.
  • Privacy: our attendees list on the site only includes participants who allowed their name to be published; name badges are left blank so that participants can choose what to write on it and how to best identify themselves. We also provide no camera zones – spaces designated free from both photography and videography, clearly marked on the event map.

What we WON'T be able to provide (but will aim to provide in the future):

  • CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) is real time captioning for talks and can be displayed on overhead screens, for online audiences, and on videos of events. Captioning allows people to read along. It can also benefit people with attention disorders and people who have difficulties with English.
  • Audio translation and transcription in languages other than English to to make sessions more accessible and barrier-free (we're big fans of Chaos Communication Congress’ Subtitles project)
  • Full wheelchair accessibility to all venue areas: we have tried to ensure that as many areas as possible within the Festival venue are accessible and wheelchair friendly, but unfortunately a few spaces – M1, P1, K3 – can only be accessed via stairs. We have tried to limit the activities taking place in these areas and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience.
  • Childcare: we believe that supporting parents with small children attending events is a great step forward towards inclusivity. However, we couldn't provide this service this year. But children are very much welcome and if participants feel comfortable/ find suitable to have their kid(s) with them at the event, please notice that:
    – parents with infants and older children are welcome to bring them
    – children under 12 don't need a ticket as long as they are accompanied by an adult with a ticket. If your children are over 12 and under 18 you’ll need to purchase student tickets for them

We hope you're looking forward to enjoying the festival together as much as we are, and that this information will aid you in having a fun and comfortable festival experience. See you in the crowd!

Wikirate at this year’s OKFestival


Wikirate are one of the exhibitors at this year’s Open Knowledge Festival. This is a guest post by Lucia Lu of, letting you know more of what they have planned for the event.

What is is a community-driven initiative to “open companies up” by providing a wiki platform for corporate sustainability – what companies are doing well and badly.  The information is created by and for anyone who interacts with companies: consumers, employees, investors, management, regulators, competitors… in other words, it’s for all of us.

Collaboratively-edited content on focuses on companies, sustainability topics, and where the two meet. Any given company page will feature several articles for topics and vice versa. Every article is supported by Claims, and the Claims themselves must cite external Sources.

What are Claims, exactly? And why not cite sources directly?  The answer is that Claims are Wikirate’s building blocks; they break information down into bite-sized pieces that can be reviewed, discussed, challenged, defended, and honed.  In an era suffused with advertising and advocacy, we all hear many strong claims made about Companies every day.  Wikirate provides a mechanism for looking closely at this deluge of Claims and bringing greater attention to Claims that are valuable and credible.


As a 100% user-powered platform, Wikirate depends on its community to become the go-to place for transparent and reliable information on corporate sustainability. To get there, the platform will be launching its first content-drive campaign #openfashion14 at the Open Knowledge Festival in Berlin.

Focusing the attention of current and new contributors on the fashion industry, the campaign's goal is to demonstrate that collectively, the crowd is even able to make sense of what’s happening behind-the-scenes of an entire industry, if it is provided with the right tool, a space, where they can interact with big data. intends to be that space; and by choosing the fashion industry, the campaign not only addresses products that literally touch us all, but it also has the potential to cover a broad spectrum of diverse sustainability topics, ranging from natural resource use to working conditions. Participate in the campaign and you will be surprised how a fashion company's way of managing animals rights can affect how sustainable they are, just as much as their behaviour regarding waste management!

Here’s how you can get involved

1) Share a Source via Twitter

Tweet the URL of an article concerning a fashion company’s sustainable activities and add @wikirate and #openfashion14. If there is space, feel free to also tag it with the company’s name (e.g. #H&M) and topic (e.g. #animalrights). Your tweet will be shared with other Wikirate members through the Twitter feed on the #openfashion14 page.

2) Add a Claim on

After signing-up on the platform, make a Claim based on a Source. You can either check the campaign's Twitter feed for Sources; or other external websites, like online newspapers platform, company’s CSR reports or other publicly available studies.

3) Start a new Article on

If you are signed-up, you can also help writing a short article about a fashion company’s activities by summarising existing Claims. You want to write about something else that's not related to any of the Claims on the platform? Go ahead, but don’t forget to back it up with new Claims.


To find out more about, you can visit their booth at the Open Knowledge Fair and during the rest of the festival. If you'd like to get more hands-on, check out their fringe event, an edit-a-thon on July 16th at LIV Feinkost & Wein from 19:00-22:00.

OKCast at OKFestival: Explore, Connect & Inspire

The OKCast, hosted by Alex Fink, is a weekly blog and podcast exploring the many facets of open knowledge. Through interviews, stories and project spotlights, the podcast seeks to connect and inspire involvement in open knowledge projects around the world.


In the lead up to OKFestival, the OKCast will be conducting a series of mini-interviews with OKFestival session facilitators! In fact, they have already started! You can follow the interviews series here or check out past interviews with Shannon DosemagenKristina Alexanderson and Nancy Schwartzman. These are short spotlights on the sessions and the people behind them – a perfect teaser for what what you can expect from our action packed festival lineup! There are more interviews to come so make sure you follow along!

The OKCast will also be at OKFestival interviewing our inspiring keynote speakers and meeting all of you! Do you have questions that you are dying to ask Patrick Alley, Neelie Kroes, Ory Okolloh, Beatriz Busaniche, or Eric Hysen? The OKCast will be posting hashtags to follow so make sure that you send in your questions and tune in to hear them answered live!

Finally, the OKCast wants to meet you! The goal of these podcasts is to explore, connect and inspire open knowledge projects from around the world and Open Knowledge Festival is the best opportunity, as the largest open knowledge event in the world, to meet the people behind the projects face to face. Please approach Alex or tweet him @theokcast and introduce yourself.

On Collaboration: The OKFestival User Guide

Collaboration is not easy. It takes great deal of effort and energy from everyone involved and simply put, collaboration is hard work.


Collaboration is also an essential element to all of our work. The commitment, the sweat and the long nights we put into open source projects, community initiatives, campaigns, workshops and sessions alone is not enough, these activities all require collaboration to be successful and in the end, we are all here to come together and use our collective strength to change our societies for the better.

We understand that in order for the festival to effectively support collaboration, we must create an environment that meets certain necessary conditions to foster this type of engagement, an environment rich with mutual respect, good faith, personal responsibility and inclusivity.

For this reason, we crafted we crafted an OKFestival User Guide – everything you need to know about how you can contribute to making a truly welcoming and collaborative festival environment.

The OKFestival User Guide can be described as a code of collaboration.

It's not a code of conduct (although we deeply admire a number of codes of conduct and were in fact informed by them in creating our user guide) because we felt we wanted to talk about both conduct and collaboration Ultimately, we concluded that the specific term and format wouldn’t have fit our purpose and we didn’t want confuse readers about our objectives. It’s called User Guide because we wanted to communicate our intent to guide, to accompany the participants in that terrifically rewarding journey which is collaborating, sharing knowledge, learning from each other and growing together.

We're happy and proud to introduce you to our User Guide and invite you to both read it and share your feedback by writing us at [email protected].

Months of reading and talking brought us to present this to you today and we would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the collaborators, teachers and guides, Allied Media, Ashe Dryden, Hacker School, who shared their learnings with the world and to the Ubuntu and Debian communities, who inspired the format of our writing.

The Open Knowledge Festival User Guide is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license. You may re-use it for your own project, and modify it as you wish, just please allow others to use your modifications and give credit to the Open Knowledge Festival.

We hope you'll like to let the User Guide guide your festival experience as much as we do. See you soon in the crowd!