Why We’re Excited About The Open Exchange for Social Change

This upcoming event, which is one of many being held in Madrid prior to the International Open Data Conference, is an opportunity for those of us involved in the open data movement to come together to focus on the change and impact we are trying to create.

FabRiders is honoured to be partnering with Open Knowledge International, CivicaDigital, IDRC, ILDA, and the World Wide Web Foundation in organising this event. We decided to name it ‘The Open Exchange for Social Change’ so we can be open and transparent about our goals for the event  The name ‘The Open Exchange’ reflects the guiding principles along with the activities that will take place during in the event.  We aim to create space where you will be able to exchange knowledge, and build solidarity that will lead to better outcomes for IODC and beyond. It is open space where you will be able to propose topics for discussion that are most relevant and urgent for your work.

We are looking forward to exploring how open data creates, contributes and supports social change. We want to reflect on the change we are passionately trying to create in our communities.  By ‘social’ we mean different and diverse aspects of our lives — from politics, the communities we interact with, to our relationships with the environment, the financial world and public services. How do we create positive or negative change and what we should do next? Your ideas and actions will serve as content for the main conference, and help us to set the goals for the IODC roadmap.

We are also looking forward to getting you more deeply involved in contributing and shaping the event to assure its smooth running and success. To have a successful Open Exchange, we created the ‘Buddy system’. You can be a ‘buddy’ if you would like an active role. Buddies can do following parts:

  • Leading/Facilitating a session
  • Supporting new facilitators to run sessions
  • Help documenting the event and session outcomes
  • Making sure that the Un-conference will feed the main conference by using your social media skills

To support your contribution as a Buddy, we will be providing an online session where we will give an overview of The Open Exchange, and tips on Facilitation and creating meaningful working sessions, and learn how to tap into the diverse set of expertise that will be in the room. Anyone who comes to The Open Exchange will be able to facilitate a session.  We invite you to register as a buddy ahead of time so that we can prepare and support you as best we can.

If you are interested in joining to The Open Exchange for Social Change, please register for the event at http://open-exchange.net/. You can also find on the site all the information you need about the event. Didn’t find what you are looking for? Write to us on the forum — https://discuss.okfn.org/c/iodc-unconference

Looking forward seeing you on October 4th, 9:30 at Centro de Convenciones IFEMA NORTE, Madrid!

A version of this blog post originally appeared on the Open Knowledge International Blog