Having supported the Open Data Camp since its inception in 2014, this year we’re delighted to be hosting the event on 2 -3 November at the Geovation Hub. Often referred to as an ‘unconference’, Open Data Camp UK is a two-day event entirely devoted to open data. To tell us more, we spoke to founding member Giuseppe Sollazzo…
What exactly is Open Data Camp?
Fundamentally, Open Data Camp is a community gathering for people interested in discussing open data in an open and welcoming environment. It is an ‘unconference’ where there is no set agenda, so on the day those who attend decide together what the topics of each session will be through session pitching. There are no speakers, no pressure and no experts, just conversations. It’s free, informal and invigorating to pitch a session (or have someone pitch on your behalf!). You can attend sessions for however long you want and vote with your feet; if the session isn’t working for you, find another, chill out in our quiet spaces or meet someone new. No one will take offence.
Traditionally, Open Data Camp has been a travelling endeavour. We started in Winchester, travelled to Manchester despite nightmarish disruptions on the train lines, enjoyed both the scorching sunshine of Bristol and the heavy rain of Cardiff, and were welcomed by the record attendance of Belfast and the delicious butteries of Aberdeen.
But now, it is time for us to visit the capital. Logistics are obviously a factor, but it is also a reflection that so much has been happening in London in the data space that they want to engage with. Both the National Data Strategy and Data Policy teams are based in London at DCMS. Additionally, the like-minded civic tech community is gathering on 1 November – the day before Open Data Camp – at the TICTeC Local conference organised by the great people at mySociety.
Who is it for?
Open Data Camp isn’t just for people who know everything about data! Open Data Camp is also for people who are new to this data thing like this person who wanted to craft the perfect foi request. The event welcomes people who work in museums, GPs, teachers, people tackling loneliness, parents, librarians, people who work in retail and everyone else. Open Data Camp is an unconference: it’s whatever we make it, together.
We’re working on being even more inclusive
At Open Data Camp 4, we noticed our organising team was pretty good on gender diversity, but that wasn’t reflected in the participants of the camp. Therefore, we’re working on ways we can make Open Data Camp 7 as welcoming as possible – have a read of what campmaker Sian Thomas has to say about inclusivity and feeling able to make your best contribution. Open Data Camp UK has an equality and diversity committee. As Edafe Onerhime recently wrote, everyone is welcome at Open Data Camp, and we are also working to make the camp more family-friendly.
We’re releasing more tickets on 14 September at noon. Although Open Data Camp is a two-day event to ensure loads of open data topics can be covered, sometimes people can’t make both days, so we’re issuing three types of tickets:
- Tickets for both days
- Saturday-only tickets
- Sunday-only tickets
This should mean that more people can attend because we will have fewer vacant spots.