Echo Chambers and ‘Post-fact’ Politics – developing ideas

Half day workshop to build tools for a ‘post-fact’ world

Apparently we’ve ‘had enough of experts’. Increasingly online platforms quietly tailor what we encounter to fit our existing views- creating echo chambers out of our prejudices. We are worried that the role of evidence in politics is slipping- and we want to do something about it.

A preliminary workshop was held in November attracting a broad range of people from far and wide. Together a list of initiatives was created responding to these challenges. Click this link to read the list of initiatives and add your own thoughts.

Now we are running a follow-on event to allow people to develop these ideas. If you’re an activist, policy wonk, artist, or simply someone interested in this topic we’d love for you to join us. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t make the first event as we will get you up to speed with a chance to add new ideas on the day.

For more information regarding the Echo Chambers and ‘Post-fact’ Politics workshops go to www.postfactpolitics.com

2017 programme update

It has taken longer than expected but our 2017 programme is finally getting off the ground. The programme, highlighted in the last post, was a provisional one and we hope to track it as well as we can over the coming months.

February kicks off our programme with two events both related to last November’s Echo Chambers and ‘Post-fact’ Politics event. On Saturday 18th February, in partnership with The Democratic Society we will be running a workshop that develops the ideas from November’s event and turns them into action. The event is free and if you couldn’t make it to the first event and would like to attend, we will quickly get you up to speed. The evening of Tuesday 28th February will be a regular Open Data Manchester meeting where initiatives developed from the workshop will be showcased. As always if you want to add to the event in any way, contact us or just turn up.

The evening meeting will be a chance to look at national and international open data events taking place in the coming months.

Provisional programme for 2017

IMG_0066From last night’s planning meeting we now have a provisional programme for 2017 and it is quite an ambitious one. What is great from our perspective is that there is a continuation of a number of themes that we have been looking at over the last year and a resurfacing of perennial ones. Highlights include the ‘making and doing’ workshops that have been developed as part of the Echo Chambers and ‘Post-Fact’ Politics programme and the Visualising Data workshops. There are a number of sector and technically specific events but one to watch out for is alternative ways of looking at the world which will be a day of walks, talks and explorations. As always there is a large dose of how data and technology impact on society and much more.

This is a provisional programme and we are looking for as much input as possible (Dates and sessions are subject to change). Please click on the Google Doc and add comments. We are looking for people who can contribute, sponsors, venues and partners.

Link to Google Doc

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Looking back and planning ahead – November 29th

18.30 – 20.30, Tuesday 29th November 2016
Spaceport X
24-26 Lever Street
Manchester
M1 1DZ

Help build Open Data Manchester’s programme for 2017

It is the time of year when we step back and take a look at what we’ve done over the past year, look at what’s happening in the world of data, and plan for 2017.

Open Data Manchester is a community of many diverse interests from transportation to politics and everything in between. The events that we put on are representative of this and driven by our community. You want more visualisation? You got it. You want more health? It’s on the list. You want more democracy? We can do that too. We need people to help programme and deliver these events – after all it is what we have been doing since 2010.

Come down to Spaceport X on the 29th and help make a great programme for 2017.

Fancy sponsoring our 7th birthday on March 28th 2017? Get in touch and celebrate with us.

Register here

Slides and audio from What happened? The data behind the referendum

July’s event looking at how data was used before, during and after the referendum provoked plenty of thought provoking discussion. The two presentations from Celia Russell and Julian Tait have now been uploaded on to SlideShare and the audio posted on Soundcloud. Unfortunately due to a noisy video projector the audio isn’t the best but the presentations and discussions from Michelle Brook, Bob Barr, Celia Russell and Julian Tait are audible and have been edited down as separate files.

Celia Russell – Making sense of Brexit?

Julian Tait – Some graphs and data around the referendum

The audio can be found here

We are putting together a follow up event looking at belief, evidence and politics that will take place in November.

Making data useful and other stories – How GM authorities are using data to help their citizens

6.30pm – 8.30pm, Tuesday 27th September 2016
Greenheys Business Centre
Manchester Science Park
Pencroft Way
Manchester M15 6JJ

Map here

Sign up on Eventbrite here

This month’s Open Data Manchester looks at how two local authorities are using data to deliver service.

Alison Mckenzie Folan and Alison Hughes from Wigan Council will show how they are using data and open data to help them engage the community, target resources and enhance services. Wigan Deal has been seen as an exemplar of engagement between the public sector, local businesses and community.

Jamie Whyte leads Trafford Innovation Lab which has been developing new and innovative ways to make open data understandable. The insight created has enabled community groups to use data to help them apply for funding, created resources for councillors and shown a spotlight onto the complex world of school admissions

Open Data Manchester events are spaces for learning, discussion and collaboration. The events are open and free

What happened? Looking at the data behind the referendum

Tuesday 26th July, 18.30 – 20.30
CoopHQ, 1 Angel Meadows, Manchester M60 0AG

Partial truths, distorted facts and outright lies have helped create the febrile climate that exists post Brexit. The information war that took place prior to the referendum created an atmosphere in which rational judgements were hard to make and gut instinct rose to the fore. Within this context, advocates of Vote Leave rubbished experts and mishandled facts with glee. Anyone contesting these claims were branded as promoters of Project Fear and part of the expert-led conspiracy that sought to undermine the public’s right to self-determination.

Post referendum and the dust hasn’t yet settled. We are starting to see lots of data giving us insight into what happened – from polls to voting patterns, from demographics to economic forecasts. This is an opportunity to analyse and share thoughts on a most extraordinary event.

We are an open forum and anyone who has insight and analysis to share are encouraged to participate.

Tickets are free and available here

Transport Special

Tuesday 28th June 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Spaceport X
1st Floor
24-26 Lever Street
Manchester
M1 1DZ

More details and directions here

A yearly look at the state of open transport data in Greater Manchester and beyond. This event will look at how open data can make the way we navigate and use our transport system easier, more pleasant and better.

TfGM will be demonstrating their new API portal and the Highways data they will be making available through the AToM (Advanced Traffic Management System). So if you are interested in getting access to the portal pre-release and trying out the APIs bring a laptop.

There will also be an update from TfGM as to what will be coming later in the year and an opportunity to hear about other transport-focussed open data initiatives.

Register here

Open Infrastructure Night – Open Data and Open IoT

Monday February 1st, 6.30 – 8.30pm
The Manchester Escalator
231 Deansgate
Manchester
M3 4EN

Sign up here

If you believe some of the tech press 2016 is the year that the Internet of Things will take over – billions of devices will become connected and our lives will be free from the drudgery of turning things on and off again. Beyond the hype IoT is connected sensors, actuators and machines that can be communicate over a data infrastructure. Like the internet, the data infrastructure is a critical component which is generally owned and operated by large telecommunication providers. Things Manchester is part of The Things Network founded in Amsterdam and aims to create a crowdsourced, open and free IoT data infrastructure for Greater Manchester and beyond.

Things Manchester will introduce the project and how you can get involved.

The last few months have seen unprecedented rainfall across the north of the UK. Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria bore the brunt of the flooding with bridges swept away, town centres flooded and buildings inundated. ODI Leeds is running a Flood Hack event that will encourage the development of new ideas around flood warnings and prevention. Having access to open data and an open IoT infrastructure is key to this development. The team who are developing Flood Hack will introduce the event and what can be expected and how you can participate

Open Data Manchester – Goodbye 2015, hello 2016

December 15th, 6.30 – 8.30pm
The Manchester Escalator
231 Deansgate
Manchester
M3 4EN

Sign up here
Join us for the last Open Data Manchester for 2015

We’ll take a look back at 2015 and previewing 2016 highlights.

As always it is a chance to meet, ask questions, plan new projects and present ideas and there may be a mince pie thrown in for good measure.

If you have anything that you would like to present or do as part of the evening let us know.