We are facing massive environmental crises that are intertwined with our current way of consumption and living. The complexity and scale of these problems can be disempowering, making individual positive action seem directionless and futile.
However, we can take appropriate action and measure the difference we make by using data to understand our environment, to help build evidence-based arguments for change and to hold people to account – whether it’s through seeing the impact of switching electrical devices off (and not leaving them on standby), understanding the air pollution around us so that we can make more environmentally sound choices, or by making sure our waste is recycled appropriately.
This month we’re showcasing initiatives that are using data to help the environment through tracking waste, energy monitoring and pollution, with presentations from:
“We need better data” is a constant in our work at Open Data Manchester. Nowhere is this more true than with geographical data. We have national and regional data, and relatively good data at the local authority level, but there is a gaping hole in the availability of data at the town level. We still haven’t decided what a town is! This is particularly important given that the last two decades have seen the dominance of cities and city-regions as engines of economic growth. If we are to construct better place-based policy, it makes sense to have much better place-based data.
Which is why we’re bringing together Ian Warren – Centre for Towns, Professor Cathy Parker – Institute of Place Management (MMU) and Tom Forth – Iamactivate and ODI Leeds to hear about why these issues are critically important for everyone and what we need to do about it. During this session we want to look at the state of publicly-available data on local transport, high street retail and arts & culture to understand why better data would equal better policy, and what we can do about it.
From 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.
There is a last minute change of venue for January’s Open Data Manchester. The event was originally advertised as being at Tech Hub Manchester but due to incompetence on our part, the room that we booked was unsuitable. Step in the lovely people from Manchester Science Park who saw our plight and offered us the Atrium in the Greenheys Centre on Manchester Science Park. Map here
Although this month’s meeting was supposed to be a fairly informal affair, 2014 brings quite a few opportunities for developers, visualisers, data wranglers and other people who like to dig into data.
We will have the latest news on some of the open data projects that are ongoing. With the announcement of some new commissions for visualisers and developers and a couple of new hack events that will be coming up.
As always Open Data Manchester is an open forum and if you want to add something, just let us know, ODM is open and for everyone.