Open Data Manchester secures funding to develop its work

Open Data Manchester has secured investment from Omidyar Network to develop its programme of advocacy, training and events through 2018.

In November 2017, Open Data Manchester became a Community Interest Company, setting in stone its core mission to promote a fairer and more equitable society through the development of intelligent and responsible data practice in Greater Manchester, nationally and internationally. This has allowed it to develop a more coherent and ambitious programme, and the ability to secure funding for its work. At present it is developing a framework for the consent and sharing of sensor data through its Knowable Building Framework project funded through the Open Data Institute.

Linda Humphries, a member of the Open Data Manchester CIC board said: “Being part of the Open Data Manchester community for over 5 years, I’ve seen the opportunities it has opened up, connecting people who then work together towards a common aim. This funding from the Omidyar Network will ensure that we can go on making these connections, growing skills and sharing insight, so that people in the community can use data or build tools and services that encourage citizens to better understand and influence their villages, towns and cities.”

The investment from Omidyar Network will enable Open Data Manchester to employ staff and develop its programme from its base within The Federation, Manchester.

Omidyar Network has traditionally supported projects citizen engagement and governance projects in Central and Eastern Europe. As well as Open Data Manchester it is supplying grants to:
The Federation, a co-working space and community of digital innovators in Manchester, in collaboration with the Co-op Foundation.
Campaign Bootcamp, a nation-wide initiative to empower early-stage activists by providing them with the skills, confidence and resilience to run effective campaigns.
The Bristol Cable, a citywide media co-operative focused on investigative journalism.

Established in 2010 to promote and support the use of open data for the benefit of everyone, Open Data Manchester has promoted and run regular events and programmes. In 2010 Open Data Manchester became the first organisation to secure the release of public transit schedules as open data in the UK and then went on to develop a number of programmes over the years that looked critically at how data was being used. From sector specific events around transportation and health, to programmes looking at data and democracy.

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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Upcoming programme

Open Data Manchester has a packed programme coming up over the next six months reflecting the varied interests of the Open Data Manchester community. Some of the events are confirmed and some are in the planning stages. As ever we value your input putting this together. If you have any suggestions, feedback or want to get involved, register for one of the events or contact Julian here.

  • Dec 10th 2014 Spend data. A FutureEverything workshop with Spend Network – Details
  • Mar 31st 2015 Making Elections Open. Preparing for the 2015 general and local elections
  • Apr 21st 2015 Local Public Data. A workshop looking at linked public data with Swirrl IT
  • Apr 25th 2015 Members interests. A hack event that seeks to reveal the interests of those that seek to serve
  • Apr 28th 2015 Data, development and aid. How is data enabling better understanding and more effective aid delivery
  • May 22nd 2015 Transparency Code for Local Authorities. Creating effective, implementable practice
  • May 26th 2015 League Tables – What are they good for? Looking at where league tables do and don’t work
  • Jun 30th 2015 Data in the house. What data do we create in our homes and how can we benefit from it
  • Jul 4th 2015 Data in the house II. A domestic data hack
  • Jul 12th 2015 DataBBQ.

Other events in the pipeline – dates to be confirmed

  • Transport Data – Manchester’s new integrated information system – where is it?
  • Voluntary Sector and Open Data – How data can enable the voluntary sector
  • Data for Youth and Education – Making a difference for young people
  • The Personal Data Revolution – What are the challenges and opportunities with managing our data
  • OpenDataExchange – How can skills and experienced be shared through Europe and beyond