East | West Chats: China & USA open data conversation this week!

Bruce Haupt
Sep 15, 2014 · 3 min read

On Thursday evening this week, East | West Chats is bringing together open data innovation experts from China and the USA to talk about open data, highlight awesome technology, and to forge new relationships. We hope this chat will lead to future collaborations, as well as enhance cross cultural understanding.


As was highlighted by Joel Gurin in his recent article, open data is changing the face of government and business and is transforming our cities. Innovative new products and services are appearing that were heretofore not possible.

However, as happens in most communities and large organizations, we don’t always pay as much attention to the innovations outside our everyday boundaries. This applies even more so across nations, languages, and cultures.

It’s for this reason that a team of passionate open data leaders and geeks in China and the United States developed the idea of East | West Chats (中西开放创新对话). It started with us wanting to know the basics of one another’s work (for example, I initially wondered if there even was open data in China). After that, we decided we should do our best to share the stories from our countries, as well as facilitate additional relationships going into the future.

As of Monday over 50 have registered from China and the USA, and we have 100 in our WeChat group. Want in? Sign up here.

So what exactly is East | West Chats?

East | West Chats is an online event, and for two hours on September 18th (September 19th in China), we’ll pull people together to share ideas and get to know one another. We’ll be using GoToWebinar for presentations, a reddit-esque discussion forum to facilitate the conversation, along with Hackpad for collaborative documentation.

The agenda for the event is relatively simple (more detail here):

As for who’s attending…

In addition to our presenting organizations, we’re excited to have support and participation from a lot of organizations including: Socrata, Open Data China, January Advisors, Urban Data Party, the City of Houston, Open Data Hong Kong, Open Houston, Audaque, mGov Lab China, Open Knowledge Foundation China, Shenzhen Urban Planning & Land Resource Research Center, Beijing City Lab, Shenzhen Urban Transport Planning Center, Harvard University’s Government Innovators Network, The Global Cleanweb Initiative, and Accela.

People participating include rockstars like Feng GAO, Mark Headd, Kelly Dowe, JD 杜竞强, Prashant Singh, Randy Liu 刘春蕾, Dr. Song Gang, Mart Van de Ven, Thomas Sanchez, and Jeff Kaplan.

As a virtual and international convening with technological, language, and time zone challenges, I can say this is definitely an experiment. Regardless of potential difficulties, though, we’re very excited to see how it goes, how many new friendships are formed, and whether this is something people would be interesting in carrying initiative forward.

How to sign up?

The event is Thursday, Sept 18, 2014, from 9–11pm EDT / 6–8pm PDT. If you happen to be in China, it’s Friday, Sept 19, from 9–11am China Standard Time.

Want to learn more about the agenda, to tell us you’re participating, to share a useful resource, sign up, or ask us a question?

Visit us at eastwestchats.com.

Finally, if you want to join the conversations early, come share your ideas on our online discussion board: http://eastwestchats.com/chat/

You can also follow us on Twitter at @EWchats.

    Bruce Haupt

    Written by

    studying #chinese. @EWchats & @SWchengdu cofounder. classic #enfp. @houstontxdotgov alum. likes #cheese. vacations w/ @iloverocksalot