From unconference to conference, let’s keep the discussions going at IODC!

On Tuesday October 4th, we were celebrating the Open Exchange for Social Change, the IODC unconference. We had a total of 30 participants at IFEMA, and we explored not only open data but the social change it can bring.

As every unconference, we wanted to explore controversial topics that can enlight us and give us inspiration for the rest of the conference. We worked in non-formal methods to understand what are we looking at, and how to move forward.

We started with a spectrogram, an opinion surfacing exercise, to see what people think. Interesting enough, questions about open data itself, for example, if it hyped or opium to the people, were not that controversial. Most of the participants agreed that it is not hyped or opium, but a means to an end. However, questions such as ‘does open data are the primary tool to end corruption’ or ‘can open data eliminate inequality’, were spread across a variety of opinions. This is one of the main challenges and blessings. These questions are not simple to solve, and acknowledging the difference that we have is the first step to solve them.

We then moved to hack our agenda, and to our participatory sessions. We had a variety of topics such as open washing, local dialogue about open data, open data quality, open data users and user experience and capacity building. You can see all of the sessions and their summaries on the Open Knowledge Forum:

The final product of amplifying local communities session

Lastly, we tried to see how we can surface and incorporate the unconference topics in the conference itself. Here are the group’s tips to bring the unconference spirit. Even if you didn’t participate, we hope these tips can help you surface topics that are important to you, and to make the IODC an open dialogue and a place for real knowledge exchange.

  1. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Without substantive and constructive feedback we can’t grow and improve.
  2. Create badges or twitter hashtags to raise awareness in the conference space.
  3. Ask questions at the end of the session. Don’t be shy. There is no bad question.
  4. Very simple questions can be productive to our work. Don’t forget to ask also the simple questions.
  5. Try to challenge the roadmap that we are building. There is always room to improve it
  6. Change your session format. It is not too late. Stop having a panel and think of other exciting formats.
  7. Write! Is something bothering you? Write a blog. No time for a blog. Tweet. Our communities and networks are mostly online, and if you don’t write about (or even podcast about it), it does not exist.
  8. Have fun. Learn. Be positive. Tough questions are important as well.

See all of the unconference learnings in the forum and keep the discussion going!

Looking forward to see you taking part in IODC today!