Open Data for Our Shared Future
By Nati Carfi, Interim Executive Director
In our shared future, we are no longer demanding for our governments to open up data, for them to guarantee our privacy, or demanding for equal pay for equal value, or advocating for climate change to be seen as an emergency. Our shared future is one where we have jointly agreed that all these are important and are things we are working towards until every person, in every segment and intersection, feels irrevocably safe to be themselves on this planet.
Let us take a moment to continue to paint that picture of what a post-COVID data world in recovery could look like. The details, we can all contribute to and fill out in our own minds. For the ODC and organisations like ours working with open data, the post-COVID data literate world depicted, is one where “open data” no longer feels like a buzzword or niche space, but is embedded in how we protect the rights of every human person in our communities. In that world, the term “open data” is embedded in how all public officials think and approach policy-making, using data for evidence-based decisions. But, such is not yet the case and that’s why our work is still important .
2021 began tentatively as it normally does after any office break, but this year was still different. Despite the vaccine negotiations and discussions of roll-out worldwide, the pandemic continued to hover silently above everything. Time soon sped up, and we found ourselves back into work where we were greeted by the news that the proposals we sent before the holidays were accepted. Thus, during Open Data Week — just last week — we participated in new spaces (i.e. MozFest and NYC Open Data Week) and engaged with new audiences. Our Climate Action discussion was abuzz with interest and questions. With our Pay Equity discussions too, there was interest and energy — but one of our speakers, Marisa Miodosky, in our last event, imparted a message that struck a resonant chord: how important it is to expand and extend conversations about inequality beyond our shared interest groups. No matter your level of open data knowledge, if you believe in its power and want to know more, we invite you to join our discussions.
We at the ODC continue to hope and move toward that shared future, by articulating the norms needed to shift power and abandon the destructive narratives that perpetuate injustices. We already recognise that diversity is a super power that goes hand in hand with principles of openness and we hope our shared future acknowledges this as a default. We are taking steps towards this through our work in targeted policy areas: data rights, anti-corruption, pay equity and climate action. Continuing with our 2020–2021 strategy, we have developed an internal work plan for 2021 with focus and with continued collaborations and, we hope, with new alliances. If strength is in numbers, then it is only with our partners that we can carry out our vision of a shared future with open data. Thank you for being here with us.
Get acquainted with our 2021 initiatives thus far: