Open data: Challenges and opportunities

I am co-producing an open data event on 15th July  with West Midlands Regional Observatory.

Open data: Challenges and opportunities

15th July 2010, 9:30am – 4:00pm

The Balcony Rooms, RegenWM, 4th Floor, Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Birmingham, B4 7XG

A programme of speakers who are opening up public sector information.

A chance for policy makers and web developers to talk about why and how to implement open data.

Policy: What principles should organisations apply in making public sector data available? Implementation: What formats should public bodies use to publish to the web?

The event is free to attend. More details and booking West Midlands Regional Observatory



Richard Wilson – Event Chair

West Midlands Quality Institute


Open data: Challenges and opportunities

Since holding posts at Cabinet Office within Strategy & Policy and the Information Taskforce, as well as working as a Policy Adviser at 10 Downing Street, Will Perrin has founded Talk About Local, a project to give people in their communities a powerful online voice. In this session, Will will give an overview on open data national policy, looking at recent developments along with the challenges and opportunities.

Will Perrin

Creator of Talk About Local


Opening up Ordnance Survey data

Gillian will detail how Ordnance Survey have responded to the call for open public data. Following changes on the use of OS derived data, she will give us a run through recent licensing changes to explain the legal guidelines of what OS data can and can’t be used for.

Gillian Horner

Ordnance Survey



A local perspective on opening up data

Chris Taggart runs Openly local, a website geared at making local government more transparent. Chris will pick up where Will left off, looking at how national policy translates to local government, as well as giving an overview of the OpenlyLocal website.

Chris Taggart

Openly local


Democratic engagement

Tim Davies is a social entrepreneur with extensive experience of youth participation and social media. He is studying  the impact of open data on democratic engagement at Oxford Internet Institute. Read an interview with Tim and further biography.

Tim Davies

Practical participation



Issues, examples and themes

Andrew Mackenzie co-produced this event with the Observatory. He is a researcher and consultant working at the intersection of policy, technology and innovation. He recently organised Mapitude, an event which explored open data and mapping.


Andrew Mackenzie



Opening Warwickshire’s data

Examples from Warwickshire showing how they are opening up Warwickshire County Council held data and why. Aside from the social benefits, Kate will also identify the potential cost savings and opportunities for service improvement resulting from opening up council data. See Hack Warwickshire competition.

Kate Sahota

Warwickshire County Council


Opening Walsall’s data

Dan will bring open data examples from Walsall, including the challenge of the £500 spending transparency requirement (where local government have to publish details of all spend over £500), as well as the 2010 election from Walsall’s perspective and whether or not to use Open source website platforms.

Dan Slee

Walsall Council


Opening Birmingham’s data

Recent and future open data examples from Digital Birmingham, the city’s strategic partnership helping to ensure that the benefits of digital technologies are available to all in the city.

Simon Whitehouse

Digital Birmingham


Opening Lichfield’s data

Stuart Harrison is webmaster at Lichfield District Council.

His pioneering work has established Lichfield as one of the leading exemplars of local open data. Lichfield council make it easy to access council services, report problems, view planning applications, find out what’s going on locally, have a say on local issues, and much more. Read Guardian article on Lichfield and Stuart

Stuart Harrison

Lichfield District Council



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