I am back from the Open Knowledge Festival in Helsinki – the event lasted all of last week from September 17th to 21st!

About one thousand people made their way to Aalto University to take part in this exiting gathering, and I don’t think that people were disappointed.

One of the most eagerly anticipated speeches was Gapminder Founder Hans Rosling’s – he  gave a spectacular keynote talk at OKFestival, that was really motivating one several levels. On one hand, he of course stressed the importance of Open Data in general, but on the other hand, Rosling really acknowledged climate change with very clear words, and demanded timely CO2 data.

Since the motto of the conference was “Open Knowledge in Action”, a key message was to move the next step forward with Open Data: Not just “Raw data now”, but more powerful applications and visualizations based on exiting data. All those nearest-toilet and next park-bench apps aren’t going to revolutionize the world.

Of course REEEP also held a presentation, and as part of the sustainability stream panel discussion we were able to broaden the picture: while most other talks focused more on personal data, such as individual energy profiles and individual energy savings, we tried to get across the importance of readily available energy and emissions data on a regional and national levels. More infromation about the other speakers of the Sustainability Stream are on a previous reegle blog post.

We believe that Open Energy Data is the base for

  • Action and behavioral change
  • Better decision-making
  • Can improve trust in science and governments again
  • Improved  justice between the developed and developing world

As a resume, I think everybody really enjoyed the experience and took some inspiration back to their organizations. We will continue to focus on open energy data, but also try to reach out across sectors more to find common goals and shared experiences.