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 changeClimate change is a lasting change in weather patterns over long periods of time. It can be a natural phenomena and and has occurred on Earth even before people inhabited it. Quite different is a current situation that is also referred to as climate change, anthropogenic climate change, or ... with very clear words, and demanded timely CO2Carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted in several ways. Naturally through the carbon cycle and through human activities like the burning of fossil fuels. These human activities have increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere since the beginning of the industrial revolution and these high ... 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 emissionsEmissions of greenhouse gases, greenhouse gas precursors, and aerosols associated with human activities, including the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, land-use changes, livestock, fertilisation, etc. (IPCC) data on a regional and national levels. More infromation about the other speakers of the SustainabilityIn order to survive, all life, including human life, depends either directly or indirectly on the natural environment. Sustainability is a principle where current requirements are met while the livelihoods of future generations are not threatened. 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.