Data Storytelling Takes Center Stage at OKCon in Geneva

    by Neil Ashton
    September 16, 2013
    The Open Knowledge Conference takes place this week in Geneva.

    The biannual Open Knowledge Conference, the world’s leading event in open knowledge, is taking place this week in Geneva.

    This year’s OKCon asks: How can open data become a deeper part of public life? Citizen data explorers and investigators are crucial — that is why a full track of events will cover evidence and stories, exploring open data in advocacy and journalism.

    "This year's OKCon asks: How can open data become a deeper part of public life?"

    Here are some of our most delicious tasters from OKCon 2013 for anyone with an appetite for visualizations and data-driven activism.


    Events and panels

    Visualizing Information for Advocacy: pre-release (Tuesday, September 17)

    Tactical Technology Collective will have a pre-release event for their forthcoming book “Visualizing Information for Advocacy.” Based on two years of workshops, interviews, and analysis, the book is an activist-oriented introduction to the art of visual persuasion.



    Build a better transparency technology project (Wednesday, September 18)

    Building new technology to spread knowledge is a serious challenge. But whatever kind of knowledge you’re communicating — whether you’re a journalist building a budget interactive, a humanitarian worker building a disaster tracking system, or a civil servant creating a new data portal — this panel of mentors from the Transparency & Accountability Initiative can teach you how to avoid pitfalls and overcome challenges.

    Data-driven campaigning (Wednesday, September 18)

    How can civil society organizations use data to have an impact on the decision-making process? Speakers from Instituto Mais Democracia, Sunlight Foundation, and Windmill will discuss their successes and challenges influencing policy with data-driven campaigns.

    Data-driven storytelling (Wednesday, September 18)

    This panel brings together voices from journalism, activism, and data visualization to discuss computer-assisted journalism’s prospects and challenges. Talk topics include investigative tools for journalists, data-driven personalization of news, and more.


    Online Mapping: how to analyze, visualize and build apps with your geospatial data (Monday, September 16)

    Map visualizations are a key component of any data storyteller’s toolkit. This hour-long workshop shows map visualization newcomers how to use CartoDB to discover and communicate insights into spatial data.

    Up to 15 participants can join in — see the information page to sign up.

    How to turn data into stories (Monday, September 16)

    Learn how journalists and developers can work together to build engaging stories from data in this workshop from Alice Kohli of Neue Zürcher Zeitung and Benjamin Wiederkehr of Interactive Things. The workshop is the product of an ongoing collaboration that aims to set a new standard for data journalism in Switzerland.

    The workshop can accommodate up to 20 participants. See the information page to join in.

    Human-centered data: what should public spending data tell us? (Tuesday, September 17)

    What would public spending data look like if it were designed to be used the way the public wants to use it? And how does the public want to use spending data, anyway? This workshop will gather journalists, CSOs, and other spending data investigators to drill down on their expectations — and to contrast them with reality. Kaitlin Devine and Julia Keseru from Sunlight Foundation head up this exploration.

    Up to 20 participants can make their voices heard at this workshop. See the information page for details.

    Open Finance and OpenSpending (Wednesday, September 18)

    From uncovering corruption to parsing the latest austerity measures, some of the most compelling data-driven stories come from spending data. This workshop on open finance data and the OpenSpending project takes a look at how spending data can be made available, accessible, and interpretable to the public through open data initiatives, data visualization, and more.

    This workshop can accommodate up to 30 participants. Check out its information page for details.

    Learn how to run your own data expedition (Thursday, September 19)

    Data expeditions are a fun, hands-on way to learn how to work with data. In an expedition, people of all backgrounds come together to explore a dataset and communicate the insights they find. This workshop shows you how to run your own data expedition and train new data explorers in your local community.

    Up to 20 people can participate in this workshop. See the information page for details.

    Neil Ashton writes documentation and web content to help the Open Knowledge Foundation’s projects reach a wider audience.

    Tagged: geneva okcon open data open knowledge foundation visualizations

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