Dutch Open Innovation Festival
This week is 'Open Innovation Festival' week in the Netherlands. An initiative that started a few years ago in Amsterdam by a single civil servant, to expose her colleagues to the new possibilities and affordances social media, open government and open data, and changing work styles, create for the public sector.
This year 27 cities, municipalities, and provinces join in the festival. The entire event is a volunteer effort. None of the speakers, workshop hosts etc get paid for their time or activities. Civil servants involved in organizing the event do so in their own time as well.
Kim Spinder, who started the initiative in Amsterdam, said that when she first approached her manager to do the event he was not enthusiastic. She then realized that managers normally control time spent and money spent, so if she would make sure the event did not cost any money, and was done in everybody's spare time, management would have no influence on it. Meanwhile the event is supported by public sector decision makers and mayors across the country as a source of inspiration for a changing public sector.
Open data is a large part of the agenda during the Open Innovation Festival. In the northern city Leeuwarden the festival is chosen as the moment for the city's first open data release, in collaboration with the province Fryslan. A hackcamp is taking place today and tomorrow where coders can work with the data now being made available. Our ePSIplatform team's Ton Zijlstra will be presenting at the hackcamp on 'how to avoid building lame open data apps'.