Featured Speakers

This is a snapshot of the keynote speakers who will be featured at this year’s OKFestival, speaking at our INSPIRE Morning Plenary or during specific Topic Stream engagements throughout the festival week. In many cases they have been directly nominated by Advisory Board members and Guest Programme Planners for their influential work in fields related to openness and transparency. Stay tuned for more speakers from around the world as they are confirmed.


Hans Rosling is an award-winning academic, statistician and chairman of the Gapminder Foundation. Gapminder is a modern “museum” on the Internet which promotes sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals. It has developed the Trendalyzer software that converts international statistics into moving, interactive graphics. Rosling is also known for his TED talk “Stats that Reshape your World-view” which has been viewed over 4 million times, and he has been featured on TIME Magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world. More info about Rosling’s work can be found here. Hans Rosling will be speaking Thurs, Sept 20th at 18.00 in the INSPIRE auditorium as a part of the Data Journalism and Visualisation Topic Stream programme.


Anneli Jäätteenmäki is a Finnish member of the European Parliament and vice-chair of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). An MEP since 2004 with a diverse background in Finnish and European politics, she has actively worked to increase transparency in the European Union institutions, especially regarding decision-making, and to facilitate citizen access to documents and information. More info about Anneli’s work can be found here. Jäättenmäki is giving a keynote on Thurs, 20th Sept at the INSPIRE Morning Plenary.


Mat ToddMat Todd is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Chemistry at the University of Sydney in Australia. He has been a Wellcome Trust postdoc at The University of California, Berkeley, a college fellow at Cambridge University and a lecturer at Queen Mary, University of London, and is currently Chair of The Synaptic Leap, a nonprofit dedicated to open biomedical research. He is also on the Editorial Boards of PLoS One, Chemistry Central Journal and ChemistryOpen. He has a significant interest in open science, and how it may be used to accelerate research, with particular emphasis on open source drug discovery. In 2011 he was awarded a NSW Scientist of the Year Award in the Emerging Research category for his work in open science. More info about Mat’s work can be found here. Todd will be speaking on Wed, 19th Sept from 18:00-19:30 in INSPIRE Auditorium about ”Open Source Drug Dicovery” as part of the ”Open research and education” topic stream.


Karsten Gerloff from Free Software FoundationKarsten Gerloff is the President of the Free Software Foundation Europe. FSFE’s mission as an independent not-for-profit organisation is promoting freedom in the information society through Free Software. Gerloff leads FSFE’s participation in community and policy processes at the European and global level, and is a frequent speaker at a wide variety of conferences and events. Karsten Gerloff has conducted extensive research on the economic and social effects of Free Software for the European Commission and other clients, and has led the development of training materials for Free Software entrepreneurs in Southern and Eastern Africa. More info about Karsten’s work can be found here. Gerloff will be speaking Tue, 18th Sept from 11:30-13:00 in the session Open Procurement – By the Rules or Bend the Rules and Wed, 19th Sept from 11:30-13:00 in the session Open IT – Best practices to make it happen in HACK Cinema 1 as part of the Open Source Software topic stream.


Farida Vis is a Research Fellow in the Social Sciences in the Information School at the University of Sheffield, UK. Her work is centrally concerned with researching social media, crisis communication, visual communication, data journalism and citizen engagement. She led the social media analysis on an academic team that examined 2.6 million riot tweets, analysing the role Twitter played in the 2011 UK riots, as part of The Guardian newspaper’s groundbreaking Reading the Riots project. The data visualisation (by The Guardian Interactive Team) showing the ways in which rumours spread on Twitter during the four days of riots won a Data Journalism Award, for Data Visualisation and Storytelling in a national or international publication. Her forthcoming book, Researching Social Media, is written with computer scientist Mike Thelwall, highlighting the need for such interdisciplinary work in this area and will be out with Sage in early 2013. More info about Farida’s work can be found from the blog: researchingsocialmedia.org. Vis is giving a keynote on Tues, 18th Sept at the INSPIRE Morning Plenary as well as speaking on Tues, 18th Sept from 14:00-15:30 in the session ”Power and the Powerless in the Media” in 8th Floor Auditorium as a part of the Data Journalism and Visualisation topic stream. Vis is also participating Mon, 17th Sept on Visualizing knowledge satellite in Aalto University School of Business Main Auditorium.


Carl-Christian Buhr, an economist and computer scientist by training, is a member of the cabinet of Digital Agenda Commissioner and EU Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes. Among others, he advises her on ICT research policy, including Open Access policies, ICT standardisation and interoperability. In his previous job in the Commission, he dealt with antitrust and merger control investigations such as the Microsoft antitrust case and the Oracle/Sun Microsystems merger. Buhr will be speaking on Thurs, from 16:00-17:30 about ”Open Science at the European Commission” in 8th floor Auditorium as part of the Open Research and Education topic stream.


Mr. Rossel is the publisher of the World Bank. A native of Santiago, Chile, he has over
25 years of experience in international scholarly and professional publishing. The Office
of the Publisher works with departments across the institution to develop and publish
a range of products that cover the full spectrum of economic and social development
and that are primarily aimed at policymakers, academics, development practitioners,
the business community, and students. He is currently leading the transformation of the
program into a cutting edge open access publisher. Rossel is giving a keynote on Wednesday, 19th Sept at the INSPIRE Morning Plenary. He will also participate a panel discussion, which is organized as part of the Open Research and Education topic stream.


Tanja Aitamurto is a visiting researcher from Finland at the Liberation Technology Program at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford Univesity. In her PhD project she examines how collective intelligence, whether harvested by crowdsourcing, co-creation or open innovation, impacts incumbent processes in journalism, public policy making and new  product development. Tanja blogs on the Huffington Post and writes about her research at PBS MediaShift. She also actively participates in the developments she is studying; she crowdfunded a reporting and research trip to Egypt in 2011 to investigate crowdsourcing in public deliberation, and to evaluate the results of Hackathons organized at Stanford after the Arab Spring. More info about Tanja’s work can be found here. Aitamurto will be leading the panel “Open Democracy in Practice: Crowdsourcing & Open Data” on Thurs 20th Sept from 12.20-13.00 in INSPIRE auditorium as part of the Open Democracy and Citizen Movements topic stream.


As director of policy at Omidyar Network in London, UK, Martin brings extensive experience advocating for change in government and donor policies and driving sector-level change in the field of government transparency and accountability. Martin leads policy, advocacy strategy, and related investments for the global Government Transparency initiative. Most recently, he was founding director of the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, a collaborative of leading funders committed to strengthening democracy by empowering citizens to hold their governing institutions to account. At Transparency and Accountability Initiative, he also helped found the Open Government Partnership. Previously, Martin founded the aid transparency campaign Publish What You Fund, helped launch Integrity Watch Afghanistan, and was a founding staff member at Tiri. More information about Martin’s work can be found here. Tisne is giving a keynote on Tues, 18th Sept at the INSPIRE Morning Plenary as well as speaking on Tues, 18th Sept from 14:00-15:30 about ”Global Open Data Standards” in INSPIRE Auditorium as a part of the Transparency and Accountability topic stream.


Alison Tilley is an attorney and Director of the Open Democracy Advice Centre, a law centre specialising in access to information and whistleblowing law in South Africa. She is also a founding trustee of the Women’s Legal Centre and was a member of the South African Law Reform Commission’s project committee on data protection law. She is a member of the board of Goedgedacht Forum for Social Reflection and has consulted for a number of organisations on social justice advocacy, including Rape Crisis. She is also on the National Working Group of the Right 2 Know campaign. Tilley will be speaking on Tues, 18th Sept from 11:30-13:00 in the session ”State-of-play: The Open Government Data movements & related initiatives” in INSPIRE Auditorium. She will be also attending a panel ”What next? Future Open Government Bar” on Tues, 18th Sept from 18:00-19:30 in Inspire Auditorium. Both talks are a part of the Transparency and Accountability topic stream.


Jarmo Eskelinen leads Forum Virium Helsinki, an innovation company building digital bridges between people and services in collaboration with cities and companies. Originally trained as an architect, Jarmo is an expert in digital content, smart cities and user driven design, currently devoted to open data. Earlier, he has been the director of the Media Centre Lume of the Aalto University, the program director for the Helsinki 2000 European City of Culture, and the founder & CEO of a successful music, media and event production company PopZoo Promotions. Mr Eskelinen is also the President of the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL), promoting international cooperation in user-driven innovation. During OKFestival, Jarmo will be moderating the morning INSPIRE plenaries on Wednesday and Thursday. He will also be giving keynote speeches in the Open Cities session on Wednesday from 14:00-17.30 in INSPIRE auditorium, and in the Nesta-curated session ‘Open Collaborative Networked Cities’ on Thursday from 16:00-17:30 in INSPIRE meeting room. He will be also hosting the Open Cities session of Commons4EU in the INSPIRE Atrium on Wednesday.


Carsten Berg from ECI Campaign.Carsten Berg is a trained Political Scientist and obtained a degree in Political Sciences from the University Potsdam and an MA in Education from Alanus University Bonn. He has campaigned for participatory and direct democracy at regional, national and transnational levels. In 2002-2003, Carsten Berg worked for Mehr Demokratie e.V. in the Convention on the Future of Europe (European Constitutional Convention) and successfully campaigned for the inclusion of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) into EU law. The ECI is the first transnational and digital instrument of participatory democracy in world history. Since then he continues to contribute to the emergence of the European Citizens’ Initiative as Director of the ECI Campaign. More info about Carsten’s work can be found here. Berg will be participating a panel ”Open Democracy in Practice: Crowdsourcing & Open Data” on Thursday from 12.20-13.00 in INSPIRE auditorium. He will be also speaking in the session ”Making Transnational Digital Democracy Work + How to Link ‘We’ and ‘The State’” /) on Thursday from 14:00-15:30 in INSPIRE auditorium. Both talks are a part of the Open Democracy and Citizen Movements topic stream.


James Cameron is a founder and the non-executive Chairman of Climate Change Capital, representing the firm at the highest levels of business and government. In addition to his role at CCC, James serves as a member of GE’s ecomagination board, Pepsico UK’s advisory board, is Vice-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Measuring Sustainability and is a trustee member of the UK Green Building Council and of the Carbon Disclosure Project. James is also a member of the UK Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group, an advisor to the Climate Bonds Initiative and was a member of the Green Investment Bank Commission. James believes that shared knowledge can provide reliable performance indicators for corporate responsibility. More info about James can be found here. Cameron is giving a keynote on Thurs, 20th Sept at the INSPIRE Morning Plenary.


Michael Edson is the Director of Web and New Media Strategy at the Smithsonian Institution, an organization spanning 28 museums and research centers, a zoo, and 6,000 employees active in over 100 countries. In addition to developing the Smithsonian’s first [Web and New Media Strategy](http://smithsonian-webstrategy.wikispaces.com/home) and its multi-award winning [Web and New Media Strategy Wiki](http://smithsonian-webstrategy.wikispaces.com/home), Michael helped create the Smithsonian’s first blog, [Eye Level](http://eyelevel.si.edu/), and the first Alternative Reality Game to take place in a museum, [Ghosts of a Chance](http://www.ghostsofachance.com/). Michael is also the driving force behind the [Smithsonian Commons concept](http://www.si.edu/commons/prototype) which aims to make hundreds of millions of resources freely available for users to build upon. Michael is an [O’Reilly Foo Camp](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foo_Camp) veteran and was named a [Tech Titan 2011: person to watch](http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/people/19189.html) by Washingtonian magazine.

Edson will be giving a keynote on Thurs 20th Sept at 16:00 in the INSPIRE Auditorium, giving a talk entitled “Lego, Beowulf and the Web of Hands and Hearts” he is also part of the Open Cultural Heritage topic stream session entitled “Building the Cultural Commons” on Wednesday.


Teemu Ropponen is working as Project Manager in e-democracy projects at the Ministry of Justice in Finland. Current projects include the OtaKantaa e-participation environment (www.otakantaa.fiwww.osallistumisymparisto.fi) and an electronic system for citizen initiatives. The ongoing Finnish e-participation environment program modernizes e-democracy tools and processes  on a national and a local level. A new Citizens’ Initiative Act that entered into force on 1 March 2012 means that a minimum of 50,000 Finnish citizens can submit a proposal for legislation to the Parliament. Teemu is leading the development of the online system for the collection of statements of support for initiatives. Also, as Finland has indicated its will to join the Open Government Partnership, Teemu is a member of the group assigned to coordinate the preparation efforts. Ropponen will be speaking in the session ”State-of-play: The Open Government Data movements & related initiatives” on Tuesday from 11:30-13:00 in INSPIRE auditorium as a part of the Transparency and Accountability topic stream.


Tiago Peixoto is currently an Open Government Specialist at the World Bank, working on the design and implementation of projects involving technology and citizen engagement. In this role, Tiago conducts work mainly in Africa and Latin America in the fields of institutional change and participatory innovation. With a focus on citizen-generated data and the co-design of public services, his activities build upon the development of alternative approaches to promoting participation and accountability. Prior to joining the Bank, Tiago worked as a consultant and policy advisor for various organizations in the field of ICT-mediated participation, such as the European Commission, the OECD, the United Nations, and the Brazilian and UK governments. Tiago is also a Research Coordinator at the Electronic Democracy Centre at the University of Zurich. As a researcher, his interests relate to identifying factors that contribute to the success of policies fostering citizen engagement, such as the role of institutions and technologies in participatory processes. More recently, he joined the steering group of the multidisciplinary Research Network on “Opening Government”, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Tiago is @participatory on Twitter. Tiago is giving a keynote at Thurs Sept 20th’s INSPIRE Morning Plenary as well as in a session entitled “Participatory Budgeting – Involving Citizens in Decision-Making of Public Spending” in the INSPIRE 8th Floor Auditorium on Fri 21st Sept from 16:00-16:45.


Krafchik is the Director of the International Budget Partnership (IBP) and has been involved with the IBP for over 10 years, assisting civil society organizations in Africa, Latin America, and Asia to monitor government budgets. IBP works with independent organizations in over 100 countries by providing financial assistance, training and technical support, and designing collaborative research and networking programs. Krafchik joined the IBP in 2001 after nine years at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa), where he founded the Budget Information Service (BIS) in 1995. The BIS was one of the first institutions to pioneer independent monitoring of government budgeting, with a particular emphasis on how these budgets affect disadvantaged groups. Krafchik is also the author of numerous publications on the role of the civil society, legislatures, and Supreme Audit Institutions in budget accountability. Krafchik will be delivering a keynote and concluding remarks in the session “State-of-play: The Open Government Data movements & related initiatives, from 11:30 – 13:00 on Tues, 18th Sept in INSPIRE Auditorium. He will be also moderating a panel in the session ”Hacking the Open Government Partnership process” on Tues, from 16:00-17:30 in Inspire Auditorium as part of the Transparency and Accountability topic stream.


Phil has spearheaded community-driven civic technology initiatives with global reach. Most recently he served as the Open Government Program Manager at OpenPlans where he established the Open311 initiative. Open311 is a standardized protocol for publicly reporting and tracking civic issues which is now implemented in dozens of cities around the world. In partnership with Code for America he also co-founded Civic Commons, an initiative to help governments share technology and their experiences using it. Phil has also facilitated broader collaboration between cities and other government bodies around open government initiatives, standards, and open source civic technology. He’s been an active participant in the Open Government Partnership and served as a member of the NYC Transparency Working Group where he helped shape one of the world’s strongest open data laws: NYC Local Law 11 of 2012. He currently lives in Washington D.C. where he’s serving as a Presidential Innovation Fellow with the White House Office of Digital Strategy. Ashlock will be speaking during the Open Cities Keynotes session in the INSPIRE auditorium on Wed 19 Sept from 16:00-17.30. Speech details TBA.


Manel Sanromà (Tarragona 1956) holds a Ph.D. in Physics, a Master degree in IT and a Bachelor degree in Humanities. He has occupied several positions in research and management in different Catalan Universities and Administrations. He is currently a Full Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili and the CIO of Barcelona City Council. Sanromà is giving a keynote on Wed, 19th Sept from 14:00-15:30 at the Open Cities Keynotes I: Cities leading the way ‘Towards open cities through strategy, implementation and collaboration’ in INSPIRE auditorium as part of the Open Cities topic stream.


A’yen Tran is an Interactive Project Manager for Local Projects, where she produces interactive experiences in physical, online and mobile space. Her most recent work includes producing and managing Change by Us, a new multi-city social platform for civic engagement and its predecessor, Give a Minute. She produced the 9/11 Memorial Names Arrangement Algorithm and Make History, a website to crowdsource the world’s images of 9/11 for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Before joining Local Projects, she produced large-scale interactive art and media projects for non-profits and artists. She directed logistics and external relations for artist Swoon’s nautical art installations and voyages with Deitch Projects, and served as Online Director for non-profit organization Seeds of Peace. She has presented and installed work at PS1, MASSMoCA, Conflux, Flux Factory. A’yen has spoken at Livable Memphis’ Annual Summit, CEOs for Cities National Meeting in Chicago and Urban Design Week in New York. She holds a B.A from Columbia University. Tran is giving a keynote on Wed, 19th Sept from 16:00-17:30 at the Open Cities Keynotes II: Citizens opening up cities in INSPIRE auditorium as part of the Open Cities topic stream.


Yannick Assogba is a Research Developer at IBM Research in Cambridge, MA, working on the design of novel data visualizations and visual interfaces, including the Many Bills visualization platform. His graduate work at the MIT Media Lab included developing tools for cooperation within physically distributed developer communities, and data visualization to support online identity and social communication. Assogba has also worked on artistic projects integrating dynamic typography with real time human performance. Assogba will be speaking on Wed, 19th Sept from 11:30-13:00 in the session “Manybills.us + Commons for Europe + Law Is Code” in the INSPIRE Meeting Room as part of the Open Democracy and Citizen Movements topic stream. He will be also participating on Mon, 17th Sept on the Visualizing knowledge satellite in Aalto University School of Business Main Auditorium. His talk is titled “Visualizing you and me”.


Philip Thigo is part of a dynamic team at the Social Development Network (SODNET) that works on developing mobile and web-based technologies aimed at strengthening the role of citizens and civil society in the strategic use of technology. Philip is a Co-founder of INFONET, an initiative rooted in SODNET that is credited with empowering African civil society, governments and citizen’s to better engage in enforcing budget transparency, service delivery demands and election monitoring. Mr. Thigo has worked extensively in Africa, the Arab World, Asia and Latin America on concepts and methodologies that challenge the root causes of poverty through alternatives that inspire non-violent means of social transformation. He is actively involved in Kenya as a member of the task force on Open Data and the Open Government Partnership Initiative (OGP). As part of a new generation of activists, he believes that we should reclaim technology within its own logic as a tool for transformation and change that proactively enables citizens to improve their quality of life. Thigo is giving a keynote on Wed Sept 19th’s INSPIRE Morning Plenary. He will also also speaking on Wed 19th Sept from 11:30-13:00 in the session “Open Development is a Freedom Song: power, people and social change” in the INSPIRE auditorium, and on Thurs 20th Sept from 11:30-13:00 in the session “The Challenges of Working with Crowd-Sourced Data” in INSPIRE meeting room. Both of these talks are part of the Open Development topic stream.


Ville Peltola looks into the horizon at IBM as a Director of Innovation in the Chief Technology Officer’s team in IBM Europe. During the past few years Peltola has been focusing on smart cities and emerging civic innovation with open public data. Peltola has been appointed to several governmental committees and working groups in Finland which involve the future of the ICT industry and ‘government 2.0’. Peltola has also been selected twice into the Top 100 Technology / IT Influencers list in Finland. Peltola also participates actively in the local open data and civic innovation scene and is passionate about driving this culture forward. Thigo is giving a keynote on Wed Sept 19th’s INSPIRE Morning Plenary.


RufusDr. Rufus Pollock is co-Founder and Director of the Open Knowledge Foundation, a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow, an Associate of the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of the RSA. He has worked extensively as a scholar and developer on the social, legal and technological issues related to the creation and sharing of knowledge and acted as an official adviser on open data to several governments. After graduating from the University of Cambridge in 2004 he co-founded the Open Knowledge Foundation, a not-for-profit which works to promote open knowledge — any kind of information from sonnets to statistics, genes to geodata, that can be freely used, reused, and redistributed. In parallel with his activities at the OKF, Pollock has also worked as an academic in economics. His work has focused on the theory and empirics of innovation and their implications for intellectual property policy. From 2007 to 2010 he was the Mead Fellow in Economics at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge and in 2010 he was appointed as one of the four members of the UK Government’s newly created Public Sector Transparency Board. Pollock is introducing the Open Knowledge Foundation’s work at the Opening INSPIRE Plenary at 10:00 on Tuesday morning and is also hosting the Welcome Reception at 20:00 on Tuesday evening. On Friday, he will be giving a reflective speech on the week’s activities and the future of the OKFestival movement in the Closing INSPIRE Plenary at 10:00.


Edward Anderson works with the World Bank’s ICT Knowledge platform’s programme to use digital engagement tools for building greater public transparency and civic participation, as well as more accountability around public services. This includes engaging with technology communities in Tanzania and Kenya, where Africa’s open data movement has taken root. Anderson’s original training is as an aerospace engineer. In 2004 Anderson launched a technology start-up for early warning systems in East Africa – focused on a proof of concept for new diagnostic tools in malaria epidemic surveillance. After supporting the 2006 Development Marketplace for Health Innovations, Anderson worked in disaster risk operations for the Inter-American Development Bank and World Bank, building new partnerships with technical communities including NASA, Google, Random Hacks of Kindness, and CrisisCommons. Throughout his career, Anderson has sought to find ways to harness science and technology for development. Anderson is giving a keynote on Wed 19th Sept from 14:00-15:30 and 16:00-17.30 at the Open Cities Keynotes I: Cities leading the way in INSPIRE auditorium as part of the Open Cities topic stream.


Simon Rogers is editor of the Guardian Datablog (Twitter @GuardianData), an online data resource which publishes hundreds of raw datasets and encourages its users to visualise and analyse them – and probably the world’s most popular data journalism website. He is also a news editor on the Guardian, working with the graphics team to visualise and interpret huge datasets. He was closely involved in the Guardian’s exercise to crowdsource 450,000 MP expenses records and the organisation’s coverage of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wikileaks war logs. He has edited two Guardian books: How Slow Can You Waterski and The Hutton Inquiry and its impact. His Factfile UK series of supplements won a silver at the Malofiej 2011 infographics award and the Datablog won the Newspaper Awards prize for Best Use of New Media, 2011. In 2011, Simon was named Best UK Internet Journalist by the Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University and won the inaugural XCity award from City University. Rogers is giving a keynote on Tues 18th Sept from 11:30 – 13:00 in the session Data journalism in the newsroom as part of the Data Journalism and Visualisation topic stream.