First Speakers for the OKFestival Announced

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    We are proud to announce the first speakers for the Open Knowledge Festival, held in Helsinki in September.

    Finland is at the forefront of the international open knowledge movement as the major international open knowledge event, OKFestival, comes to Helsinki 17–22 September 2012. Confirmed speakers include Hans Rosling, the data visualisation wizard, Carsten Berg, champion for participatory and direct democracy, Farida Vis, data journalism advocate, Tanja Aitomurto, expert on setting collective information into action, Karsten Gerloff, spokesperson for free software, Adam Greenfield, promoter of human-centered design of technological systems, and Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Member of the European Parliament and former Prime Minister of Finland.

    The 2012 theme of OKFestival is Open Knowledge in Action, looking at the value that can be generated by opening up knowledge. In an era of global digital communications, significant benefits are gained in all sectors of the society by opening up knowledge, including science, culture, governance and economy.

    The festival week is a bold experiment in international collaborative event organising. It involves a global team of experts building a diverse programme with topics such as open democracy and government data, open and smart cities, open business and corporate data, open design, open hardware, data journalism, and many more. The festival offers a week of participatory sessions, keynote lectures, workshops, hackathons and satellite events in Helsinki with links to other events around the globe. The main organisers of the event are the Open Knowledge Foundation, Aalto Media Factory and the Finnish Institute in London.

    One part of the festival programme focuses on the international Open Government Partnership (OGP) network, which includes 55 countries, promoting transparency, citizen empowerment and harnessing new technologies to strengthen government. The Finnish government has just announced that Finland will also become a member. Other examples of the festival programme include preparing a new European Citizens' Initiative and developing Finnish sauna diplomacy into an Open Sauna citizens' movement.

    In addition to the main organisers, a team of over 50 guest programme planners from around the world are collaboratively engaged in building the festival content. An advisory board of international leaders steers the programme planning, including Janet Haven from Open Society Foundations, Peter Troxler from the International FabLab Association and Andrew Stott from the UK Cabinet Office.

    OKFestival's programme partners are Forum Virium Helsinki, Helsingin Sanomat, IBM, Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Siemens and Sida. Co-organisers and supporters include Finland's Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland's Ministry of Justice, EIT ICT Labs, Aalto Service Factory, AVO Open Networks For Learning, Open Ministry, YLE, Martela, Aalto Pro and Flo Apps.

    Open Knowledge Festival 17–22 September 2012
    Aalto University
 School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Hämeentie 135 C, Helsinki, Finland

    Please book your tickets here. Early-bird tickets available until 31 July.