Berlin Open Data Day 2017


© Leonard Wolf

© Leonard Wolf

Initiated by the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises for the sixth time in a row, roughly 150 data providers from the fields of administration, culture and science met in order to get to know each other and exchange ideas with the IT scene, startups and other data enthusiasts in the capital city.

Following the official welcoming address, Christian Rickerts, Permanent secretary of the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, introduced the first item on the agenda of the Berlin Open Data Day by asking: “Quo vadis, Open Data?” After summing up the changes successfully implemented by the new Senate in the 2016 legislative period in terms of Open Data, Christian Rickerts highlighted the need to continue to put Open Data in the digital spotlight and to further grow and develop the issue. as this is the only way for data management to result in better transparency in the daily work done by the city councils.

The first keynote of the day was given by Marc Groß, Head of Organisation and Information Management at the Communal Joint Office for Administrative Management in Cologne. Pointing to the opportunities that could open up for local communities in terms of data, he said that Open Data could contribute to a more efficient and effective cooperation between local communities. By utilising Open Data, internal processes could be made more transparent, creative potential could be used to the full and digital expertise could be increased — provided that the data management is subject to an overall communal approach. According to Groß, to achieve this, local communities would have to make substantial investments in structured data management, create data transparency and develop expertise on various levels.

The panel discussion between Christian Rickerts, Permanent secretary at the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, Sabine Smentek, Permanent secretary at the Senate Department for the Interior and Sport, Alice Wiegand, Project Manager Open Data in Dusseldorf and Pavel Richter, CEO of the Open Knowledge Foundation International, provided specific instructions for local administrations to make better use of data. The bottom line of the discussion — one that all experts could agree on — was that a consistent data management approach is of the utmost importance to local communities. A process-independent IT department or employees responsible for administration digitisation are needed to achieve this goal and to ensure responsible handling of Open Data.

Following a short break, Stefan Kaufmann, project manager at Verschwörhaus Ulm, presented his keynote. He talked about open data as an “experimental field for tomorrow’s world” and highlighted the necessity to bring together many different groups of actors as part of a knowledge transfer process and to break up established filter bubbles. The knowledge produced must be shared across cities and projects must be implemented together.

Dr. Maximilian Heimstädt, research associate at the Reinhard Mohn-Institute for Corporate Governance at Universität Witten-Herdecke explained in his keynote how Open Data could be implemented successfully. He presented the audience with his theory that “Open Data do not result in transparent administrative processes”. Following this, Heimstädt resolved the obvious contradiction “openness needs closedness”, explaining that calls for transparency do not only disclose data but create new data. According to this, Open Data are only made possible by a new level, i.e. a level of closed processes.

In his keynote “The intelligent zoning machine — how can we optimise school enrolment districts in Berlin?”, Daniel Kirsch, data scientist at Idalab Berlin, provided an answer to the question, how local administrations could themselves benefit from Open Data, specifically with regard to the enrolment process of first graders. His core idea is based on a assessment and selection process of available alternatives. Data and visualisation could considerably speed up the enrolment decision process. The political process could be made more objective through use of data, increasing transparency and acceptance among civil society in the process.

Benjamin Seibel, Project Lead Data Driven Innovation at Technologiestiftung Berlin presented a preliminary result in relation to how Open Data are being processed in Berlin's districts. The fact that there are different points of contact with different data within a single administrative unit proved somewhat difficult. To solve this problem, Seibel proposed to establish central responsibilities in all authorities in order to make the data flow among authorities transparent.

As part of the workshop “Media skills for administrations: the data school“, Helene Hahn (OKF DE), Moritz Neueffski (OKF DE) and Ulrike Tahlheim (OKLab Berlin) identified which (digital) skills are needed in administrations and which action areas there are in order to promote subsequent use of Open Data.

As part of the workshop “Transparent public finances — data and analysis”, Anna Alberts and Michael Peters of OKF DE discussed the status quo of fiscal transparency of Open Data in Germany and presented possible next steps in administration and civil society.

How can we use open innovations to strengthen the cooperation between cities and startups? How can we incentivise established corporations to come up with ideas to make cities more sustainable and attractive? Providing answers to these questions was at the core of workshop titled „Open innovations for a sustainable city“,  which was presented by Maximilian Thess (NUMA DataCity Berlin),

In his workshop “The Alphabet of Open Data“, Thomas Tursic, software developer at Deutsche Bahn and OK Lab Berlin, presented exemplary data sets in order to increase participants’ awareness of problems when handling Open Data. The main focus was on promoting communication between data providers and data users.

Dr. Katrin Dribbisch, who worked with the Singaporian government over several months, in her workshop „Innovation by Design: can Design Thinking make administrations more innovative?“  shared her insights how governments across the glove can utilise user-centric designs such as Design Thinking in order to improve internal processes and external offers.

Sebastian Askar of the Senate Department for Economic, Energy and Public Enterprises, was the host for the event.

© by 4.0 Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland e. V.

© Photo: Leonard Wolf

More impressions of the Open Data Day you can find <link - external-link-new-window "Opens internal link in current window">here</link>. 




Sebastian Askar

Leitung Digitalisierung, IKT-Wirtschaft und digitale Infrastruktur