Refresh ideas for ODD 2023 - event date, thematic focus, event website?

Dear everyone,

As we wrap up most of the activities of Open Data Day 2022, we believe it’s a good time for us to start the discussion around the ideas and plans for Open Data Day 2023.

Over the years many community members and organizers have provided us with valuable feedback and suggestion to help make Open Data Day more impactful. This continuous discussion with help ensures that Open Data Day thrives in a rapidly changing world/ecosystem.

Some of the refresh ideas that we received in the past, and we would like to discuss them with you and get your input:

  • Event date: On the document, ODD is celebrated on the first Saturday of March, but informally communities around the world have made it week-long celebrations, as the first Saturday of March doesn’t always work best for everyone. So, we have been receiving requests and suggestions to recognize it and make ODD a week-long celebration, giving the community flexibility.
  • Thematic focus: Over the year, the ODD mini/small grants are given to organizations hosting events with a certain thematic focus and currently we have 5. Most of that thematic focus is guided by the sponsor who supports the mini/small grants. But, since last year we have received suggestions to update it and focus on a single theme to achieve impact. (For reference: Open Access Week, whose theme for 2022 was Open for Climate Justice).
  • ODD website: We also constantly receive feedback and suggestions on updating the ODD website so that it can be used to highlight and promote the impact made by ODD. In 2020 the website was updated to incorporate the event report section, but there are many things that can be improved.

So, we would love to hear your thought, reaction, and suggestions on this? especially regarding the event date and thematic focus.

Thank you in advance!

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Hi Nikesh and everyone!

Regarding the date of ODD, in some years we had a problem in Brazil when it coincided with the dates for the carnival, as brings some difficulties as many people decide to travel for the week, sometimes spaces and rooms are not available, etc. But in 2023 carnival is in February, so 4th of March should be ok this time.

I believe that having the ODD in a single day is often more remarkable and brings more attention to the event, but a week long period does open up the possibility for people who have the availability to perhaps participate in more events, especially of some of them are also happening online. So I think either option would be ok. What I did not like is the many events scattered around all year long, as it was this year. I ended up knowing about most of those events just after the fact, especially the ones happening in Brazil.

For reference and ideas, I have written and shared an article about the past ODDs in Brazil.

As for the thematic focus, I understand that they have always been more of a suggestion than anything else, mostly tied to the mini grant scheme. Because ODD is a local event, people tend to focus more on local issues and local data. So letting the sponsors decide the themes for the mini grants does make some sense.

I would suggest, though, that one of those themes could be the usage of local open data, because it still is the next frontier of open data. Many municipalities, especially the medium and smaller cities, still do not have an open data initiative or portal. Other suggestions for important themes could be some of the usual: data to prevent climate change, data for accountability for deforestation, data for sustainable development, data for empowering indigenous communities, data for preserving oceans and wildlife, data about land ownership, data about corporate accountability and beneficial ownership, election data, data for tracking public money flows, etc.

Something I kind of miss was a way to exchange ideas before the events are really scheduled. The map is great to find out about events once they’ve already been decided upon, but it’s impossible to reach out to other people in advance and organize the events. The ODD wiki did, to some extent, fill that necessity before. I think mailing list does not fill in that space: I doubt that most people who organize ODD local events even read here, most of them never post anything. On the other hand, if each local event were to use this list for organizing, it would quickly get way too much traffic. The old wiki was not a perfect solution, but I do think it had an important role in it.

Congratulations for your work leading the ODD and in OK Nepal. Let’s make ODD 2023 the best yet!

PS: I’m re-posting my answer from the mailing list, as not everyone here on the forum participates there. Apologies for anyone seeing this for a second time.

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