Manchester node news: January 2014

FutureEverything has recently joined the ODI Node network, and has established ODI Manchester. The node framework will contribute to and strengthen FutureEverything’s existing activities in open data, bringing together organisations and communities that support open data initiatives and projects. FutureEverything has been working in open data since 2009, focusing on growing demand and capacity in the coding, development and business community, and on working with local authorities. ODI Manchester is a crucial new step in expanding FutureEverything’s capacity to explore new avenues and possibilities in the sphere of open data.

During the FutureEverything conference on 31 March - 1 April 2014, we will host a session with ODI on creating novel online services and commercially viable business models with open data (‘social machines’), and another on the distributed Node model (‘organisations as platform’). One of the tools we use to advance open data policy and practice is our international conference and festival. We bring together the leading figures to shape the debate, and we make these ideas tangible and demonstrate the potential through design experiments across the city. Our festival theme in 2014 is Tools for Unknown Futures.

FutureEverything has recently begun work on a new open data project, the Greater Manchester Data Synchronisation Programme (GMDSP). GMDSP is a partnership between FutureEverything, Manchester City Council, Salford City Council and Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council, alongside the Connected Digital Economy and Future Cities Catapults which aims to create a shared linked data resource for the coordinated release of open data across the region. A key part of the project is the placement of Code Fellows, data experts embedded in local authorities to help build capacity, facilitate the coordinated release of data across local governments, and enabling the authorities to make sustainable better use of their data in the future.

We promote innovative ways to communicate the importance and potential of open data. We are therefore delighted to be collaborating with ODI on Data as Culture, a project that will present a series of data-driven art and design projects communicating deep questions around open data. These will be presented across the UK, at FutureEverything (Manchester), the ODI (London) and Lighthouse (Brighton). A curator has recently been appointed who will work alongside us to present work from a range of international artists.