Open Knowledge Foundation

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Open Knowledge International Website

Open Knowledge was founded in 2004 as a non-profit organisation incorporated in the UK, at a time when open data was a wholly new concept, and has had significant growth in recent years. Open Knowledge is a world-leading pioneer in open data and works globally, with a central team of 38 full time staff distributed across six continents.

In addition, we have a network of autonomous Local Groups, primarily of volunteers but in some cases with paid staff, in 46 countries. These Local Groups run meetups, workshops, trainings and other events, campaign for open data release in their countries and regions, and work with civil society organisations and the media to use data to drive change. Working Groups connect people interested in a specific area of open knowledge, such as science, culture, or economics – we have over 20 different specialist areas; they develop principles and policies for openness, design tools and handbooks, compile specialist datasets, and support innovation and learning.

The open knowledge movement promotes access to information for everyone about how we live, what we consume, and who we are - for example, how our tax money gets spent, what’s in the food we eat or the medicines we take, and where the energy comes from to power our cities. The movement seeks to empower individuals and organisations by unlocking knowledge and enabling them to use that information to understand and improve the world. It seeks to restore the balance of information power by breaking down knowledge silos, and ensuring everyone can access information that is relevant and useful to them and to society as a whole.

A pioneer in the movement, Open Knowledge has played a leading role both in advocating for open data and open knowledge in government, business and civil society and in creating the technology to make open material useful. It is also a growing global community, providing a home for individuals and groups working to open up information and to build the tools, apps and insights to make that information used and useful - from handbooks for journalists, to the data platforms used by governments to publish their open data.