April 27 | 27 avril
CODS Awards Dinner
MC: James Mullinger
April 28 | 28 avril
David Eaves: Open Government
Adjunct Lecturer and Fellow, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Open technologies and organizations, which stress transparent information and multi-channel cooperation, have changed the way we live. Wikipedia has revolutionized free and public information and Mozilla has opened the internet browser market to true competition. Policy expert David Eaves asks—if this approach has proven to be so successful, how come government still operates in a world full of red tape and closed channels? In this mind-opening talk, Eaves brings a new perspective to what the government of the future should look like—and why we need to start these changes now.
Concurrent Session 1: Panel – Fostering a Culture of Open Data in Municipalities
Presenter and Chair: Nigel Jacob, Founder and Co-Chair for the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics in Boston
Scott Hardy, City of Edmonton
Neil Jacobsen, Deputy City Manager, City of Saint John
Gary Filan, Vice President Analytics, T4G
Fostering a Culture of Open Data in Municipalities
Municipalities, with their treasure trove of data and their close contact with citizens, have a crucial role to play in the Open Data movement. In this session, we begin with noted international leader in this space, Nigel Jacob, who will bring us his experience from the City of Boston:
Using data to innovate in how city services are developed and delivered is hard to do well. In Boston we’ve developed an approach to tech and data that puts the needs and desires of residents at the center of what we do.
This people-centric approach, which is led by the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, has resulted in numerous big leaps forward in how we interact with our residents, and the sense of trust they have in us.
In this talk I will discuss some lessons learned from our experiences over the past several years.
Nigel will then chair a 40-minute panel on Fostering a Culture of Open Data in Municipalities:
Open Data can be a driving force for change in the way that local governments go about delivering services. However, developing a good open data strategy can be tricky. A number of questions arise: Should all data be open? Is it enough to simply make it open or should cities also deploy tools that enable the public to use the data? What role do for-profit corporations play in a city’s approach to open data?
In this panel we’ll be exploring questions such as these from a variety of perspectives both public and private.
Concurrent Session 2: Panel – Open by Default: Addressing the Challenges
Chair: James McKinney, Founder, Open North
Nosa Ero-Brown, Manager, Policy and Public Engagement, Open Government Office, Treasury Board Secretariat, Province of Ontario
Mark Levene, Senior Advisor, Treasury Board Secretariat, Government of Canada
Renée Sieber, Assistant Professor, School of Environment, McGill University
Open by Default: Addressing the Challenges
Many governments — including the federal government, the Ontario government, and several municipalities — have made commitments to be “open by default.” In this session we’ll explore what it means to be open by default. Some questions we’ll address are:
- How did these open by default policies come about?
- When a government commits to opening all its datasets, how much data are we talking about?
- What new resources or practices were needed to implement the policy?
- How are datasets being prioritized for release?
- What accountability measures ensure departments comply with an open by default policy?
- Should an open by default policy cover both data and information held by governments?
Focus on: Posters, Sponsors, and Lightning speakers
Joe Greenwood: My Data – Smart Ways for Consumer Data Access and Innovation
Joe Greenwood, Director, MaRS Data Catalyst, MaRS Discovery District
My Data – Smart Ways for Consumer Data Access and Innovation
New models are emerging that enable citizens to access their own data that governments and businesses hold about them – be that energy, health, education or finance data. A new set of highly valuable applications that securely access this data and deliver new consumer services are driving a new economic opportunity and a transformation of how public services can be delivered. The MaRS MyHealth and Green Button initiatives are examples of how smart disclosure is enabling secure, privacy-enabeld access to new energy and health data market places data and creating a global opportunity for Canadian innovators, sharing the lessons learned and practices developed with other global partners will highlight how the consumers’ access and control of their data provides a new opportunity for public service transformation and innovation.
- Dr. Ted McDonald, Director, NB Institute for Research, Data and Training, University of New Brunswick: Confidential Data in an Open Data World
Confidential Data in an Open Data World
Most of the data collected by government on its residents are confidential – health records, income tax returns, criminal records, test scores, and many other pieces of information. Its collection, retention, and use is regulated and governed by various pieces of legislation that require confidentiality to be maintained and privacy respected. Yet it is these datasets and especially the ability to link them that provides one of the most potent tools for the evaluation of the effectiveness of government policy. This tension has given rise to innovative solutions that balance the needs of policymakers for evidence based research and the rights of residents to privacy. This presentation describes the approach taken in New Brunswick with NB-IRDT, a university-government partnership through which access to multiple linked datasets from across government and public body operations is provided. While most provinces have administrative data centres of various types, including MCHP in Manitoba, PopdataBC in BC and ICES in Ontario, the presentation will highlight recent legislative and policy developments in New Brunswick that will lower the barriers to the sharing of all research-relevant data from across government operations as well as those of public bodies such as the Regional Health Authorities. With these changes in place, NB-IRDT has the potential to make New Brunswick a national leader in realizing the huge potential of confidential data.
- Karen Stewart, Industry Manager, Municipal Solutions, Esri Canada: Thinking Beyond the Download
Thinking Beyond the Download
Opening up data is not an end but rather a means to enable appropriate decisions, scrutiny, input and also innovation. Our challenge is to think beyond the data download and expand our thinking about what open data means.
The potential users of your open data are many—public consumers, knowledge workers in other organizations, developers, entrepreneurs and the media. With a broad landscape of potential users and uses, it’s vital to consider “openness” in the context of other delivery mechanisms to serve engagement.
Engagement can come in a variety of forms. It can be as simple as a spreadsheet download but that should not be a one-way street. That download should, at a minimum, include a way to subscribe to the source, to learn of updates or changes once the data has been fetched. That content must be curated and authoritative, updated and timely. But more importantly it must be actionable—presented in ways that make sense to the user.
Building applications and information products is also a way of opening up your data for engagement. While not traditionally thought of as open data, these are valuable ways not just to open your data, but more importantly, to present information in a meaningful context that will engage a broader audience.
Regardless of which options you choose, the goal is not just to open up your data but to offer ways to interact with it, experience it and amplify the inherent value of your work by delivering opportunities for engagement.
- Andrew Moore, Project Lead, Federal, Geospatial Platform Initiative, Earth Sciences Sector, Natural Resources Canada: Federal Geospatial Platform and Open Maps
Federal Geospatial Platform and Open Maps
The Government of Canada has a wealth of location-based (known as “geospatial”) information and expertise. This is a huge asset in the digital age where data is the new global currency. The Federal Geospatial Platform will be a collaborative online environment where the government’s most relevant geospatial information can be found easily and viewed on maps to support decision-making, foster innovation, and provide better service for Canadians. The Platform will fundamentally change the way government shares, uses, and manages its geospatial information.
The Platform will have internal and external websites with differing functionalities. Within the Government, employees will be able to view and access geospatial data through a user-friendly data web catalogue and map viewer – where personalized maps and applications can be created and shared within the federal family. Outside the government, there will be access to similar tools on a section of the Open Government Portal to be branded as Open Maps. The Open Maps section will be available as a beta release this spring.
- Access geospatial data in one location: Discover and use economic, social, and environmental data to support your analysis and decision-making. Download it directly to your desktop to enable more in-depth analysis.
- Generate personalized maps and applications: Create maps to meet your needs, and share them with your colleagues. Overlay multiple data layers to enable exploratory analysis of causal relationships, including adding your own local data to show a specific part of your work.
- Collaborate with your colleagues: Work jointly in an online environment, using the extensive features and functionalities offered by ArcGIS Online.
- Rob Davidson, Principal, Veracify: The Rise of the Citizen Data Scientist
The Rise of the Citizen Data Scientist
The struggles and decline of local journalistic channels: newspapers, radio and tv news, has brought urgency to the need for Citizen Data Science. With the availability of open government data increasing, traditional researchers moving toward Reproducible Research protocols and volumes of social media data produced every day, individuals can now use Citizen Data Science to hold politicians and corporations accountable. This presentation highlights the rise of the Citizen Data Scientist, provides examples of Citizen Data Science at work (featuring social media analysis of 2015 Federal Election) and provides a template on how to get involved in the Citizen Data Science movement.
- Jerry Lanouette: First Nations Information Governance Centre
First Nations Information Governance Centre
The First Nations principles of OCAP® are a set of standards that establish how First Nations data can be collected, protected, used or shared. OCAP® stands for Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (OCAP®) which reflects First Nations’ commitment to use and share information in a way that brings benefit to the community, while minimizing any possible harm.
OCAP® means that First Nations control data collection processes in their communities, and that they own, protect and control how their information is used. Access to First Nations data is important and First Nations determine, under appropriate mandates and protocols, how access to external researchers is facilitated and respected within mutually acceptable research agreements.
The First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) is the premier source of information about First Nations living on reserve and in northern communities. As the data steward, FNIGC houses national databases such as the First Nations Regional Health Survey, the Regional Early Childhood, Education and Employment Survey and the Community Survey.
- Selma Zaiane-Ghalia, Associate Professor, Université de Moncton, School of Kinesiology and Leisure, Faculty of Health Sciences and Community Services: Autism in New Brunswick : Accessibility of Information (en français)
- Dr. Chris Baker, University of New Brunswick, Saint John and CEO, IPSNP Computing Inc. NB. Self-service Data Federation of Open Data – Informing Environmental Management in Canada (co-author Dr Donald J Baird, Research Chair, Environment & Climate Change Canada, Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB.)
Self-service Data Federation of Open Data – Informing Environmental Management in Canada
Provisioning access to data has many social and technical challenges. Not least of these is that data predominately exists in legacy (un)structured formats and is geographically distributed in silos. Identifying the location of target data, knowing how to query and integrate it to reveal insights and inform policy decisions is increasingly beyond the scope of most scientists today.
Integration of data is the premier challenge limiting transformation of open data to actionable knowledge. The most commonly adopted approaches such as data warehousing and workflow scripting, are limited in scope, brittle and their outputs are poorly reusable and rarely support interoperability. Moreover they depend on highly trained and costly technical staff for their efficient use.
Data Federation is a viable and cost effective methodology offering real time access to distributed data in legacy formats. Data is returned according to interoperable data standards, ensuring easy data integration. Combined with graphical query composition, end users can formulate queries in the terminology of their domain, without knowing the underlying data structure or specific mechanisms required to access data and thereby perform complex, mission critical, knowledge discovery tasks in real time.
This talk will illustrate how federation of data and online algorithms using SADI semantic web services has permitted experts at Environment & Climate Change Canada to save many person-months in integrating open toxicology data to inform guideline development for pollution monitoring in Canada.
- Richard Pietro, Founder, OGT Productions; Catherine McGoveran, Government Information Librarian, University of Ottawa and Community and Social Media Liaison, Open Data Ottawa; Michael Easter, Freelance Software Developer and Co-organizer, PEI Open Data Book Club & PEI Developers: The Open Data Book Club
The Open Data Book Club
In August 2015 the Province of Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) & the Toronto Open Data Book Club embarked on a journey to reverse engineer how Open Data Sets are created and published.
Instead of the government miscellaneously choosing a “low hanging fruit” to publish, the MMAH provided the Toronto Open Data Book Club with unprecedented access to their Social Housing Database. Without divulging private or classified information, the two audiences were able to work together to develop the fields, format, and data for Ontario’s first Open Data set on Social Housing.
This presentation will provide an overview of this unique approach, highlighting the process involved, the challenges experienced, the lessons learned and the results achieved from this exciting endeavour.
Come listen to the story of how this all began and how this journey continues.
Break and Service of Plated Lunch
Panel: The NB Open Data Story
Chair: Cathy Simpson, T4G/TechImpact/nb+
Councillor Greg Norton, Saint John City Councillor & Open Data Champion
Alan Roy, Vice President, Public Services & Smart Government, Service New Brunswick
David Alston, Introhive/TechImpact/nb+/
The NB Open Data Story
Open Data, nb+, the Digital Society. These are buzzwords we hear more and more frequently in New Brunswick. This panel will demystify the terms, celebrate the journey so far, and point the way to the exciting developments that are here now and coming soon.
A convergence of innovative thinkers and doers brought about the creation of nb+ – A digital shift to a better New Brunswick. This partnership between TechImpact companies and the Government of NB is a major step towards advancing the digital society movement, of which panelist David Alston is a Champion. Gordon Gilman, CEO of Service New Brunswick, will tell us about the Smart Province initiative and the nb+ public-private sector partnership to incubate, co-create, and accelerate new public service solutions in the digital space. Municipalities, with their trove of data in key areas such as transportation, and their close interface with citizens, have a critical role to play in advancing the innovations and cost savings that open data can bring; Councillor Greg Norton of the City of Saint John will share the city’s journey to date and its plans for this huge resource. Chair Cathy Simpson, TechImpact leader for nb+ and Vice-President, Public Sector, T4G, is uniquely placed to pace this discussion, as her daily work touches all aspects of the movement. In a relaxed atmosphere over lunch, this panel will delineate the NB Open Data story both for New Brunswickers new to the movement and for our attendees from “away” while we have the pleasure of their company at the national Summit.
Michael Geist: Why “Open by Default” Must Go Beyond Open Data
Law professor, University of Ottawa, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law
André Laperrière: Open Data – The Next Revolution
Executive Director, Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition
Open Data: The Next Revolution
GODAN was born, based on the belief that building openness in policies and technologies will trigger greater opportunities for developing countries to transform into equitable and sustainable knowledge societies. This comes at the right time. It comes at a time when the world’ s population is tripling within less than one century, 3.6 billion more people to feed, house, provide work for and hopefully, live in satisfying conditions of well-being. Yet it also comes at a time when climate change not only makes it more difficult to produce more food, but it even interferes with our current capacity at it stands today. Yet not all is doom and gloom. Technology costs have gone down dramatically, while the world’s information/data underwent a fundamental change, from 1% in digital format in 1986 to 94% in 2007. This means that we are now in a unique position to generate, disseminate, share data, knowledge, in ways never seen before. However a number of obstacles need to be overcome to facilitate the effective, efficient and equitable flow of knowledge across the globe. In this discussion we will, through specific examples, illustrate how the right policies, legal environment, local ingenuity and commitment to data/knowledge sharing can overcome these obstacles and trigger major innovative initiatives across the world, leading both developed and developing countries to new levels of efficiency, effectiveness, food security and social welfare.
Concurrent Session 3: Panel – Open Data and the Rise of the Smart City Sensor
Chair: Ian Henshaw, OpenDataSoft Business Development, North America
Ryan Mannion, Territory Manager (Canada), Socrata
Jake Arsenault, The Black Arcs
Erin Flood, Chief Operating Officer, HotSpot Merchant Solutions
Kirk Cumming, Manager, Data & Application Services, City of Winnipeg
Open Data and the Rise of the Smart City Sensor
Traditionally, smart cities projects have been defined by their use of digital technologies to address urban challenges, but smart city strategies today are increasingly varied in their definition of what constitutes a ‘smart city,’ and more apt to include a mix of low- and high-tech approaches to achieving their goals.
Nonetheless, there is no doubt that cities are at the forefront of employing Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to improve sustainability, enhance citizen quality of life, and boost operational efficiency. In cities across the globe, billions of everyday objects ranging from trash bins to lampposts to water mains are being equipped with sensors, processors and communication devices to share valuable data across the Internet.
What does this new influx of sensor data mean in the context of open data? This is the issue our panel will explore. Specifically, we will address the following questions:
- Is there value to municipalities in making sensor data available as open data?
- Are most open data and smart city initiatives aligned today? If not, what are the challenges in coordinating these efforts?
- For those who share sensor data, with whom are they sharing it? Other government agencies? Ecosystem partners? The public? And, how is the data being used?
- What are the barriers to opening access to sensor data? Are they primarily technical, legal, financial, organizational, other?
- Does sensor data raise special issues in terms of data governance, including data privacy, ownership and security?
- Should cities monetize smart city data streams? Is this a viable option for helping to fund smart city initiatives?
Concurrent Session 4: Panel – Applying Open Data for Social Impact
Chair: Bianca Wylie, Open Data Institute Toronto
André Laperrière, Executive Director, Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition
Randy Hatfield, Saint John Human Development Council
Rob Davidson, Principal, Veracify
Nick Scott, Executive Director, New Brunswick Social Policy Research Network
Applying Open Data for Social Impact
Canada’s social sector has a strong history of using data both to guide its work and to advocate for better policies. Examples range from 211 referral systems for social services to the Community Data Program, which pools resources to buy and analyze Statistics Canada data about local communities. Adopting new technologies and sharing knowledge in a systematic way has helped charitable and non-profit organizations be more effective and better serve communities.
How can open data help the social sector? And how can organizations embrace innovation, while avoiding the pitfall of using technology for technology’s sake? How can technology be prioritized when front-line work is underfunded? What challenges are particular to the social sector? Where can non-profits and charities begin to engage with open data? How does data play a role in advocacy? With the rise of civic tech, how can the process to apply tech to social movements continue to improve? This panel will bring together practitioners to discuss these and other opportunities and challenges associated with open data in the social sector and ideas on where to go from here, and most importantly, how?
Concurrent Workshop 1 : Enhancing Civic Engagement through the Open Government Partnership
Chair/Facilitator: Jean-Noé Landry, Executive Director, Open North
Mary Francoli, Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University
Tracey Lauriault, Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University
Toby Mendel, Executive Director of the Centre for Law and Democracy, Halifax
Enhancing Civic Engagement through the Open Government Partnership: Challenges, Opportunities, and the need for a Permanent Dialogue Mechanism
The Open Government Partnership is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency and empower citizens. Upon joining in 2011, Canada has become a leader internationally on open data despite the shortcomings of the previous government on transparency and accountability issues. However, the OGP is increasingly becoming an important mechanism for stimulating innovation and connecting government and civil society to develop national scale open data plans and strategies.
The purpose of this workshop is threefold. First, it seeks to inform participants about the OGP, its mandate, and the Canadian progress to date. Second, it informs participants about existing mechanisms within the OGP that are, or could, be, used to foster collaborative relationships between government and civil society, as well as with the private sector, both nationally and internationally. Third, workshop participants will be invited to participate in a facilitated discussion about how to better organize and provide suggestions on how to broaden public engagement in government beyond the parameters set by the OGP as well as how best to harness the opportunities afforded by the OGP
Concurrent Workshop 2: Getting Started with Open Data for Canadian Business
Chair/Facilitator: Kevin Tuer, Managing Director, Canada’s Open Data Exchange and Vice President Strategic Initiatives, Communitech.
Getting Started with Open Data for Canadian Business
Format: 75 minutes
Provider: Canada’s Open Data Exchange
Audience: Executives, Managers and Individual Contributors in Small, Medium and Large Businesses; Economic Development and Business Support roles in Government and Non-Profit organizations
Getting Started with Open Data is a 75 minute presentation for business leaders that explains how to take advantage of open data to develop better products and services, market themselves more effectively, and drive better results.
Attendees will learn how open data can be used to develop, improve or market products and services or make a business more efficient.
Participants will be able to identify which levels of government have the kinds of data they need, locate useful data sets, apply tools and techniques for bringing open data into their company, and close skill or resource gaps in their organization to make effective use of open data. Participants will also learn about obstacles to the commercialization of open data and how to overcome them.
This presentation is also valuable to those in government and non-profits who work with business, and to government employees (in any discipline) who are new to opening data.
Concurrent Workshop 3: Data Literacy and Open Data
Chair/Facilitator: Mike Smit, Assistant Professor, School of Information Management, Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University
Chantel Ridsdale, Dalhousie University
Data Literacy and Open Data
Much of the value of open data is derived from a population’s ability to use it. Without the ability to manage, evaluate, and apply the data being provided, transparency, innovation, and problem solving is limited. Direct citizen engagement with open data begins with data literacy, and the realization of the potential open data requires data fluency and mastery.
We’ve recently completed a review of published literature on the role of postsecondary institutions in teaching and supporting data literacy across disciplines, and identified 23 competencies and 64 tasks, including conceptual, core, and advanced competencies that comprise data literacy. One key finding is the importance of realworld data to motivate students, and the use of iterative learning, project based learning, and hands-on learning to impart data literacy skills. We also identified many gaps in our collective understanding of data literacy.
This workshop will begin with a brief overview of our findings before transitioning to facilitated breakout discussions on the core skills needed to be data literate, data fluent, and data masters in the context of open data. We’ll conclude with a brief brainstorming session on the role open data can play in data literacy training at various levels of education. The results of the workshop will be summarized in a white paper and shared with all participants, and we hope the conversation will inform data education across Canada’s education system.
Realizing this goal requires community commitment and collaboration if this is to succeed. We have the power to ensure that this premier issue is considered a priority to the people who educate our society, at all levels.
Best practices for teaching data literacy skills include collaboration between educators, organizations, and institutions to ensure goals are being met by all stakeholders; diverse and creative teaching approaches and environment including the effective use of technology; successive/iterative learning with complementary skills integrated (e.g. projectbased learning); emphasizing mechanics in addition to concepts (i.e. practical, hands on learning); and increasing engagement with the content by using real world data.
There are many gaps in this field of research, and this is intended to be a conversation with exercises concerning how to address these and create the best instruction for those who need it.
Recommendations/ Calls to Action from the Workshops
Closing Keynote: From Hype to Mainstream and Beyond
Christian Couturier, Executive Partner, Gartner
From Hype to Mainstream and Beyond
This thought-provoking talk will attempt to bridge the gap between the past, present, and future in which Open Data plays a role. The Nexus of Forces has accelerated the speed at which business and public sector organizations have been adopting Digital Business/Government as we witness the rise of the Internet of Things. Where to next? What is replacing the pressures from Cloud, Social, Mobile and Information as we are already busy rethinking business models? The answer lies somewhere between Smart Machines and full Automation.
End of Canadian Open Data Summit