Call for Proposals: Canadian Open Data Summit 2020

    Final Extension – Dec 20, 2019, noon Eastern! Please note change of date for holding the Summit – now autumn 2020.

    The Canadian Open Data Summit (CODS) is a conference that has been held annually in Canada 2014-2018. The conference is held in a different Canadian city each year. As a grassroots, community-driven event, the conference has been governed by a national standing committee composed of volunteer open data community members, while being hosted each year by a local organization.

    In 2019 the committee, recognizing both momentum and opportunity, took a gap year to work towards incorporating into a formal organization known as the Canadian Open Data Society, a membership-based non-profit entity.

    This Call for Proposals is being issued by the Working Group that will become the first board of the Society upon incorporation (slated for December 2019) and that will select the host for the 2020 Canadian Open Data Summit to be held in the autumn of 2020.

    The Summit aims to promote Open Data in Canada through:

    • expanding the awareness of Open Data and its benefits
    • supporting and grow the Canadian Open Data community
    • addressing the most pressing challenges facing the open data community on a national scale

    The host organization manages all logistics and takes full financial responsibility for the event including booking the venue, arranging for sponsors, booking speakers, etc. The Board and appropriate subcommittees are available as a strong network and guide to provide contacts, advice, and corporate memory. The Society will provide the host organization with materials from past conferences such as templates, communications materials, and the list of those past attendees who have agreed to be contacted.

    The host is expected to represent themselves as part of the larger open data community. While it is expected that one of the most valuable outcomes of hosting the summit is a boost in national profile for the hosting organization, the platform should not be abused as a sales tool by either the hosts or its sponsors. Rather, the focus needs to remain on the community good.

    Similarly, we ask speakers and other participants to focus on the community good, and the host organization will help facilitate this focus, with the assistance of the Board and its committees.

    The conference provides an exceptional opportunity for the hosting organization to make a huge contribution to the Canadian Open Data Community and benefit by being recognized as a national leader in the field. We hope you’ll realize great value from hosting the conference.

    We would be very pleased to receive your proposals to host CODS2020.

    The Working Group to Create the Canadian Open Data Society

    A. Why (no more than 200 words)

    Details about why you should host it. This could include;

    1. Your overall Open Data strategy/philosophy/values
    2. The Open Data strategy/philosophy/values you wish to promote for the conference
    3. Thoughts on proposed program/themes
    4. Local environment (convergence of elements in your region that would make hosting the Summit well-supported at this time)

    B. Where

    Details about city: Please give us the elevator pitch about why your city is a great place to hold an open data summit.

    1. Information about city amenities
    2. Information about the open data/ open city/ open government/ hackathon activities in your city

    C. Proposal Partners (can be bullet points; no more than 100 words)**

    Information about the host partnership. We’re looking for an organization or a coalition of organizations within a city to organize the conference. For example, there might be a city/community organization coalition. Or there might be a provincial/private sector. The best coalition will represent a broad range of the open data ecosystem and represent values such as open data transparency, accountability, and commercialisation.

    1. Each application could describe both existing and potential partnerships that the applicant would seek to leverage
    2. One lead organization, core group should be identified.
    3. The lead organisation must be a legal entity as it will function as the “bank.”

    D. Continuity, Growth

    • How will your plan elevate the summit from past years? For example, what would you build on? What are the opportunities for CODS2020 at your location?

    E. Timing

    We need a date or dates.

    1. When do you propose to hold it?
    2. Please indicate how your date relates to other open data events happening in Canada in that timeframe.
    3. Do you intend to link the timing of CODS with other events happening in your city’s vicinity? How so?
      1. Do you see opportunities to build in side events or extensions to CODS2020? Which ones?

    F. Budget (can be bullet points or table format)

    • Nothing detailed. Just x, y, z. How much you plan to charge.
    • In the past, CODS15 cost 40K, for a one-day event in Ottawa attended by 183 participants.
    • The CODS16 budget had costs in excess of 60K, for an evening awards dinner plus one-day event in Saint John NB with 215 attendees.
    • Some previous CODS budgets can be made available upon request by applicants.

    G. Programming

    • Hosts are responsible to present programming that will appeal to both seasoned members of the Canadian Open Data community (e.g., standards, data quality) and to newcomers (e.g., why is open data important and how can a newcomer engage in a practical way?), per the objectives in section A, and to identify which audience is appropriate in each session. Therefore hosts will be expected to include the audience-level requirement in all responses to the Call for Content.
    • Outline briefly your plans to reach each audience level in your attendance promotion and your programming.

    H. Submitting Your Proposals

    • You may send your proposals to
    • The deadline for submitting the proposals is: Dec 20th, 2019, noon Eastern
    • The proposals will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the Working Group/Board and a recommendation presented to the Working Group/Board as a whole.
    • A decision will be announced on the CODS web site in January.
    • We are currently accepting submissions for CODS2020 only.