Labs Events


  • When: Third Thursday of every month at 1700-1800 (London time)
  • Where: Google Hangouts - we’ll announce link on the day on the mailing list, Twitter, and in chat
  • Who: anyone
  • Sign up: Leave a comment on the relevant hangout topic (optional but recommended)

We run regular online “hangouts” where we get together to discuss things we’ve been building. These events happen on the third Thursday of every month and are organized via the forum. Anyone can come along and contribute.

Open Knowledge Labs Hangouts

Hangouts are an opportunity for folks to learn more about open source tech work done at the Open Knowledge Foundation as well as to present and discuss projects and ideas from the community. We will also discuss any general Labs administrative issues such as improvements to website, upcoming events, etc. If you’d like to present something, please edit the relevant hangout topic and add it to the agenda (slots are max 5m).

Open Data Maker Events

We also run in-person Open Data Maker Events. These are informal events focused on “making” with open data – whether that’s creating apps or insights. They aren’t a general meetup – if you come, expect to get pulled into actually building something, though we won’t force you!

The events usually have short introductory talks about specific projects and suggestions for things to work on. It’s also absolutely fine to turn up knowing nothing about data, coding or openness – people will be happy to share their knowledge and there’ll always be an activity for you to help with and someone to guide you in contributing!

Organize Your Own

We encourage community members to start their own - all you need is enthusiasm! Here’s a simple recipe (though feel free to run things differently). It consists of 3 steps:

  1. Boot the Event [5-15m]
  2. Prep for the event including sending out announcements and inviting people [Up to you!]
  3. Run

1. Boot the Event

1.1 Create Event Page

  • Create an event page with signup.
    • We recommend using - but you can use whatever you like - key thing is to make it very easy for people to sign up
  • Title: “Open Data Maker [Your Location] - [Month] [Year]” - e.g. “Open Data Maker London - Feb 2015”
  • Add information: when, where, what, who (signup). You could copy and paste the outline above for the what.

2. Preparation for the Event

2.1 Let people know about it

  • Tweet about it (including “@OKFNLabs”)
  • Fill in this form so we can list it.
  • Post on Facebook, G+, etc.
  • Email relevant lists and folks
    • You may want to specifically invite (direct email, DM …) some people e.g. if there is someone with an interesting project to share

2.2 Prep materials

  • Prep activities for people to work on: we suggest prepping at least one topic people could work on - see below for standard options you could use

  • Create a Scratchpad: Prep a scratchpad using etherpad, Google Doc, or a new forum topic.

    • Suggest creating an easy to remember link for this using or similar
    • Must be collaboratively editable

3. Running the Event

You can run your event however you like. This is a suggested outline for for a 2-3h evening event.

  • Welcome [2-3m]: what is an “Open Data Maker event”. Key points:
    • About “making” (apps and insights) with open data
    • You don’t need to be a geek - insights as well as apps, plus you can come to learn
    • Give out wifi instructions ;-)
    • Give out link to scratchpad
  • Introductions [5m] (depends on number of people): 10-20 second introductions from people (very short - name etc). Ask people to put themselves down in scratchpad
  • Project Introductions [5-10m]: space for people to introduce their project or idea that they may work on that evening (keep these each to <2m)
  • Go! People start “making” usually in groups (people cluster around stuff they find interesting)
  • [Whilst this is going organize food if you have not done that in advance]
  • Wrap-up [15m]: at end of evening a quick wrap-up / report back and discussion of when to run next one

Suggestions for Activities at an Open Data Maker

  • Visualize your Local Gov Finances with OpenSpending: great as people can get from a CSV to a viz within the 1-2h of the evening and there’s a step-by-step guide
  • A data expedition / investigation e.g. where is the highest level of unemployment in our country (see School of Data for more on how to organize these)

Want Help?

If you want some suggestions or help just get in touch.

Previous Events

TimeMap of Labs Events

Get Involved

Join our discussion list. Here, we exchange datasets and ideas and plan our projects.

Many of us also hang out and chat on Gitter:

Get Hacking

Check out the projects list or the ideas page. Contribute and earn a badge!