First Pre-Hack meeting for the Danish Pilot

Pre-hack ChallengesThe first Pre-hack meeting for the Copenhagen pilot was held at the VerdensKulturCentret to work around the experience of being a refugee, asylum seeker or otherwise ‘new’ in Denmark. From there we discussed and identified key challenges, needs and possibilities.
Among others, we considered the challenges of: Mastering their own life, access information, healthcare, rights and language skills, understand the Danish culture.

We will continue from here, to address those challenges and to prepare the ground (datasets, further links) for the coming work

The workshop allowed us to clarify the challenges we can work within a sort of ‘hackathon’. That is, an event in which we facilitate cooperation between citizens and experts with different academic and practical backgrounds and expertise. The aim is to create new services and solutions – or improve existing services. The concepts must make sense and be practical for asylum seekers and newcomers in Denmark – or for active groups supporting them.

We look forward to working with interested individuals and firms and bodies the next few years!

Thanks to all the dedicated participants that Thursday evening in VerdensKulturCentret attended our workshop. Also a big thank you to our Danish partners in Open4Citizens project!


Literature Review (Executive Summary)

word cloud literature reviewThis literature review and field studies report is a catalogue of inspiration and examples to support the O4C consortium as we
aim to make a difference by empowering citizens and engaging them with Open Data. Throughout the document we suggest key concerns to focus our project attention as we invite experimentation and exploration in the five pilot sites. The figure represents a word-cloud of the total text in the literature review and field studies report; offering a ‘lightweight’ illustration of the topics covered.

First (in section 1) we outline how the deliverable is situated at the outset of an explorative project that will run the next two-and-a-half years. We determine the scope and the structure of the deliverable and detail the snowball method by which the review has come into being.

We then turn to situate our O4C efforts among other initiatives and projects that pioneer and define open data (in section 2). We describe how a number of challenges pertain to enabling meaningful use of open data sets and repositories made open to the public. The actual value of open data is closely tied together with actual use of it, but in practice many elements (institutions, organizations and different groups of people) has to be joined together in new ways. Controversies and discrepancies may lurk on several levels between ‘data-demand’ or data-relevance versus existing ‘open data-supply’.

This complexity underlines the importance of what we will do in the O4C project: It is crucial to explore how more involving activities, connections, networks and collaborations can be established around open data. The case-example on co-creation with open data in Rotterdam highlights what can be gained when academia, private sector representatives, creative industry and the local municipality work actively together around open data. Important feedback can flow back and forth and a more social sustainable policy agenda can be created; also inviting more active and meaningful use of open data.

Following this exemplification, we elaborate what inspirations give initial shape to our citizen-centered approach (in section 3) – and how we regard the design challenge in front of us as that of creating collaborative open data ecosystems that invite citizens, various stakeholders and other interested groups to tinker with open data together. We highlight a few details on cases we find particularly inspiring at the current moment: The case of “My Neighbourhood”, reminds us about the importance of trust, meaningfulness and relevant ‘gatekeepers’ when building digital information technological initiatives. The project “Mappina” illustrates a community-based, creative and alternative city-map-making. Furthermore, the “Buurt Bestuurt” and “Better Reykjavik” examples suggest a way forward that allow for more authority given to the voices of citizens and local residents through the application of information technology and data related applications. Lastly the cases from Barcelona; “i2Healthsanpau” and “Fabra&Coats”, remind us how there might be interesting avenues to follow by experimenting with cross-fertilization and inspiration between different sectors; e.g. between health innovation and urban service development.

In the following chapter (section 4) we detail how the format of the ‘hackathon’ is particularly suitable for igniting collaboration, ideation, multi-disciplinary networking and productive data tinkering in practice. The hackathon cycles we will host within the framework of the O4C will draw on methods and process-facilitation inspired from co-design events and design/service jams. We hope to facilitate processes that spur inspiration, ideation and implementation related to open data across multi-disciplinary teams of various backgrounds and expertise/skill levels. We see that a broad variety of fields and backgrounds ideally should be synthesized and we will strive to connect design methods with other ways of working with and making sense of data. Furthermore, we will both draw upon and eventually supplement the existing body of knowledge that advice on how to organize hackathons and explore open data.

Before drawing conclusions (in the final section 6) we initiate reflection about the social impact of our project by suggesting a first take on a definition of social sustainability (section 5). We take the first steps here and allow for the notion of sustainability to be further elaborated in WP4: Social Impact and Sustainability. On several levels social sustainability is a relevant term. We aim to enable and empower citizens to use open data in support of social sustainability at the local level. A key objective for our project is also to establish the OpenDataLabs as a sustainable platform and network for meaningful innovation with open data. The vision is that of an international movement of empowered citizens who understand the opportunities of open data and are able to collaborate with other key stakeholders. This is why the characteristics of the global Fab Lab movement is described in detail – as an illustrative example of what we hope to create around open data.

Open data might remain more abstract and intangible than what is possible to produce in a Fab Lab, but the Fab Lab movement do represent a model for a locally situated but globally dispersed network; inviting practical data-tinkering as an important method for creation and innovation. In the OpenDataLabs we might in a similar manner make available tools, software and data expertise – as well as organize events and initiatives to encourage and inspire broader groups of citizens to begin to make use of open data. Inspired by a slogan from the world of ‘fabbing’, we will involve citizens to ‘think globally but tinker locally about open data’.


The full text of the deliverable will be available after its approval best price for viagra 100mg.

D.1.1 Domain and Theme Definition (executive summary)

The Open4Citizens project is framed in the broader area of research and applications that explore the potential of phenomena emerging at the intersection between technological development, social innovation and business opportunities.


This deliverable outlines the context for the project and describes its scope.

Section 3 describes the domain of the project.

The increasing computing capability makes it possible to record every single moment of the life of cities, citizens, territories, businesses and public institutions. If we look at the large amount of data being available, we will notice some relevant phenomena. On the input side the large amount of automatically generated data is coming from various kinds of sensors, as well as more subjective data coming from public authorities and individuals, who communicate through social networking. On the output side there is an increased capability to elaborate the data into meaningful application and an increased awareness of the potential this data is offering.

While several business companies are quickly finding their way to exploit this potential, the public perception of the new perspective is quite low in the public sector and among citizens.

The availability of such a rich new resource is necessary to trigger public and social innovation mechanisms, but this is not a sufficient condition, if the potential users of this resource cannot imagine meaningful uses of it.

This project will work on bridging the gap between the innovation potential of open data and the citizens’ capability to use this resource. This gap is the general logical framework for the project.

The project will be organised on two cycles of hackathons that will involve citizens, interest groups, public authorities, IT experts and local businesses. The hackathon, and the preparation work to define the themes, will explore the existing datasets, with the aim of generating service solutions, not just applications that will address specific citizens’ need.

The illustration of the project’s context in section 3 also includes an overview of relevant EU projects in this area, part of which have been developed by some of the members of the Open4Citizen consortium.

Section 3 also defines the scope of the project, which can be articulated in four main thematic areas:

  1. Involving citizens
  2. Designing solutions, rather than simple applications
  3. Exploring existing and potential datasets
  4. Creating new knowledge, thus increasing public awareness, on the potential of open data.


In section 4 the themes of the first hackathon cycle are described, including the criteria for selecting relevant actors to involve to the hackathons.

In Denmark the first hackathon will focus on migrants and will involve local citizens’ communities that are now operating to support migrants integration and asylum seekers, public authorities, small companies and groups that are actively exploring open data, and, of course, migrants and asylum seekers.

The Italian team will focuses on transparency in urban transformations and construction yards activated by the public authority. Major public works are raising the interest of ordinary citizens as well as professional groups, who would like to have a better view about the status of each project. This is not always possible, because of the complexity of related bureaucratic processes and a long-standing tradition of “reluctance to openness” of public administration towards citizens. The Italian pilot will gather interest groups, public authorities, citizens and other relevant stakeholders.


The theme of the hackathon in Spain, “How can the citizens use open data to design services that cover their needs?” will be articulated along three subthemes: urban services, local culture and healthcare. The idea is not to restrict the focus to one of the subthemes but to explore the possibilities for cross fertilisation among them.


The nature of the organization – Experio Lab – that will lead the Swedish pilot is indeed part of the regional authority, which is coordinating innovation policies in the healthcare sector. This position will also make it easier to gather all the relevant stakeholders for the hackathon. Here, too, the main theme of healthcare will be articulated in three subthemes: Healthcare, Self-care and Wellness


Finally the first cycle of hackathons in The Netherlands will also focus on urban development and more specifically on participatory governance and involvement of citizens in planning and organising public parks. The hackathon in Rotterdam will be framed in a series of (connected) citizens’ initiatives to keep public parks and green areas and facilitate a variety of grassroot needs of local communities through better use of these areas.


Although diverse, the themes of the hackathons have common traits and present concrete challenges, regarding the involvement of public authorities, the effective engagement of citizens in dealing with complex technical tasks, the motivation and participation of technical experts and local business.


Section 5 highlights differences and similarities between the hackathons in the 5 pilots’ location. Besides the obvious characteristic of involving citizens in the hackathons, some common questions emerge, that will be clarified in the organisation of the hackathon in the hackathon event. The questions concern the involvement of public authorities, the collaboration between people with different skills, the long term involvement of technical people in the development of the results of the hackathons, the involvement of start-ups that will possibly bring the result of the hackathon to an operative level, and the capability of this form of collaboration to address the complexity of the problems.


Those questions are central in making sure that the results of the hackathon will “bridge the gap” between the potential of open data and their actual usability. They are also contributing to define the knowledge for the OpenDataLabs, which are going to support citizens’ participation in the definition of new solutions based on the use of open data.


The full text of the deliverable will be available after its approval.

Press Release

Open4Citizens improves the meaningful use of Open Data supporting the engagement of urban communities see page.

O4CtextThe latest developments in Open Data and Open Government allow the collection and publication of huge datasets that can provide insightful information on many aspects of urban life (health care, social and environmental services). However, the full potential of this phenomenon is still largely untapped: even though such databases are constantly incorporating new data, the resulting information is only used by a small number of organizations ­ mostly private that know how to use this data for commercial purposes. While the European Union promotes the vision that all Public Sector Information should become available to the general public, in just few cases Open Data is actually used to support better public policies or decision-­making.

The EU funded O4C project aims to integrate citizens more tightly both at the input and output side of the Open Data phenomenon. On the input side, the data collected from institutional sources (such as traffic-­related, environmental, statistics) are complemented by user ­generated data (such as anonymous logs to portals and personal data users are willing to make publicly available on social networks). On the output side, the project focuses on the creation of “playgrounds”, where citizens and other local actors are empowered to actually convene and cooperate to the development of new web and mobile applications that enhance their very own experience of already existing public services. These playgrounds include service jams, hackathons, co-­design workshops, and other physical or virtual events, open to citizens, interest groups, but also representatives of the public sector, students, hackers and startuppers.
O4C is carried out in five pilot locations – in Denmark, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and The Netherlands – with the purpose of creating unique communities of practice (OpenDataLabs) , whereby citizens and other stakeholders can co­-create innovative applications based on Open Data. The project will investigate and document the ways Open Data allow to co­create new public services that improve the quality of their daily lives.
The consortium: Aalborg University Copenhagen -­ coordinator (Denmark), I2CAT (Spain), Politecnico di Milano (Italy), Telecom (Italy), Experio (Sweden), Antropologerne (Denmark), TU Delft (The Nederlands), Dataprocess (Denmark).
H2020 Contract Number: ICT­687818
Subprogramme Area: Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation
To know more about the project:

Kick-off meeting

11-12 January 2016 the Open4Citizen project started with the Kick-Off meeting at AAU-Copenhagen.
All the partners of the consortium met for the first time and discussed organisational, administrative and content-related aspects of the project.

Some of the partners have a consolidated history of mutual collaboration, others are new, therefore the meeting was a good opportunity to tune-up expectations and perspectives and to start thinking how Open4Citizen can make a difference.
The partners also included workshop sessions, where the consortium started the discussion on the format of the hackathon, the content of the first cycle of hackathons, the methodologies and the expected outcomes of this first cycle.


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