The keen public interest in issues like open data, open government and e-participation, the role they can play in solving political conflicts and future global challenges and their explosive impact on headline news (think Stuttgart 21/#S21) was shown by the high attendance at the Camp which brought together 200 people from public administration, politics, science, NGOs and enterprise. The two day event was marked by the plethora of best practice models brought forward by public administration including such landmark projects as the digital memory bank of the city of Coburg (digitales Gedächtnis der Stadt Coburg), and international contributions to open data projects like the internet portal Data.gov.uk from Great Britain which draws on the expertise of the UK government’s Transparency Board.
After the first day spent at the Bavarian Representation in Berlin which offered an introductory overview of the issues connected with open data, government 2.0 and e-participation and ended with a keynote address by the IT responsible of the Bavarian government, secretary of state Franz Josef Pschierer, day two kicked off in true BarCamp format at Unter den Linden ,the Bertelsmann Foundation’s representative offices in Berlin
Proceedings were opened by Brigitte Mohn. In her speech she welcomed the BarCamp as an event format tailored to nurturing dialogue, emphasized the important role played by open data in the vitalization of democracy in Germany, and referred to the findings of the FORSA Survey entitled “Do citizens really want more transparency?” in which 88% of all respondents were in favor of the publication of non-personal data by public agencies.
With no less than 24 sessions the second day offered a richly diversified and exciting program for all concerned. Small groups talked with staff from the Federal Ministry of the Interior about the benefits open data bring to the general population, the economy and public administration or put forward their own ideas about specific internet applications (apps) in mobile telephony for the data-aided enhancement of administrative processes. Two projects from the Bertelsmann Foundation - the Bürgerforum 2011 and the data app Stock and Flows, together with the www.futurechallenges.org platform which shows the mutual financial indebtedness of individual states, used the opportunity to present themselves for comments and criticism from the Camp audience. The Foundation’s own platform www.futurechallenges.org was the host of this year’s Government 2.0 Camp.
The first concrete results of the Government 2.0 Camp have been very encouraging and speak highly for the results-oriented working methods of the BarCamp format. The 28 October now marks the first of a regular series of joint talks on Open Government and Open Data with the City of Berlin. More information on this initiative is given on: http://opendataberlin.wordpress.com.