Open Data: Realising Its Value To Society – Wednesday 4 September 2019


We are very pleased to welcome Catherine Stihler OBE, the Chief Executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, to talk about her experience in leading that organisation, also everything that it does to help civil society groups access and use data to take action on social problems, by:

  • showing the value of open data for the work of civil society organizations
  • providing organisations with the tools and skills to effectively use open data
  • making government information systems responsive to civil society

There will be an opportunity to ask Catherine questions, and a workshop where we will go into more depth and detail about the issues and questions arising. We look forward to seeing you there! To get a flavour of what Catherine will be talking about, see the interview with her at A few excerpts are given below:

  • What we're about in Open Knowledge is about a fair, free, and open future, an open world where all non-personal information is open, free for everyone to use, build on, and share, and also, we want to see that creators and innovators are recognized and rewarded. Data is part of that picture, but knowledge is so much bigger, and that's something that we're coming back to our roots about to think about how we open knowledge so that people can now have a fair, free, and open future.
  • Because at the moment what we're facing is really the fight between an open future and a closed future, and my fearfulness is that we're going down this closed-future route where only those with money will be able to have access to knowledge, and that is in no one's interest. If we want to keep knowledge open and accessible, we need to fight for that fair, free, and open future, and you see that—I was involved in many of the copyright debates that were going on in the European Union when I was formerly a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), and that's what got me into this open world.
  • [The] concept that people keep talking about, open by default or privacy by design and how do we get that right are key questions as we move forward in this space and in the world that we want to see. We can go back to that we want to see a fair, free, and open future with an open world, and we want to see that because we think that's in all of our interests to be there. But at the moment that's under threat and hugely pressurized.  If we want to see that world, we need to campaign for it and give options and solutions for how we can achieve that, and I think Open Knowledge is quite well-placed to do that, working with others.


Catherine Stihler is the chief executive officer of Open Knowledge Foundation. She represented Scotland in the European Parliament between 1999 and 2019. As Vice-Chair of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, Catherine worked on digital policy, prioritising the digital single market, digital skills, better accessibility of digital products for the disabled, as well as citizen online data protection and privacy. She wrote a number of influential reports and opinions; calling for libraries to be included in copyright exceptions available to formal educational institutions and introducing exceptions to protect access to works allowing for private study and research. Over the years, Catherine has been recognised as an ambassador for accessibility, consumer and citizen rights.

The Twitter hashtag for this event is #netikx100.

Provisional Timetable

14:00 - 14:30   Registration (and refreshments)

14:30 - 15.45   Speaker

15.45 - 16:05   Tea and networking

16:05 - 16:45   Syndicate session

16:45 - 17:00   Reporting back and general discussion

17:00 - 18:00   Refreshments and a glass of wine

18:00               Close


The British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS (The nearest London Underground Station is Bond Street)

Seminar Costs

If you are a NetIKX Member or join NetIKX now, there is no charge

Non-members are welcome to attend. Please register below.

Athough the normal rate for non-members is £30, there will be discounts available for returning members and others. For further information, please send an email to web[at]

If you have a problem registering for this meeting, please send an email to web[at]

Price: £30.00