Collaborations with government, civil society and technology providers for successful open data – Cross-disciplinary panel

Tuesday 17 September, 14:15 – 16:00 @ Room 13, Floor 2

Moderator: Irina Bolychevsky, Open Government Data and CKAN Manager, Open Knowledge Foundation

Panel members:

  • Oluseun Onigbinde, Co-Founder/Lead Director, BudgIT (remote connection)

This panel brings together leaders working in civil society, technology and government – all dependent on the open data ecosystem for their survival. We shall hear tales of their successes and failures – how our panelist have used open data to make their projects work and the challenges they still face to learn how we can work together to enrich the open data ecosystem for everyone.


Irina Bolychevsky is the Government Open Data and CKAN Lead at the Open Knowledge Foundation. As CKAN Product Owner she delivered the new user friendly interface and design of CKAN 2.0 and worked closely with both and to relauch their sites with CKAN as the core. Now, she is the point person for Open Government Data, involved in Open Government Partnership events and Open Data Census work, as well as working on establishing CKAN as a sustainable community driven open source project. Previously, Irina worked for a London startup and as a Philosophy Consultant.

Francis Irving, CEO of ScraperWiki, is a computer programmer living in Liverpool, UK. He was founding developer at mySociety, which over the last 8 years has made the world’s most innovative democracy websites. In 2004, TheyWorkForYou was the first website to scrape a Parliament and make a better interface for citizens, inspiring the Sunlight Foundation. Other sites Francis helped make at mySociety include: FixMyStreet, the first national interface for reporting graffiti, potholes etc.; WhatDoTheyKnow, the first interface for making Freedom of Information requests in public. In his earlier career, Francis founded developer tool TortoiseCVS, which with its successors is used by tens of millions of people. He has a first class degree in Maths from Oxford University.

Jeni Tennison is the Technical Director of the Open Data Institute, responsible for the ODI’s research, development and policy work. As a developer, she specialises in open data publishing and consumption, including XML, JSON and linked data APIs. She trained as a knowledge engineer, gaining a PhD researching collaborative online ontology development. Jeni was the technical architect and lead developer for and worked on the linked data aspects of She is author of several technical books and was appointed to the W3C’s Technical Architecture Group in 2011. She is also a member of the UK’s Open Data User Group, Open Standards Board and Government Linked Data Group.

Oluseun Onigbinde, a graduate of Electrical/Electronics Engineering from the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta has previously worked in First Bank Nigeria Plc. and Access Bank Plc. Being a firm adherent of open data and how it guarantees a transparency and initiates communities to action, he currently leads a civic startup in Nigeria named BudgIT. Oluseun Onigbinde is a contributor to the Data Journalism Handbook, a member of the Open Spending Wiki Group, Open Knowledge Foundation Ambassador and also a consultant to DFID Federal Reform projects. In 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Ashoka fellowship, 2012 Future Awards and the World Youth Summit Awards. BudgIT, his organisation was listed by Forbes Magazine as one of the top five exciting African startups to watch out for in 2013.

Kat Borlongan is an open data enthusiast with several hats. Currently, she is the co-founder of Five by Five, an advisor to the French Government’s open data task force and a founding member of Open Knowledge Foundation France. Prior to this, she worked as the Country Director of Reporters sans frontières’ Canadian bureau and as a public information consultant to the SNCF and the International Civil Aviation Organization. As a merit scholar of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kat completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Bordeaux. She also holds a master’s degree in Communication from McGill University.

David Beal is the Self Service Director at Smart Service Queensland – driving and developing the online service delivery channel for Queensland Government.

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