The Open Data Institute (ODI) was founded at the end of 2012 with the goal of kick-starting a culture in the UK where ‘open’ can be regarded as the default position for public and private sector data. It wanted to increase awareness of its aims and achievements.
Working with Thwaites Communications, the institute organised its first annual summit. The ODI was keen to create an impressive multimedia event, rather than a staid PowerPoint-ridden affair.
Activities included creating an ‘open data map’ of London, displaying the artwork on a window at the summit, and installing a neon sign displaying the message ‘knowledge for everyone’.
An annual report was produced that was designed to look like a classic Ladybird children’s book.
Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and co-founder of the ODI, was presented with one of only eight copies in existence of the Skor Codex, a book of encoded binary data selected to portray the diversity of life and intended for any intelligent life forms or future humans who might find it in the next 1,000 years.
To provide entertainment after the summit, the ODI hired the band Public Service Broadcasting, who incorporate old public information films, archive footage and propaganda material in performances.
The event attracted widespread international media coverage. Following the summit, there was a 1 68 per cent increase in page views of the ODI website, while Twitter mentions of the institute trebled.