Solving problems digitally

The Open Knowledge Foundation stands for transparency and public participation. Three questions and answers about the initiative.

Working together for open knowledge: the Open Knowledge Foundation
Working together for open knowledge: the Open Knowledge Foundation Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland e.V.

“Open knowledge” is a keyword for digital society. What do you mean by it?

By “open knowledge” we mean information or data from various areas that are publicly available and can be used, recovered and shared without restriction. With a view to data protection, it is important that the information not be personal.

What is the use of open knowledge?

Open knowledge has many advantages. The decisive one is that democracy lives from citizens being able to judge the actions of the state and become politically active. This is difficult when certain information isn’t publicly available or is hard to obtain. Open knowledge makes possible democratic participation.

What does the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) do?

The Open Knowledge Foundation Germany is a non-profit association that advocates transparency and citizen participation. Our team is internationally networked and consists of activists and experts from science, IT and politics. They receive support from a community of volunteers. The OKF’s commitment is diverse. “For example”, as our Managing Director Henriette Litta has explained, “we are developing digital platforms with which we can show how certain social problems can be solved”. One of these projects is the FragDenStaat (AsktheState) Internet portal, which supports citizens in submitting questions to politicians and administration and publishes the answers.

With funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the OKF oversees the Prototype Fund, a funding instrument for civic tech – technical solutions that allow citizens to participate – data literacy and IT security. “Another focus of our work”, as Henriette Litta has said, “is training children and young people to understand digital technologies and use them confidently”.

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