Who we are and what we are doing?

The Open Knowledge (OK) is a non-profit organisation founded in 2004 and dedicated to promoting open data and open content in all their forms – including government data, publicly funded research and public domain cultural content.

OK is an international leader in its field and has extensive experience in building tools and community around open material. Our software development work includes some of the most innovative and widely acclaimed projects in the area. For example, our CKAN project is the world’s leading open source data portal platform – used by data.gov, data.gov.uk, the European Commission’s open data portal, and numerous national, regional and local portals from Austria to Brazil to Ireland.

OK Ireland is part of the global Open Knowledge non-profit network. OK are people passionate about openness, and using advocacy, technology and training to unlock data to enable people to create, manage and share knowledge. We are running different kinds of projects under the topics School of Data, Open Government Data, Open Transport, Open Economics, Open Access and OpenSpending. OK Ireland is an active component of Irish Civil Society. We promote civil rights, and in particular,  we advocate for a greater use of online tools as a means to increase citizen participation in public decision making.

OK Ireland is a member of the Open Data Community, is working on opendata.ie to help citizens access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Irish Government and public sector authorities. You can follow our activities on our community forumour blog and our events page.

Since 2011 OK Ireland also executed a civic campaign which resulted in a commitment of the Irish government to participate in the Open Government Partnership in 2013.

Our Mission

We believe that open knowledge provides benefits throughout society and helps to make it more democratic. Open knowledge helps citizens to obtain access to vital information and leads to an enlightened public opinion. Open knowledge opens society to better governance, opening the doors greater social access in cultural, research and economical fields.

We encourage and participate in a variety of initiatives to improve accountability in government and industry, increase public transparency, empower communities to identify and solve problems, provide a platform for new services and products, promote innovative ways to improve services, and measure the impact of policies.

We facilitate and offer training in tools demonstrating and empowering the possibilities and opportunities of open data to empower citizens to become active. We conduct educational events, projects and publications in the areas such as science, research and outreach, and education.

Our Vision

Knowledge is power. With key information openly available, power can be held to account, inequality challenged, and inefficiencies exposed. With the latest research openly available, everyone has the potential to understand our world – and to change it.

This information includes how governments spend our money — both plans and in reality — so that they are accountable to citizens. It includes the laws which govern us, the results of elections, maps and postcode information — the plumbing of modern society. It includes how companies are owned and controlled so that proper governance can be fostered and damaging social and environmental practices can be uncovered. It includes data about global challenges such as poverty and climate change, and the findings of publicly-funded research, so we can start to understand these, tackle them, and know if our solutions are working.

We work towards a world where information helps deliver a balance of power; where we are free to make our own choices, with key information and insights are available to all.

The concept of openness is critical: that information is free for anyone, anywhere, to use for any purpose, so that everyone – citizens, scientists, activists, entrepreneurs, all of us – have access to the information we need.

Our Values

We are a worldwide network of people passionate about openness, and we use advocacy, technology and training to unlock information so everyone can benefit from open knowledge. Open Knowledge Ireland shares the value of the global network, namely:

Open Knowledge: All our activities are connected to open knowledge. The Open Definition sets out what this means: “Open means freely shared for anyone, anywhere, to use for any purpose.”
Whether we are convening communities, developing tools, creating open material, or seeing it used to effect change, open knowledge should be at the heart of what we do. We hold firmly to the Open Definition as the defining concept at the heart of the open movement, and will call out attempts to weaken or misuse this definition, and strive to maintain this clear, shared definition of open.

Respect and Tolerance: Respect and tolerance are pre-conditions for all our work, and essential to working as a collaborative community. Respect others and their capabilities and capacities. Recognise differences as a creative force: when discussed openly and without aggression, they allow us to find the best way forward.

Collaboration not Control: To achieve our vision we cannot work alone. Collaboration, both across our teams, the network and outside it, is central to how we operate.

Pragmatic not Fanatic: We are strong believers in “open” but our commitment is animated by a desire to make change, not to establish our moral superiority.Though we will never create closed knowledge we must recognise that others may do, and that, for example, being most effective may sometimes involve the use of non-open tools.

Making and Talking: We value making and talking equally and thrive on their creative tension. Advocacy thought leadership, evangelism and convening ensures open material becomes available, is valued and is effectively used by all. Direct involvement in making use of open knowledge and making change with it (for instance, by building services or analysing data) ensures we remain aware and engaged with real challenges and real needs.

Change-Making: We want to see change in the world and we want to make this happen today not tomorrow. We are focused on important societal problems, challenges and opportunities. Our approach may be indirect – working to improve knowledge flow and use – but it is always in the service of solving real problems and addressing real societal needs.

  • We are Open.
  • We believe that open exchange of thoughts, ideas and of data can be combined with human passion to create change for the better.
  • We believe that open data + data literacy can create transformative social change.
  • We believe that public process should be transparent and inclusive.
  • We believe that knowledge is free and should be kept free to benefit society
  • We believe that engaged citizens are an open resource that can drive transformative change in society and that one of the fuels of this drive is the availability of open knowledge.
  • We are Open Knowledge Ireland and we invite you to join with us to make Ireland better for us all.

How You Can Help

There are various things you can do:


Please support our work

Get Involved

Subscribe to our discussion list or contact us directly on OK Global Network (opens in new window).

The Open Knowledge Ireland is incorporated in the Republic of Ireland; incorporation number is 543222.

2 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi – I’m a journalist working in Brussels. Hoping to write about the new Irish government’s open data portal. Anyone free or interested to talk about it?

    Best, E

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