Note: the following content is an excerpt from the original article written by one of the organizers, Bruce Haupt.
On September 18-19, a group of Chinese open data and urban innovation experts, along with a group of U.S. open data and civic innovation leaders, will meet online to have a chat about open data and open innovation in each country.
This virtual event is designed to bring together people from different cultures with similar interests. We’ve already signed on experts from companies, governments, nonprofits, and start-ups, plus a bunch of interested citizens who want to learn and collaborate with their counterparts across the Pacific Ocean. Our team of volunteer organizers represents cities across China and the U.S.
The inspiration for the event came from both conversations and collaboration among a small network of Chinese and U.S. citizens interested in open data innovation, along with a general “Why not?” following the recent National Day of Civic Hacking in the U.S.
In China, Michelle Li 李雯 of China’s Urban Data Party and Feng Gao 高丰 of Open Data China have been crucial leaders in the effort. Mart Van De Ven and Wai-Chung Bastien of Open Data Hong Kong have also been instrumental in developing the concept.
In the U.S., we wouldn’t be anywhere without the leadership of those in Houston such as Matthew Shailer of the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of International Trade & Development (along with people including Kelly Dowe, Andy Icken, and Jesse Bounds). We’ve also received great support early on from organizations like Socrata and Local Data. And naturally, a huge thanks to Jeff Reichman, Open Houston, and January Advisors too!
In addition to the organizing team, we’re also incredibly lucky to have a very diverse group of interesting people and exciting organizations participating and supporting the program. For those in the U.S. especially, I think there’s a lot to learn from the Chinese organizations participating – both in terms of what open data means in China, as well as gaining a better understanding of Chinese culture and innovations more broadly.