PICNIC 2011: Day 2

This morning, PICNIC looked totally different than yesterday. It seemed like the wind traded his passe-partout with the sun. Nonetheless, Bertholt Leeftink (Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation) spoke about the Dutch storm. In the first speech of the day he explained that this ‘storm’ is favourable. Because of the great infrastructure and the amount of entrepreneurs in the Netherlands the Dutch Government is undertaking actions to stimulate the availability and use of Open Data.

Actions? Which actions?

Apps voor Nederland
Bertholt Leeftink announced that, in collaboration with Waag Society, three ministeries start the first national open data competition: Apps voor Nederland (Apps for the Netherlands). Part of this competition is the website data.overheid.nl. The Dutch minister of Internal Affairs, Piet Hein Donner, made everybody aware of this data portal in a hilarious video, in which he took a screenshot of the website out of a traditional picnic basket. Donner stimulated everybody to use open data from the government in creative ways, in order to create apps we can all benefit from. Take a look at the video here. More information about this contest can be found on the website www.appsvoornederland.nl and in our press release.

In the afternoon, Frank Kresin gave a more detailed overview of the Apps voor Nederland contest. Part of the goal it make the government more transparent in order to increase innovation and efficient solutions. Next to the upcoming events, he also announced that the jury will consist of Peter Corbett (iStrategy Labs, Apps for Democracy), Marleen Stikker (Waag Society) and Harry van Dorenmalen (IBM Netherlands).

Design our Future Self
In the morning, our Creative Care Lab organized the Design for our Future Self workshop, focusing on creating living facilities for the elderly. Architect Matthias Hollwich spoke about the importance of getting rid of the segmentation between young and old. He spoke about his experience with ‘aging architecture’, which is about creating living facilities for the elderly. Afterwards all the participants discussed the way in which we can reengineer existing buildings and integrate, next to hardware and software, the human ‘ware’ into the design.

Creative Commons
Next to Open Data, Open Licensing was also on the PICNIC program today. Creative Commons organized a session on the influence of open licences on government and data, and vice versa. Together with Marleen Stikker, organisations like the Open Knowledge Foundation (speaker Rufus Pollock) and Creative Commons Netherlands (speaker Lawrence Lessig) discussed the way organisations and government open up data, in theory and in practice. What good are licences when they are still very restrictive, and how do we convince people in power to make data available completely free, when economic and moral arguments do not always mesh.

Users as Designers
Our own book ‘Users as Designers, A hands-on approach to Creative Research’ was launched at the end of the day after a popular workshop in the cabin. After 16 years of experience, our creative research method has finally been written down and visualized. According to Marleen Stikker, this has more or less to do with the fact that she was not involved this time. Dick van Dijk and Frank Kresin handed over the first copy to her. Dick emphasized that this is just a beginning and asked everybody who wants to be involved is aloud to co-create and work along. You can buy the book our download it at our website.

Simultaneously, our HyperMud program is still going strong. Read more about it on the PICNIC website.

All photos were made by Tomek Whitfield.

About Waag Society

Institute for art, science and technology. Waag Society is situated in Amsterdam and develops creative technology for social innovation.
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