GO Open Data Conference aims to drive open data movement in Ontario

The role of open data in communities and entrepreneurship is a key theme for the 2016 conference

YORK REGION, ON, May 3, 2016 /CNW/ - The 2016 GO Open Data Conference (GOOD16) returns for the fourth year on May 6 & 7, this year held in York Region hosted by ventureLAB, the area's Regional Innovation Centre. This annual conference drives the open data movement in Ontario. The theme of the 2016 conference is Better Living Through Open Data which will highlight the potential of open data to positively impact our communities.

Ontario's Open Data Directive, implemented on April 1, requires that all government data be made public, making for a more transparent and more efficient government. However, open data is not just about government transparency. 

Open data is the new natural resource of the 21st century, paving the way for unprecedented opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovation. It plays an important role in community engagement, influencing public policy and transforming the economy.

GOOD16 will talk about the real economic value open data brings and the role it plays in social good. Day One of the conference features a lineup of open data experts and enthusiasts, including keynote speaker, John Roberts, Chief Privacy Officer & Archivist of Ontario, who will talk about what open data is, why it's important and how to move beyond just releasing data sets. A keynote panel consisting of Kevin Tuer, Managing Director, Canadian Open Data Exchange; Tyler Sutton, Editor & Research Lead, Public Sector Digest; Bryan Smith, Co-founder & CEO, ThinkData Works; and moderator Karen Dubeau, Director of Partner Engagement, ventureLAB, will discuss the role open data plays in smart cities and the Open Cities Index Initiative.

Day Two of the conference is a hackathon open to everyone, with or without developer skills. Challenges will be presented, but participants will also have an opportunity to present their challenge around a community issue that they'd like to address during the hackathon.

"ventureLAB is delighted to host the 2016 GO Open Data conference. As York Region's Regional Innovation Centre, we provide support for innovative entrepreneurs, many of whom use open data to build businesses and create solutions for existing problems," said Karen Dubeau, ventureLAB's Director of Partner Engagement and GOOD16 conference co-chair. "We hope that citizens and entrepreneurs alike will recognize the value open data plays in both our economy and community."

This year's organizing committee has representatives from ventureLAB, the Regional Municipality of York, Seneca College, the City of Markham, Markham Public Library, the Government of Ontario, York University, Open Knowledge Foundation Canada, the Town of Newmarket and Pathway Communications.

Sponsors for the 2016 conference include Ontario's Open Government Office, Public Sector Digest, Canada's Open Data Exchange (ODX), the City of Markham, York University, Microsoft Canada, and MISA Ontario.

About ventureLAB
ventureLAB is a non-profit Regional Innovation Centre, which cultivates, supports and celebrates innovative entrepreneurs. Located in York Region, an integral leader in the Digital Corridor, ventureLAB supports entrepreneurs at all stages across York Region, Simcoe County, Muskoka District and the GTA. ventureLAB is the place where talented entrepreneurs get help bringing their innovation to market. Visit www.ventureLAB.ca for more information.


For further information: Karen Dubeau, GOOD16 Conference Co-Chair, Director of Partner Engagement, ventureLAB kdubeau@venturelab.ca, 905-248-2706


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