Maybe like in the Smart City flagship cities of Vienna and Barcelona? Those responsible there – Ulrike Huemer and Francesca Bria – have similar concepts: they focus on strengthening democratic processes and on openness. Citizens should intensively deal with new technologies and discuss rules for their use. It is about appropriation and value orientation, about humane design and democratic control.

Perhaps we can only realise the social benefits of digitisation if we strengthen our democratic processes at the same time?

You cannot have a digital revolution without a democratic revolution“, Francesca Bria said in a recent interview. She argued that the focus should not be on technology but on societal problems. Then it is a matter of finding suitable solutions for housing shortages, energy system transformation, refugee aid, sustainable mobility etc. in open processes – and where appropriate also with the help of digital tools.

This year’s conference Offene Kommunen.NRW on November 11th and 12th 2017 in Wuppertal will once again focus on openness as a principle of municipal organisation and design. For the seventh time already, we cordially invite you to take part. Based on the key question “How does the City become smart?”, the focus will be on how Open Government and Open Data can achieve more transparency, participation, cooperation and commitment in local authorities. Among other things, we want to answer the following questions:

But other topics are also on the agenda, such as the cooperation of the municipalities with the state of NRW within the framework of the Open Government Pact, the Open Government pilot projects in the municipalities and districts in NRW, the developments in the municipal Open Data portals, the particulate matter measuring networks initiated by citizens and much more. The second day of the event, which we would like to organise again together with the OK Labs of the Open Knowledge Foundation, is particularly suitable for deepening selected topics.

The event will take place as a bar camp, i.e. the participants will jointly develop the programme on site at the beginning of the conference. Everyone can contribute their ideas, topics, projects, experiences and questions. The topics that interest the participants are put on the agenda.

Invited are citizens, (municipal) politicians, administrative staff, scientists, entrepreneurs, OK Labs, data journalists and everyone interested in more participation, commitment, cooperation and transparency in municipalities. Participation in the annual meeting of the Open Government Community from NRW and beyond is free, but registration is required.