What is AlaveteliCon?

On 23 and 24 September 2019, we’ll be hosting the third international AlaveteliCon, our Freedom of Information (FOI) technologies conference, in Oslo.

A few days ahead of International Right to Know Day (28 September), AlaveteliCon will bring together around 60 activists, journalists, technologists and campaigners from across the world who use Freedom of Information laws, data and technologies to create public-interest investigations and campaigns.

This time we’ll be including a focus on catalysing collaborations on cross-border European public interest investigations and campaigns, in order to strengthen the use of FOI across the region. This focus is in part due to our latest Transparency project, funded by Adessium Foundation. This Transparency project seeks to enable journalists, campaigners and citizens in Europe to make greater and more effective use of their right to access information, in particular to generate public interest stories and campaigns that hold power to account.

What happens at AlaveteliCon?

The AlaveteliCon schedule is below, but here’s a summary of the kinds of things AlaveteliCon attendees will get up to this time:

  • Exchanging insights and ideas on how to run and improve open-source Freedom of Information platforms such as WhatDoTheyKnow, MuckRock and FragDenStaat
  • Hearing how journalists and campaigners around the world have used FOI to power high-profile investigations and campaigns
  • Making connections with journalists and campaigners who would like to collaborate on cross-border investigations that hold governments to account
  • Learning about data sources available on FOI platforms around the world, waiting to be analysed and turned into public-interest stories
  • Hearing tips from FOI activists on getting governments to release information in their countries including going to court
  • Contributing to the further development of mySociety’s open-source FOI toolkit for journalists, Alaveteli Pro, which helps journalists and campaigners to manage their FOI investigations
  • Connecting to a global network of FOI experts and advocates
  • Working together to plan potential joint activities to celebrate International Right to Know Day on 28th September 2019

Apply to attend

As spaces at AlaveteliCon are limited, we’re asking those wishing to come to fill out this application form to tell us what unique perspective they can bring that’s relevant to the above conference themes/topics.

Are you a journalist or campaigner who uses or wants to use FOI for investigations/campaigns? Do you want to collaborate on FOI-generated investigations? Or interested in setting up an FOI platform in your country? Or want to learn how to use FOI to its fullest potential? Or interested in any of the above topics? If so, then please submit your application by 2nd September at the very latest.

We’ll let you know if you’ve been allocated a place by Friday 6th September at the latest. However, we will endeavour to reply to you sooner than this.

AlaveteliCon is free to attend, but delegates will be required to arrange their own travel, accommodation and costs in Oslo. All attendees must accept our Code of Conduct.

Many thanks to Adessium Foundation and NUUG Foundation for supporting AlaveteliCon.

If you’d like to help us spread the word about the conference please feel free to display this AlaveteliCon poster where you think there might be interest.

Previous AlaveteliCons

Read more about the previous AlaveteliCons: Oxford in 2012 and Madrid in 2015.

AlaveteliCon 2019 agenda:

 

 

AGENDA

22 September

19.00 Informal drinks reception (optional) in central Oslo: Location will be emailed to attendees

 

Day 1: 23 September
09.30 Registration and refreshments
10.00 Welcome to AlaveteliCon!
Opening notes by mySociety and explanation about how the ‘unconference’ parts of the day will work
10.15 The power of FOI generated stories and campaigns: what have FOI platforms helped to reveal/change since the last AlaveteliCon? Presentations and discussion. Short presentations from:

11.15 Refreshment break
11.30 Campaigns to actively make governments more open and improve FOI legislation: Experiences and discussion. Short presentations from:

12.30 How do we make sure data generated from FOI platforms has maximum impact? / Are there global cross border campaigns people are interested in working together on?
13.15 Lunch +  Open surgery with mySociety’s Alaveteli developers – come and discuss your tech and admin needs!
14.15 Training: How to use AsktheEU Pro for investigations and campaigns

AsktheEU.org is being upgraded to Alaveteli Pro, so will have extra functionality to help journalists and campaigners to send and manage complex FOI investigations/projects.
Helen from AsktheEU will provide training on how to use the platform, and advice on getting the information you need from EU bodies.

15.15 Refreshment break
15.30 Feedback on Alaveteli Pro and using FOI for campaigns and investigations

Following on from Helen’s training on AsktheEU Pro, the mySociety developers behind Alaveteli Pro would love to hear feedback on the toolkit in order to inform future developments. They’re also interested to hear about problems people face when using FOI for investigations and campaigns and what tools/techniques are working well and what is missing.

16.30 Unconference sessions:
Session 1: RightToKnow Day 2019: What are people’s plans? Should we all coordinate and do something as a global community?
Session 2: Suggest an unconference session here. Deadline: 8th Sept. Session suggestions will then be voted on by fellow attendees ahead of the conference. 
17.15 Closing remarks
17.30 End of Day 1
19.30 AlaveteliCon attendees dinner in central Oslo: Location will be emailed to attendees

 

Day 2: 24 September
09.30 Registration and refreshments
10.00 Lightning Decision Jam: “Running FOI platforms”

This session will tease out common challenges those running FOI platforms face, and aims to come up with some viable solutions for them. The session will cover:

  • What is working well 
  • What are the challenges/problems
  • What are some possible solutions to challenges
11.15 Inspiring campaigns and investigations using FOI

11.45 Refreshment break
12.00 Dealing with takedown requests and GDPR: What different approaches and experiences do we have?
12.30 Unconference sessions:
Session 3:  Suggest an unconference session here. Deadline: 8th Sept. Session suggestions will then be voted on by fellow attendees ahead of the conference. 
Session 4:  Suggest an unconference session here. Deadline: 8th Sept. Session suggestions will then be voted on by fellow attendees ahead of the conference. 
13.15 Lunch
14.15 Unconference sessions:
Session 5:  Suggest an unconference session here. Deadline: 8th Sept. Session suggestions will then be voted on by fellow attendees ahead of the conference. 
Session 6:  Suggest an unconference session here. Deadline: 8th Sept. Session suggestions will then be voted on by fellow attendees ahead of the conference. 
Session 7:  Suggest an unconference session here. Deadline: 8th Sept. Session suggestions will then be voted on by fellow attendees ahead of the conference. 
15.15 Refreshment break
15.30 What ways can the FOI, transparency and journalist communities stay in touch in order to foster collaboration?
16.00 Unconference session:
Session 8: Suggest an unconference session here. Deadline: 8th Sept. Session suggestions will then be voted on by fellow attendees ahead of the conference. 
16.20 Closing remarks
16.30 End of conference