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ODI Leeds News - Summer 2014

We opened for business on the 6th of May and it has been a whirlwind few weeks and months. We've established our membership model for ODI Leeds, our members have brought projects to deliver, we have had our first residency, held the first Open Data Training by ODI outside London, kicked off our Civic Lab with Leeds Gov Jam, hosted Leeds Data Community events such as Leeds DevOps and Leeds Data Thing, and had a really great opening party, with pom poms, Prosecco, dancing and everything!

Bhavani Esapathi @bhaesa has created a rather lovely storify which you can check out here.

We've learnt so much in the last three months that will help us in how we develop the Node. This blog gives a brief update of what we've been up to and where we plan to go next. We'll be putting out some more detail relating to memberships, training and long-term planning during July so watch this space for those.


Our founding members have been a fundamental part of setting what ODILeeds will be and do for the City Region of Leeds and we thank them for their support and commitment to us.

Our founding members are: Leeds City Council (inc Leeds Data Mill); City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council; West Yorks Combined Authority (METRO); ARUP, Bloom Agency, CITU.

Our membership is open to any organisation, business or group so if you would like to know more about how you could become a member of ODILeeds, the costs and benefits of membership, and how our members are using ODILeeds please contact kathryn@actuatedfutures, 07570805107 or @kitconnelll.

We will be launching our individual membership in September which will allow individuals to use the workspace and be part of what we, and our members, are doing.

We had a great party on Friday 13th June where our members, new and old friends and those who want to know more about what the ODI and ODI Leeds is and could be, joined us for a shindig.

ODI Leeds Projects

The hosting and delivery of projects is where we will make a difference, and we are really pleased that we have a great set of projects that have kicked off our work at ODILeeds.

We expect more projects to be part of our work and if you have an idea, a project or a service that uses, or could be supported by, open data, please get in touch with Paul Connell: Paul@actuatedfutures, 07833 488697 or @paulcconnell.

The projects that have been placed at ODILeeds and are being worked on by our members include:

  • A proof of concept for a Data Mutual by Bloom Agency
  • Open Data Inventory & Opportunity by WYCA Metro
  • Leeds CC Smart City Strategy
  • Leeds Art Crawl; #LeedsArtCrawl @leedsartcrawl delivered by Wetgenes Residency for Leeds Data Mill at ODILeeds
  • Open for Business in Bradford

The Civic Lab

The Civic Lab is a concept we are developing to allow people working within the public sector to work together, with other businesses, with other people and other organisations to test and use new ways of working, new products, new technologies, to build new ways to deliver services for our communities and address the challenges faced by all of us in the way we live, work and play.

This is a long-term commitment and we will be developing a pipeline of projects, experiments, and events with our members and the community to build real social value.

The first activity that we have hosted, supported and contributed to was Leeds GovJam. The LeedsGovJam really shows what the GovJam is all about and we're really pleased to be part of it. Check out these blogs and this flickr album for more: govjam Blog, tunstall blog, flickr album

Events and Training

When we planned the ODILeeds it was to provide a focal point for Open Data projects where people would collaborate, work and innovate together. This will remain critical to how we will operate.

We left open how this would evolve particularly around how we would offer training and host events.

Over the last two months we have hosted:

  • Learning: Open Data in a day by the ODI
  • Events: Leeds Data Thing, Leeds DevOps
  • Show & Tell: Leeds Art Crawl, mHealth Habitat
  • Lunchtime Lectures
  • Leeds GovJam
  • Our Opening Party

We have found that the workspace is ideally suited to hosting events and training as well as operating as a collaborative work-space and we have therefore set up some new ways of working to support this.

ODI Learning: we will continue to offer the full range of ODI training courses with the next being Open Data in a Day which will run in October.

Leeds Data Mill Data Dives: with ODILeeds and Leeds Data Thing (watch this space for more details).

We have collaborated with Leeds Data Mill to provide a structured programme that will run alongside the release of data into the Data Mill, where context, scene-setting and tools will be completed at ODILeeds on a Friday and the Data Dive will be completed on Saturday.

The outline programme is: September — Health, October — Sport, November — Transport.

Friday Lunchtimes: We have made ODI Leeds open to everyone on a Friday, originally with live streaming of the ODI Lectures, feedback has been that people would prefer to hear from real people — therefore, we will be hosting a series of Friday Lunchtime Lectures, the first of which will be on the 11th of July. Sign up here attending

The Future

We are developing how we operate and have started to plan how we will make the most impact. The ODI is, in its own words, "expert, enabling and fearless" and we are adding "fun, humble and honest" to the mix, so please reach out and see what we can do together. What we are sure of is that the future for ODI Leeds will involve:

  • Long-term thinking
  • Individual memberships
  • More (many more) Events
  • A startup incubator and accelerator
  • Training
  • Data Dives
  • Open Data and Technology Challenges

For further information, please contact:

Paul Connell — Founding Partner — Actuated Futures — ODI Node Leeds

Workspace 9, Greenhouse, Beeston Road, Leeds, LS11 6AD, United Kingdom. 07833 488697 @actuatedfutures @paulcconnell

About the ODI Node Leeds

ODI Leeds is located on the top floor of Munro House. Duke Street, Leeds, LS9 8AG.

Find us on twitter @ODILeeds.

About the ODI

The Open Data Institute catalyses the evolution of open data culture to create economic, environmental, and social value. It unlocks supply, generates demand, creates and disseminates knowledge to address local and global issues. Founded by Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt and Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the ODI is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, Limited by Guarantee company. It has secured £10 million over five years via the UK innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, $750,000 from global philanthropic investor Omidyar Network, and is working towards long-term sustainability through match funding and direct revenue.