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Summer Update from ODI Leeds

Hello! As we are now well into summer, we thought we would catch you up on everything we have been getting up to these past couple of months and to let you know how you can get involved!

Before we dive into all of our upcoming events and projects, we would like to say a huge thank you to all of our sponsors. Without your support we would not be able to continue with our mission-led work that focuses on collaborating and innovating openly for others to see, share, learn and use for improvement. Once again, thank you.

We are delighted to announce that we have two new members who have joined our team! A huge warm welcome to Ali Morpeth and Michelle Brook who both came on board in April 2021. Ali became part of the team to help amplify our mission-led #OpenDataSavesLives work. In her spare time Ali is a keen wild swimmer and also works as a Public Health Consultant Nutritionist.

Michelle is a jack of all trades, working for ODI Leeds part time, Icebreaker One AND Open Data Manchester. Michelle helps to further and better our #PlanetData work and assists on projects to do with climate change & open energy. Amongst Michelle's many hats, she also manages to enjoy the great outdoors and can often be found in a kayak or amongst her houseplants.

This spring, we have been busy organising new and exciting innovative projects and events for our sponsors to get involved with. Please sign up and share these sessions as working in the open is how we can all help to make a difference.

River Data sessions in July
Credit: ODI Leeds

The first being, River Data - The Wharfe. One of our sponsors, Yorkshire Water, want to take a look at rivers. The release of storm overflow discharge (Event Duration Monitoring) data has driven a high level of public interest and public debate into the operation of storm overflows and on the health of the UK’s rivers. Our natural waterways have provided so much vital recreational opportunities and boosted wellbeing during the pandemic. They want to find out if more could be achieved with better understanding of the existing EDM data and its limitations, and they also want to know what additional data could water companies and others release which would create a clearer picture of how drainage networks operate and the impact they have on rivers. Join us on 7th of July for a virtual warm up session via Zoom where we will be sitting down with Yorkshire Water and our network of sponsors and friends to define what the issues are with the current data. Click here to register via Eventbrite. The main and final session on 20th July will be a hybrid unconference and chaired by Paul Connell, Founder of ODI Leeds. The session will consist of splitting out into break out sessions to contribute notes, useful articles, projects, data sources to one open google document. The outputs from this session will be captured and written up and will live on the River Data hub page and used openly as a resource for everyone. To receive updates and more information on the second main session, sign up via eventbrite or keep a lookout on our twitter feed.

As well as hosting Yorkshire Waters River Data events, we also have been collaborating on a diversity data project. Back in September 2020 at the Leeds Anchors Network roundtable, a diversity dashboard for Leeds was proposed, with some of the largest organisations in Leeds committing to sharing their data. We also hosted a diversity data special for the Open Data Collaboration Group, looking to get more insight about the data quality and what might be involved in making a data standard or template. From there, we started to ask people for their datasets about diversity so that the team at ODI Leeds could start to examine and work with it. The team has made a start on a data standard draft where we welcome any feedback and appreciate any comments as they will be used to help build a new data standard collaboratively. We have now built a Diversity Dashboard - prototype, we have put everything together to create a diversity dashboard for Leeds. However, we do not yet have the data. We are now in the process of asking organisations to publish and share their data openly with us. If your organisation would be keen to get involved, please email

Open Data Saves Lives
Credit: ODI Leeds

Amongst all these exciting new projects and events, we are still continuing our important #OpenDataSavesLives work. To date we have hosted 27 events, reached over 1,000 people from all over the world - bringing people together to discuss emerging trends and topics in health. Together we debate, innovate and collaborate in the open, scaling up solutions to pressing issues like mental health, domestic violence and the digitalisation of care homes. We have the next two events confirmed; you won't want to miss these, with two topics hot off the press. The next session on 8th July 2021 will be a discussion around the current subject of a central NHS digital database from GP records in England which is due to launch in September. Our confirmed speakers are; Dr Marcus Baw, Chair RCGP Health Informatics Group, Freelance Software Developer, Locum General Practitioner has confirmed to discuss GP Data for Planning and Research; Tina Woods, Social Entrepreneur and system architect in Preventative Health, Healthy Longevity and Open Health Data/AI, Building trust to deliver the promise of 'Data Saves Lives' strategy- how do we engage the public? And Dr Osman Bhatti, GP / CCIO, GPDPR, A GP view as a data controller for patient information. To get yourself a ticket to what is undoubtedly going to be a very interesting event, click here. The following event on 13th July 2021 will be a Test and Trace special and is in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care. To receive more news and information on speakers as they confirm, register here.

After the success of our first Powered Up session in May, we have decided to organise a second session on 21st July 2021. This online event series has been established to bring together energy companies with the objective of understanding what open data is and how to make data openly available (including supporting the processes behind this). The launch session in May was a very informal and relaxed gathering of energy sector companies and our sponsors. The aim was to speak to attendees and collectively decide how these sessions are to be run and the topics to be discussed. The next session in July will explore what data local and combined authorities need to retrofit housing stock, and how this data may be made available to them - please register here.

As well as our next two #OpenDataSavesLives events, we now can also announce the events we have lined up as part of Leeds Digital Festival 2021. The first is #OpenDataSavesLives - The Unconference. Join us on 29th September 2021 for an assembly event. This is an opportunity for people who believe in the power of open data to drive health improvements to come together. The agenda for the Unconference will be guided by YOU - the participants. The important point is that those who come together with us will have the opportunity to put conference sessions on the agenda - from thought-out prepared talks reflecting on research and data collection or new ideas that would be fun to talk about to a demonstration of working tools and dashboards or whiteboarding of something that could be developed. The assembly itself will be a virtual conference - the whole event will be live streamed and there will be breakout sessions using online platforms. Full details will be provided after registration and nearer the date. If you would like to host a session or if you have specific topics which you would like to hear about during the day, please contact or We look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas.

#PlanetData4 is coming in September 2021
Credit: ODI Leeds - Amy Evans

The second is - #PlanetData4. Back in 2019, the first #PlanetData event was launched as our response to the Climate Emergency. It was an open, collaborative, and energetic event, where people could share work/data in a neutral environment and either find help or get their work amplified so that it was seen by the right people. The Climate Crisis is not going away, so neither will the #PlanetData events. Join us for our fourth instalment on 21st September 2021 where you can find out about amazing climate projects that continue despite the pandemic. We can confirm that mySociety will be joining us to talk about their work on local authority net-zero plans. To find out more about #PlanetData4 check out Michelle's Save The Date blog and to register click here. If you would like to speak or sponsor #PlanetData4 please get in touch at We would love to hear your ideas for topics or how you can help us make this the best and biggest #PlanetData event to date.

On 29th June 2021 ODI HQ,ODI Leeds and The Data City came together for an open exploration of the organisations and businesses that make up the UK data landscape. What role is data already playing in our economy? Which organisations are collecting, sharing or selling data? Which are using it to provide valuable services, insights and digital tools? That's just a few of many questions that we hope to explore and answer via this project and we invited our community of sponsors and friends to help us answer, learn and build an understanding of the UK data landscape and to share with us their thoughts so we can continue to develop and improve this project. This event was extremely successful and there was lots of contribution and notes made. Check out the open google doc to find out the outputs from this session! This is only the tip of the iceberg for this project click to view our UK Data Landscape hubpage and to stay tuned and find out more.

As you can see, there is so much for you to get involved in whether it's Health, Energy, Climate or Data - we really do have something for all! We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that as part of your sponsorship, ODI Leeds is here to aid and support any bids, events or any other projects you are working on. If there is any work that you need a helping hand with, please do not hesitate to seek our assistance. Likewise, if you have any new projects in mind that you would like to collaborate on together, we would love to hear more!