Open Development Camp 2015: Innovating Impact

On the 25th of April, Nepal was hit by a disastrous earthquake. Within 48 hours, a global network of volunteers had already mapped affected roads and damaged buildings - to help first responders before they even hit the ground.

Only a few years ago the important role volunteers play in emergency situations, through groups such as the Standby TaskForce or the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team was unthinkable. Over the years we’ve seen multiple examples of changing social dynamics, where technology played an amplifying role, think of the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement, or – closer to home – the different social initiatives that got kickstarted at a crowdfunding platform.

But we are not only living a digital or a data revolution but a multitude of social revolutions. New networks of hackers and makers who are networked on a scale never seen before and use those new means to stand up for their rights and the rights of those who are otherwise muted.

How can all these changes in technology and society help to innovate impact?

Come to the Connected Development Festival in The Hague, the Netherlands on November 13 to find out about the future of international development cooperation and humanitarian aid:

  • Shifting dynamics: which social and business models work when innovating impact? How do changing dynamics change our view on ‘North’ and ‘South’, developed and developing? Because ‘development’ is not a matter of Africa alone.
  • Never before have we had so much data in our hands: 90% of all the available data is less than 2 years old. And all this open and big data show us patterns that have never before been visible. How can we use that data for better data driven policy and decision making?
  • And how do we deal with the challenges we encounter? Without putting people at risk, and without creating a new digital or data divide.



This year ODC has joined forces with Partos Innovation Festival and Border Sessions to be part of a full week of great events around open development, data, and new dynamics in civil society space.

Together with Partos, we proudly present you the Connected Development Festival in 'Theater aan het Spui' in The Hague.

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What can you expect?
As always, the Open Development Camp is a community event: by and for the open development community. So join us at ODC15 to discuss the future of international development cooperation and humanitarian aid.

ODC15 brings together professionals from different walks of life: NGOs, activists, developers, designers, researchers, social entrepreneurs, businesses, policy makers.

Get ready to meet a diverse, international audience. Lots of interaction: hands-on workshops, discussions, hacking, brainstorming, demos and presentations. And plenty of time and space to connect and get to know each other.

Open for Change, together with a lot of partners, has been organizing an annual Open (Data for) Development Camp since 2011. This year we are joining forces with the Partos Innovation Festival and Border Sessions, to bring you a day full of inspiration, discussion and hands-on experience. We call it 'Connected Development Festival'.

Full time table for the Connected Development Festival

Click on the image to download the full timetable


Speakers and Sessions

Want to read more about the specific sessions? Here is a little selection of what you can expect:

Ruud Koornstra

The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce initiated the ‘Innovatiekabinet’, of which Ruud Koornstra is the Prime Minister of Solutions. Although identifying solutions may be a bit too ambitious, Koornstra will talk about the refugee crisis, which will affect all of us. Koornstra, a former TV producer and now sustainable entrepreneur, will talk passionately about disruptive transitions like the refugee crisis – as he often does at regional conferences for entrepreneurs.

twitter @RuudvanTendris

Ismael Peña-Lopez

Ismael Peña-López is a lecturer at the School of Law and Political Science of the Open University of Catalonia, Spain. He holds a PhD in the Information and Knowledge Society and works in the field of public policies for development, focusing on ICTs and quite a social sciences multidisciplinary approach. Ismael will speak about the missing recognition of the social revolutions in the Sustainable Development Goals: increased freedom, empowerment and governance are the biggest potential outcomes of ICTs for development. Are we missing the revolution by pursuing growth-based SDGs?

twitter @ictlogist

Merici Vinton - IDEO

Merici Vinton will talk about her experience of affecting large-scale change by compounding small changes. As an MBA graduate with a passion for change, Merici sees technology as a means of solving problems. Working as part of the Obama New Media Team, she moved to Washington DC to bridge the gap between government and people. Merici also led the launch of, co-founded Ada’s list and her work has featured in Businessweek, The New York Times, the LA Times and on CNN.

twitter @merici

Everton Zanella Alvarenga (Tom) - Open Knowledge Brasil

Everton Zanella Alvarenga, also known as Tom, has founded the Chapter of Open Knowledge in Brazil. In 2011, he presented an idea to create an open data policy for the City of São Paulo. Tom will talk about participatory budgeting in São Paulo, which is the richest in Latin America. Open Knowledge Brazil is working with the government to build tools, courses and spending stories for the São Paulo city budget. This enables journalist and experts to influence and raise awareness on how the public money is spent. Open Knowledge Brazil was one of the finalists of the Google Social Impact Awards and this project is funded by Google.

twitter @okfnbr

Jonathan Gray - Democratizing the Data Revolution

In this keynote speech, Jonathan Gray, Director of Policy and Research at Open Knowledge, will talk about the 'data revolution'. What will this revolution enable? What will it be about? What will it count? What kinds of risk and harm might it bring? Whom and what will it serve? And who will get to decide? Jonathan will explore civil society engagement with the data revolution. He will propose an agenda for moving beyond a focus on the disclosure of existing information, towards more ambitious and substantive forms of democratic engagement with data infrastructures.

twitter @jwyg

Panel: Breaking through Silos

The take up of digital technologies has brought forth newly emerged networks of digital toolmakers, hackers and activists. They differ from more traditional NGOs in their scope of organizing, their tactics and their skills and values in using tech. Despite their complementary expertise and experiences, both sides often remain siloed. An open dialogue and clear commitments between digital activists, NGOs, and the donor side is needed to identify serious steps to tackle main challenges for stronger collaboration. In the panel experts from the civic tech, the NGO and the donor side will discuss their experiences with stepping 'out of their silo'. With i.a. David Saldivar (Oxfam USA) and Everton Zanella Alvarenga (Open Knowledge Brasil).

Workshop: Ethics and Digital Security - Becky Kazansky

‘ICT for Development’ projects make use of many different kinds of data throughout the project cycle. Along the way, sensitive information about organisations and the communities they work with can end up in unintended places. This one-hour session will introduce a variety of hands-on 'information mapping' activities to help practitioners think through practical concerns regarding the security and privacy of data they handle on a daily basis.

twitter @pondswimmer

Drones for Good - medialab SETUP

Drones are usually framed and seen as instruments of war that powerful governments use to spy on civilians and terrorists. But what if we were to design drones for good? Could these new flying technologies help us solve problems? And what about more creative applications such as cuddly drones, disco drones or cleaning drones? Join our workshop and design your own good-hearted, problem-solving or creative drone.

twitter @SETUPutrecht

Development Data: One Step Beyond

In the last five years much emphasis has been put on the publication of open development data. How useful has this effort been? What have we learned so far? and Which insights did we gain? Theo van de Sande (The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Leonardo Pérez-Aranda (Oxfam Intermón) and Rolf Kleef (Open for Change) will share their insights on this subject and together we will explore what the future has store for open development data.

Innovative Collaborations

"If you do what you did, you get what you got."
Sometimes your existing network or partners cannot offer the best solutions to the challenges at hand, and it's time to look for new, innovative collaborations. Based on experiences from The Netherlands Red Cross,The Art of Impact and HiiL we'll explore how these new collaborations might work. In an interactive session we will discuss what makes these new collaborations different from business-as-usual and pinpoint what they require from the different participants, and try to tackle the challenges these new initiatives encounter.

Exclusion Radar - Centre for Innovation (Leiden University)

The current methods for identifying the extremely poor are very limited. The Exclusion Radar could be a fast and cheap instrument to do this. Considering the advances in ICTs in developing countries, there may well be unexpected sources of information that could be used to diagnose poverty, such as through big data analysis and citizen-generated data. The first step in this endeavour is called ‘rapid prototyping’. Ulrich Mans and Jorn Poldermans (Centre for Innovation at Leiden University) will facilitate a mini rapid prototyping session.

twitter @C4Innovation

Workshop: Breaking through Silos

This is a subsequent workshop of the panel ‘Breaking through Silos’. In this workshop we will deep dive into three areas identified as main obstructions of better collaboration. Together we will explore solutions for how to reuse and build upon existing tools, share the same language and pace of working, rethink innovation and start with the problem, not the solution.

And that's not all! More sessions by Akvo, Butterfly Works, OneWorld and others have been confirmed. Or meet DataMission or Zimmerman&Zimmerman at the Data Desk.

The full program will be ready soon.... so keep an eye on this website or follow us on twitter: @open_for_change
Impression of previous years
ODC 2013

ODC 2014

Get your ticket now

... and join us for a day full of inspiration at the Connected Development Festival. Tickets include lunch and drinks.

Eventbrite - Connected Development Festival


Combined tickets for the Connected Development Festival & Border Sessions are available at the Border Sessions website >>


Are you in town on Thursday 12 November? Then you're invited for a Welcome drink @ 17.00 at Theater aan het Spui.

The Hague
This year's Open Development Camp will take place at the "Theater aan het Spui" in The Hague.
Get in touch
If you have any questions about the Open Development Camp, contact us at   Or find us on twitter @open_for_change or #odc15