It once occurred to me that it's rather hard to open any kind if knowledge if there is little room in people's minds, or time in their schedules, for learning.

Running a dozen Swiss make.opendata.ch hackathons has given me plenty of opportunity to talk to people, test ideas of hands-on learning, and try to help both Excel-frustrated neophytes and datavis (or -viz) pro's. I believe that an on/offline knowledge share, well adapted to the interests and availability of participants, condensing and redistributing the kind of skills we have promoted at events like these over the past 4 years, should be well received.

Over the years we have built up a little knowledge base in a community wiki, and I am involved and very supportive of efforts like the Open Data Handbook and the Ambassador program at Open Knowledge, to feel like I am already invested in the challenge of guiding ourselves and others to better understanding of what Data is about. I doubt my own teaching abilities, but at the very least I think I can help a few others.

So, where do we start - statistics? Computing? Scientific method? Is what we're doing with data ...art? I think these are not just tough questions, they are GREAT questions that are critical to the age we live in. As a responsible citizen I wish to be well informed and opinionated on both data protection laws and social media culture and machine learning algorithms. I have a feeling that the ordinary classroom is not an ideal place to learn about these things. At least, not anytime soon.

What I don't know is what form this project should take, who is best suited to lead it, or whether it will stand the t-Test, that is, the test of time. However. I do have a plan. Please join the open forum if you wish to help organise, or just let me know what next steps we should take. Doodle a date? Talk to another school? Collect data points? Focus free energy somewhere else? I am eager to hear ALL feedback. Meanwhile I will inform you as soon as a date and location and schedule is set for a first workshop.

Polar Area Diagram

“What cruel mistakes are sometimes made by benevolent men and women in matters of business about which they can know nothing and think they know a great deal.”
― Florence Nightingale

(inventor and designer of the polar area diagram shown above)

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