000

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 board 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)