photo by AvoinGLAM / CC BY 2.0

It is a little useless to talk about open data and MyData as a separate phenomena. Roughly speaking, all data can be divided to open data, MyData and “classified” data. The most added value comes from combining these three someway. Conceptuality, semantics and data lifecycle thinking should always be included in the process.

Open data still means annoyingly often fragments of a whole that no one can perceive. The data user must find the data, understand its content, put it into practise and usually clean it up first. This is still often a lot of handwork.

When the data is opened, the metadata model that describes the content of the data often disappears. Information is still very context-related. The databases and legislation of the state administration contain for the word "palkka" (= "wage") 64 different meanings.

In addition, to be on the safe side, a lot of information related to e.g. business secrets and personal data is removed from the open data. Clear rules on how the publicity law (julkisuuslaki in Finnish) should be interpreted are missing. And many still ponder the publicity law relationship to EU GDPR (personal information) and to combine these two.

At state level: What exactly are our digital assets? Integrated data management and data streams are missing. When will we see open data as a part of data system design, data system procurement or IT strategies? Why data management is not to be seen as a strategic issue from which the design of data systems starts?

The digitalisation principles set by the government state excellently that "information is asked from citizens and businesses only once". At a strategic level, this is good thinking. In practice, there are over 1 000 000 personal data records in Finland, and no one knows the big picture of the information.

The world is filled with the brightest opportunities for the future of the information society. Open data is not really done yet, let alone MyData. The inadequacy of natural resources forces us to work much more effectively in the future.

Does garbage, waste or inaccurate information exist only in museums in the future, as the platform economy increases the efficiency of the use of physical world resources? What will the world look like in the next 20 years if there are more new things to be invented than in the previous 2000 years? How do transparency, sharing, learning, and knowledge change the world agilely a little at a time? We will see soon!

Thank you all for the year 2017! We took a giant step forward!


Chairperson 2017: Towards comprehensive information management

Mika Honkanen


2017 was the fifth full year of operations for Open Knowledge Finland. Coming to that age, it was a year during which we started strategic renewal and thinking about the next five years. But let’s look back.

In 2017, the efforts of the MyData movement were further solidified. The MyData 2017 conference was a huge success, bringing together over 700 people from over 30 countries. A wide volunteer base was vital in ensuring the success of the event. The MyData working group wrapped up a project for the City of Helsinki and implemented the MyData Muutosvoimana research and analysis project. The MyData Global Network started to take shape.

Our disputes with the Parliament of Finland about visitor logs and the Lobbaus läpinäkyväksi (Lobbying transparency) campaign and citizen initiative triggered over 60 media articles. Over 20 lobbying organizations supported the campaign. OKFI, together with its allies, was successful in court and other appeals. The Chydenius Foundation recognized our efforts with the Medal of Openness.. But, we still wait for political action.

These were not the only long-running efforts exhibiting perseverance, or sisu. The Hack4FI - Hack your heritage hackathon was organised for the third time, this time with no project funding. The Open Science working group got the Openness Award of the Ministry of Education

and Culture, for persistent work for openness of academic publishing. It is difficult to keep up such efforts with sporadic funding, so respects are due to these teams. Active members started boycotts against academic publishers, which researchers and academics joined in large numbers.

It was very delightful that in 2017 we had a huge number of new initiatives, collaborators and funders. For example, Kone Foundation, Helsingin Sanomat Foundation and Shuttleworth Foundation were first-time funders. We also had outside-of-the-box collaborators like The League for Human Rights and the Minority Ombudsman - with this collaboration on hatespeech recognition being even questioned in Parliament. The community was introduced to new methods of openness, the ResponsiveOrg.

So, we were alive and well in 2017. We were “Daring, sharing, caring”. Thank you!


Executive Director 2017: Open Knowledge Finland in the spotlight more than ever

Teemu Ropponen


Facts 2017

  • Members 31st Dec 2017  472 persons
  • Board 8 members
  • Employees 31st Dec 2017  5 persons (1 full-time and 4 part-time)
  • Employees during 2017 Average 6,5 persons on payroll monthly, 13 different employees
  • Core team members 31st Dec 2017 about 40
  • Projects during the year 18
  • Chapter meetings Annual General Meeting Jun 19, Autumn General Meeting Dec 13
  • Scope of activity 467 340,28 (515 719)
  • Total assets and liabilities 194 578,78 (140 467,37) €
  • Surplus 73 215,12 €

Faktat 2017

  • Jäsenet 31.12.2017 472 henkilöä
  • Hallitus 8 henkilöä
  • Työntekijät 31.12.2017 5 (1 täysipäiväinen ja 4 osa-aikaista)
  • Työntekijät 2017 Keskimäärin 6,5 henkilöä palkkalistoilla, 13 eri työntekijää.
  • Core-jäsenet 31.12.2017 noin 40 henkilöä
  • Projekteja käynnissä vuoden aikana 18
  • Yhdistyskokoukset sääntömääräinen yhdistyskokous 19.6. ja syyskokous 13.12.
  • Toiminnan laajuus
    467 340,28 (515 716) €
  • Vastaavaa ja vastattavaa
    194 578,78 (140 467,37) €
  • Tulos 73 215,12 € ylijäämää



MyData 2017, the second annual MyData conference organised by Open Knowledge Finland in collaboration with Aalto University, Tallinn University, and the French think and do tank Fing.

After MyData 2016, an exhausted but enthusiastic team was in a pickle. What’s next? Organising a big conference is a rough journey. Initially, the team had no plan to repeat it. However, the feedback and the increasing interest in Estonia were motivating and highlighted the need for this kind of gathering.

“What the heck, let’s do MyData 2017 and let’s make it even better!”

Antti ‘Jogi’ Poikola, back in the role of project manager, got the team back together and threw a couple of Estonians in the mix as Tallinn University became the host of the first conference day of MyData 2017.

The twin-city concept, with one day in Tallinn, two days in Helsinki, and a boat ride in between, posed some novel challenges for the organising team.

Image by Leda Vaneva

photo by Leda Vaneva / CC BY 2.0

MyData 2017

The conference took place over three days in two countries featuring one boat ride in between. 12 topic tracks hosted 38 sessions curated by an international team of 30 programme team members. Over 700 people from over 30 countries attended the event.

Viivi Lähteenoja, the producer for MyData 2017 says: “It was especially our fantastic team who made this gargantuan task not only possible, but also buckets of fun.”

The 2017 conference became a part of a bigger picture. The establishment of local MyData hubs was another, further strengthening the community. The MyData Declaration, published at the conference, was yet another piece in this puzzle. It served as a concrete statement for the community to agree (or disagree) with and to spread further.

After MyData 2017, there is no question about whether there is demand for MyData 2018. The movement wants to go forward. The conference is a great way to support all the actors within the community to make progress and learn from each other.

Now, after helping the community become self-aware in 2016 and strengthening it further in 2017, it’s time in 2018 to focus on spreading the message beyond the existing community.

To best achieve this goal, the conference team has reorganised itself.

Jogi stepped down as project manager and focuses exclusively on the programme and content of the conference.

The new project manager, Viivi, says, “The vision for MyData 2018 is Mainstream MyData. Now, we have a fantastic community of incredible people and organisations doing awesome things, now let’s involve the rest of the world, too!”

CONTACT: Viivi Lähteenoja,

MORE INFO: full project report for MyData 2017

Image by Leda Vaneva

MyData 2017

Writing credit: MyData 2017 team (Teemu Ropponen, Kai Kuikkaniemi, Pia Adibe, John Sperryn, Salla Thure, Sille Sepp, Tanel Mällo, Viivi Lähteenoja, Antti “Jogi” Poikola)

Despite its reputation for good governance, Finnish politics is exceptionally opaque when it comes to information about who wields influence in political decisions.

Lobbying in the country is essentially unregulated, and little information is available about who is consulted in decision-making or how much interest groups spend on lobbying.

In 2017, Open Knowledge Finland began the Avoin Eduskunta (Open Parliament) campaign. It aimed to make the parliament an example of how to do politics in new, open and accountable ways. In this work, some mundane administrative records played a surprisingly important role.

The Finnish parliament, like virtually any public building, keeps a log of people who enter and leave. To study the influence of private interests, Finnish activists and journalists had requested access to these requests. In December 2016 the supreme administrative court declared the records public.

Even after the court's decision, Parliament made access to the records difficult. It deleted the most recent parts of the log daily, and refused to make the historical archives available publicly. We visited parliament four times and took 2,000 images of the archival documents, which were converted into tabular data.

Open Parliament – opening up the decision making at the national level and making lobbying more transparent

According to our media tracking, at least 50 articles were written in response to the release of the data.

Suomen Kuvalehti ran an in-depth feature that included investigations into the lobbying of a Russian-backed payday loans provider as well as Uber, whose well-funded efforts extend even to Finland. YLE, the Finnish public broadcaster, described the privileged access that representatives of nuclear power enjoyed.

Our own study of the data showed how representatives of private industry were more likely to have access to parties of the governing coalition, while unions and NGOs met more often with opposition parties.

On the back of the heightened public debate on the need of transparency in lobbying, we launched a citizen’s initiative campaign to keep the topic in the public agenda.

Open Parliament – opening up the decision making

and making lobbying more transparent


Open Democracy



Aleksi Knuutila

Teemu Ropponen

Open Knowledge work acknowledged with a Chydenius medal

We were awarded the Chydenius Foundation Medal of Openness for our work to advance the openness of lobbying and the debate around that.

Teemu Ropponen and Elina Melgin from Pro-Com ry)
Photo by Ida Pimenoff

Lähde: HS:

We believe an Open Society is built on top of Open Knowledge and Open Collaboration. Adding to Open Knowledge Finland’s efforts in using technologies to enable Open Collaboration, we’re set on exploring human-centered practices that can help teams and organizations collaborate in an ever-changing world.

ResponsiveOrg is a global movement that seeks to promote adaptive organizations that can work with complexity, technology and humanity. We don’t subscribe to any single dogma but rather prefer an open toolkit. For an example, check OKFI’s Open Collaboration board at:

Our new Working Group: ResponsiveOrg Finland -
Open Collaboration for Teams and Organizations


Twitter: @ResponsiveOrgFI



Mikael Seppälä

Persistent advocacy for open science: Openness of academic publishers evaluated for the first time

What is Open Access and why does it matter?

In Open Access publishing, the researcher or research library takes care of the costs, and the article will be made openly available for everyone to read and further reuse without restrictions.

Despite the dramatic growth of Open Access publishing during the past decade, most of the new findings in science are still published in subscription-based scientific magazines, which are not open to the general public. Subscriptions to these magazines are costly, and magazines own the articles submitted to them. Cost and other limitations for accessing scientific knowledge can also create inequality; globally there are many countries whose universities struggle to find funds for accessing the latest scientific literature.

Many researchers and students can access the journals they need via their institution, and rights to content reuse remain limited.

University libraries in Finland and elsewhere are also paying increasingly high subscription fees to academic publishers. In the recent years, the prices have reached unsustainable levels, which has led to visible campaigns in multiple countries, demanding sustainable pricing and improvements in Open Access.


“The ongoing reformation in academic publishing system has the potential to increase the transparency of the overall academic publishing and its costs for the society,  facilitate competition between publishers and thus lead to more sustainable pricing, and support more democratic access to knowledge globally. The research funders and regulators have a remarkable role in supporting this transition.” concludes Doc. Lahti.



Leo Lahti, University of Turku and Open Knowledge Finland,

Persistent advocacy for open science: Openness of academic publishers evaluated for the first time

photo by AJC1 / CC BY-SA 2.0

Open access to research publications and the
transparency of research are cornerstones of the scientific progress.

Supporting openness and open science is an essential goal in Finnish and international science policies. However, there is a lot room for improvement in the practices and policies of key international academic publishers. During the year 2017 Open Knowledge Finland continued the advocacy for more open science.

Opening Academic Publishing
During the year 2017 Open Knowledge Finland and Oxford Research, commissioned by the Ministry of Education and Culture, completed a systematic evaluation project on the openness of nine large academic publishers.

The scores for openness ranged between 30-70% with respect to the target level. There are clear differences between the publishers and many publishers would still have considerable room for improvement, considering the ideal target levels. The report highlights key development areas for the publishers to improve on.

“Research funders and regulators have a major role in demanding open science support from publishers. Our evaluation report and scorecard are now providing systematic tools to quantify the level of openness, and make it possible to include openness as a key component in the price negotiations.”, concludes Docent Leo Lahti from University of Turku / Open Knowledge Finland.

Persistent advocacy for open science: Finnish Ministry of Education, Science and Culture’s awarded Open Knowledge Finland with the 2017 Open Science Award

photo by AJC1 / CC BY-SA 2.0

Heidi Laine received the award at the Open Science and Research Forum 16th November 2017. The award was given for the work done for scientific publishing.

In addition to the evaluation of the openness and costs of the scientific publications, the work done for the initiative No deal, no review was appreciated.

The open network promoting open science includes many active OKFI members, for example:

Konsta Happonen

Mikael Laakso

Leo Lahti

Heini Laine

Joona Lehtomäki

Samuli Ollila

Maija Paavolainen

Jessica Parland-von Essen
Teemu Ropponen

Tuuli Toivonen

Mikko Tolonen

Susanna Ånäs

E-services and personal data in Helsinki

“E-services and personal data in Helsinki” - studied how personal information could be utilized more extensively in the production and development of digital services by the City of Helsinki.

The project analyzed what kind of personal data is stored within the city’s 778 IT systems, identified over 30 different user stories, in which sharing data across systems would produce value and produced three prototypes, that demonstrated how sharing personal data between services can improve the lives of city residents.

“The project clearly had impact and the city is developing many things based on our project”, tells Päivi Helanto, the Head of eService development from the City of Helsinki.

CONTACT: Antti Poikola, Project Manager, OKFI, Emilia Hjelm, Project Expert, OKFI,


photo by Ristomatti Airo/CC BY 4.0

Hack4FI – Hack your heritage! put Finnish open cultural resources to use

Hack4FI – Hack your heritage! put Finnish open cultural resources to use Hack4FI – Hack your heritage! hackathon brought together artists, programmers, designers, humanists, educators and others interested in digital cultural heritage and multi-professional collaboration.

More than 50 developers created during the weekend 5.5. - 7.5. applications, concepts, data visualizations and webtools. The hackathon was organized for the third time.

For example, one of the teams developed an AI based method to color black and white photos and videos.

The purpose of the hackathon was both to celebrate and raise awareness of the cultural heritage materials, freely and openly available on the Internet, and experiment and showcase different and creative ways, these materials can be reused.

Hack4FI was organised by AvoinGlam working group in collaboration with Yle and other cultural institutions

“We are happy that our open resources got so much attention. We want to develop our role as enabler. Hack4fi was one part of this work” , told Aki Pohjankyrö from the Helsinki City Museum.

CONTACT : Tuomas Nolvi, AvoinGLAM


photo by Teemu Ropponen / CC BY-SA 2.0

Democracyhack – Renewing the Forms of Democratic Participation

A team of Open Knowledge Finland activists, namely Mikael Seppälä (project manager), Teemu Ropponen, Liisi Soroush and Aki Saariaho, got together with Sitra to organize Democracyhack as part of Sitra’s vision work on the Next Era which seeked to renew the Nordic model for wellbeing.

The project was essentially made of three events:

the Democracy Mini-Hack: New Streams on 24.4.2017, which consisted of three relevant talks and an Open Space event,

The Future State Days in Porvoo on 4.5.2017, which featured international top speakers,

and the Democracyhack day itself on 5.5.2017.  

The event gathered interest from 137 people, out of whom about 62 in 13 teams were invited to participate in the event itself.

Open Democracy

The winners of the hack were chosen by Niklas Wilhelmsson from the Ministry of Justice, former member of parliament Jouni Backman on behalf of Sitra, social entrepreneur Pauliina Seppälä and Anita Lehikoinen from the Ministry of Culture and Education.

‘The winning concept’ was MiVO (Minimum Viable Organization) App which seeks to help people get together and organized in a fashion which suits the fast-pace world in which people do not necessarily want to get engaged with long-term issues.

The second place was awarded to Participator - an election information machine which is based on action, not talks,

that seeked to show voters how their representatives have voted in the past.

The third place was given to Open Data-enabled Democracy, which aimed to shift democratic participation from voting to gathering value data from the people (Value profiles as MyData) and making informed decisions based on this.

Democracyhack was an awesome event that succeeded in bringing together a bunch of actives and giving publicity to the efforts that might otherwise be marginalized.

“The new forms of democracy are by no means ready after this. We in Finland need to invest in a ecosystem that can support novel ideas for participation, help make them into viable business and assist in spreading them.

A lot of work remains to be done and Open Knowledge Finland definitely continue the pioneering work in this field”, states Mikael Seppälä.

Democracyhack – Renewing the Forms of Democratic Participation

Photo: Hannu-Pekka Ikäheimo

Mikael Seppälä, Project Manager, Open Knowledge Finland




The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap (HOT-OSM) community was also awarded for their great work outside of OKFI. The community has done important crisis work (voluntary map creation for crisis areas) together with the Finnish Red Cross. In many ways, it has been a very admirable grassroots work, with the idea that anyone can help and at the same time learn about open maps and open, distributed collaboration.

“Internally”, we gave awards to the Open Science working group (steered by Heidi Laine and Leo Lahti) and Lobbying transparency (originally initiated by Joonas Pekkanen as part of Open Ministry’s work) group for great persistent work within OKFI. These awards were designed by Tuukka Päivärinne and produced together with Martin Genet. Thank you!

At our Autumn General Meeting we recognized some great open data work of 2017 with special “Open Heart” -awards. We gave awards to two organisations “outside” of the Open Knowledge network, but definitely within the Finnish open data ecosystem.

The -service (open spending data and visualisation tools), is a great collaboration between Hansel, the Ministry of Finance and many other organisations. Hansel has great visions of putting spending and procurement openness into a law – and further, sees openness as a step towards more ethical procurement in other ways, too.


  • Mika Honkanen, Chairperson
  • Mikael Seppälä
  • Raoul Plommer
  • Susanna Ånäs
  • Liisi Soroush
  • Jessica Parland-Von Essen
  • Oskari Lappalainen
  • Aki Saariaho
  • Antti Poikola, treasurer

(outside of the board)

Photos of the board here? Could you paste here or send to riia at Slack.

Photo: OKFFI, CCBY 4.0.

13.4.2017: Yhteiskuntatieteet ja avoin data

3.5.2017: MyData Muutosvoimana työpaja

4.5.2017: The Future State Days in Porvoo

5.5.2017: Democracyhack - Renewing the Forms of Democratic Participation

5.5.-7.5.2017 Hack4FI

13.6.2017: OKFI Open Office - Advocacy 2017-2018 : Ideology into Action!


19.6.2017: Spring meeting

23.8.2017: Tietosuojalausunto

30.8-1.9.2017 MyData 2017 Conference

21.9.2017: Promote the Open Data & Society Cause with the OKFI Network!

21.9.2017 ResponsiveOrgFI: How Responsive Teams Work Together -meetup

3.10.2017: Lobbausrekisteri Suomeen NYT - meetup

13.10.2017: Press event on lobbying data and Lobbaus Läpinäkyväksi citizen initiative

20.11.2017: ResponsiveOrgFI: The OS Canvas -meetup

1.12.2017: Tietämisen vapauden päivän juhlaseminaari

8.12.2017 Workshop on open data

8.12.2017: OKFI 24h planning retreat for 2018 - open to all!

13.12.2017: OKFI Autumn Annual Meeting


  • 6Aika
  • City of Helsinki Innovation Fund
  • CSC IT Center For Science Ltd.
  • Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture
  • Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities (VN TEAS)
  • Helsingin Sanomat Foundation
  • Sitra
  • Shuttleworth Foundation

Demokratiahack at Sitra, 21.3.

Vuosisadan rakentajat meeting hosted by foundations, 17.1.

Photo: OKFI, CC-BY 4.0.


Aalto University

Aatos Technologies

Academic Engineers and

Architects in Finland TEK

Art Earth Tech


Alexandra Institute

Archives of Aalto University

Central Archives for Finnish Business Records

City of Helsinki Urban Facts

Connected Health Cluster

ContextSpace Solutions

Cozy Cloud

Data Business Challenge


The National Archives of Finland

Finnish Heritage Agency

Finnish League for Human Rights



Finnish Transport Agency
Finnish Transport Safety Authority Trafi


Gallen-Kallela Museum



Helsinki City Museum


Internet of Me

IPRA Technologies



Kepa - The Finnish NGO platform


Mannerheim museum


Mobile Ecosystem Forum

MyLife Digital

NJORD Advokaadibüroo

Non-discrimination Ombudsman


Open Knowledge International


Open Ministry

Oxford Research




Suomen Kuvalehti

Suomen Tilaajavastuu / Finnish Population Registry Centre

Tekes (now Business Finland)



THL - National Institute for Health and Welfare


Transparency Finland

University of Helsinki

Varkaus museums

Wikimedia Finland



Mapping Open Data Use Cases -
Avoimen datan kartoitus

Cost-effective Utilization of Open Data and Basic Registers

Open Citizen Science

Supporting Creative Commons Licenses


Hack4FI 2017 - Hack Your Heritage

E-services and Personal Information in Helsinki

MyData as a Change Agent in the Public Sector - MyData muutos-


Common Knowledge Practices in Research and Decision-making - Yhtäköyttä

Tietopyyntö.fi - FOIA request platform

Open Parliament

Openness of Academic Publishing

The openness of information has become a household topic through the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica scandal in a backward manner. The focus has shifted from the benefits of open data to the failures of protecting personal data. However, personal and open data should be tackled together, as they are facets of the same issue.

It may seem that the societal mission of Open Knowledge has now been blurred, but it has only become more ambitious. We process and disseminate information about how the openness of governmental, corporate, cultural and scientific information promotes innovation and makes decision-making more transparent. On the other hand, we make sense of how companies and organisations collect data about us, and we have taken an internationally leading role in promoting a human-centric approach to that data. We work to place the core of the information society – the information – to the service of a fairer and more egalitarian society. Come and join the ongoing strategy work to articulate that mission together!

I came to Open Knowledge after working with Wikimedia projects for several years. We have facilitated publishing open cultural content in Wikimedia Commons, and data in the Wikidata open linked data platform. For example, Finnish municipality elections results of 2017, cultural heritage sites and National Gallery artworks can already be found there. In order to combine data from different sources globally in Wikidata, it will be important to waive copyright with Creative Commons Zero at the institutions holding the original data. This should be acknowledged and encouraged in the Public Administration Recommendations and in the institutions.

Helping memory organisations in balancing between privacy protection and opening content is also close to our hearts at Open Knowledge. Ironically, GDPR threatens to close and forget 100 years of images depicting people, especially minorities. Are novel technological or legal innovations for brokering consent needed, or exceptions in legislation? How will it be different for established memory organizations and user generated content in online platforms? We are ready to investigate and act.

Come and join the movement, 2018 is full of activities! MyData 2018 conference gathers experts in personal data management for the third time in Helsinki. New Digital Rights MOOC explains GDPR to citizens. The fourth Hack4FI at the Helsinki City Museum gathers creators to re-imagine cultural heritage. The Open Roots project addresses issues of cultural appropriation of indigenous cultures and participatory budgeting in cultural organizations in a series of workshops. In the Junior Hackathon experiment we invite the future information society citizens to create and innovate together with us. The Wikidocumentaries platform aggregates opened historical content for further elaboration and reuse, and new organizational practices for information work are put forward by ResponsiveOrg. And there will be more…


Chairperson 2018: Openness, privacy and a fairer society

Susanna Ånäs




Check our website for information on how to join:

This publication:

All texts CC-BY 4.0.

Editing and layout

by Riia Järvenpää

Open Knowledge Finland - Annual Report 2017 - Google Slides