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    Mindtrek Openmind 2015

    Mindtrek 2014

    The main themes at the international conference Mindtrek Openmind 2015 are open source, open data and open content. The event, which is held in September, aims to make Tampere the capital of openness, a city where new business, better services and intelligent ways of participation are created.

    Openness is the key theme at Mindtrek Openmind 2015 – and, according to the organisers, also the direction for the global development. The first Mindtrek was held in Tampere in 1997 and, throughout the years, the event has highlighted progression in the field. Now is clearly the time for openness.

    “When reading the news, you notice that not a single week passes without some state or city declaring that they favour open technologies. They see that this is the way to promote innovation and business,” says Timo Väliharju, the man in charge of Mindtrek Openmind.

    Mindtrek Openmind 2015 invites to the conference everyone to whom open source, open data and open content are important now or in the future. Consequently, the target group is large and includes all kinds of actors from business experts and companies to representatives of the public sector and decision-makers, not to mention researchers, developers and technical experts.

    “Mindtrek Openmind is the place where all these people can meet and exchange ideas and let their domestic and international knowledge collide,” says Väliharju.

    A cutting edge open data project coordinated by Tredea will bring representatives in the field from the six largest cities in Finland to Mindtrek Openmind. According to the 6Aika strategy, the cities strive to make opening up data a part of their normal activities, making it easier to create open and intelligent services. The project produces programme for Mindtrek Openmind and will also hold its annual general meeting at the conference.

    “The most important thing is that Mindtrek Openmind functions as a forum that brings together experts and makers from Finland and abroad to discuss all the things that each of them do at their respective jobs. Exchanging experiences and best practices is always useful,” says Matti Saastamoinen, Development Manager, Open Data at Tampere Region Economic Development Agency Tredea.

    Mindtrek 2014
    Even though data and dialogue can be transmitted easily over the Internet, sometimes it is nice to talk face-to-face. The aim is to make Mindtrek Openmind a place where people come to hear the latest news about open source, open data and open content.

    People from other countries find their way to the event for example through the Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC) forum, which includes approximately 50 cities around the world. OASC will announce new member cities at Mindtrek Openmind.

    “For Tampere, it is great to get to host the announcement, something that for example Paris and Porto were competing for,” says Saastamoinen.

    On the other hand, Väliharju and Saastamoinen would like to see Mindtrek Openmind to also reach people who are not experts in the field. Entrepreneurs, decision-makers and regular citizens should all be aware of the possibilities created by openness because the changes they bring are going to touch everybody and shape future society anyway.

    “Openness and collective operating methods create new ways of producing services and business. If you want to be be involved in the development, now is the time to be alert,” says Väliharju.

    During the three-day event, visitors will be offered presentations, workshops and meetings – and there is more to come. Mindtrek Openmind 2015 is the debut of the conference’s new concept that sets focus on openness, and the organisers also have ambitious plans for the coming years.

    “We want to make Mindtrek Openmind the biggest conference in this field in Northern Europe. We want it to become the place to be when you want to know what is going on in the world. Then, we can truly call Tampere the capital of openness,” says Väliharju.

    Mindtrek 2013
    In 2013, the main speaker at Mindtrek was Steve Wozniak, one of the two founders of Apple. That year, Teknologiayrittäjyyspäivät, a meeting for technology entrepreneurs, was also organised in connection with MindTrek. Image: Sari Mäkelä

    Next year, Mindtrek Openmind will be combined with the Smart City Event, which deals with the development of smart cities. The event will be held at Tampere Hall on 17–19 October 2016.

    “Smart City Event 2016 will make a fantastic extension to the Mindtrek Openmind’s programme and strengthen the international status of the conference,” says Väliharju.

    “A well-functioning smart city has to be built on open and compatible technologies and standards. It is great and important that Tampere is at the centre of things, bringing the top experts in the field together and having an impact on the development of the field,” says Saastamoinen.

    Mindtrek Openmind 2015 is an international conference held at Solo Sokos Hotel Torni in Tampere on 22–24 September. The event focuses on different areas of openness: open source, open data and open content. The event is organised by COSS – the Finnish Centre for Open Systems and Solutions.

    Images: MindTrek 2014/COSS, unless stated otherwise.
    Translation: Lingoneer

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