Open Belgium is an annual community event, where participants try to make Belgian knowledge open, usable, useful and used. The yearly event is a community driven conference about Open Knowledge and Open Data. The conference is intended for everyone interested in Open Data and Open Knowledge. It is an event where IT-experts, local authorities, Open Data hackers, researchers and private companies have the chance to catch up on what is new in the field of Open Knowledge in Belgium and beyond. It’s that moment of the year in Belgium where data publishers sit next to users, citizen developers and communities to network and to openly discuss the next steps in Open Knowledge and Open Data. Open Belgium is organized by Open Knowledge Belgium, which is an umbrella organization (non-profit) for numerous Open Knowledge initiatives in Belgium. The team behind OKFBE aims to make knowledge sharing possible and let different organizations and individuals cross-pollinate, an approach we love in any organization that wants to have impact at a local/national level.
Supporting Open Belgium 2021 with digital infrastructure
This year, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the event was planned to be hosted online. Having followed the previous editions of Open Belgium and having the event in high regards, we were happy when the Open Belgium organising team contacted us for a potential partnership to offer our expertise and infrastructure to host the event online in a reliable way using open source platforms. Obviously we agreed (happily) and started planning right away.
How did we support the event?
The event lasted for one month, which required coordination between our team and the Open Belgium organizing team. We choose BigBlueButton as the ideal open source video platform, but also to extract the videos now that the conference is over.
During the events we also offered ‘stand-by’ sessions, which in practice means that one member of our team was available to answer any questions or to respond to an incident in case something was no working as planned. As a bonus we also got to follow many of the events and learn a lot about the open knowledge movement in Belgium.
Astrid Steenackers, General Coordinator from OKFBE said about the partnership:
“Given the fact that Open Belgium celebrates a variety of open initiatives in Belgium and beyond, an open source infrastructure provider for the online event was really important to us. Cloud68.co supported us with that infrastructure by choosing BigBlueButton as a platform, but also guided us in creating the best possible set-up for our specific needs. The stable infrastructure, the very responsive team, the efficient and clear communication brought down the stress levels that come with organizing events. We knew we were in good hands! Thank you Cloud68.co for the partnership!”