Richard Gevers


Level 7 - 706
In the session, we will engage with the fact that openness has historically largely been defined (by white men) in the global north, and despite these being some amazing individuals, it has created problematic framing for implementing openness (especially with digital tools) in the global south and any other context where power distance is large. This would include marginalised communities in any context or location. As a session we will engage with how this leads to undesirable outcomes including exclusion, lack of buy-in, and distortion when trying to implement openness in cities and communities. Together engage with the dynamics of openness, inclusion and equality as we seen to explore how the open web and open knowledge facilitates or in fact, hinders openness, especially within local government and "smart" cities, and within vulnerable communities.

Together we will collaboratively come up with a framing and potentially a set of principles for applying openness (especially with digital mechanisms and the web) in two overlapping areas: creating 'open cities' and 'inclusive communities' that seen to understand and mitigate for the negative and distortive impacts of well-intentioned but misplaced efforts in driving openness. In our work in South Africa, we have created an open data toolkit ( for South African cities, I would like to engage with tools such as this and see if they are useful, and can incorporate the learnings from the session. I would like to discuss other practical ways we can ensure the outcomes of openness are inclusion instead of just being self-serving.