IGF 2018 WS #42
From commons to open data : the case of social innovations

Organizer 1: JULIEN PARIS, Commissariat général à l'égalité des territoires
Organizer 2: BENEDICTE PACHOD, Commissioner general for territorial equity

Speaker 1: JULIEN BELLANGER, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: BENEDICTE PACHOD, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: JULIEN PARIS, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Guerry Guerry, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Julien Bellanger, PING - [email protected]

Online Moderator

Bastien Guerry, Etalab - [email protected]


Julien Paris, entrepreneur for public good at the General Commissionership for Territorial Equity (CGET) - [email protected]


Break-out Group Discussions - 90 Min


At the beginning of the session an introduction will open the topic through the testimonies of :

- Armelle Ledan, specialist of social innovations in Europe, both researcher and practicionner at the AEIDL (FR) ;
- Sylvia Frederikson, member of the Open Knowledge Foundation, specialist of Commons ;
- Thomas Townsend, opendata UK ;
- Benedicte Pachod, coordinator of the project at the General Commissionership for Territorial Equity (FR) ;

Then the audience will be then separated in three groups, depending on each audience's member area of interest.
The first three speakers (A. Ledan, S. Frederikson, T. Townsend) will join a group each, and will be helped with other guests (B. Pachod, J. Bellanger, J. Paris) to moderate and animate the discussions, and also to take notes on the online pads.

At the very end of the session it will be chosen a person to share and resume the main conclusions each group would have made, and the urls of the resources produced in common will be shared with the audiences (online and onsite).


- Diversity of stakeholder groups : a NGO, a foundation, an association, a government agency
- Diversity in gender by an equal representation of males and females speakers and moderators
- Diversity in geography : local, national (French) and european speakers

The goal of the session is : 1/ raise the awareness of the audience about the importance of local initiatives in the production of decentralized open datasets and commons ; 2/ present some projects focusing on social innovation as many examples of such intentions ; 3/ interact with the audience to discuss and 'brainstorm' about the problems those project can front ; 4/ gather and share all the reflections, conclusions, ideas, ... gathered during the session online and onsite.

In this session specialists in social innovations and opendata will share their experiences with different focuses : as representatives of the movement known as ‘’tech for good’’, as public agents (FR and UK), and as developers (f.e. the project of Carrefour des innovations sociales).

Every project will be will be shortly demonstrated, and then interactive workshops will be proposed to the audience in order to set up specific issues, and then discuss how to handle them to achieve production of commons and opendata from a local scale.

The timing we will propose is the following :

> Presentation of th global problematic : how non-profit private sector can be a major producer of opendata and commons, their role in the future of internet of data ;
> Presentation of the four projects initiated by non-profit sector involving production of digital commons or opendata


> Present groups topics and moderators to the audience ;
> Invite the audience to join the groups ;

DEBATES / WORKSHOPS (45 min) in parallel :
Three specific issues are to be debated in parallel :

> How to create favorable conditions for collecting and enriching opendata for diverse origins ? - animated by Sylvia Frederikson
> What benefits of Common Goods projects at local and european levels ? - animated by Thomas Townsend
> How to promote opendata in day to day practices to contribute to a project of Common Goods ? - animated by Armelle Ledan and Julien Bellanger

> main conclusions from each group underlined in the pads
> thanks to the audience and speakers
> share pad's urls

The moderators will facilitate the debates in various ways :

- facilitating the discussion between the speakers and the audience ;
- briefly introducing the presented projects ;

- facilitating and reporting in every group (with the help of B. Pachod, J. Bellanger, and J. Paris, thus covering all 3 groups).

The goal of this session is to explore how local initiatives can participate to create original open data sources for all citizens and also digital commons for large communities. Local actors have a potential to become major producers of open data, but such a goal implies to rethink the relationships between administrations and private actors, and also implies for those to rely on speficic tools or methodologies to succeed in this purpose.

Open data is one of the French government prior subjects as it is becoming mandatory for local authorities and a recommended practice for public actors. This obligation raises multiple issues such as data governance, reliability of the data, public access to the data, efficiency of data reuses for public and civil society actions. Nowadays many initiatives had proven the benefits for public actors to rely on the private sector (associations, NGOs, ...) to help them constitute open databases. The expected benefits of such crowd-sourced open data are many : getting a sharper understanding of the territory, promoting citizens empowerment in public decisions, or to develop new services on top of public data for the common good.

Those initiatives plead for a more decentralized way to produce open data, with the help of multiple private actors at every scale. Such a decentralized effort ensures those datasets are well-maintained and answering to real local needs of citizens and administrations. As so those datasets can be considered as many new digital commons to build and sustain, commons laying altogether at the very foundation of future digital services for the citizens in their diversity. Ultimately the private sector, notably non-profit sector, is adressing a major policy matter : the decentralized production of open data.

However local private actors - in particular within the non-profit sector - can encounter many obstacles while opening their own datasets. They must ensure the interoperability between private and public sources, respect standards, invent new governance modes, find the means to maintain their databases, mobilize the minimum technical knowledge required to launch such projects, and discover the other communities involved in similar projects. Last but not least non-profit actors engaged in open data production often deal with limited financial means.

In order to map and debate how to resolve those issues private and public actors need to learn from contemporary experiences, namely operational projects. In this session we propose to introduce several case studies, initiatives and testimonies showing how local or sectorial actors have developped strategies and/or tools, succeeding in producing digital commons, open data, while managing to stay .

For instance the "Carrefour des innovations sociales" is one of the projects to be presented during this session. It aims to gather and share data about social innovations and, therefore, improve their visibility and impact. It is based on the contributions of around 100 partners in France and in Europe informing on social innovation projects. As this project is currently being developped many questions are still opened, and many ideas tested during its development can as much inspire or be debated with the public.

Online Participation

Online participation will be handled by organizing a participative session for everyone : it includes a mix of testimonies shared on social media feeds, feedbacks of the case studies and operational project presented, allowing online audiences to interact with the worskhops' moderators, being able to add comment or edit online resources (pads), so everyone would be able to contribute and get new ideas.

A Twitter feed will be monitored by the online moderator to gather and share questions to the speakers (during the introdution), or with the different groups during the second part of the session.

A pad's url will be created for each group in order to gather the main ideas, resources, conclusions and feedbacks from the onsite audience. Those pads' urls will be shared with the online and onsite audiences, so anyone could access or help build the reflection around those topics.