This is a fantastic time to be working with data in Leeds. Being part of such an innovative and leading ecosystem has made this past year very eventful.
Working with the ODI is inspirational and their work and ours is spearheading a cultural change that is not just about data – we’re trying to encourage a cultural shift in how cities innovate and collaborate with their data. This is reflected in the projects ODI Leeds works on and the work being done by Leeds Data Mill and the eco-system in Leeds – Hebe Media and Bloom Agency amongst many others.
On Wednesday 25th June ODI Leeds held a summer 2015 review to our journey to date, how far we’ve come, where we are right now and what’s next. This post is a summary of the presentation, the slides for which can be found on here.
Network and Training
ODI Leeds is chiefly a network and training node that additionally undertakes projects.
We offer individual memberships that allow people to have a greater stake in the node network. The training that takes place here takes two forms: open data training courses and in-house cohort training for businesses and organisations.
Another advantage to becoming an individual member is access to a range of events at our space at Munro House.
In the past we have held events for Leeds GovJam, DataKind and, Leeds Data Thing and Leeds DevOps. There are more regular events with the Friday lunchtime lecture series in which ODI Leeds hosts a speaker working in the field or live streams something from the ODI HQ.
Another part of the our commitment to being a provider of Training and Network has been the workspace here at Munro House. Used for co-working and collaborations across teams, the space is a great place if you’re looking for somewhere a bit different. Located in the city centre with lots of light and a friendly atmosphere, it’s essentially a blank workspace for getting things done and meeting people. Using the space is pay as you go with no monthly contracts. There are currently about 10-15 regular co-workers using the space, some of whom have joined our Challenge Team. If you would be interested in coming along then we’ve recently set up a page on the new ODI website. link
ODI Leeds has been at the forefront of some innovative projects including:
- Leeds Empties
Bus Start – A project that uses bus routes to connect cut-off people to areas of higher employment
We have the Data Dive coming up in July where participants will be using data from Yorkshire Water to come up with ideas and products that save water.
Key to our innovation programme is the drive to make Leeds a truly open, Smart City.
What we do would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. We have recently welcomed the University of Leeds, BJSS, Calderdale Council and KPMG, who join Leeds and Bradford councils, The West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Arup and Bloom Agency. This brings the total up to nine, with five sponsors hailing from the public sector and four from the private sector.
All of our sponsors have slightly different reasons for sponsoring us and what they contribute or provide for us and the community.
If you’d like to be involved please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
What does the future hold?
As things progress we’ve been thinking hard about what our next step are.
Establishing a clear direction and a business model will become paramount as the year we progress to 2016. We are looking at how we can expand our sponsorship offer to SME and micro businesses, undertake more projects and research to compliment our practical focus.
Part of this process is establishing our role in the Leeds’ data ecosystem as well as what this means for the city itself. Whatever happens ODI Leeds looks forward to a very exciting year ahead so stay tuned!
The 20 or so folk that joined us for the review and priority setting helped us identify the themes we should consider as we establish our direction and business model for a sustainable long term future.
This will be presented in Part 2 of this blog post – watch this space.