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LIVE BLOG: Abre Latam, an Unconference About a More Open Latin America

BY Susannah Vila | Monday, June 24 2013

This week, technologists, researchers, activists and public officials will meet up in Montevideo, Uruguay to talk about government transparency. To kick off the festivities, two leading open government not for profits in the region, Uruguay’s DATA and Chile’s Ciudadano Inteligente, are holding an unconference on open data called Abre Latam (Open Latam). The unconference is primarily focused on convening civil society, and is intended to complement the more government-oriented event, a regional conference on open data, that starts on Wednesday.

When Ciudadano Inteligente was launched back in 2011 it was perhaps the only initiative in the region using technology to enhance civic information, engagement and transparency. That same year a regional hackathon, Desarrollando America Latina, was created. Soon after, a community of civic technologists that rivals Chile’s emerged in Mexico, and then in Argentina, Perú, and elsewhere. Uruguay’s DATA launched less than a year ago. As bellwethers like Ciudadano Inteligente grow, and newer projects emerge, a convening designed to consider what has worked and what hasn’t is propitious. It’s also the first of its kind for the region, where civic technologists have come together (plenty) for hackathons, but never to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the hackathon and open data projects.

We’ll be doing our best to document the lessons learned that emerge during Abre Latam. What are we not asking but should be? Who’s here that we should be sure to speak with? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments.

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