Our Vision

We believe that a vibrant open knowledge commons will empower citizens and enable fair and sustainable societies.

What is Open Knowledge?

‘Open knowledge’ is any content, information or data that people are free to use, re-use and redistribute — without any legal, technological or social restriction. We detail exactly what openness entails in the Open Knowledge Definition. The main principles are:

  1. Free and open access to the material
  2. Freedom to redistribute the material
  3. Freedom to reuse the material
  4. No restriction of the above based on who someone is (e.g. their nationality) or their field of endeavour (e.g. commercial or non-commercial)

Open knowledge is what open data becomes when it’s useful, usable and used. The Open Knowledge Foundation believes in open knowledge: not just that some data is open and can be freely used, but that it is useful – accessible, understandable, meaningful, and able to help someone solve a real problem.

—So open knowledge is empowering – it helps us effect change and improve the world.

We believe in the power of openness

We seek a world in which open knowledge is ubiquitous and routine – both online and offline. We promote open knowledge because of its potential to deliver far-reaching societal benefits which include the following:

  • Better governance: openness improves governance through increased transparency and engagement.
  • Better culture: openness means greater access, sharing and participation in relation to cultural material and activities.
  • Better research: for research to function effectively, and for society to reap the full benefits from research activities, research outputs should be open.
  • Better economy: openness permits easier and more rapid reuse of material and open data and content are the key raw ingredients for the development of new innovative tools and services.