A massive THANK YOU to all the participants of the very first Open Knowledge Festival! The event gathered more than a thousand open knowledge experts and enthusiasts for a week of participatory sessions, keynote lectures, workshops and hackathons. The programme was designed via an open and collective process which involved approximately 100 Guest Programme Planners around the world.

The spaces of Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture were customised for the festival’s needs - hackathons were organised in the massive Lume Film Studio, hands-on workshops at the Aalto Fablab and lectures a dozen of different spaces.

OKFestival was a great leap further for the global Open Knowledge community and greatly increased awareness about open knowledge in Finland via several features in Finnish national media.


Live video streams were transmitted from 7 different OKFestival lecture spaces. Browse the OKFestival Video Archive with approximately 150 hours of footage!



  • 1054 registered participants from more than 50 countries
  • 1200 OKFest satellite event participants
  • Representatives of 442 organisations: 68 universities and educational units, 74 government agencies or public sector institutions, 176 associations and foundations, 124 corporate or private sector employers

  • 134 sessions including 306 individual presentations
  • 67 hours of hackathons and 61 hours of satellite events
  • Altogether 484 hours of programme designed by 100 Guest Programme Planners
  • MEDIA:

  • 200+ features in mainstream and indie media
  • 12 572 live video stream views
  • 17 951 tweets between 14 June and 1 October


The OKFestival Final Report describes the background, the organisation and the results of the festival in full detail. You can find the full report in both a PDF display format and on The programme leaflet itself is available online here.


  • “How on earth were you able to manage with this vast amount of everything?! I got ‘movemented’ and want more!” - Anne Karkulahti, project manager, Finland
  • “As a new Creative Commons employee, and one attending OKFestival for the first time, I was so heartened at seeing what I kept on calling in mind, “My community, my tribe.” It is usually fun though not challenging to hang out with those who agree with you, but this was different — I found all the different streams I attended  both fun *and* challenging. Oh, and please let me know who thought of hosting the event at that Aalto School of Design… the space embodied everything that the event was about, or vice versa.. It will be hard for me now to go to other events, because I will end up judging them against the OKFestival, and they will fall short.” -  Mr. Puneet Kishoor, Creative Commons, USA
  • “Everything was so awesome [that] I wished I could have clones as most of the sessions were running concurrently and I could only attend one at a time. But it was very well planned. I’d love to thank the organizers very very much because they helped me learn a lot as regards Open knowledge and helped me do a lot of networking… it was really a life changing experience for me. I wish it would have lasted longer as I was learning so much and having so much fun. Next time, make it 2 weeks!” - Janet Maranga, lecturer and speaker, Kenya
  • “Sessions … were generally very well run. I thought some of the real time participatory elements were quite brave and groundbreaking. I am interested in sustainability, open data, open source, civic engagement, and mapping data visualisation. It was a no brainer for me and am glad I went.” - Peter Kittas, mapping and data visualisation developer, USA
  • “At the beginning it was hard to understand what to follow because of so many different topic streams. But I admit, given the number of streams and sessions, the information work was done very well. The online schedule and the printed map of venue in the booklet were especially useful… I had several professional and academic interests during this visit, and all of them are now fulfilled… talking to anybody, literally, ANYBODY in conference area was either useful, interesting, just pleasant or, most of the time, all of that combined. I have been to quite a few conferences, but the networking intensity here - that was something!” - Juris Jerums, educator from Latvia
  • “Great organizing, all tech worked well, interesting programme, excellent live streams & records. Not enough time! Wanted ability to multiply oneself during the festival (to be able to simultaneously participate to several sessions! Great opportunity to network and share ideas.” - Mika Välitalo, ICT4D Programme Manager, Finland
  • “A magnificient event done with minimal resources! As Michael Edson said, out of this autumn’s seminars this was the one with biggest sex appeal. I would not have missed it for millions - it’s one of the changing forces of our society now.” - Karoliina Luoto, marketing manager, Finland
  • “Greetings and respect! The wifi worked, the planning worked … really it was great! Oh, and prize for the coolest badges ever.” - Helen Darbishire, executive director and speaker, Europe
  • “Overall, you did an amazing job: good atmosphere, overall an excellent programme.  I hope the next org crew for the Festival in Geneva, 2013, can learn a lot from you and improve on those details that could be improved … I think what particularly matters about open knowledge is its broad definition as lived and expressed at the OKFestival — on top of the relevance of openness and transparency in general.” - Peter Troxler, open design practitioner, Switzerland
  • “Excellent job, extremely friendly and helpful staff and volunteers, and a fantastic overall organisation. With sessions actually starting and finishing on time! Refreshing :) - Nils Walravens, researcher, Belgium
  • “Great content. Positive energy! Truly international crowd doing fabulous things & bringing us all hope for the future! To me professionally the cultural heritage stream [was most important], but also had a chance to sneak in to open journalism and others. And it was all exciting!” - Johanna Berg, senior advisor, Sweden


OKFestival was featured prominently in Finnish national media (interviews in several TV/radio programmes by Yle national public service broadcasting company, several stories at biggest daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, etc) as well as international mainstream & indie media (Le Monde blog, ZDNet, WIRED Italia, etc). Approximately 200 stories about OKFestival were published by news organisations and bloggers around the world.


Browse the archive of hundreds of photos from OKFestival 2012.

Photos on this page by Daniel Schildt, Veikko Kähkönen, Michael Edson and Paola Livorsi