Code for Germany is a program by the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany in partnership with Code For America. The aim of the programme is to promote developments in the field of transparency, Open Data and Civic Tech in Germany.
The program started in February 2014 with the founding of Open Knowledge Labs in 8 cities. The Labs are regional groups of designers, developers, journalists and others who meet regularly to work on useful applications around open data. They develop apps that inform, positively shape society and make the work of administrations and authorities more transparent. In the meantime, the network has grown to 25 labs and comprises a community of over 300 volunteers.
Code for Germany is part of the international Code for All Community, a network of Civic Tech initiatives around the globe.
We are always looking for exciting partners. Interested cities and sponsors can contact us here.
The Open Knowledge Labs (OK Labs) are local groups of people who use their technical skills to positively influence our society. They meet regularly to jointly develop software applications and visualizations for their city. The applications and tools help to simplify the everyday life of citizens, enable participation or improve communication between the government and it's citizens.
Many applications are based on open administrative data such as financial data, environmental data, data on education, local transport or statistical data. These data can be used to create applications and tools such as: citizen builds city a page for planned construction projects in Berlin, small sparrow a kindergarten map from Ulm or open household an open source financial visualization.
The aim of Code for Germany is to develop concrete applications to identify new possibilities and opportunities in areas such as citizen service, participation and state transparency, and to promote the opening of government data. In order to achieve this goal, it is important that local groups work closely with representatives of their city and the city administration. The programme will link decision-makers and city administrations with the labs to work together on useful and innovative projects for the city.
The local labs are part of a national and international network of mentors and like-minded people. Each OK Lab consists of members and lab leads. The leads organize meetings, take care of the communication channels of the lab, are contact persons and hub to the wider network. The labs are independent groups, with their own communication channels such as websites, etherpads or Twitter accounts. When and where the next meeting of the OK Labs takes place or which projects the individual teams are currently working on can be followed on the pages of the respective Labs. Everyone is invited to get active in their city and support the labs! For more information see "Join in".
To get more people excited about Open Data and Civic Tech, to give communities more visibility and networking: Many cities already have people or groups working on applications and projects related to open data. Code for Germany creates an infrastructure to network them with each other and to enable an exchange. In addition, the program supports local communities in their communication with government, institutions and the public.
To encourage the re-use and further opening of data: Some cities already have Open Data programs and provide first data sets openly, but in many places there is still a lack of applications and examples that demonstrate the practical use of open data - this is exactly where Code for Germany comes in. The OK Labs use local data and build applications and visualizations, stimulating the further opening of data sets.
The project is inspired by Code for America, whose programmes provide numerous examples of how cities and interested civil society are working on innovative and successful solutions to urban challenges. Code for Germany transfers the concept to Germany in order to expand the potential of open data sets and creative developers.
Behind the project Code for Germany is the non-profit association Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, which is committed to open knowledge, open data, transparency and citizen participation and has been actively working with developer communities and administrations throughout Germany for several years.
Geraldine de Bastion, Co-Founder Konnektiv
Ibrahim Evsan, Entrepeneur Social Media Expert
Franz-Reinhard Habbel, Speaker of the Deutscher Städte- und Gemeindebund
Lars Hinrichs, Entrepeneur, Founder of Xing and HackFwd, Supervisory board Deutsche Telekom AG
Dr. Wieland Holfelder, Engineering Director Chrome und Site Lead, Google Munich
Lena-Sophie Müller, Managing Director Initiative D21
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. Björn Niehaves, Fakultät III - Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht, Universität Siegen
MinDir‘n Beate Lohmann, Leader of the Abteilung O Verwaltungsmodernisierung; Verwaltungsorganisation im Bundesministerium des Innern
Michelle Thorne, Global Strategist at Mozilla Foundation
Dr. Marianne Wulff