and finally, Open Knowledge Awards

When  I decided to apply to be Open Knowledge Foundations (now Open Knowledge International) Ambassador in Sweden 2,5 years ago, I was dreaming to create something that have influence in the OK ecosystem. I was sure I was dedicated but I was not sure what I should do but I knew I wanted to test whether I could create an organization that could be vital part of Open Knowledge  ecosystem in Sweden. Anyhow. application and acceptance process took a bit long after several online and f2f interviews, I got accepted.

I did not want to move very fast to register an organization  because I wanted to be sure that I would have committed team members therefore I took that part slowly and we started to do some open data meetups,  seminars, press releases and volunteer projects, presented ourselves different meetups and hackatrons.

In 2015 I founded and then registered our organization as NGO and I was elected to be Chairman of this organisation. The same year we received support from Vinnova and EU. Both are on going projects and Furthermore we became responsible from Open Data Indek and Census and then Local Data Index. We have organized hackhatrons or supported competitions/ hackatrons such as wiki data visualization challenge, hack4heritage etc.

The main reasion that I write this blog post is about the last event, last project we had. It was my 2 year dream to launch Open Knowledge Awards in Sweden in order to provide recognition to people and organizations that contribute open knowledge in Sweden. We know there are many, but  they are not appreciated enough. Can we create an annual award that people/ organizations should friendly compete and contribute to open knowledge and also receive recognition?

We had our prize ceromony/gala at Royal Institute of Technology in collaboration with KTH Industrial Marketing and Entrepreneurship Division and with  support from Wikimedia. It was a fantastic event with lots of participants and interest. Our two Moderators Jessica Cederberg Wodmar, and Prof Terrence Brown added so much value to the event, besides being jury members. In addition to them, we had Peter Krantz and Annika Lidne as other jury members. Winners were very happy that jury recognized their contribution. I think almost all nominees deserved a prize but of course nothing can be 100% objective when there is human factor. Based on number of press releases I see by winners, I think we were able to find good jury members, we were transparent with our nomination and evaluation process therefore we put our flag at the OK Ecosystem in Sweden with a pride!.

Asmen Gul, Project Manager of OKAwards did a fantastic job during the whole process, I hope he is going to continue with this role and make it even better next year. If you would like to know more about the award, jury members and the team please check

I am very happy that we are running multiple projects in prallel, of course it would not be  possible with contribution of my team members Asmen, Mattias, Aylin, Fredrik, Toni, Alla, Kristina, Adrian, Per Fredrik

We have many nice developments  coming. Stay tuned.


// Some press releases after our event

Westander får öppenhetspris



I am presenting how Open Knowledge can change peoples life, including mine


Project Manager Asmen Gul, our two Moderators Jessica Cederberg Wodmar, and Prof Terrence Brown


Winners and Team


Patrik Westander took his Best Transparency award from Jury member Peter Krantz





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To Do a Helena -1

I just saw a profile on linkedin and then googled her and then found her website

It was a professional looking website and just clicked the video. Here there is a strong inspiring woman talking about business and leadership, with selected correct words, correct tones, nice gestures..and how she believes in young generation ..then the most effective part the final it was the time I decided to, somehow, convince her to be my guest at one of lectures (not to have spoiler alert, better if you check her this video).

Helena Stahl from Helena Stahl on Vimeo.


I decided to email her and then add her via linkedin because I wanted to bring her to one of innovation and entrepreneurship related courses that we teach with my supervisor Terrence Brown at KTH. She was very positive to contribute to the class, but I have to say that she was one of the most difficult guests I had. Not in terms of being a difficult person, but preparation. She asked so many questions about students, about the course, about the program, she did not want to come without having one to one meeting so that she can align expectations from me and students. I was still into inviting her because I could see how impressive person is she but on the other hand, ”what if I am wrong”  question was in my mindimg_1092 img_1101also. I have seen some many impressive people that could not deliver what they pretend to represent.

The day came and she was iimg_1102n the class, we had technical problems, but she was there with her own speaker, her own internet router, well prepared and then she started to talk.

She started her presentation before presentation, actually, because until we started to the lecture, she had already hand shaked and greeted all students that were in the class already. By the time she started, there was no one she did not have eye contact within a meter.

She did not try by starting how impressive she was nor did she talked about with her success. She presented how many times she failed yet could manage to stand up and stand on her own values (friendship, family and charity) and could make a very nice living both in terms of economy and fullfillness. Students did not let her to have break when class had a break, and students did not leave the class after her presentation. They were inspired, moved, impressed and touched with her stories and her niceness.

img_1097 img_1094

I know how she could get only very few customers but charge hem a lot because she delivers high quality content and she does it in very proper and professional way.

I think, she could impress all of us because of her genuineness. She was not faking to look nice, to be nice, to act nice, to treat nice, to look professional, to look funny. She was nice, optimistic, funny and professional person, that is.

If you wonder why my headline is “todoahelena”?.
Just wait for my next post when things are ready.

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Cashless Society, Really?

cashless-trnsactionsOnce  I paid for my lunch with my Q card at KTH’s fantastic Q restaurant , at Q building (I know lot’s of Qs!). A around 50 y/o man tried to pay for his lunch with his cash, but cashier did not accept it, because restaurant does not accept cash any more. Guy complained, and I think he was right: “I am Swedish in Sweden and I have Swedish Kronor and you do not accept it?”

I know,  This blogpost will disappoint my friend and Professor Niklas Arvidsson from KTH. He is expert in cashless / mobile payments and usually does research on this topic,. He is  well sought person in the local and global media in regards to this topic! From time to time we chat and everythime I met him, I learn new stuff from him, I know how qualified person is he in this domain!.

You may think I am a conservative but I do not think we should have a cashless society with current monetary and banking system. I agree with cashless society supporters, when they claim it is easier to use cards over money ( even though I feel nostalgic to see printed money from time to time.) It is much easier to keep track of spending, savings, for bookkeeping etc. No doubt about that.

I was also very excited when Liberland  founder decided to use bitcoin for his “new” liberal state.

Cashless society supporters claim that with digitization of money, governments can keep track of transactions and they can limit money flow to criminal activities. I don’t buy it!. Is it really so?

Let’s face it, money is already virtual and digital. Economic Crises that happened in US did not happen with printed physical money. I bought and sold flats myself and I never carried cash in bag. I saw no printed money during money transfer. It was a basic digital number change in computer! Therefore, money is already digital, right? If you want to go further, you can even buy & sell  gold via bankss, so gold is digital, too!

On the other hand, I remember how, government could limit citizens’ access to resources that citizens already owned in Greece! I also  remember when one of my friends was trying to find cash to bring with her for for her summer vacation in Greece since she was travelling that night that this sanctions introduced.

Please add this info on top of that: there is a limited amount of cash that Swedish state guarantees when/if the bank I have money in, bankrupts

We also know several occasions when a a bank,or a government can easily issue a warrant to block my digital accounts. As an individual, what can I have to protect my right to buy/ own something with my legal money? Do you really think everything will be alright if I have not done anything illegal?  Well, if you look at the history, there are tons of victims of greedy corporations, bad leaders. How can individuals be protected against dictators, big greedy control freak companies when everything is digitized?

Why, the well earned and tax payed  money of a citizen has to be kept in a bank in digital format? Why I am not able to carry my digital money with me in printed or digital format (e.g in USB – hello block-chain!).

Digitization of money will shift power  from citizens to states / private institutions. Until then, long live physical money and physical gold!

Posted in Bitcoin, Crowd Sourcing, Digital Currency, Innovation | Leave a comment

Mälarspaviljongen: How long can you trick your customers?

Today I went to Phil’s Burger for the evening. They cook high quality burgers that you crave about it.  Then we decided to walk down to the water front. There was Mälarspaviljongen, especially coffee part was empty, it was a romantic view and we decided to sit there.  Before I tell you further, I need to tell you one thing about my diet: Since I have lactose intolerance,  I usually use oat milk or if I do not have any vegetarian solution, I prefer lactose-free milk. If you think it is a simple issue, it is not. I can consume milk but it hurts a lot. I did not know why milk let me to feel that bad and hurt my stomach until I learned the reason. If you check wikipedia, you can see what type of issues that this illness can cause:

‘The principal symptom of lactose intolerance is an adverse reaction to products containing lactose (primarily milk), including abdominal bloating and cramps, flatulence, diarrhea, nausea, borborygmi, and vomiting (particularly in adolescents). These appear one-half to two hours after consumption.[2] The severity of symptoms typically increases with the amount of lactose consumed; most lactose-intolerant people can tolerate a certain level of lactose in their diets without ill effects.’

Well, therefore, went to cafeteria and ordered two coffee latte, and I asked whether they have oat milk. They did not but then I asked if they have lactose free milk. The answer of the guy was: Yes!

Good! We paid 92 sek for two coffee and waited. While waiting, I was watching the guy. He opened milk section in the drawer, all of them was red regular milks. He noticed I was looking at him, I only saw he took one type of milk to warm it and then turned his back to us, so we could not see (!) which milk he put in the coffees. I was a bit skeptical but thought: No way! He is not doing that!.

He took both coffees and gave one as: ‘This is lactose free’.

I was not that sure he ever used ANY lactose free milk or any other milk because only he warmed milk once, but I gave him benefit of the doubt and took the coffee. After I drank coffee (by the way, they use a way smaller regular coffee latte glasses compared to other cafeterias!), on my way to home, I start to feel bad, as I had drunk regular milk!

I know my body and I know how regular milk hurts me!. Basic question is: Why did he do this? what did he gain? He could be honest then I could order regular coffee or drink something else, right? Believe me, if It were not hurting now, I would never write this post! What if I had a more serious allergy to lactose and I had a serious problem?

This is also a lesson for companies: How long can you lie to your customers? Will you prefer to cheat your customers for short term gains or would you want to keep them with you? May be, since I am not a regular customer and since it is  a spectacular place, he did not care a regular customer who drank coffee latte, right? It was his choice.

I will of course , If I have to, I will visit there again but this time will I trust them?

Will I prefer to go there if I have other options?

I doubt that!



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KTH MOOC: Too Late to be Good!

first-moocI saw news from KTH website regarding a their first MOOC!.

KTH has just launched its first MOOC. It is just a news but not a great news. Why? Because  KTH’s first MOOC comes in end of spring 2016, are you kidding me? Of course it is better than never, but is it enough?

KTH, with all sense, had the muscle and knowhow to develop  not only a MOOC course but also a MOOC platform that all other EU universities could use for their education.

I guess since KTH already knows they are really late to jump on the bandwagon they are already aware that  it is not easy to have a WOW  effect with  ‘a MOOC’ anymore, therefore they had to bring Sweden’s first astronaut to fly into Space, Christer Fuglesang, as an instructor.

Just to make it more clear, While Khan Academy was getting a momentum in 2006, while education is being disrupted, what  was KTH doing: KTH  was planning to have KTH Sialkot University  in Pakistan where  KTH  would be responsible for course content, university management and quality control.

Lets say they could not see what Khan Academy was going to change in our lives, EdX started in 2012 and a Swedish medical university, Karolinska University started their first MOOC in 2015 and only after that, KTH woke up!

As I said, it is not great news. Why? Because it is already end of spring 2016, it is  way too late to be good!

My question is not only for KTH, what is goal for higher education in Swedish Universities? Will we need to have these universities? What are they planning to do while a student is able to get all education from US universities online? What if these universities introduce certificates where students can gain university credits/degrees based on education they receive in MOOCs,? Would a Swedish student care about to get a degree from KTH, anymore? What will be the future of KTH and all other universities in Sweden?

There are already private certifications available and these are good for career where makes students more employable: Microsoft Academy, Cisco Academy, and many other certifications.

If KTH and other universities do not move fast and adopt to changes , it will again  be too late to be good, and too bad for Sweden !

If you do not disrupt, you will be disrupted!.

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Data Scandals: Turkey, Samsung and more

Biggest data scandal of Turkey.

When I did my presentation on data during World Water Week in Stockholm, I mentioned about how privacy is important in the data era. I gave several examples but when I showed “Ashley Madison” as an example, half of the audience laughed at my slide which was only screen shot of the front page of the website. If you haven’t heard, it is a dating website for married people. Do not get me wrong, not a dating website to marry but dating website for married people, platform for infidelity, basically. At that time, at least 2 people committed suicide, lots of people had social reputation problem. It became obvious that platform did not keep data with proper security, not only that, but also did not encrypt the collected data. You may make jokes about these issues and try to have fun as much as you want but It is not about stupid infidel peoples dating life; it is about all of us. It is about our life!.

First, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Proffesor Terrence Brown, I am glad to say that he is my PhD supervisor, shared a post about Samsung’s privacy policy yesterday and then when I dig I found this: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.”

I do not want to blame only Samsung here, Google, Microsoft, apple all have similar approach, regardless whether they use this data or will use this data to monetize or not, but we all know for sure one thing: they collect it! collecting “anonymous” data from our browsers, from our computers, had a new extension that whenever we use speech recognition or even when we do not intent to use it but talk in front of our TV, our voice is also collected and stored. Hmm Do we need to whisper at home?

“Honey, TV is on, please whisper!”

When ownership/leadership of these companies changes constantly and when we know some of them do not hesitate to cooperate with dictatorships when it is about stake holder (investor profit) value, can we trust them? What if information that is not supposed to be collected and stored, is collected and stored on some servers? What if information that is not supposed to be shared is being shared?hack-page

Second, yesterday hackers released database of Turkey National Police which stores almost 46 million citizens of Turkey. Now you can download almost 20GB of database (compressed 2GB) on your computer. It is shared by anonymous team but as far as I heard from some other sources, database was already available on the net, without proper security and anyone who had some knowledge could just download the data and It just happened.

You may think it is a hack etc but did you  know that state has already sold this data to a private health company, DATAMED ! Can you imagine that a state is selling all of their citizens database to a private company?
Governments and public bodies, creates, collects, stores and holds lots of critical information about us. It is not only our name, street address and registration number. It is our health data, it is our videos recorded by security officers, it is our photos and voice recordings when we enter and leave the countries at the airport. It is our photos (and may be even voice) when we stop at stoplight, it is our finger prints when we enter (some) countries or get a new passport and driving license.
How much can we trust government? Can we check what is collected about us and how secure these things are stored? Do we have any measures if it is not protected correctly?
These things show why and how data privacy is very important for citizens.
But I have to make a distinct difference here. When government representatives talks about privacy and security, they ONLY refer privacy and security of government files. The problem with that context is that, these governments do not care about privacy of citizen data, do not care about privacy of, basically, “mydata”.
How much can we trust that google, Samsung, Microsoft and any other private companies will protect our data? What gives them this right to collect so much information about every one of us, every device of us?

Why governments and public organizations and NGOs cannot check what is collected and stored not only by private companies but also government organizations?
We put our trust in governments, they are not able to protect our data, we put trust in government, they do not do anything to protect individuals, we put trust in private companies but they are being hacked and they are, in basic terms, are private companies.

Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Facebook and all governments, human right activists, citizens need to understand more broadly that ignoring personal privacy in the data era, we not only let invasions of our personal space , but open the door to future abuses of power.

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Press Release: Open Knowledge – Open Borders

Open Knowledgeopen borders Sweden expresses solidarity with the “Refugees Welcome” movement.

In our modern, turbulent world access to the knowledge is power. We believe that information helps to keep a balance of power in the world, enabling freedom to make our own, informed choices.

Access to information is not possible without access to a safer life. Therefore, Open Knowledge Sweden urges other organizations to follow suit and express support for the “Refugees Welcome” initiative.

Openness is the core value of Open Knowledge Sweden and is a critical concept: information must be free for anyone, anywhere. If refugee policy is to be reformed adequately and function correctly, all parties whether governmental, social, or private must enjoy access to information regarding its mechanisms.

We believe it is the right of an individual to have full transparency and open access to information which governs their life and livelihood, and refugee policy has wide ranging social impact.

Representatives of OKFN Sweden are taking part in the rallies “Refugees Welcome” e.g that had been held e.g on Wednesday, 9 September 2015, in Gothenburg and more others.

Openness is one of the pillars Open Knowledge rests on, and it requires both expansion and preservation.


On Behalf of Open Knowledge Sweden:

Alla Rybina, Serdar Temiz, Toni Mickiewicz,


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Course Overview & Schedule-Entrepreneurship-ME2603_fallFINAL2015

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My Presentation for World Water Week

I am going to  be one of 4 speakers at a panel during  “World Water Week”. Event title is “Technological Innovation & New Media: The Future of Development”. Event will be moderated by Rowena Barber, the program of the event is as below:(I also upload my presentation in advance to here)

Moderator: Rowena Barber, Siwi.
Speakers: Mikkel Preisler, LinkedIn. Serdar Temiz, KTH/OKFN. Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Dollar Street. Tobias Denskus, Malmö Högskola.

11:00 – Opening and welcome remarks
Moderator: Rowena Barber, Siwi.
11:10 -11:40 – Speaker presentations:
11:10 – Serdar Temiz, KTH/OKFN, “How open data changes our life?”
11:20 – Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Dollar Street, “Using photos as data to understand how people really live”
11:30 – Tobias Denskus, Malmö Högskola. “’From social media to social change-How can clicktivism become more political?’”
11:45-12:15 – “Round Robin” (2 sets x 15min)
12:15 -12:25 – Mikkel Preisler, LinkedIn. “How to build your brand on LinkedIn and enhance your network”
12:25-12:30 – Conclusion

For more info and registration please check here:

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Nordic Open data workshop in Denmark

NordenI am invited to participate Nordic open data workshop on 20th of August 2015 in Denmark organized by Lighthouse Projects of Innovative Nordic digital solutions, as one of five in the Nordic cooperation program for innovation and industry 2014-2017 (see the full program here: -722). Program and lighthouse projects are developed by the Nordic ministers for industry in the Nordic Council of Ministers
The Nordic Co-operation Program for Innovation and Business Policy addresses challenges that the Nordic region will face in the future.

Around 25 workshop participants  are invited from Nordic Innovation Agencies, Open Knowledge, National Digitization Boards, Hack for Sweden / Norway, Slush, Apps for Europe and more, to discuss Nordic open data.

I will share more info after the workshop! I hope to get some concrete results and road map for Nordic cooperation around Open Data.

I will arrive there 19th of august at noon, if you are around and would like to talk on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Open Data, drop me a line!.

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