CPH Week 2

Already the second week has zipped by. Before coming to Copenhagen I had created a list of things I could work on in case of having nothing else to do. Haven’t even looked at the list yet. Still this is the point in the month where I am asking “what am I doing here?”. It seems only now I am winding down from all the stuff that needed to be done and ready to take a look at what lies ahead. With several speaking engagements coming up that is already shaping up.

Tuesday I had a conversation with Jonas Ask Homaa, head developer of Rejseplanen.dk the Danish leading public transport website, whom I met at #hack4dk last week. Main question was how providing open data through their API is helpful to themselves, and what current developments I saw that tie into this. Aspects we discussed, also based on the recent workshop in Helsinki I did last month with the ePSIplatform team, was the European push for intelligent transport systems using open data, being able to use the same app for public transport in different places (in stead of having to download apps for each city I visit), and how with small interventions one can stimulate the ecosystem around you, so that the type of apps may emerge that you will not do yourself as they are outside your core mission.

Dinner that day was enjoyed with lots of stimulating conversation in the good company of Olle and Luisa in Malmö, Sweden. Over loads of veggies, some great venison and ample wine, world domination was discussed, as were internet gentlemen, and the new killerapp: drones serving ‘kapsalon‘ whenever the internet gentleman finds himself getting somewhat peckish. Some shopping got done beforehand, where t-shirts turned out to be a good source of stories.

Being able to join the celebration of the big open data announcement at the Digitalstyrelsen of the Danish government as an outsider on Wednesday was an honor. It also allowed me to (re)connect to various public sector bodies here in Denmark, which resulted in a speaking engagement later this month. It was also good to reaffirm the connection that the Netherlands and Denmark have had in the past years when it comes to learning from each other about organizing and opening up core registers, as well as being able to receive and pass on praise for my colleagues Marc and Udo for their assisting role in motivating this new Danish step.

Early morning conference calls were scheduled on Thursday to further plot open data world domination. In this case I discussed with Frank how we could turn our lessons learned from a recent local government open data project into several products and services. It turned into working out an idea on how to build a new important asset for our little open data company, something I will try and work out in more detail before leaving Copenhagen. This was followed by a conference call on the draft program and speakers list for the February 2013 Conference in Poland me and the ePSIplatform team are organizing.

Resting Buddha
In the Louisiana Museum park

Friday was a day dedicated to absorbing culture, high and low. During the day we visited the truly magnificent Louisiana Museum, as we try to do every time we visit Copenhagen. Three main exhibits, on Nordic architecture, one installation by Ed Kienholz, and a massive exhibition on self portraits by a wide range of artist made for a very intensive visit. It was a beautiful sunny autumn day, so we also very much got to enjoy the museum’s park, right on the coast. In the evening we got ourselves ‘culture kits’ to join ‘Kulturnatten‘ or culture night. One night a year many groups, organizations, institutions, musea, public bodies, stores and whatnot open up to the public. Everybody seemed to be out on the (increasingly cold) streets, enjoying themselves. We strolled into the royal city palace, through Copenhagen city hall, the Arsenal museum and National museum. We also got to see some normally closed inner courtyards of some of the oldest parts of the inner city. Part of the culture kit was not just a free public transport pass for the night, but also a free pass for all the major musea in town. We’ll be using that in the coming days for certain.

CPH City Hall
In Copenhagen City Hall

Late breakfast at home on Saturday morning spilled over into coffee at Pate Pate in the meat packing district, which turned into a very pleasant lunch at Von Fressen catching up with Jon Froda. It was very good to see Jon again and catch up. Afterwards some Saturday shopping before crashing at the apartment. Sunday started as a lazy day, but soon turned into a bedridden day for me with a 39 degrees fever, which turns out to be the case for today as well.

That rounds up the second week in Copenhagen. We met great people, saw cool things, but work-wise I am only now coming around to ‘being here’, in stead of working through a back-log of other things.