An investment fund at the service of the public

Omidyar, an investment fund that provides financial support to civil society organizations and innovative companies specialized in managing government data, relied on Opinno for the organization of the Omidyar Network Governance and Citizen Engagement Forum during the first days of October 2016. The date was chosen to coincide with the days preceding the open data conference event in Madrid, taking place on October 6th and 7th of 2016.

At Opinno we handled the conceptualization, logistical planning and execution of the event, which was held on October 3rd and 4th.

The Omidyar Network Forum brought together companies from specific areas of their portfolio in an event to intensify contact between the members of the group, to exchange experiences of best practices and to offer strategic visions of the investment fund.

Our great challenge was to create a space that promoted the exchange of ideas among attendees from different countries, to serve as a forum to share strategies and tools that accelerate the impact of projects financed by the investment fund.

An internal organization

At Opinno, we organized the logistics and experience of the event for the attendees, ranging from booking the accommodations to planning the transportation itineraries to planning other events in Madrid. We chose hotels in the center of Madrid, with facilities to hold the conference, the dinner and a leisure event. Additionally, we took advantage of the fact that that the event was held in Madrid, and planned an outing including a flamenco show in the neighborhood called “Barrio de las Letras”.

The sessions consisted of Omidyar partners conferences, coaching sessions, and workshops with active participation of the attendees. The topics discussed in these sessions included, among others, the use of public data, teamwork in virtual environments, the design of focused solutions for the user and the generation of commitment both in citizens and personalities relevant to the projects.

In order to facilitate communication among the participants and with the organization during the event, we provided Slack accounts, which serves as a virtual workspace application. Participants were also able to remain in contact after the event ended through this application.

Shared values

Organizing the event was an honor for Opinno, especially due to the fact that this event shares our values, considering that the main objective of the Omidyar Network is to strengthen the relationship between citizens and their leaders, emphasizing the principles of openness and participation. This objective thus promotes solutions that allow the use of technology for these purposes, and helps finance the organizations and companies that provide citizens with the information and tools they need in order to ensure that their interests are well represented and their leaders are held accountable.

In this regard, Omidyar supports civil organizations and innovative start-ups that help to understand the data and public information of governments and their interpretation, as well as independent journalism initiatives and citizen initiatives that seek to monitor and publicize the actions of the rulers.

Omidyar promotes various types of innovations in order to combat corruption, such as the evaluation of the functioning of public services – in fields such as education and health, the monitoring of legislative activity, the monitoring of public money and the monitoring of budgetary spending, to name a few.