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OpenUK announces initial speakers for Open Technology for Sustainability Day at COP26

Open UK
28th October 2021

Keynote session by Lord Maude of Horsham will take place alongside panel sessions on the Energy Sector and Open Data, Collaboration, and Supply Chain Transparency

London, UK – 28 October 2021 – OpenUK today announced the initial confirmed speakers for the Open Technology for Sustainability Day, taking place at the COP26 Conference on 11th November 2021. The day will cover a range of topics around how Open Technology can promote sustainability, whether by its shared and collaborative code and data enabling organisations to collaborate to drive more efficiency, learnings on collaboration from the open source communities or supply chain transparency enabling their tracking materials.

The focus of the day will be on how both the Data Centre sector and the Energy and Utility industries are supporting more energy efficient approaches for businesses, through their use of open technologies and more collaboration around data.

The event will have the Rt Hon Francis Maude, Lord Maude of Horsham, as the keynote speaker considering how governments have made use of open source to support more efficient delivery of public services. As part of this, he will cover where this can support future energy efficiency and reduction programs to meet reduction targets around net zero emissions.

“The UK Government has led the world in developing how to use Open Technology – software, hardware, data and standards –  as part of delivering public services to citizens. Today, we must deliver for our entire world population and Open Technology has a great opportunity to lead in this work.  Building on the values of collaboration and community, we have to work together to design and build the systems that will support us all in becoming more energy efficient, more sustainable and more flexible. The key opportunity for Open Technology today is to show how much faster it can help everyone participate and contribute and to expand the number of organisations able to work in collaboration and co-opetition to make their systems more energy efficient.” said the Rt Hon Francis Maude, Lord Maude of Horsham.

As part of the event, the following panels are taking place:

  • Enterprise open source company Red Hat will lead the Collaboration panel with Creative Commons CEO Catherine Stihler, UN Director Salem Avan and Open Invention Network CEO, Keith Bergelt;
  • Gavin Starks, CEO of Icebreaker One will lead the Energy Sector Panel alongside Helen Crooks, the Head of Data at OFGEM and members of the UK Government;
  • OpenUK Chief Sustainability Officer, Cristian Parrino will share their blueprint for the Open Technology Data Centre of the Future reducing carbon emissions to net neutral or even net zero;
  • OpenUK’s approach to evidencing and evolving a Sustainable Future for the UK will be led by Matt Barker, OpenUK Entrepreneur in Residence and joined by Will Page, former Spotify economist and author of Tarzan Economics

“The true nature of open source culture is aligned with the ideals of the United Nations, its mandates and values, which are founded on openness, transparency, inclusivity, equality and multilateralism or constructive collaboration. The open source approach can represent lower barriers to entry allowing future generations of technologists from every part of the world to work with unity of purpose and shared values to build strong and sustainable solutions,” said Salem Avan, Director, Policy, Strategy and Governance at The United Nations

“I see this as being very simple. For technology to be sustainable it needs to be Open. Of course there are a few exceptions, but as a rule of thumb that’s the case. COP26 is OpenUK’s opportunity to bring these great people together in our event and to ensure that this message is received across the UK and beyond.” Amanda Brock, CEO, OpenUK

“Through collaboration and open standards, organisations across the UK can unlock sector-wide efficiency and innovation that can enable their own data strategies and help get to net zero. As our energy system transitions to renewables, it will become more complex: millions of smart sensors are coming to market in smart meters, heat pumps and electric vehicles, and we need to ensure that data can be shared securely and safely. Deploying open strategies will radically reduce the cost of data sharing and transform access to data by creating cohesion and interoperability,” said Gavin Starks, Founder and CEO at Icebreaker One.

“At OpenUK we work with government, industry and academia to adopt Open Technology,  being hardware, software and data, that makes it easier and faster to meet sustainability targets. By design, Open Technology can be shared across organisations and enterprises to help them all reduce energy usage, make smarter decisions around their supply chains, and improve performance. Our aim is that Open Technology can enable everyone to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This open approach makes  these achievements accessible to all and keeps them in life for as long as possible,” commented Cristian Parrino, Chief Sustainability Officer at OpenUK.

The event will take place on 11th November in the Skypark Glasgow within the Security Cordon of the UN Climate Change Conference for 2021, which will take place from 31st October to 12th November 2021. The venue has been sponsored by Federated Hermes and the Day is sponsored by Red Hat.

As part of the event, OpenUK will announce the winners of its Annual Awards sponsored by Bristows at an evening ceremony, which for the first time includes an Open Technology for Sustainability Award sponsored by The Centre for Net Zero.

About OpenUK

OpenUK is a not for profit industry organisation for the business of Open Technology, being open source software, open source hardware and open data across the UK.  OpenUK gives its participants greater influence than they could ever achieve alone by creating a cohesive voice for the business community.

OpenUK is committed to promoting UK leadership and international collaboration  in open technology and supporting collaboration between businesses, public sector organisations, government and communities, focusing on the UK to collaborate globally. OpenUK works on 3 pillars: Community, Legal and Policy and Learning.

OpenUK is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, company number 11209475.


Mark Kember
onebite for OpenUK
+44 (0)1635 887707

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