About

Whose site is this?

This is the personal website of Rufus Pollock.

Contact

I get a lot of email but I do try to read it all. If you’d like to contact me drop a line to rufus [dot] pollock [at] okfn [dot] org

Bio (last updated: 2013-10-15)

Warning: like everyone else I only get around to updating this kind of information irregularly. Thus if the date above is more than six months ago you should assume that the following is no longer entirely accurate!

One sentence: Dr Rufus Pollock is Founder and President of Open Knowledge (http://okfn.org/), an international non-profit using advocacy, technology and training to unlock information and turn it into insight and change.

One paragraph: Dr Rufus Pollock is Founder and President of Open Knowledge, an international non-profit using advocacy, technology and training to unlock information and turn it into insight and change. He was formerly a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow and a Mead Fellow in Economics at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge and is currently an adviser on open data to several governments. He has worked extensively as a scholar, activist and technologist on the social, legal and technical challenges around the creation and sharing of knowledge.

Additional

Every day we face both personal challenges such as the quickest way to get to the work and global ones such as climate change. Key to addressing these is better understanding and insight and central to doing that is finding better ways to share and create knowledge. At Open Knowledge we work to open up essential information and to build the communities and capabilities to turn information into the actionable knowledge and insight that drives change.

Open Knowledge has established itself as the leading global organization working on open data and open knowledge around the world. Today it has groups in more than 40 countries, more than a two dozen active projects and more than a dozen working groups. The organization has worked extensively on almost every area of open knowledge and performed almost every kind of activity: developing standards and licenses (e.g. OpenDefinition.org, Open Data Commons), organizing workshops and conferences (e.g. the annual Open Knowledge Festival and Conference), supplying tools and infrastructure (e.g. CKAN data management software, used by data.gov.uk and many others), and building services and websites (e.g. Where Does My Money Go?, Open Shakespeare).

In parallel with his activities at Open Knowledge, he has also worked as an academic in economist: in 2008 he obtained a PhD in Economics from the University of Cambridge and from 2007 to 2010 he was the Mead Fellow in Economics at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge. He remains an Associate of the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law at the University of Cambridge.

As an economist his work has focused on the theory and empirics of innovation and their implications for intellectual property policy. He was the author of The Value of the Public Domain published by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), co-author of a report on Models of Public Sector Information Provision via Trading Funds written for the UK government, and the lead economist of a study on the “Economic and Social Impact of the Public Domain” funded by the European Commission. In 2010 he was appointed as one of the four members of the UK Government’s newly created Public Sector Transparency Board.

Other activities include: co-founding the Open Rights Group in 2005 and serving on its board until 2008; serving as director of the UK branch of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure from 2004-2006 during the crucial vote on the software patents directive, and as policy adviser to Creative Commons UK from 2003-2007.

Research in Economics

At present my research focuses on innovation and IP, with particular attention to open models of innovation. Other areas of interest include two-sided/platform industries (e.g. Operating Systems, Search Engines), and research on happiness and well-being.

More information about his economics research can be found in the economics section.

Open Knowledge

Founder and President of Open Knowledge.