Masterclass description : Information about public and private sector is of monumental importance to understanding and changing the world we live in. Transnational corporations can wield unprecedented influence on politics and economy and we have a limited capacity to understand this when we don’t know what these legal entities look like. The influence of these companies can be good or bad and we don’t have a clear picture of this.
Company information is often not available and when it is, it is buried under hard-to-use websites and PDFs. Fortunately, the work of the open data and transparency community has brought a tide of change. OpenCorporates is the world’s largest open database of companies. We have information on over 70 million companies in 80 jurisdictions worldwide. With a million data points added every week, we have a great opportunity to use this open data to map corporate networks. We have launched a tool, aptly named Octopus, to allow crowdsourcing of corporate networks. Already, OpenOil has mapped the incredibly complex network of BP and Global Witness, TED Prize winner have used it to investigate Anonymous Companies. The results are surprising.
This session will hear the tales of investigation from such NGO’s, introduce Octopus and brainstorm corporate networks that should be crowdsourced next. Participants in the session will get the chance to discuss possible collaborations in creating these networks and start a crowdsourcing movement!