Dataharvest has always been a great place to network and discuss ideas that then turn into real collaborative projects.

This year’s Dataharvest Digital is not going to be different in that respect – there’s  a whole week devoted to kickstarting cross-border networks.

We start on Tuesday 13 October from the beginning: how to go from an idea to an actual collaboration? We’ll discuss that question with speakers who have hands-on experience in cross-border collaborations and who have researched the best ways to go from concept to reality.

Then, in parallel with this year’s focus on Climate & Energy, we have a workshop to brainstorm possible cross-border collaborations around the issue of European pension funds and investment in fossil fuels.

The next day we’ll discuss what Arena’s experience with the Housing Project teaches us about the possibilities and challenges of topic-based open collaborative networks.

And we will follow up on that by getting our hands into data and working on one of the projects supported by the Arena Housing network: mapping empty homes across Europe.

On Thursday, we’ll hear from journalists who have been investigating the far right in Europe, and we’ll discuss how to launch cross-border collaborations about that topic.

We are planning to have “Lightning Lunches” on those three days. These will be lightning talk sessions, and here you can pitch a lightning talk to share your idea for a collaboration or to show off your project at Dataharvest.

And we’ll finish the week on Thursday evening with a social session, “Funny cross-border collaboration moments”, where we’ll share those awkward and funny situations we’ve found ourselves in when collaborating with colleagues from other countries and used to other ways of doing things

Read more about the “Cross-border: kickstarting networks” week here, and go and register for #Dataharvest2020 before more workshops get sold out!



Some colleagues ask if the Dataharvest sessions can be live-streamed, so one can follow the conference from afar – or maybe later listen to some of the sessions that one missed out on. We have asked Arena director Brigitte Alfter about the possibilities:

Will the Dataharvest conference or parts of it be live-streamed in the future?

No, I am afraid not.

Why not?

We want people to be able to speak freely at the conference – and know who they are speaking to. We want to share methods with each other as journalists and coders, and obviously this is professional development and nothing secret. However, we believe that the personal contact and trust building is a crucial element of method sharing, training and indeed cross-border collaboration. And personal contact is easier if you only have to relate to those in the room, not someone unknown on the other end of a streaming camera.

But many more would benefit from the sessions if you live-streamed. Couldn’t that make you reconsider?

Of course, it is a point to make as many as possible benefit – but value of the conference is really the combination of the sessions and the networking. We arrange the conference so people can get together and start collaborating. We take big pride in all the investigations that have been hatched in the coffee breaks at Dataharvest during the years – and that wouldn’t have happened with live streaming.