NYC Open Data Week 2021

March 6 - 14, 2021

#OpenDataWeek #opendata

Last Updated: January 30, 2021

(Are you an event organizer and looking for the event organizers’ FAQ, click here.)

This is a living document, compiling the FAQs we’ve received from organizers and individuals interested in learning more about how to get involved in Open Data Week 2021. Check it out periodically for updated information. We also encourage you to email us at < > with any questions.

What is NYC Open Data?

NYC Open Data is a website that offers more than 3,000 datasets published by different City agencies for free for anyone to use. See it for yourself: We also have a nifty video that explains Open Data!

What is Open Data Week?

Open Data Week 2021 is a week long virtual festival celebrating New York City and the free, public data on NYC Open Data. Open Data Week 2021 will begin on Saturday, March 6th with an exhibit on the intersection of data and art hosted by Data Through Design. Open Data Week is organized and produced by the NYC Open Data program, BetaNYC, and the Data Through Design collective.

What is NYC School of Data? 

Historically, NYC School of Data is a community technology conference that demystifies complex ideas and fosters local civic engagement. This community-driven conference is organized by BetaNYC – NYC’s civic technology, data, and design community. For 2021, we are going to do things a bit differently. We welcome you to attend our curated selection of classes and workshops featuring open data virtually! Check out more information on NYC School of Data at 

What types of organizations or companies are involved?

Open Data Week has had participants across many different sectors, including academia, non-profit organizations, private companies, civic tech organizations, think tanks, tech incubators, thought leaders, and NYC agencies. Check out our partners from Open Data Week 2020 on the Open Data Week 2020 website.

What types of events happen during Open Data Week?

In the past, Open Data Week and NYC School of Data have fostered an inspiring week of many different in-person events. This year, we are looking for virtual event ideas, and, where appropriate, socially-distanced outdoor experiences. Regardless, we’re looking for creative submissions – panels, workshops, demos, art installations, tours – whatever excites you about open data!  You do not need to have a fully fleshed out proposal to submit, and you are invited to submit more than one idea!Previous events have included:

  • Showcases and launch parties (for tools, projects, etc.)
  • Art exhibitions
  • Hackathons
  • Workshops
  • Office hours
  • Panel discussions
  • Demos

Check out the calendar from ODW 2020 to see all of last year’s events:

Where is Open Data Week 2021?

Open Data Week 2021 will primarily be a virtual event, with appropriately-distanced in-person events where applicable. 

Are all events open to the public?

It’s not a requirement for events to be open to the public, but in the spirit of Open Data, we encourage events to be available to anyone.

What if I have other questions?

Please ask us! Send any questions to:  and we’ll get back to you before you can say “Open Data Week!”


When should I submit my proposal for Open Data Week or NYC School of Data?

You should submit a proposal once you have a fairly strong idea of the event you want to organize for Open Data Week or NYC School of Data. However, all the details of the event DO NOT need to be finalized before submitting the proposal. All submissions should be made by January 7, 2021

How do I submit a proposal for Open Data Week or NYC School of Data?

Submit your idea via this form by Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 10pm. You can use this same form to submit your ideas for the NYC School of Data community conference and standalone Open Data Week events. Send any questions to:  

What happens after I submit an idea for Open Data Week or NYC School of Data?

The ODW 2021 team will review submissions and get back to you with any questions.

How will my proposal be evaluated?

We ask the following questions in evaluating Open Data Week events:

  • How does the event plan on engaging New Yorkers?
  • How does the event plan to raise awareness about NYC Open Data?
  • How inclusive is the event proposal?
  • How accessible is the proposed event?
  • Is there a cost to attend?
  • Is childcare available? 
  • What additional resources would the event require for implementation?
  • How well the content de-mystifies technology, data, and design
  • How your session highlights or profiles under-represented projects, people, organizations, communities, or ideas
  • Session interactivity — ideally, the proposal is demonstrative, informative, or interactive and is as informative as it is instructive

Does my proposal have to use or include a NYC Open Data dataset?

No. You’re welcome to integrate an NYC Open Data dataset into your event, but so long as your event mentions Open Data and is relevant to a broader discussion about NYC Open Data (for example, international open data, open government, or data ethics are all fair game), we’re happy to include your event concept. Discussions about data go beyond datasets, and we want to make sure Open Data Week represents that as well! That being said, if you’re interested in incorporating an NYC Open Data dataset into your event and need some guidance, contact the Open Data Week Team at 

How can I ensure that my proposal is inclusive?

Inclusivity is a core value of NYC Open Data Week. All proposals will be evaluated on how well they speak to all New Yorkers.

Here are some guidelines on inclusivity borrowed from the Mozilla Festival:

  • Focus on accessibility & understanding.
  • Ask experienced people to help beginners.
  • Avoid jargon.
  • Avoid tech that excludes people.
  • Co-facilitate for extra participant support.
  • Invite a note-taker to record key points.
  • Invite under-represented groups.
  • Invite new voices.
  • Pick an engaging, understandable topic.
  • Plan for participants of different skill levels.
  • Plan for different age groups.
  • Share your proposal for public feedback.

Does my event have to be free?

Nearly all Open Data Week events are free. In the spirit of Open Data Week and inclusivity, we do strongly encourage organizers who need to charge a fee to offer variable pricing and volunteer opportunities as an alternative for those who are unable to pay. Get in touch with the Open Data Week Team if you’d like to discuss further: 

Can you help with hosting my event??

Should you need assistance with hosting virtual events during Open Data Week, please get in touch with us at 


  • Make your event participatory, accessible and inclusive. We refer you to the following guidelines created by Mozilla Festival. 
    • A note about Accessibility: Please read through the Virtual Meeting Accessibility Guide from the Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities for more guidance on how to make your virtual event accessible.
    • A note about Inclusive: The Open Data Team requires any panel or event with more than [#] speakers, guests or panelists to represent a broad spectrum of identities, with emphasis on those that are typically underrepresented. 
  • Privacy and Security
  • Mind the politics!