17–19 October 2016: Conference & Tutorials
19–20 October 2016: Training
London, UK

Open source and the fourth industrial age

Chi Onwurah (Parliament)
10:50–11:30 Monday, 17/10/2016
In real life (IRL), Open government
Location: Blenheim Room
Average rating: ***..
(3.33, 3 ratings)

What you'll learn

  • Understand the implications of open source for industrial strategy
  • Learn which government choices now can deliver more open, accessible, and empowering software and algorithms for manufacturing, government, business, and management


The fourth industrial age is driven by technology, particularly software and algorithms. More and more employees are effectively managed by software, software drives key productivity increases, and algorithms automate workflow and decision making. How should the government promote, enable, and regulate the role of open source in this revolution? Chi Onwurah explores how open source is helping to deliver the industrial landscape we want.

Topics include:

  • The role of software in the fourth industrial age
  • Ethical, practical, and political challenges and opportunities of the rise of algorithms
  • The Uberization of work and the role of open source
  • The Internet of Things and open source
  • Owning and controlling the flow of data in the fourth industrial age
  • Open source in government procurement and management
  • Objectives and opportunities for open source policy
  • Engaging policy makers with the opportunity of open source
Photo of Chi Onwurah

Chi Onwurah


Chi Onwurah is a British member of Parliament representing Newcastle upon Tyne Central and is also shadow minister for industrial strategy, science, and innovation. From September 2015 to October 2016, Chi was shadow minister for the digital economy and was previously shadow cabinet office minister leading on cybersecurity, social entrepreneurship, civil contingency, open government, and transparency, shadow minister for innovation, science, and digital infrastructure, where she worked closely with the science and business community, with industry on broadband issues, and on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.

Prior to Chi’s election to Parliament in May 2010, she worked as head of Telecom’s technology at the UK regulator Ofcom, focusing on the implications for competition and regulation of the services and technologies associated with next-generation networks. Prior to Ofcom, Chi was a partner in Hammatan Ventures, a US technology consultancy, developing the GSM markets in Nigeria and South Africa, director of market development with Teligent, a global wireless local loop operator, and director of product strategy at GTS. She has also worked for Cable & Wireless and Nortel as an engineer, project, and product manager in the UK and France. Chi continues to encourage women in STEM. She is a chartered engineer with a BEng in electrical engineering from Imperial College London and an MBA from Manchester Business School. Chi was born in Wallsend and attended Kenton Comprehensive School in Newcastle, where she was elected the school’s “MP” in mock elections at age 17.