About The Founder

Richard Pietro is a multifaceted Open Government & Open Data practioner with 10 years experience. He’s worked with the Open Government Partnership, Ryerson University, the Toronto Public Library, and many government agencies across Canada.

Richard Pietro has spent the last 10 years designing new and effective ways to advance the Open Government & Open Data movements. He has:

  • Created stimulating workshops.
  • Published engaging stories.
  • Written influential articles.
  • Hosted award winning events.
  • Taken award winning photos.
  • Launched innovative websites.
  • Fostered large community groups.

However, his most notable achievement has been the 2014 Open Government Tour – a three month, 20,000km, cross-Canada motorcycle tour that introduced Open Government & Open Data to approximately 2,000 Canadians via 17 events in 17 cities.

He also worked with the Ontario Ministry of Housing to create the “Open Data in Reverse” method as a way to design, publish, and activate Open Data sets. This initiative helped the ministry win a nationally recognized award for engagement.

Re: Open Gov uses methods routed in art, marketing, and storytelling to demonstrate the transformative power of Open Government & Open Data. Each initiative gets a unique experience that leaves a lasting impression and is achieved by following these three basic principles:

  • Be engaging.
  • Be memorable.
  • Be practical.

Need a quick intro or webinar that whet’s people’s appetite? Absolutely.

Need a half-day session to introduce Open Government & Open Data? Done.

Need a deep-dive that spans a few weeks? We’d love to.

There are many intelligent people designing and implementing Open Government & Open Data initiatives whose work are all too often buried behind white papers and policy documents. We bring those amazing people and stories to life!

Re: Open Gov believes that stories about Open Government & Open Data have been overlooked for far too long.

Not only will they give these tireless public servants and community change-makers the recognition they deserve, but quality storytelling can help people understand the changes that comes with Open Government & Open Data. It allows people to see themselves within those changes, and perhaps most importantly, show what “the end of the tunnel” looks like.

You can contact Re: Open Gov either by sending an email to Richard Pietro or reaching out to him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

If all else fails, consider sending a raven 😉

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Bio Pic - Original

A Few Testimonials

Do not take my word for it. Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with many brilliant people across the World. A few of them were kind enough to share a few words about yours truly.

Ann Pappert | Former CAO, City of Guelph

In the early days of Open Government, Richard chose to embody the movement, and to literally drive its message of transparency right into the room.

He gets it; He lives it; And he understands how to translate the complexity of change into bit size chunks for quicker, easier consumption.

Denis Carr | Supervisor, City of Toronto Open Data Team

Richard is an Open Government & Open Data magnet, bringing disparate people together to become something stronger than they could be on their own.

Richard has been a North Star helping guide Toronto’s Open Data efforts and an instrumental community partner who helped us design and facilitate the initial Open Data Master Plan public consultations.

Hire him! You will not find a better person to push an idea forward and inspire a dream into reality.

Kejo Buchanan | Former Associate, Toronto Open Data Institute

Richard Pietro is an active leader and mentor within the Open Gov & Open Data community. He has persistently built networks and events that encourages and sustains the inclusive dialogue of the open movement.

Nathaniel Heller | Former Co-Chair, Open Government Partnership

The Open Government Partnership has welcomed Richard and his Civic Engagement as Art concept with open arms. Not only is it incredibly innovative, but it has also shown that it can be a very effective way to express both the core values and finer points of Open Government & Open Data.

Pam Ryan | Director, Service Development & Innovation, Toronto Public Library

From 2016 to 2018, Richard Pietro led the Open Data Book Club program hosted at Toronto Public Library. These monthly programs provided an informative and innovative spotlight on the open government movement, by spotlighting different open data sets and allowed participants to create and share projects using these data sets.

During this time, Richard also delivered quarterly Open Data 101 workshops to library staff, boosting our staff’s knowledge about the importance of the open movement. The workshops were well attended and so the library worked with Richard to develop 201 sequel classes.

Richard brings great knowledge and passion for open data and is an enthusiastic advocate for the open movement.

Sarah Corbett | Founder, Craftivist Collective

Richard has the rare quality of a wonderful speaker; a passionate changemaker grounded in humility, inspiring storyteller that empowers his audience to action, making hope possible not despair convincing. His creations are powerful tools to engage critically & emotionally to complex issues such as Open Governance & Date in the most accessible & memorable way I have ever come across.

Bryan Smith | Vice Chair, Ontario Government Digital & Data Task Force

Richard is the kind of person who takes action when others will not, and naturally, they look to him for guidance and leadership.

Jacques Mailloux | Director General, ESDC Canada

Look no farther if you seek a selfless humanitarian & civic artist who unabashedly throws his mind, heart, soul and charm into opening doors.

Melissa Tullio | Manager of Design Thinking, Sun Life

He has a natural ability in building a community around data, governance, and meaningful dialogue, and inspires people to action with humility and empathy.

Nick Scott | Executive Director, Open Government & Innovation, New Brunswick Government

Richard is a passionate, intelligent citizen; a change agent; a rock star set out to lead citizens to innovate government and create a more participatory and inclusive democracy.

Ric Marrero | CEO, Association of Canadian Pension Management

Richard worked for me in the Marketing and Communications department of Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada. As his employer, I can vouch for Richard as he was an excellent employee not only because of his work ethic but also due to the value he placed on teamwork, collaboration and results.

I have maintained contact with Richard since that time as we have shared a passion for government transparency, accountability and improved public service. I highly recommend him and am available for a personal conversation if required.

Thom Kearney | Free Agent, Government of Canada

I have watched Richard engage audiences by making the abstract relatable to the rest of us. His fun and original creations usually make audiences smile, and always remind us of the importance of this thing called Open Government. I credit the Open Government turtle with helping me persist during some dark days.

Connie McCutcheon | Past President, Ontario MISA

Richard has never failed to inspire and surprise me with his insight into how we as Canadians can collaboratively build a better government together. His mash up of art and open government allows us to look at things with a different lens.

Josh Matlow | Toronto City Councillor

Richard Pietro is an outspoken advocate for Open Data and Open Government. I know him to be a person of good character who would be an asset to a team or organization.

Michael Jones | Professor & Coordinator, Communication, Culture, Information & Technology, Sheridan College

Richard is an engaging advocate of open government and open data – his passion and enthusiasm is contagious.  He developed and delivered a three-session Open Data Iron Chef that was integrated into Sheridan’s CCT456 data analytics course that involved partners in the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Students worked with newly released provincial open data to discover what possibilities may exist in third-party applications founded on these open data sets. The end of term event was extraordinary. I look forward to working with Richard for future versions of the course.

Pamela Robinson | Director, School of Urban & Regional Planning, Ryerson University

For the last 5 years, Richard has brought his Open Data Iron Chef workshop to our planning school. It is amazing what everyone can learn in 2 hours! It is hands-on, rich, engaging and everyone leaves with an active working appreciation for how open data and open government can be put into action right away.

Roy Thomas | Senior Manager, Solutions Delivery, Ontario Ministry of Government & Consumer Services

Richard brings a unique combination of knowledge, creativity and energy. His passion is contagious and his fresh spin on important topics ensures that everyone involved has a fun and engaging experience.

Rob Davidson | Co-Chair, Multi-Stakeholder Forum for the Open Government Partnership

Richard is a tireless advocate for open data and open government. He has that rare skill to take a sometimes complex and bureaucratically-bound process and relate it in terms that both experienced and novice open data/government people can appreciate.

Richard’s open-oriented events have informed and entertained people from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and beyond. Richard has also developed an international network of contacts and colleagues that can he can collaborate with and leverage for unique, provocative projects.