Chris Taggart is the Co-Founder & CEO of OpenCorporates, the largest open database of companies in the world, with data on over 175 million companies in 130+ jurisdictions.
OpenCorporates’ primary mission is to open up and connect company data from across the globe, making it more useful, usable and understandable for the public benefit and is a critical tool for investigative journalists, NGOs, academics, due diligence professionals, law enforcement and government agencies from across the globe.
OpenCorporates is a social enterprise and has also been the leading force behind the push to make company registers open data for access to all – with numerous successes. Its mission is supported by an innovative virtuous-circle, public-benefit business model, whereby the free public access is subsidized by commercial users who paid for data in bulk, having confidence in its quality due to the intrinsic many-eyes feedback loop. Commercial users include Mastercard, Capital One, Factset, Transferwise and PWC.
Chris was originally a magazine journalist, but has been working in the field of open data for over 10 years, and is considered a world expert on official company data.
The Open Source movement promised free, open, editable software. But that movement didn’t anticipate the rise of for-profit services built atop such free tools. Today, you’re more likely to use open source code as part of a paid service than you are to use open source products on your own machines.
That’s a problem. Because when you lose the right to edit code, you give up...
We surveyed people to find the critical technologies and departments. And we chose these to create four concurrent half-hour discussions, four times over. It’s a choreographed dance of experts, ideas, and disruption.