I frequently give talks and am quoted in articles about the FOI Act. If you want me to speak at your event, a quote for an article or report, or to generally pick my brains then drop me an email: mattburgess100@gmail.com.

Goldsmiths, University of London:

I spoke to MA Journalism students at Goldsmiths. The talk covered the basics of FOI, how it can be used by the media and journalists, what can and can’t be accessed, and advice and tips on the most effective ways to make requests. The slides can be found here. 

Open Data Institute: 

A talk to attendees at the ODI’s weekly lunchtime lecture. The talk focussed on the relationship between the FOI Act and also the Open Data regime. In particular I covered how the two schemes could work together, their differences, and also similarities. A video of the talk can be found here. The slides are here.

The National Archives FOI event – Information Management Liaison Group: 

I spoke to government and public authority officials (the list of attendees included: Home Office, NCA, Cabinet Office, Ministry of Justice), on the Section 40 personal data exemption of the FOI Act.

Citizen Beta: 

I spoke at Citizen Beta – a meet up for those interest in civic technology – on the relationship between Freedom of Information and Open Data. The slides can be found here.

PDP Freedom of Information Conference:

I spoke at the UK’s largest FOI conference about the interaction of journalists and FOI professionals and how their interests, although coming from different camps, can often be aligned. The slides are here.

Peter Carey, from PDP, said:

“Matthew Burgess spoke at the 11th Annual Freedom of Information Conference in London, the UK’s leading annual FOI event. He provided the delegates with an invaluable opportunity to hear about their area of work from the other side of the fence, and his session was very well received.”  

Student Publishing Association National Conference:

I spoke at the National Conference of the Student Publishing Association on how they can use the FOI Act to help their journalistic careers. This talk will include the best way to make effective requests and be specific to the student media/early journalism career jobs. The slides are here.

Jem Collins, NSPA Chair, said:

“Matt has spoke at a number of Student Publication Association events and always provides an engaging and informative talk, tailored to delegates’ prior knowledge. At all the conferences I have booked him for I have received excellent feedback from guests, who undoubtably walk away having learnt something. He is also extremely approachable and always happy to answer questions and I would make no hesitation in recommending him as a speaker at any conference or event.”

South East Student Publishing Association: 

I spoke to a 30-40 students about how they can use the FOI Act to obtain and publish stories for the student media publications which they contribute to.

National Association of Data Protection And Freedom of Information Officers (NADPO): 

I spoke to a room of highly trained and knowledgeable FOI and Data Protection officers about how they can help information requester by providing them with additional context in the formal responses which are issued.

Jon Baines, the Chairman of NADPO, said:

“Matt spoke to the members of NADPO at our annual conference. His piece was fascinating and was engagingly presented. It was great to get a view point not just from a journalist, but from one for whom FOI is such an important tool”.

Birmingham FOI group

I spoke to a group of local activists and students who were interested in learning more about the FOI Act and how they could use it to their advantage.

Paul Bradshaw, who organised the event, said:

“I invited Matt to speak to my journalism students on a couple of occasions: firstly as part of an event on FOI, and secondly as part of a session on finding stories on social media. On both occasions Matt was the perfect guest: knowledgeable, insightful, creative, and patient with his audience. On both occasions students came away not only informed but inspired to try similar techniques themselves. I would recommend Matt unreservedly to anyone looking for an expert on FOI and social media sources”