[okfn-coord] Some business plans for discussion at next week's meeting

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Mon Jun 15 14:20:25 UTC 2009

2009/6/14 paula le dieu <paula at ledieu.org>:
> I find it challenging to assess the business models as I don't feel like I
> yet have a really good sense of what OKF would like to have achieved in that
> 3 year timeframe.

This is a really good question to ask Paula :)

> I think that having a single full time point of contact is a great aim if
> you want to make a public policy/media impact around a set of issues and/or
> secure large institutional funding (completely agree with Jo's experience on
> this). In this way I think it was the right strategy for ORG in order to
> maximise its impact. However, it isn't clear to me that OKF is headed in
> that direction? Or if it is then it is much more about providing the
> framework for a unified voice for an ever increasing number of
> projects/institutions/individuals that identify with OKF's "open"
> definitions and drive towards providing greater access to knowledge?

We are definitely *not* trying to be like ORG. Much more like what you
identify in the second part of this para. At the last board meeting we
agreed that our aim was:

... for the organisation to grow as a collaborative community,
serviced by an agile, lightweight core. Its vision for the
organisation is one that supports autonomous projects, loosely joined
by their endorsement and promotion of open knowledge, as set out in
the open knowledge definition.

That said, from our experience we do need to be able to pay for some
"core" stuff, particularly technical infrastructure and a community
coordinator (without which it is hard to get and utilize volunteer

> Sorry, more questions than answers. I know that the immediate and extremely
> important goal is to remove the financial burden of running OKF from the
> shoulders of individual founders. But beyond that what would we (and
> potentially those giving us £5 a month) consider to be a really great
> outcome for the next 12, 24 and 36 months?

Really good question. I have some suggestions but I'm not sure they
are as exciting as they should be! I think this is an area where we
could do a much better job of articulating ourselves.

1. Continuance, and improvement of, our existing activities,
especially events -- we need increased support (whether of funds or
time) in order to keep doing things like OKCon or our workshops

2. Set up and maintain 2-3 working groups in addition to the one we
have just launched on Open Data in Science.

3. Engage a wider audience with 2 or 3 of our core projects to a much
wider audience (e.g. Open Shakespeare, CKAN, Open Data Grid). At the
present I feel we do a poor job of publicizing what we do to the
broader community. We need to change this.



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