[foundation-board] Application for Chapter Status from Swiss Local group

Jordan S Hatcher jordan at opencontentlawyer.com
Fri Apr 27 07:56:31 UTC 2012

Hi Laura

Many thanks for implementing this format.

Comments inline.

On 25 Apr 2012, at 13:51, Laura James wrote:

> Following the discussion at the last board meeting and subsequent emails, we now have a set of questions which local groups wishing to become chapters answer, to ensure the board has richer information with which to make a decision. 
> I present below the application from our Swiss local group for consideration as a chapter.  They are keen to move ahead and so a prompt response would be appreciated. If the board would prefer to wait and discuss this in person, please let me know and I'll add it to the agenda for the 15th. 
> Laura
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 1) Resolution to approve opendata.ch as a Chapter of the OKFN
> Does the board approve this?
> 2) Approval of alterations to MOU text (see link below)
> [if this cannot be approved, please provide feedback for opendata.ch]
> Is the board willing to sign an MOU of this revised form?
> 3) Recommendation around clause 3.1 of MOU, that "OKF will have the right to nominate a representative to be a member of the OKF-CH board." Does the board wish to take up this option from the start, and if so, who is nominated?
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Proposed name of chapter
> ******************************
> Opendata.ch

I'm a bit confused by the selection of name.  If they are a chapter, then why  not an "Open Knowledge Foundation Switzerland" type name? 

How does having chapters with non-OKFN names fit into our overall chapter strategy?  It seems we are missing a key branding/awareness opportunity.  Also how does having an unrelated name impact our ability to have some amount of control (formally or informally) over the direction of the various chapters and the Open Knowledge Foundation name and work that we do here in the UK? (assuming we want control)

> Jurisdiction
> *******************************
> Switzerland
> Notes on coverage of the group
> *******************************
> Covers the entire country; works on policies on the federal level;
> communicates in German and French.
> Names and short bios of the principal organisers
> *******************************
> See http://opendata.ch/community/board/
> Summary of community building to date by the organisation
> *******************************
> - Relevant mailing lists
> https://twitter.com/#!/OpendataCH
> http://www.opendata.ch/mailinglist
> * 512 followers on Twitter
> * 132 members on public mailing list (low traffic, mostly announcements)
> * Additional closed/high-traffic lists for local groups organizing
> hackdays (Geneva, Zurich etc.)
> - events held to date, rough numbers of attendees
> * April 2012, 110 participants, Public Transport Hackday,
> http://opendata.ch/2012/04/innovationsschub-fuer-den-schienenverkehr-verkehrsdienstleister-und-community-am-selben-tisch/
> * September 2011, 150 participants, first general Open Data Hackday,
> http://make.opendata.ch/archive/1/home.en.html
> * June 2011, 150 participants, first national Open Data Conference at
> the Federal Archives in Berne,
> http://www.admin.ch/aktuell/00089/index.html?lang=en&msg-id=39827,
> http://opendata.ch/2011/06/opendata2011-medienmitteilung/
> * General assembly meeting of the association, see
> http://opendata.ch/2012/01/verein-opendata-ch-offiziell-gegrundet-manifest-und-agenda-2012/
> * lots of smaller but public working group meetings
> - any other activities
> * Launched 6 inquires in the national parliament, see
> http://www.digitale-nachhaltigkeit.ch/2011/10/ogd-vorstoesse-make-open-data/
> * Achieved status of a "prioritized plan" for OGD in the national
> e-gov strategy, see
> http://www.news.admin.ch/message/index.html?lang=de&msg-id=44088
> * Initiated official OGD activities at the City of Zurich, continuous
> support of the project under the umbrella of http://www.ezuerich.ch
> * Creation of a manifesto explaining our goals, signed by several
> national policy makers: http://opendata.ch/manifest/
> * Speaking at events such as
> http://opendata.ch/2011/11/5-egov-symp11-benefit-of-open-government-data/
> * Organized http://liftconference.com/news/lift12-video-rufus-pollock-open-data-how-we-got-here-and-where-were-going
> * Media relations resulting in a fair amount of media attention, see
> http://opendata.ch/pressearchiv/
> * Lots and lots of meetings with policy makers and civil servants of all levels
> * 

Given their name and the above list of events, do they have any plans to do work across all areas of open knowledge or area they really focussed on open data only?

If open data only, then will we be expecting to have a second Swiss chapter that covers other open knowledge areas of we get an application from someone else working on, say, Open Economics or Shakespeare, or something else?

> Brief outline of why the local group wishes to become a Chapter
> *******************************
> As discussed with Rufus et al: we are convinced that our common goal
> need a certain level of coordination across countries. OKFN provides
> the ideal way to achieve this.

Surely they can coordinate with us without being a chapter?

What benefits of being a Chapter, particularly one without a common name, are there for them and us?

> Outline of any specific plans the group has for its first year as a Chapter
> *******************************
> - Publish first comprehensive study on OGD in Switzerland
> (forthcoming, see
> http://opendata.ch/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/OGD-Studie_Schweiz_Orientierung_20120119.pdf)
> - Continue national/cantonal policy work
>  - help getting legislation passed on open weather data
>  - clarify legal situation regarding open public transport data (see
> http://transport.opendata.ch)
>  - launch initiative for open health data
>  - lots of lobbying for  federal open data initiative ("data.admin.ch")
> - National conference (with OKFN keynote speakers): http://opendata.ch/2012
> - Local hackday in Berne, 27 April, http://make.opendata.ch/bern/
> - Open Health Data Hackay: 28/29 September, Basel
> - Two hackdays in spring 2013, Geneva and Zurich
> - Overall: try to establish some professional structures
> Form of incorporation
> *******************************
> Association under Swiss law.
> Articles see http://opendata.ch/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Statuten_opendata_Version_1.00_19-Januar-2012.pdf
> Memorandum of Understanding
> *******************************
> We requested a small number of changes to the template provided by
> OKFN. See https://docs.google.com/a/opendata.ch/document/d/1rDwK8rKrF2t-EESZyS4yZRMaAeorqhsKdB8udwDfRJU/edit

Clause 6 doesn't work because if you say that there is no consideration you run into problems of enforceability in English law.

Clause 7 needs some tweaks to reflect that (at least in the future when we have such a policy/license) that use of the OKFN name is controlled by us and that they must terminate use of the name and logo if they cease to be a chapter.

> ****************************************************************************************************************
> Risk assessment of opendata.ch from Chapter Coordinator
> I'd say risk: very little, given that the group is already quite established (and is a good team of folk). The only worry I'd have is that they are reasonably independent of us - but given how things were in the region, I think integrating an existing group (opendataCH) into the OKFN network as a Chapter is a good idea (we won't have the same organisational problems with them that we've had with OKFN DE, for example, as this group are already operating autonomously). 

Given that they are so autonomous, what can we offer them realistically and what will we get out of it other than by working with them closely?

I ask because in part they may be expecting different things from us long term as a chapter and it'd be good to feed this in to longer term OKFN plans -- the kind of incubation we usually offer other budding chapters doesn't seem to apply here.



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Mr. Jordan S Hatcher, JD, LLM

More at: <http://www.jordanhatcher.com>
Co-founder:  <http://www.opendatacommons.org>
Open Knowledge: <http://www.okfn.org/>

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