[foundation-board] [priority] Update from Gavin Starks

Jonathan Gray jonathan.gray at okfn.org
Fri Sep 7 10:18:23 UTC 2012

>From a comms perspective - strong +1 on announcing OKFN Board role at
the same time (or even prior) to ODI role.

Just my 2c!


On Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 10:51 AM, Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org> wrote:
> Hi All,
> Note: all discussion on this board list is by default confidential but I
> would emphasize that this is especially so!
> As you all know Gavin has just joined the board. He talked with me Wednesday
> with some great news, namely that he has been selected to be the CEO of the
> newly formed Open Data Institute. However, as Gavin discusses in his email
> below, this also some raises some questions vis-a-vis his role as a board
> member with the Open Knowledge Foundation (Gavin has requested I forward
> this email to this list by the way!).
> Having reflected on Gavin's email and discussed briefly with a couple of
> board members (Martin and Becky) I incline strongly towards Gavin's proposal
> for a way forward (set of points after "assume positive benefits and
> efficiencies ...").
> I am hopeful that any issues can be dealt with and the initial 6-month
> period gives us an assessment period to evaluate.
> Modulo any further discussion on the issue here, Gavin will be attending (I
> believe) the board meeting on Tuesday and we can discuss this further then.
> However, prior reflection, and possibly discussion here, would help expedite
> discussion on Tuesday (when we may be time-constrained).
> Regards,
> Rufus
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Gavin Starks <gavin at dgen.net>
> Date: 6 September 2012 00:34
> Subject: Update
> To: Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org>
> Hi Rufus
> Strictly confidential
> I have been appointed CEO of the ODI. We aim to announce next week, and I
> will start Oct.
> Given the emerging relationship between OKFN and ODI, this raises natural
> questions about my role on both boards.
> Even if there are no material issues, there may be perception issues that we
> need to address.
> There are several potential courses of action.
> You will need to discuss with OKFN board members about any material or
> perceived conflicts - I am also very happy to speak with everyone and
> suggest we put this into AOB for Tuesday's board meeting to address?
> From my perspective, I would like to assume positive benefits and
> efficiencies, and propose the following;
> - we continue as planned and add a formal review at 3 and/or 6 month
> intervals to assess if there are any issues
> - that we co-create a public statement for the website(s) to ensure full
> transparency (including stating the above review point)
> - that we create a mechanism for me to abstain from any voting issues, or
> discussions, that may be seen as conflicted
> - that any significant stakeholders (beyond the board) be canvassed for
> their opinions so we can address any questions up-front
> - that transparency and communication are key to building and maintaining
> trust: I encourage everyone to be open with their feedback
> If there are issues we feel are too sensitive, we could simply defer the
> appointment and review the situation in 6 months.
> My objective is to ensure that both organisations maximise their potential
> to collaborate, and achieve our common causes.
> Right now I see potential benefits, not material conflict - and am confident
> that we can navigate if such a situation were to arise.
> From a timing perspective, we will be announcing my ODI role on Weds, and
> finalising our comms messages this week - if OKFN are happy, it would be
> great to include a message about me joining the OKFN board at the same time.
> If we need to discuss, of course this can wait.
> Best wishes
> Gavin
> --
> Co-Founder, Open Knowledge Foundation
> Promoting Open Knowledge in a Digital Age
> http://www.okfn.org/ - http://blog.okfn.org/
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Jonathan Gray

Head of Community
The Open Knowledge Foundation


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