[foundation-board] CEO Update for December 2015

Pavel Richter pavel.richter at okfn.org
Fri Dec 18 20:53:47 UTC 2015

Dear all,  please find below an update on important developments here at
Open Knowledge International. You can find the text as a Google Document

Operational Focus for Open Knowledge International

Topic / theme focus taking priority over geographic for now, while we
broadcast our vacancies through channels in Sub-Saharan Africa via our
Ambassadors there as well.

In terms of our future thematic focus, I had productive meetings with
Rufus, Sander and Jonathan from within OKI, as well as with a number of
people from outside the organization. (Martin Tisne from Omidyar, Mark
Cridge from mySociety.org, Ira Bolychevsky and others). I aim towards
writing a first draft for a solid Theory of Change in January, to lead the
discussion on what we want to achieve as an organization. Currently, I am
not sure to which extend we want and can include our broader community into
this process.
Viderum Update

Viderum has been set up fully, both as an US and an UK based entity.
Arturas will join Viderum from OKI, and Sebastian has already hired a new
project manager. The other developers (Brook, Adria, Jo) who are / were
involved with CKAN decided that they want to stay with OKI as an employer.
Thexy will, however, continue to be available to Viderum for the
foreseeable future, to make sure that we continue to deliver on our
contractual agreements. Going forward, Sebastian will build a team of
developers based here in Berlin.
FundingSigrid Rausing Trust

Rausing accepted our proposal for funding and are awarding Open Knowledge
International 75,000 GBP of unrestricted funding for 2016.

Call to introduce and discuss plans for OpenSpending. I will meet with them
mid-January to discuss new funding opportunities.
Arnold (Laura and John Arnold Foundation / LJAF)

Call to introduce and discuss plans for OpenTrials. I plan for a longer
trip to the US in the first half of 2016, to deepen relationships with
current funders, as well as visiting potential new ones.
Kays Foundation

Early-stage discussions to build shared understanding and consider working
together in the longer term.

Continuing discussions with Open Society-, Bill & Melinda Gates- and
William and Flora Hewlett Foundations.

And we will bid on at least two of the upcoming Horizon2020 initiatives of
the European Union.
HR / StaffCurrent live vacancies


Portfolio Manager - Planting the Seeds

Portfolio Manager - Growing the Trees

Portfolio Manager - Harvesting the Fruits

Community Manager - OpenTrials

Research Assistant - FutureTDM

Technical Trainer - School of Data

Project Assistant (one to be hired to support OD4D, other projects may also
hire for this role)

Regarding the COO position, which is clearly the most important open
position: Initially, response was not as good as I hoped for. We then
decided to advertise more broadly (using monster.com and LinkedIn), which
got much better resultants than before. We are interviewing candidates
continuously, but, to be honest,  I do not have seen the ideal candidate,
yet. That is not to say that he / she is not out there, but it will take
longer than I want it to take.

Sam Leon will leave at the end of December. I have conducted an exit
interview with him.

Meg Foulkes has a role specific to the School of Data and a contract
connected with its funding.
Daniela Mattern

The case continues to require a great deal of double-checking and
clarity-seeking on the part of our legal team due to inaccurate information
from Mattern’s legal representative (for example, both maternity pay and
loss of earnings was claimed for the same period, which is not possible).
We are due to disclose documentation by the 18th Dec, which has already
been completed, and the final papers for the hearing are due 15th January.

The 2014-15 year end accounts were submitted following Board approval.
The Board and strategy development process

The finance Board member advert is live on LinkedIn
<https://www.linkedin.com/jobs2/view/91791298>, ThirdSector
and on our own website <https://okfn.org/about/jobs/>.

As mentioned before, I think it would be great if we (board and CEO) would
be able to spent some time together in a offsite meeting, to discuss
organizational directions. I will take this on with Karin to see what the
best timing for this would be.

I keynoted at G20 conference “Open Data: Enabling Inclusive, Sustainable
and Robust Growth”.

I am in discussion with open Knowledge Spain about an Open Knowledge Award
in 2016.

Monthly calls with Chapter leads have been set up and the first went well.

And I continue my discussions with Open Knowledge Finland on their “Mydata”
project an how we can support it from an international perspective

OK Festival: The current status is that we will have a smaller OK Festival
happening in 2016, either during summer in Berlin (July 2016), or around
the IODC event in Madrid in October. In 2016, we will focus on skill
development and skill sharing, through the School of Data Summer Camp, and
through cooperation with other partners. Mid-term, I would like to develop
the OKFestival to a broader themed event where community led initiatives as
well as governments can and want participate. As I said during our last
meeting, this takes way more preparation time, so it will only happen in
2017. But to ensure continuity, and to answer inquiries from communities
and partners, I think having a more focused OKFestival in 2016 makes sense.
As an organisation, we are able to put this together.

The next in person meeting is on 13th January 2016 in London at Canonical.

I will send the next CEO Update in the middle of February 2016.

The resolution regarding Charitable Status passed the board unanimous, and
our lawyers are handing in the necessary paperwork.

International employment: At our last meeting in November, I indicate that
I will have a solution before the end of this year. I apologize that this
is not happening faster. I have now identified a law firm based in Berlin
suitable to supporting me in this matter. I will get a response from their
lawyer late this year, early next year and will present a proposal to the
board in January. I hope to get it done before the board meeting on the
13th, but it depends on the solution the lawyers are proposing. If we are
not able to solve this before / at the meeting, I will inform you about the
details during the meeting and ask for approval by mail afterwards.

Support for Rufus: One of my commitments for the end of this year was to
set up Rufus new role, and enable him to fulfill it. Besides him and me
agreeing on his new role (which has been done couple of months ago and is
going smoothly), OKI will provide him with support to develop his new role
as THE spokesperson for Openness out there. I have contacted two
storytellers I have worked with previous, in order to give Rufus support on
working on a great narrative, storyline, and presentation. This is all set
up by now, and I am awaiting Rufus decision on which of the storytellers I
suggested he will work with.

I have a task to develop a revised reserve policy for board approval (based
on feedback from our last meeting) before the end of the year. While I am
working on it right now, I think it will be ready for distribution only
early in January.

I hope this format works for you; i*t would be great to get feedback from
the board on these reports*, so that I can provide you with the information
that you require.

I wish you all Marry Christmas, great and relaxing holidays, and I am
looking forward to 2016!

Kind regards

Pavel Richter
Open Knowledge International
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