[foundation-board] CEO Update 12/2016

Pavel Richter pavel.richter at okfn.org
Wed Dec 14 18:44:19 UTC 2016

Dear Board Members,

Please find below an overview of the highlights of the last month here at
Open Knowledge International. You also can find the same text as a Google
doc here



Highlights from Projects/Tech School of Data

Marco informed us that he will be leaving Open Knowledge International at
the end of this year. He will start working for Google Brazil in early

With Marco leaving, I believe we should revisit the current state of School
of Data and especially the proposed "spin out" of the projects. Marco was
not really pushing this forward in the first place, the Steering Committee
is not overly involved, fundraising is not going as I expected it to go,
and we encountered some legal issues around setting up the organisation in
the UK.

Therefore, we are putting the "spin out" on hold, until we have stabilized
the School of Data team and fundraising. In order to do this, we will need
a new project manager for School of Data. Cedric, who is currently working
in the team, has put his interest forward; as has Katelyn. We are speaking
with both this week to make a decision prior to the Steering Committee
meeting this Friday.
Rufus & OKI

I wanted to make you aware that Rufus (with his new company Atomatic) is
doing some paid work for OKI in the frictionless data project. This is
managed by Paul, who is very happy about this collaboration.

We submitted our prototype for OpenTrialsFDA to the OpenScience Prize (
vote here please! http://event.capconcorp.com/wp/osp/). The promotional
video can be seen here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOWJL9Px9uA ).

There are no noteworthy developments on the other projects since we last
updated you (November Board meeting), just the usual heads down and hard
Viderum Updates

Operations Update


   The Finance is on track to completing the Year End Accounts.

   The  Charities Commission has agreed to a face to face meeting in
   January (i am hoping to have some board members present)

   HR Manager is implementing processes and we are currently running the
   second round organization wide appraisals

   The Year End accounts have been updated and ready for sign off by board.
   All questions have been answered and corrections made

   New Budget processes are ready for 2017

   Pensions have been boarded and the first contributions have been paid
   into the fund.

   Continuing actions to minimise corporation tax exposure based upon
   unrestricted grants and deferred revenue.

Funding Omidyar Network

ON has approved our grant request for 1.5 Million USD of unrestricted
funding over two years.
Sigrid Rausing Trust

SRT will continue to fund OKI for the next three years with £90,000 per
year of unrestricted funding.
StaffLive vacancies

The following may be found at https://okfn.org/about/jobs/:


   Senior Project Manager

   Project Manager - OK Festival

Changes in Staff role


   Michelle Heydon will vacate her current position of chief of finance and
   move to Grant Manager as of January 2017

New Staff


   We have hired a new Project Manager from Accenture, he will take over
   the management of OpenTrials and also work with the COO to set up the
   Project Management Office (PMO).



   Marco Tulio, the Project Manager for School of Data will be leaving OKI
   at the end of the year.



   OGP Summit! Oscar and Mor were in Paris running around, facilitating
   sessions and getting index submissions. Sessions they contributed to are as

      Open Data from around the world

      Civil society panel

      Civil Society day - the future of Open Gov

      Open Heroines

      Future TDM: Mine the Government

Summit Summary

Our last summit for 2016 took place at Thessaloniki, Greece from Monday, 21
Nov to midday on Wednesday, 23 Nov. The Summit was attended by 35 staff
members - including OKI contractors and Viderum Staff.  A few staff members
were not able to make it due to personal reasons.

The Summit was commissioned with a gathering on the evening of Sunday 20
Nov to allow for a dinner together as a team and for OKI staff, especially
the newcomers to ‘meet and greet’ the wider OKI team and catch up before
the serious work of the summit begins the following day. The evening was
also for Pavel to welcome the team and introduce them to Inken and Richard
of Beta Baboon who facilitated our Summit for the very first time.

Day 1 was characterised with discussions on the Strategy of OKI
the Sounding Board initiative
- a small committee that will manage the process for pitching and vetting
ideas [that might eventually become projects] within the organisation, and
OKI’s cultural journey - the cultures staff admire and those they consider
as culture killers. The day ended with an introductory meeting and dinner
with Open Knowledge, Greece chapter who kindly offered OKI staff a guided
walking tour around the historical Thessaloniki city centre.

Day 2 began with discussions on how the team can live and breath OKI’s
Purpose day in, day out. Next was discussions on the objectives of OKI; led
by Beta Baboon and using the OIIC framework, the team was divided into 6
groups to discuss and find solutions to the following thematic areas:


   Accelerating OKI’s purpose & impact in a less open world.

   A team culture that enables tasks to be delivered as smoothly as possible

   A virtual environment that enables OKI to focus on its Purpose

Six proposals, two for each thematic area was presented to the team after
the discussions. Two of the proposals: Project Dog and Project SoCoCo both
of which are about creating a virtual environment that enables OKI to focus
on its purpose were selected by the team to go forward as internal
projects. Some staff members volunteered to work on the two proposals. The
day ended with a cooking workshop at a local greek restaurant called Mama’s
Kitchen, where the team was engaged in the preparation of varying greek

Day 3 was dedicated to a review of the discussions of the first two days.
Also, a Trello Board was created to assign responsibilities and help track
progress of the summit actions. The Summit ended by midday, allowing
project teams to meet for the rest of the day.

The next in-person meeting of the Board is on Wednesday, 11th January, 2016
at 6:30pm (the majority of Board Members who responded to the calendar
invitations choose the start time of 6:30pm over 5:30pm). The venue as
usual will be Canonical. I will inform you should anything change.

I will send the next CEO Update in the middle of February, 2017. Please do
give feedback on these reports, so that I can provide you with the
information that you require.
Kind regards

Pavel Richter
Open Knowledge International
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