[okfn-advisory] Fwd: Strategy Refinement Draft

Denis Parfenov denis.parfenov at gmail.com
Fri Apr 17 09:46:22 UTC 2015

Hi Rufus and all -

thank you for sharing strategy refinement draft document. I would like to
offer a local perspective on OKF’s strategy and the Irish experiences of
collaboration/cooperation with OKF central.

Our Vision: a ​world where o​pen knowledge ​is ubiquitous, enabling citizens
and organizations to create insights that drive change on global and local
challenges, to combat injustice and inequality and hold governments and
corporations to account.

Our Mission:​ to open up all essential public interest information and see
it used to create insight that drives change. To this end we work to create a
global movement for open knowledge, supporting a network of leaders and local
groups around the world, facilitate coordination and knowledge sharing
within the movement, and prototype and provide a home for pioneering
projects demonstrating the impact of open knowledge.

(emphasis is mine)

I think it’s an excellent plan. I am just not sure how we are going to get
where we want to be. What are the means for reaching the goal?

Who is going to do advocacy work keeping in mind / representing interests
not only governments / corporations, but citizens and civil society in
general? How will this work be maintained and supported?

Once more, we all heard about trillions of $$$ which can be generated/saved
through adaptation and exploitation of open data. No one doubts that
revenue can be generated (if/when open data is available for re-use under
SLA), but the fact is that no one has figured out how to chip away a tiny
tiny proportion out of potential revenues/savings and direct it to opening
up of data globally and locally, yet.

How local groups like Open Knowledge Ireland can pay i.e. for webhosting,
web apps, domain names, venues & professional services of our active

As I explained in my post to Advisory Board dated 22 Feb 2015, the
opportunities to secure funding in Ireland are very limited due to various
operational and historic reasons. On the other hand, we all know that
Ireland is a key destination for MNCs when it comes to tax avoidance
(/evasion) on the global scale…. It would be very naive to expect Irish
based MNCs to support any meaningful challenge of the existing status quo.

So OK Ireland had to create opportunities for generating a revenue by
catalysing open data culture within the Irish government and generating
demand for data amongst open data enthusiasts.  In 2014 two open data
related tenders were released by the Irish government. In the 1st occasion
(Feb 2014) OK Ireland bid in the consortium with OK Central and ODI NC. In
Nov 2014 we bid in a consortium with Dublin Institute of Technology with
participation of UCD and UCC (representing Creative Commons Ireland), after
OK Central rejected a cooperation due to limited available manpower. Both
bids were lost to INSIGHT/NUIG + Derilinx (Insight’s spin-off) + Fujitsu on
financial grounds. After the second bid we were told that we will never be
able to compete on price with the winners, since, probably unlike in other
EU countries, irish universities can provide their personnel for free by
defining their consultation services as ‘research’.

Recently we’ve been really surprised to find out from a representative from
Dublinked that OK Central is part of the Route-to-PA
<http://www.routetopa.eu/> EU project, where INSIGHT/NUIG is one of the key
stakeholders, and that this involvement had gone on since April last year.

If we would have known about it, we would have done some things differently
last year. For example, would not have lost a week of work, done in their
own spare time by our volunteers, on the tender bid in Nov 2014, as there
seems to be quite a bit of overlap between the tender requirements and the
EU project content.

Empowerment depends critically on information exchange. If we want to be
successful as network following the same goals, we should keep each other
informed of what we are doing.

We are happy to see that OK Central committed to involve local groups in
the Route to PA Project. How can this involvement look like?


   We have volunteers who are happy to invest their private time, but
   asking them to invest their private money as well for activities and to
   keep the local organisation going is not an option.

I think that it is not unfair for local chapters to expect to be supported
by it’s parent organisation, OK Cental, as stated in the draft mission
statement. Or at least to expect to be kept informed about OKF Central’s
actions in places where the local groups are doing what they can do to open
up knowledge.

Do you agree?

We look forward to hearing from you soon.


Denis Parfenov

Open Knowledge Ambassador / Open Knowledge Ireland, Founder

https://openknowledge.ie/  | @OKFirl <https://twitter.com/OKFirl> | Google+

*'Open minds to open actions'*

m: +353863850044 | @prfnv <https://twitter.com/prfnv> [.org

On 2 April 2015 at 18:27, Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org> wrote:

> Hi All,
> Attached is a the current draft of the strategy refinement. It is still
> unfinished - for example, we plan to add descriptions for "products" along
> with outcomes and outputs for each. This is a *refinement* of our
> existing strategy - it is not intended to add anything or set off in a
> radical new direction. Comments are very welcome (I can provide editable
> versions of these docs if people want if an email thread does not work).
> Refining our strategy so that is more focused and provides clearer and
> stronger guidance for activities in the near-term has been a priority and
> one flagged by many different people.
> The current draft aims to be tighter and more coherent providing:
>    -
>    a framework in which to situate many of our existing activities
>    -
>    clear qualifying criteria for new projects than any one of us could
>    apply - building greater shared, consistent, understanding of
>    prioritization and enabling greater delegation around project selection and
>    execution
>    -
>    a more disciplined and focused approach to funding
> As is highlighted in the document, this strategy does not cover Open
> Knowledge Services (though it does cover e.g. CKAN Association). Work on a
> separate strategy document for Services will likely be a near-term priority.
> Regards,
> Rufus
> --
> *Rufus PollockFounder and President | skype: rufuspollock | @rufuspollock
> <https://twitter.com/rufuspollock>Open Knowledge <http://okfn.org/> - see
> how data can change the world**http://okfn.org/ <http://okfn.org/> |
> @okfn <http://twitter.com/OKFN> | Open Knowledge on Facebook
> <https://www.facebook.com/OKFNetwork> |  Blog <http://blog.okfn.org/>*
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