[okfn-advisory] Advising Open Knowledge in 2015

Laura James lbjames at gmail.com
Wed Jan 28 09:21:02 UTC 2015

On 27 January 2015 at 21:20, Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org> wrote:
> I think I would frame this even more broadly as helping the organization
> and helping e.g. the new ED. For me immediate thoughts are:
> - Understanding and keeping in touch with a fast-evolving Open Knowledge
> space. What issues are coming up, what opportunities (and threats) are
> there to open knowledge as an area and to Open Knowledge the organization
> - On specific policy issues it would be especially useful to get both
> proactive and reactive input regarding whether we should have a position
> and what it should be
> - Developing effective governance and processes for running a growing (and
> now large) international networked organization. In particular, I think
> this is a year to really look at how we seek support for the overall scale
> of the Open Knowledge community through more input from Chapters and Local
> Groups and other formal constituents of the network. To put this more
> concretely think of it like this: Open Knowledge International has approx
> the same number of team members to support the overall Network as it has
> 2-3 years ago yet the Network is several times larger. This will only work
> if we start having members of the Network take on more responsibility and
> authority for running and developing the Network).
> I note all of this is me personally thinking out loud not reflecting for
> all my colleagues.

Thanks for this Rufus. I read several things here:

* a request for the AC to proactively point out upcoming issues,
opportunities and threats, and potential policy questions [hopefully in
this thread!]

* an existing question around governance and process for a growing
international networked organisation - are there specific questions here,
Rufus, or might this be a larger topic where we might have a discussion
document from you, or a meeting to explore issues?

* a note that at present the AC interacts only with Rufus (I think) from
the Open Knowledge International team. Should we connect with others, and
if so how?  If this group is to help the organisation overall, I imagine we
might need to connect with more people. Who, and how might this work? Or
should we raise visibility of the AC with the team and encourage funnelling
via Rufus?

* help for the new ED - this sounds like a very specific opportunity, for a
call or thread with the new ED, and possibly even fixing up quite a few
calls such that all the AC can meet the new ED, share thoughts and ideas,
and answer any questions. The AC's representation of all Open Knowledge
Chapters as well as many other open and open-related domains and topics is
likely to be extremely valuable to someone joining us at this scale and

> The Council has, of late, mostly been consulted as individuals and this
>> email list has, perhaps, been underused.  Occasionally there's been a
>> suggestion of meetings, or a chair. I think it's worth considering how we
>> work, perhaps once we have an idea of what we want to do this year :)
> I would really welcome this and especially having a chair who was able to
> help proactively organize meetings and input.

I'm a little doubtful about meetings, simply because this group is
geographically diverse, timezone diverse, and comprised of hard to schedule
people, but if we could make it work, calls to discuss specific topics
could be very valuable. I'd love to know what others think!

You've mentioned the chair idea before Rufus - do you see this essentially
as logistics (scheduling meetings etc), or are there other nuances or roles
you would like a chair to play?

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