[okfn-advisory] Notes from today's Advisory Council call

Laura James lbjames at gmail.com
Mon May 18 21:18:49 UTC 2015

Thank you to everyone who joined today's call and especially welcome Pavel!

Notes: https://pad.okfn.org/p/AdvisoryCouncil2015   [also inline below]

Audio recording (two very small gaps where the call dropped)

Rufus:  update AC website to include all AC members with appropriate bio
Rufus:   get list of AC emails so that the AC can know how to reach each
other individually
Laura: set up call in 3m



   1. introductions

   1. decide who will chair/facilitate today's call, decide who will take

   1. review of actions from last time

   1. * *Laura* to arrange a similar call in around 3m [DONE]

   1. * *Glyn* to kickstart a discussion on this list about digital rights
   matters and whether/how Open Knowledge should be involved [DONE]

   1. * *Rufus* to consider whether others from the executive and/or board
   of directors should be on this list (enabling them to get more involved
   with AC and spreading the load from Rufus) and add them if so [DONE]

   1. * *Rufus* to endeavour to share more info/updates with the AC and
   will provide a commitment around this within a week [PARTIAL - more
   updates but not regular yet]

   1. discussion of recent strategy refinement from Rufus

   1. * *Denis - *re: strategy*, *it's good to know where we want to
be, but how
   will we get there? (What's the means?)

   1. ** Denis* - to share a local group perspective on community

   1. interesting things from local groups

   1. AOB

   1. *Rufus *AC website listing (raised by Martin K)

*the call is being recorded*

*Notes from the call*

1.  Introductions

Apologies - Martin, Carolina, Glyn, Daniel, Soren, Peter
Present - Denis, Hannes, Mayo, Pavel, Pieter, Rufus, Laura

Chair: Rufus

Introductions - welcome Pavel!  Hearing from Pavel:

   - Pavel's background, experience in growth in nonprofits, and as a
   volunteer at wikipedia since 2004,

   - Keen to apply what learnt at wikimedia to a more mature &
   international org at Open Knowledge, and to learn from Open Knowledge.

   - What's happening now: meeting and reading! strategy, commercial
   services, personnel, grant requests.

   - official start 1 june

   - been at Omidyar Network event in San Francisco last week. Attending
   Open Data Conf in Canada shortly

   - on the Advisory Council: ...  approach Pavel, let him know how things
   are going, help him learn. Also happy to hear what AC expect from Pavel


Denis - OK Ireland. Since 2012 working on open, with OKF since 2013.
Hannes - OK Switzerland, Zurich. opendata.ch. entrepreneur and activist.
Laura - immediate past CEO :) Renewable energy consulting and IOT/privacy
Mayo - Barcelona....
Pieter - Ghent. Studying for a PhD in linked open data publishing.
cofounder OKF Belgium. Now succeeded by a new chair (success!)

2. review of actions

3. discussion of recent strategy doc from Rufus

Denis: ...  where's the money?  3 options: grants, revenue generation,

   - in Ireland, no donations for this sort of cause. Revenue - Ireland
   small. hard; there is a state funded org employing many data scientists
   which can take the tendres from government. Grants - few international orgs
   interested in Ireland; money goes to global south, or to central org (OKF
   london or ODI UK).

   - last week US ODI nodes disassociated themselves because central org
   can compete in local space in tendering and in grants

   - how can Central empower local groups to do what they need to do? Even
   to pay for hosting, space for events, etc. Difficult to attract money for
   regular costs.

   - how can OK Ireland continue?  Recently found out from Sander (OK
   Central) that OK central was bidding for EU money with an Irish org


Rufus:  question about resourcing both for local and international groups.
What's the value of being a network? What impact do we want to have?
(that's important because it's why resourcing is needed)

   - EU consortiums.... OK international doesn't lead such bids (too hard
   for small orgs).  Someone else therefore puts together consortia and if you
   are just a member not a lead you have limited control and influence.  There
   is one 2020 project which funds several OK local groups in europe.

   - founding and funding these groups is hard and we appreciate how hard
   it is. similar to Rufus in 2004-7.... no one writes back.

   - useful to share insights across network. Laura started some knowledge
   sharing.  German chapter has grown a great deal; support from OK

   - What do we think of strategy?

   - What are resoruces? minds, spirits, time, money?



   - as chapters we have our independence and that's great, can do
   anything.  Good feeling.  But when competing with each other, that's not
   good. but it's a tradeoff.  Lean, mean, quick, agile, but may lead to
   clashes. If we have to notify each other of new bids etc in advance, this
   becomes a lot of work, slows things down.

   - idea: a very small group, OK Europe, just to coord in 2020 calls and
   similar.  maybe a europe scale advisory call. see who is doing what, can we
   be more efficient.

   - stop competitors running away with all the 2020 money!



     in Switzerland decided to keep core association v small and lean, and
be enablers for others in the ecosystem, and that we ourselves are not a
     how do we fund that core work? not trivial.  but not seeing ourselves
as a player in these bids is good.     Pros and Cons to being an active
competitor [for funds]


   -     Swiss also run a great conference and is very well connected as an
   enabler. Eg Hannes writing open data law

   - individuals who contributed have also been members of other
   organisations, maybe already employed or doing work in open data ecosystem



   -     agree, flexibility of people being employed in related
   organisations. Helps keep budget of core low.


    Swiss core costs - paid for membership model for orgs and individuals.
The professional association for open data people


   - easy for contributed time if folks are employed in related work. Not
   possible in all countries, depending on state of economy, and in
   interest/support for in open locally. Countries without this are the ones
   we should support more



   - would like feedback on strategy. More distilled than before. Diagram.

   - idea that local groups will make change, and OK INternational wil
   enable/support this

   - support for local groups is difficult, people want to fund projects
   not network engagement and support

   - recent months, any discretionary money went to local groups and
   chapters and network support



   -     note latest vision and mission - updated - building on past work.
   very important to note these. "all essential public interest information"

   - diagram



   -     will there be an expiry date on some projects?

   - like a certain time when projects should be spun out?



   -     great question

   - stewardship. better place to look after projects, run by others, with
   a stable home

   - also retiring projects or spinning out, yes, eg pybossa/crowdcrafting,
   span out to the guy who worked on it. we have retired proejcts. want to be
   able to retire or move to stewardship

   - hands off or hands on stewardship. legal, financial support, different

   - if you've had the impact you wanted, wind down or retire.  Going into
   production on software is a huge investment.

   - CKAN $10-15m investment (not from OKF but others) - high risk, huge


   - Should high risk projects such as CKAN still be part of open knowledge?


   - CKAN is moving to hands off stewardship

   - less high risk now anyway

   - CKAN Association effort.  will go on but not responsibility of OK

   - chapters could join the CKAN association.



   -     if understood correctly, reason for keeping CKAN in OK
   international is for funding reasons ?

    not quite
    aspect of commercial revenue, grant funders like to see this
    setting up a new entity is a real pain, save money by not doing this

   - note CKAN the commercial revenue stream is not the same as CKAN the
   project [association]



   - Belgium decided to spin out commercial things, the data tank, "we open
   data".  Only community management now in OK Belgium.

   - safer for the organisation (OK belgium) because people don't think
   they are a commercial entity pushing for clients

   - better on commercial side too

   - not carrying the risk of what happens if people don't need open data
   portals any more!


    question of what happens to OK International commercial services?
    also a question for local groups.
    [notes not taken at Rufus's request]
    CKAN association, can follow good non profit / FOSS governance


   - good news, opening hospital waiting lists!
   http://openknowledge.ie/projects/open-hospital-waiting-list/   yay!



   - sad few American / latam people on call given time of call



   - maybe AC members could individually follow up and encourage attendance?


ACTION rufus:  update AC website to include all AC members with appropriate
ACTION rufus:   get list of AC emails so that the AC can know how to reach
each other individually

The meeting closed.
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