[okfn-br] Local chapter of Open Knowledge Foundation in Brazil

Everton Zanella Alvarenga everton137 em gmail.com
Terça Outubro 4 22:36:30 UTC 2011

Dear all,

after I came back to Brazil one month ago and the idea of having a
local chapter in Brazil during discussion at Open Knowledge Conference
<http://lists.okfn.org/pipermail/okfn-br/2011-June/000003.html>, in
June, now I think I'm settled to continue the discussion started three
months ago among people interested. I've read the most recent
guideline indicated by Lucy Chambers [1] and I have some questions and
thoughts, which I'd like to listen what you think all think about.

Before that, I want let you know I will have a talk with Lucy and Kat
tomorrow at 10h AM (Brazilian time, 14h in UK) in skype and if some of
you want join it, you are welcome (just add me: everton137). I should
have send this email long before (sorry!). Since this week we have the
workshop on open data at the City Council of São Paulo, I think it's
an appropriate time to ask somethings and begin to gather people from
civil society, government and researchers who wants to promoting open
knowledge through Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFn) vision
<http://okfn.org/about/vision/>. But I think we should have another
discussion with all people involved soon, preferably at an IRC channel
and logging the discussion.

1. Why a chapter? A group or a legal entity?

After some experience with the (long) discussions about creating a
local chapter of Wikimedia Foundation in Brazil, [2] that lasted for
years, since 2008, the end of this history was the decision to create
a legal entity in Brazil, working together with the other group who
opposes this idea (at the end, both groups have the same goal,
promoting free knowledge to every single human being!).

In the case of an OKFn chapter, for the nature of its projects and all
stakeholders, I believe a legal entity would be more appropriate for
having a sustainable community and sustainable projects. I'd like to
elaborate more on this point later, and other thoughts are welcome,
but for short: we need a legal entity representing civil society in
the discussion with the government and for funding purposes - after
some odd experiences, I conclude sometimes only volunteer work doesn't
make possible the continuity of interesting projects.

2. Do we have a group committed with OKFn vision?

I think so, but I believe we have to have more definite goals and a
roadmap: well defined projects, what are our priorities and where we
want to go. I think the groups already active in projects which fits
OKFn vision are:

* Transparência Hackers (Hackers for Transparency)
* Movimento Brasil Aberto (Open Brazil Movement)
* Fórum de Direito de Acesso a Informações Públicas
* Artigo 19 (Article 19) http://artigo19.org/
* Open Data BR http://opendatabr.org/wiki/Opendata-BR:Sobre
* W3C Working Group on open data (a really interesting information
that was told to me today by Vagner Diniz, W3C Brazil office manager)

There seems to be a growing number of researchers interested on open
government data [citation needed : ] and after the approval of a
freedom of information legislation in Brazil (federal and regional
levels), an Open Knowledge Foundation Brazil would have an important
role and would be an important civil society voice in this process we
are going to live in the following years, bringing together the
mentioned groups and other stakeholders.

3. Next steps. Can we start promoting this idea? What can we already do?

Finally (I hope you all have reached here), some final questions I
want discuss with Lucy and Kat tomorrow and, as I said before, others
are welcome:

* Can we already start promoting the idea of a local chapter? If so...

* I think we have already to begin to organize an informal meeting  to
discuss the idea of a chapter among members of the mentioned groups,
let's say, at most in the mid November. Maybe during the W3C
conference <http://conferenciaweb.w3c.br/> (17th and 18th of November,
in Rio de Janeiro)? Or maybe a meeting after this event in São Paulo?
Some other place? The majority seems to be in São Paulo.

* As an informal group supporting OKFn goals, what can we already do?
What are the main activities a legal chapter can do and a informal
group cannot? Can I already already invite interested people to this
mailing list, for instance? (besides after I've send a tweet during
OKConf some interesting people have already joined us :)

* Should we start using OKFn wiki in case we start a plan/roadmap for
a Brazilian chapter?

Best wishes!


[1] http://wiki.okfn.org/Chapters_and_Regional_Groups

[2] Brazil has some peculiarities because of its size and most people
involved in the discussions of a Wikimedia Brasil were in São Paulo
(besides there were also people from Brasília, Porto Alegre and other
places). Before writing a roadmap/plan for a Brazilian local chapter,
I believe it's worth reading a report about the Brazil Catalyst


and an answer to the Wikimedia Chapters Committee pointing out some
characteristics of the Brazilian community and why some of us were
opposed of a legal entity in *this particular case*


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