Board Meeting Minutes, December 2022

A meeting of the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) Board was held via video call on Wednesday 7th December  2022  from 18:30 - 20:15

Board members who dialled in: Vanessa Barnett (VEB) (Chair), Helen Turvey (HT) (Vice Chair), Jarmo Eskelinen (JE), Johnny West (JW), Tim Hubbard (TH)

Observers: Renata Avila (RA) (CEO), Cassandra Woolford (CW) (DOF)

Apologies: Ira Bolychevsky (IB)

Welcome & review of minutes & actions [Chair]

The minutes from the 7th September 2022 board meeting were approved.

VB positively acknowledged the new style reports.

CEO Update [RA]

RA set out a new way of updating the board by presenting monthly reports of activities taking place. The newsletter will be reactivated in January 2023. 

Board meeting focus to be big picture, the health of the organisation and direction of the organisation and questions to be followed up.

The consolidation process is complete, silos have been dismantled, and the team are aligned with the strategy and understand what other team members are working on. A diverse team with a good north/south balance. A new communications person joined in October. The team is stable, creative and motivated.   

During November the Network was successfully relaunched.  Small consistent pieces through the year enabled the launch of a Project Repository and a Global Directory, but more than that, the community as well as the chapters have been engaged and are keen to collaborate on projects.  From the launch, a huge interest from new actors in the open space was activated.    

The project repository will be opened up to other organisations that embrace our principles.

Two new strategic areas, Communications and Business Development and Partnerships. 

Both areas have a strategy and a designated person to enhance, consolidate and deliver the organisation's mission. 

The next stage is to increase our presence, and build trust and visibility with new ideas, projects and proposals. 

The division of our work is in Literacies, Communities, Standards and Tools. We are already incubating something new in the tools area.  The tech team are creative and there is internal allocation for something new to evolve.  Our focus on Standards has been absent, there are important conversations happening with no one present from the open movement. With caution, we want to have a voice and have conversations with our communities. 

New hoodies are in the pipeline for the team, chapters and partners.

New tagline: Better open than closed, better together than alone.

RA shared Metrics created to measure the impact of the organisation, covering aspects of institutional, advancing the mission and measuring the global impact.  The metrics will provide accountability and a way to share achievements or failures in a way that can be measured. 

The intention is to report on the metrics data by June 2023. 

RA has committed to fundraising and cultivating new clients to continue the sustainability of the organisation and to cover the increased budget request.

A question was asked about the work expected to take place on Standards, pointing out how time-consuming it is. 

RA  shared that firstly the aim will be to look back on what happened with Open Licensing Standards, then reshuffle the Open Definition counsel, which is the most visited website and responsibility is required. The second focus that RA is seeking funding for is Open Standards for climate data and climate metadata.  JE offered to partner in the efforts. 

A suggestion in addition to Measuring impact is that outputs could also be measured. 

Ongoing operational metrics. Case studies are also valuable for providing metrics. 

Also discussed was the Contribution to Change - outcome mapping 

Based on Measuring what you have done and what you hope to see in the future. 

A discussion surrounding using the word access instead of sharing!

RA intends to set up the infrastructure to reactivate the conversations and access the reports and policies.  

RA acknowledged the support from JW in reference to a dinner hosted by JW to discuss 

complex topics on Climate in advance of a conference attended by RA and two OKF developers. RA confirmed the guidance was very useful. 

The refreshed Annual report will be published in January 2023 and during the year we expect to be more present on different social networks. 

Finance Update [CW]

CW reported on Financials to date and the forecast for the end of the year. 

As of the end of October 2022, the organisation is in a similar position to 2021 in terms of equity, despite 2022 being a year of Investment and internal focus.  

The forecasted actuals deviate slightly from the budget, however, the value is minimal. 

The 2023 budget was proposed, with an increase from 2022 of £40k, this was considered acceptable given the inflation increases and was approved by the board. 

Risk Register [RA]

A focus on fundraising to attract new funders and partners will be paramount for 2023. 

Currency and FX issues are being actively addressed with a proposal for an FX policy to be discussed at the next board meeting. A suggestion to request contracts are paid in the currency favourable to OKF. CW is obtaining information from the organisational bank about the options available. 

RA is currently reviewing with legal guidance our position in Portugal in relation to permanent establishment. 

Minimal changes on the majority of risks, the risks are being monitored and actioned.

Datopian [JE]

Currently, there is zero collaboration, no requests and no conflict. We do not benefit from the alliance however there is competition. 

CKAN has received funding for the civic data ecosystem project. It will issue a report of recommendations.  An external actor will take care of the issues, with enough resources. 

The report by IB, could be shared with the consultants. JE will give access to the report and cover letter to RA. RA will request the Tech Lead share relevant details with the consultant. 

The CEO and board will approach Datopian CEO in January to discuss the future of the relationship for mutual benefit and agility.


F2F for the next Board meeting in Paris on the 1st of February 2023. 

Tentative agenda items: New Board members, Metric and Communications.


JE: Send CKAN report to Renata

RA: to share the report with the Tech lead to pass to Consultants

JE: To contact Datopian to discuss future