Board Meeting Minutes, February 2022

A meeting of the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) Board was held via video call on Wednesday 9th February  2022  from 18:40 - 20:10

Board members who dialled in: Vanessa Barnett (VEB) (Chair), Helen Turvey (HT) (Vice Chair), Jarmo Eskelinen (JE), Ira Bolychevsky (IB), Tim Hubbard (TH)

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

Apologies: Johnny West (JW)

Welcome & review of minutes & actions [Chair]

The minutes from the October 2021 and December 2021 board meetings were approved.

CEO Update [RA]

A branding refresh is taking place for the visual communications.

A focus is being made on the expanding of the Network, with a dedicated person managing the coordination.  The network is enthusiastic with many initiatives that are regional and or thematic. The vision is to build an umbrella to welcome everyone, who are ‘really’ doing something that is Open. 

As a continued process for sustainability, there is activity to expand the procurement bids, seeking investment for the innovation of products and services. 

Two areas of exploration are Frictionless Planet: how can OKF serve better with our tools, methodologies, skills and techniques to assist the climate crisis.

Renata acknowledged Johnny West for his contribution.  Two online meetings took place that included 25 spaces for practitioners and foundations to gather for discussion on the progress of fighting climate change.  

Two tech team members are exploring how to redesign the tools to help public administrations and small organisations. There is a potential partnership with Cities Coalition for Digital Rights.

The management of the team has been centralised, in order to gain trust and get to know the team individually. New members will join the team in April including a female developer.  There is also an internal assessment taking place to produce a Technical Road Map. 

Renata shared the draft strategy and timeline for comments, the main areas for focus are the International Network, School of Open Knowledge and Open Knowledge Architecture, which encompasses tools, standards and governance models.  With many overlaps between these areas, they will interlink and flow in a more coherent way.

An internal process is taking place to fix and improve processes and functions within the organisation, with RA and CW working towards monthly and quarterly goals set in a work plan.  A comprehensive review of policies and processes to ensure that they are fit for purpose.

School of Data passed its 10th Birthday. OKF will expand, enhance and nurture the network for future development of training and capacity building.

The project 100+ conversations has started. This is an agile project and already variations are taking place within the project due to the conversations and feedback received. 

Details for the OKF Face to Face in Barcelona were discussed and the board invited to participate with the team and network.  The next steps and the timeline were announced including the launch of the new strategy in May,  the School of Data launch in June and plans for the Network relaunch / OKF Fest in 2023 - depending on funding.

The board wholeheartedly approved the network revival and expressed excitement about the updates and plans for the future. 

A request that the board discuss Web3 and how it will impact AI, Data. The network is a space to debate and calibrate OKF’s principles as well as showcase.  Privacy and preserving sensitive data is paramount and OKF has the opportunity to collaborate on the design of the infrastructure.  

Finance Update [CW]

The Finance update kicked off with the healthy state of the Bank Account. An overview was provided with information flow between OKF and the accountants due to changes in the operations and projects carried out by OKF.

Foreign exchange was discussed and needs further exploration and professional guidance. 

Action: Review the reserve account and policy, to reflect the strategy. 

Action: Find a Financial Advisor

CW reported on the draft closing figures for 2021. The closing figures reflect a positive year, with a considerable increase to the surplus from the budgeted expectations. 

CW reflected on the continued ease of producing the financials due to the robust process’ and procedures. It was noted that the Financials reflect the turnaround.

Risk Register [CW]

Improvements on the risk register are starting to be evident as some risks have now been mitigated, although different risks are likely to emerge and will be reflected in the coming year, especially around foreign exchange. 

Action: GDPR annual compliance for the team.

Datopian [JE]

A review needs to take place on the reporting from Datopian as the Financials do not cover other aspects of the business that the Board are interested in, for example an update on the CKAN stewardship, who are their clients, are they investing in Open Source?. 

Action: Jarmo and Ira to compile a template for reporting requirements.