Board Meeting Minutes, February 2023

A meeting of the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) Board was held via video call on Wednesday 1st February 2023  from 19:30 - 20:25

Board members who dialled in: Helen Turvey (HT) (Vice Chair acting as Chair for this meeting), Jarmo Eskelinen (JE), Johnny West (JW),  Ira Bolychevsky (IB), Tim Hubbard (TH)

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

Apologies: Vanessa Barnett (VEB) (Chair)

Welcome & review of minutes & actions [Vice Chair]

The minutes from the December 2022 board meeting were approved.

CEO Update [RA]

RA provided an outline for the plans for Q1 2023 and updated about the communications strategy and identity, sharing for approval an update to the phrase used together with the logo which has changed from  ‘Fair, free and Open Future’ to ‘Fair, sustainable and Open Future, to reflect the Foundation's commitment with the SDGs.

During Q1 2023, there will be a lot of focus on the business plan, which is in test mode. Now with a clear idea of how OKF wants to move forward and in which areas, proposals are being submitted. 

OKF is reviewing the alliance and cultivation process, to include and systematise both client and grant cultivation. In the meantime, innovation and exploration are taking place within the tech team and the administration and delivery of the data literacy area are changing to a different mode. The first newsletter under the new communications staff has been released in January 2023 along with the 2022 annual report. 

OKF is re-engaging alliances with other networks in Europe and beyond, such as EDRI, Communia, and OECD. In other updates,  while still leading the global celebration Open Data Day, the celebration will extend to one full week, the 2023  theme being ‘From Open Data to Our open AI’.

The technical team has been working on making the application of Frictionless Data more accessible and, as a result, a Frictionless Data application, more accessible to the general public, will be launched at FOSDEM in early February.

The Foundation will relaunch the Open Definition project to reignite the debate around openness today and in its future and present the new strategy and team.

Among the strategic steps to be more present and visible, we are closing the negotiations to be a partner in the Festival de Datos (7-9 November 2023, Punta del Este, Uruguay),  OKFN is  organising a full-day pre-event, happening one day before the start of the large conference,  and an invitation is extended to the board to take part on it. The intention is to push the agenda of Openness to the mainstream organisations attending these conferences. OKF will fundraise for support to host this event. The board supports the notion, to use this November event to gather key stakeholders, including Board members and the network as well as OKF team members. 

OKF are part of The New Hanse Initiative run by the Municipality of Hamburg.

Internally OKF plan to have more team members available to represent the organisation and provide media training during this quarter to key staff to o speak on behalf of OKF.

The Board Acknowledged and are in support of the varied initiatives taking place and agreed that the change in the logo from Free to Sustainable is very positive. 

100+ interviews to continue and the OKF communications will likely contact individual board members to have those conversations.

Finance Update [CW]

In advance of the board meeting a draft Reserve Policy was shared with the board to increase the current level of reserves by a small amount to ensure that in the event of going concern no longer being viable, there are enough funds to cover the liabilities of the organisation. The proposed reserve policy was approved by the board. 

CW to provide more detail regarding Treasury deposits. 

CW shared the 2022 YE draft results. 

CW highlighted the reasons for the variance of £20k against the budget set in 2021. 

The YE 2022 audit is due to take late February. 

There is a VAT query underway which CW will inform the board of once more information is received. 


Piece of homework for the Board. All board members are to think about who they would like to see on the board. Important to have new perspectives and ideas.

Regarding upcoming events, RA will keep the board informed, especially about the Festival De Datos and the potential participation of the board, as well as connecting interested board members with the New Hanse Initiative.  RA will continue to send the monthly report, including any specific questions from the team to members of the Board