Board Meeting Minutes, January 2020

A meeting of the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) Board was held in London and virtually via Google Hangouts on Wednesday 29th January 2020 from 18:30 - 20:45.

Board members present: Tim Hubbard (TH)
Board members who dialled in: Helen Turvey (HT) (Vice Chair), Rufus Pollock (RP), Vicky Brock (VAB), Johnny West (JW), Ira Bolychevsky (IB)
Observers: Catherine Stihler (CEO) (CS), Cassandra Woolford (FM) (CW), Meg Foulkes (BDM) (MF)
Apologies: Jarmo Eskelinen (JE), Vanessa Barnett (VEB) (Chair)

Welcome & review of minutes & actions [Vice Chair]

Helen (Vice Chair) gave apologies from Vanessa (Chair) who at the last minute could not attend the meeting.

All board members agreed that NO board meetings or ANY calls that take place with the CEO and / or any board members should be recorded. This board meeting was not recorded.

October 2019 minutes were approved. It was requested that a conversation around Theory of Change was minuted - see AOB.

CEO Update [CS]

Outline from CS on the last 3 months’ activities. Headlines being cashflow extension to Q4 2021, keynote address at Yale University, new contracts, staff development and team building, a new team structure and organigram with a new logo and website launch in February 2020.

2020 Vision - Strategy update
CS reviewed the achievements from 2019 and mapped those out against the agreed strategy and framework of people, policies, places and partnership. CS provided priority actions for 2020 with clear KPIs aligned with the agreed strategy and framework for delivery. CS shared the PAAG, organigram and continuum.

Action: CS will add financial targets to the KPIs for 2020.

Business Development [MF]

MF shared with the board an update on the activities of Business Development that have occurred in the last 3 months. MF outlined three new projects that are currently being developed and the client management activities. MF set out the Q1 2020 goals.

MF also provided a further presentation focusing on the Law and Data project which is currently underway. MF set out the reasoning behind the project and the potential scope of the project and how it relates to our mission, vision and strategy.

The course created by Open Knowledge Foundation will be publicised on the website and blog posts will follow once training is underway.

Finance Update [CW]

CW gave an overview of the Q4 PAAG. CW provided details surrounding the cashflow extension and also the expected surplus for 2019. Financials for 2019 are below targeted budgets set out in 2018. OKF accounts are being supplied for the annual audit on the 10th February 2020.

CW requested that the draft accounts be circulated by email in March, with an extra meeting for any questions to be raised in relation to the 2019 accounts. This is in preparation to sign off the accounts in the April Board meeting. The board agreed.

CW requested that employees receive a cost of living increase in April as staff have not received an increase since 2016. The increase is included in the 2020 operational budget approved in October 2019. The Board approved.

CKAN Stewardship - FYI

A paper was circulated with the board pack providing an overview and setting out the activities that have taken place since June 2019 and the goals for 2020.

Datopian [VAB/CS]

OKF and Datopian relationship - RP left the meeting for the discussion. A paper was circulated with the board pack outlining the background and issues that require resolution.

The CEO proposed 4 recommendations

  • The Board approve Adam Kariv’s payment on the condition that the accounts and valuation are externally verified to protect OKF’s interests
  • The Board appoint an observer in addition to the full member to the Viderum/Datopian Board
  • The Board receive as part of the Board pack quarterly updates and comprehensive accounts from the Viderum/Datopian CEO
  • The Board supports a formal annual reporting process every July Board meeting by Viderum/ Datopian CEO and COO

The Board agreed that:

  • A formal annual reporting process takes place every July Board meeting by Viderum/Datopian CEO and COO
  • The Board receives as part of the Board pack quarterly updates and comprehensive accounts from the Viderum/Datopian CEO
  • The Board approved Adam Kariv’s / Atomatic agreement can be actioned without external advice.
  • An agreed valuation of Datopian should take place twice a year and reported to OKF

Action: VAB / HT / VEB to discuss and action before the next meeting, to appoint an observer in addition to the full member to the Viderum/Datopian Board.

Managing Board Interests [Chair]

A paper was circulated with the board pack and approved by the Board. All Board members agreed to provide their Register of interests forms in line with the rules governing our annual audit procedure.

Risk Register [CW]

CW provided an update on the risk register.
All risks are being actively monitored by the team. A GDPR review is outstanding. No new risks have been added.


A discussion took place surrounding the agreed strategy and Theory of Change. The discussion included - what is the vision, what does the better world look like, how will the Theory of Change develop over the next few years?

CS referred to the continuum, the agreed strategy and what had been achieved so far. The Board confirmed (apart from RP who dissented) that it does not want to change the strategy and no course of correction is required in terms of activities. The CEO needs space to deliver and for the strategy to run and be tested.

Action: CS in July 2020 will review
What has OKF learnt, what is OKF not doing.
Where is the impact and what are those results?

The Board will have the opportunity to review the learnings presented by CS and there will be space for discussion. This does not change the agreed strategy.

Meeting closed at 20.45