Board Meeting Minutes, July 2021

A meeting of the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) Board was held via video call on Wednesday 28th July 2021 from 18:30 - 19:35

Board members who dialled in: Vanessa Barnett (VEB) (Chair), Helen Turvey (HT) (Vice Chair), Jarmo Eskelinen (JE), Ira Bolychevsky (IB),Tim Hubbard (TH), Johnny West (JW) Maiada El Khalifa (MEK)(Datopian CEO) Joined at 19:00 for 30 minutes

Observers: Cassandra Woolford (CW) (DFO), Meg Foulkes (MF) (BDM),
Apologies: N/A

Welcome & review of minutes & actions [Chair]

The minutes from the May 2021 board meetings were approved.

Leadership Team Update [LT]

CW reported on changes to the team, recruitment for two roles and the start of a Summer intern.

VEB updated on the finalisation of the CEO recruitment process and confirmed that an offer had been made and accepted and the new CEO would start within three months.

The Board approved an internal OKF project for a third Cohort of a fellowship program for Frictionless data.

MF shared news that OKF have been shortlisted for an Open UK award for Leadership in Open Technology. The award ceremony will be held in November at COP26.

Justice Program

MF updated on the progress of the Justice Program.

A new dedicated website was launched,, articulating the mission of the program ‘Working to Ensure that Public Impact Algorithms do no Harm’.

VEB shared her approval of the website.

Strategic Litigation

MF confirmed that following a challenge to the misuse of remote proctoring technology, the Inquiry Chair adopted 7 out of 8 of the recommendations. This secures the definitive guide on the use of this technology in the absence of regulation or legislation, which does not yet exist. The guidelines are suitable for use in other algorithmic technologies.

MF will circulate the report from the Inquiry Chair.

The Justice program will launch its first Advocacy campaign called ‘Open up Data Protection Impact Assessments’

A new training opportunity will commence as a monthly offering which will respond to topical themes.

Business Development

During Q2 a review of Business Development activity took place.

A new hub was created for central management.

The pursuit of funding and commercial opportunities continues.

Finance Update [CW]

CW provided a Financial overview confirming that the organisation is stable. With staff changes, minimal expenditure and the impact of no travel the organisation is building funds for future investment.

Risk Register [CW]

One item was removed, no other changes we highlighted.

Datopian [JE]

The new CEO was welcomed.

It was highlighted that whilst holacracy is the preferred style of management, there still needs to be a board and therefore it is requested that this is managed in the traditional style. A request was made to open the discussion regarding the Strategy of CKAN moving forward.

MEK joined Datopain two weeks ago. She shared some of her initial vision and ideas surrounding Holacracy and confirmed that she has goals for Datopian including reviewing the Financials and Business Development. In response to the CKAN Strategy question, it was highlighted that the monetization of CKAN in balance with the Open Source community needs to be investigated and carefully managed. Open Source business models were suggested in order to be beneficial to the commercial as opposed to something that can cause friction. The offer was made by several board members to have further discussions regarding Open Source revenue.