Board Meeting Minutes, September 2018

A meeting of the Open Knowledge International (OKI) Board was held in London and virtually via GoToMeeting on 26th September 2018 from 18.30 BST.

Present: Tim Hubbard (Chair), Vanessa Barnett (VEB), Ira Bolychevski, Vicky Brock (VAB), Karin Christiansen, Jarmo Eskelinen (from 18.45), Johnny West; Rufus Pollock, Helen Turvey (from 18.40-20.15) (via GoToMeeting)

Observing: Andrew Clarke, Dietmar Walter, Sebastian Moleski (18.30-19.30), Mark Gibbs (until 20.15); Paul Walsh, Cassandra Woolford (until 19.30), Naomi Lillie (minutes) (via GoToMeeting)

After welcoming all present, the Board met exclusively for a few minutes at the start of the meeting before reconvening with observers, after which HT and JE joined.

Review of minutes & actions of last meeting

Actions and minutes were not reviewed


Notes on Agenda Items

Viderum Update

SM presented an update on Viderum and an overview of its new strategy. The Board discussed, seeking clarity around some details and providing immediate feedback. TH thanked SM, and reminded all to provide further feedback via DW.

[19.30 SM & CW exited]

DW presented an assessment of Viderum over the last year since he has been in post, noting that - along with some specific challenges faced by Viderum - many issues are those common to all start-ups. DW concluded that now is the time to consider the most appropriate leadership for the next phase of growth for Viderum. 

DW also advised that this report back to OKI is overshadowed by an offer from another organisation to acquire a majority stake in Viderum. 

The Board discussed the present state of Viderum, the offer, and the likely impact of various scenarios pertaining to accepting, rejecting or negotiating the offer. This included: 

  • Consequences of business and reputation for Viderum and OKI

  • The original purpose of spinning-out CKAN into Viderum to provide longer-term financial returns to OKI

  • CKAN technology and community

  • OKI’s ability to support Viderum financially, in its current set-up or by taking in-house

  • Valuation

  • Present and future leadership

  • The offer in terms of control of Viderum and the motivation behind this

  • Viderum’s ability to raise equity via VC funding as per the strategic plan

MG noted that the organisation making the offer indicated it is currently considering a number of organisations in which to invest, having targetted 4 over the last year.

[MG left 20.15]

DECISION: It was agreed by majority not to act on current Viderum leadership before addressing the offer, with the Viderum Board managing this in the meantime

DECISION: It was agreed to form a subcommittee to investigate options, consider the offer, plan for contingency for whether the bid is accepted or not

ACTION: VAB & VEB to take the lead, working with IB, as Subcommittee

ACTION: RP to provide an hour to Subcommittee to check logic of CKAN elements

ACTION: NL to arrange time for follow-up extraordinary Board meeting


  • DW contract to be renewed for another year

    • ACTION KC: check terms of contract

  • KC requested a strong push from all to reach out to strong potential candidates for the CEO role in light of deadline of 1st October

  • KC noted that core funding is nil in 2 years, and will propose a budget for 2019

  • ACTION VAB: Governance committee to distribute a written update

  • ACTION NL: Minutes of this meeting are not to be distributed until after 18th October

  • Next meeting: Extraordinary meeting TBC

    • November 21st, location TBC

    • Then 16th January, location TBC

[Meeting closed 20.51]

Actions arising

  • VAB & VEB to take the lead, working with IB, as Subcommittee

  • RP to provide an hour to Subcommittee to check logic of CKAN elements

  • NL to arrange time for follow-up extraordinary Board meeting

  • KC to check terms of DW’s contract

  • VAB to distribute a written update of the Governance committee

  • NL to distribute Minutes of this meeting after 18th October