Board Meeting Minutes, September 2023

A meeting of the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) Board was held via video call on Wednesday 6th September 2023  from 18:30 - 19:55

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

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

Apologies: Jarmo Eskelinen (JE), Johnny West (JW)


Welcome & review of minutes & actions [Chair]

Minutes from the previous meeting on the 3rd May 2023 were approved by the board.


CEO Update [RA]

A small delegation of team members were in Estonia, representing the OKFN at the Open Government Summit, and hosted a pre conference event in alliance with Open Knowledge Finland, Open Knowledge Estonia, Open Knowledge Sweden and OKFN. The event's main topic was secrecy as a threat to openness as well as the hijack of openness as a concept by actors and institutions not truly open. The event also hosted  members of different communities, including Wikimedia and Transparency International for a Tech fair.  OKFN fundraised for this event, and were able to cover the costs with sponsorship. 

In the last month, the highlight has been the tech services promotion. The tech team has been involved in different demos and public talks to international organisations. A heavy promotion of our tech services led to starting different conversations that are hoped will lead to business opportunities. 

During the last six months we have worked on general materials to support the commercial services promotion and pitches. We have also worked on community outreach and knowledge development around procurement.  OKFN is currently waiting on the result from three proposals.  

Other Projects

Open Definition 

As discussed before, we have reignited the process to revise and redraft, if needed, the Open Definition. Events took place earlier in the year online and in Costa Rica and the conversation moved to a different set of people, digital rights activists mostly and from a different generation from the one that drafted the open definition, re-evaluating it from today's perspective, but also adding things that will make it resilient for the future. The conversation has been constructive and participatory. OKFN is in contact with other actors in the Open space willing to discuss these topics. 

For the School of Data,  there is a development, which is an alliance with the School of Data in Spanish and the School of Data in Portuguese.  The School of Data in Portuguese is a project of Open Knowledge Brazil. And the School of Data in Spanish is a project of a Mexican NGO.  The collaboration is to have an offering together and to participate in a call for proposals and coordinate updates on materials.

OKFN is kicking off a new project around licences and the Open Data Commons. The outline is to see what a new, compatible with the concerns of today's open data licence will look like. A licence that will address both the privacy issues, the compensation issues, and the copyright issues. There is already a paper as a base of it and the work will be completed by an external lawyer, currently dedicated to the project at CNRS, Ramya Chandrasekhar.

The board asked whether there is an external person reviewing proposals for a different perspective. RA confirmed no.  The board has supported proposals on occasion, as well as the network. There is a process in which several people are involved, but currently no external review takes place.  


Finance Update [CW]

The financial forecast is a spend of 80% of the budget. 

The 2022 YE A/cs have been finalised, signed by OKFN and are awaiting signature and submission by the accountants. 

The audit for 2024 has been diaried.