The Open Knowledge Network has an updated structure as of 20 April 2016, to include the following:
Open Knowledge Foundation
Local Organisers/Incubating Local Groups
Ambassadors/Established Local Group
Open Knowledge Foundation (OKf) is the hub of the Network. OKF runs global projects with multiple stakeholders from within and outside of the Network. It aspires to facilitate dialogue and cooperation between and among nodes of the Network.
Open Knowledge Foundation is a virtual organisation that operates globally with no central office. Our staff currently work from various places around the world: the UK, the US, Europe, Mexico, Canada and Zimbabwe. Some staff are also involved in a volunteer capacity with various Open Knowledge network groups.
OKF supports Network groups and members in different ways for example involving them in ongoing projects, through regular communications, hosting events, etc. (see specific support in the support and responsibility section) . In general OKF does not offer financial support to Network groups, rather, we support groups that are as self sustainable as they can be. Occasionally, we offer small amounts of financial support that can help groups with a specific project or otherwise reach their goals. From time to time we do offer small grants to support capacity building by funding events or participation in an OKF global project. This support is generally available to Network members only.
Local organisers represent Open Knowledge in a specific country. They organize local activities and cooperate with others in their home country, their region, and globally. Local organisers also participate in some of OKF’s global projects and deploy them in their communities. Once a group is established and has been active for at least 9 months, it can move to the next level.
These groups are in a capacity building mode, they are either in their first steps of their involvement in open data and civic tech or building a network within the country to work with.
(Read more about support for Local Organisers below)
Established local groups are local groups that have been working actively in a location for at least 9 months. These groups are led by Ambassadors (who were local organisers in the previous stage), the main point of contacts to OKF. The ambassadors sign a Code of Conduct with OKF and have a responsibility to support their local group. There is no strict limit to the number of ambassadors per country as long as the local group agrees on who will represent them. Ambassadors serve indefinitely on one year terms, and can be replaced at the local group’s discretion.
Established groups have their own governance structures[m][n] and can decide to work on their own projects. These groups take part in Open Knowledge Foundation projects as they see fit and give regular feedback to OKF and the wider Network.
Affiliated groups are established entities/organisations located anywhere in the world. They have their own structure and governance and do not carry an official Open Knowledge name, but they do take active role in Open Knowledge Network and its projects. Affiliates also sign a Code of Conduct with OKF.
Affiliates are an important part of the network. We support and collaborate with affiliates in the same way we do we our own local groups. Affiliates can decide, if they wish, to have an official OK ambassador if the wish.
Open Knowledge Chapters are autonomous and independent non-profit organisations that are officially part of the wider Open Knowledge Network. They are country based and are leading organizations working on open data and open knowledge in their area. Chapters sign an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Open Knowledge Foundation and a representative from each chapter sits on the OKF Advisory Board.
We currently have official Chapters in 11 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, Germany, Greece, Japan, Nepal, Sweden and Switzerland.
Open Knowledge Labs serves as a technology and data wrangling “hub” for the Open Knowledge Network. In this role, it serves as the link between the technical work conducted at Open Knowledge and the communities of civic hackers, data wranglers and ordinary citizens intrigued and excited by the possibilities of combining technology and information for good. The aim is to make government more accountable, culture more accessible and science more efficient and to do so as a community effort.
Labs members focus on making things - whether that’s apps, insights or tools, with strong preference for open data and free or open source software. The software platforms, tools, and databases currently developed by core OKF, for example OpenSpending and OpenTrials, depend on just such a vibrant community of makers and doers to expand and invigorate the open ecosystems across these domains.
Anyone can become a part of Labs, including members of a local/working groups. Visit the Open Knowledge Labs website for more info.
Working Groups are domain-specific groups focused on topical discussion and activity around a given area of open knowledge. Working group are usually a partnership of several organisations that lead the efforts of the group in a coalition. Members can contribute from anywhere in the world. A few of our working groups have grown to include a network of self sustaining local instances of themselves.
Working groups usually center around a central project and help to build it and grow a community around it.
Working Groups we initiate in conjunction with other organisation(s) around an active OKF project. They generally are initiated by OKF, but ideally are lead by a coalition of organisations invested in the success of the group.These are groups in their first year of existence, with an expected commitment from OKF of at least one year and viable funding for community coordination.
Working Groups that are actively operating, either 1. in coordination with an active OKF project or 2. happily on their own with passive support from OKF. They’ve generally been operating for one year or more.
Working Groups that are active, but no longer have a complimentary active OKF project (or otherwise direct connection to OKF) and are seeking a way to sustain themselves in the future without the primary support of OKF.