A meeting of the Open Knowledge International (OKI) Board was held in London and virtually via GoToMeeting on 17th January 2018.
Present: Karin Christiansen (Chair), Tim Hubbard
Observing: Andrew Clarke, Mark Gibbs, Paul Walsh, Dietmar Walter, Sebastian Moleski (part); Naomi Lillie (minutes) (via GoToMeeting)
Apologies: Jane Silber, Helen Turvey
Actions from previous meetings were reviewed and updated. It was noted good progress had been made.
Actions from last meeting:
MG & PW to follow up with HT to look at environment and opportunities [DONE]
MG & PW to discuss alternatives to OKFestival with OK-Greece [DONE]
NL to add Event as regular item on Board agenda, Leadership Team to provide regular updates through additional discussion [DONE]
MG and PW to speak with Sebastian about furthering Viderum/OKI alignment [DONE]
KC to discuss with Dietmar Walter how OKI Board should relate to MG and Dietmar and how to engage, then speak with Sebastian Moleski [DONE]
JS to draft directive for Dietmar Walter for the next 3-6m, to consider Viderum’s long term strategy as a critical assessment, which may also include its brand, revenue, technical development, how to make Viderum work well for OKI, and an analysis of opportunities and approach with all options on table. JS to then share with rest of Board for agreement [DONE]
All to regroup and consider in Thessaloniki in May (NL will add reminder to agendas - DONE)
KC & NL to meet to discuss Board recruitment [DONE]
NL to look at previous minutes to get online, indicate that which is deleted from the public ones [IN PROGRESS]
PW & MG to propose how to be more transparent online about funding [DONE]
Additional ACTION: KC & PW to connect re 360 Giving approach, including how to make this public
NL to change dates of Board meetings to 3rd week of every other month [DONE]
NL to reach out to OD, ON, and others in our space for future meetings, and remember Paul ST [IN PROGRESS]
Actions from previous meetings:
Board to review & sign off proposed core funds budget for 2018
MG to speak with team and Chapters re OKFestival to establish appetite for more community ownership [DONE]
KC to approach President re OKFestival [SUPERSEDED]
KC to check job descriptions of MG and PW, and to have regular conversations [IN PROGRESS]
NL to arrange briefing for TH with Stephen Abbott Pugh [DONE]
MG to remove Company Secretary through Companies House [DONE]
JS and MG to introduce Dietmar Walter to HT and invite to the January Board meeting [DONE]
MG to introduce Dietmar to Board by email [DONE]
KC & NL to follow up re Board recruitment, with new approach [DONE]
MG & PW to reach out to Adessium re feedback on rejected proposal as well as future funding possibilities [SUPERSEDED]
MG to send HT Ford contact [DONE, NL]
KC welcomed and introduced DW.
Sebastian presented an overview of 2017 to the Board, including comparing to 2016, and looked ahead to 2018.
The Board sought further information, including pertaining to billable hours, recurring revenue within projects, translating sign-ups to revenue, and variability of incoming revenue across quarters
In addition to the financial figures, SM noted that Viderum had staff changes over the year
In relation to questions asked about Viderum’s website, SM stated that in-person communication produces optimum lead generation and conversion to revenue
Profit was made overall
The OKI loan remain
The Board stated that end-of-year results were better than was expected at the end of summer, and thanked and congratulated SM on this achievement as well as for the productive synergy between Viderum and OKI in terms of project work. PW also congratulated SM on this achievement.
The Board suggested some potential opportunities for Viderum (ie that WHO are changing their CIO, and UK GEOspatial commission is about to release its data)
ACTION: KC & SM to connect re IATI opportunity
ACTION: AC & SM to connect re ON opportunity
ACTION: TH & SM to connect re Data for Health opportunity
DM offered his reflections on his first months’ engagement, including that start-ups are not easy, and that there has been impressive revenue growth as well as retention and attraction of clients. Sustaining growth is the priority - moving from incoming lead generation to proactive and aggressive marketing involving the whole team - following by scaling up. DM congratulated SM.
It was agreed that Viderum should be addressed on the agenda 3 times per year minimum, with SM attending to present and any changes to this agreed between the Viderum and OKI Boards. It was noted that staying in good communication at the start would be beneficial, and was also agreed that all parties learnt from this experience. This agreement is to be reviewed as relevant from both sides
SM noted that, despite logistical difficulties in attending these meetings, attendance is useful, particularly regarding changes around OKI positioning in markets which affect how Viderum is presented.
KC confirmed that SM is welcome and SM stated the desire that Viderum helps OKI and is a part of its vision
DW is welcome to attend all OKI Board meetings, particularly as his experience is very relevant for reviews of the performance of Chief Executives
MG and PW gave an overview of the organisation.
MG presented an update on the operations of OKI, including provisional year-end figures for 2017 (and auditors are lined up to assess these), reporting a significant increase in commercial work at the end of ’17, highlighting currency fluctuations resulting in gains or losses depending on when funds are converted, and that OKI is financially secure for the next 14 months which should push out as we progress. MG also noted that Viderum is working in a way that enables the loan to be paid back. The Board congratulated MG and team for the year-end figures being ready for this meeting.
The Board discussed the updating of role descriptions for MG and PW in light of their new responsibilities, and the types of leadership models that could be considered longer term bearing in mind current skillsets.
ACTION: KC, MG & PW to draft proposal for Leadership approach with revised job descriptions, to include metrics, to be delivered in February
PW presented the opportunities identified for OKI, including around fundraising, commercial, business development, communications and strategy.
ACTION: NL to arrange next Fundraising Subcommittee meeting
ACTION: PW to show full Commercial funds raised in fundraising pipeline
The Board did not require more detail than the information circulated in advance, which was a brief update of each project at OKI, other than an update on the status of the Open Knowledge Summit which MG gave and included feedback from Open Knowledge Greece, interest from other Chapters, funding and partnerships.
PW and MG confirmed there was nothing to highlight from the register.
This agenda point was deferred.
KC presented an update on progress. The Board discussed how to attract interest from people not already known directly, the website, the Advisory Council and the President. It was agreed that updates are needed to the website but not as a prerequisite to the recruitment drive, for the sake of pragmatic expediency; likewise discussion of the President’s role on the Board was deferred to after the recruitment drive.
ACTION: KC/NL to ask Rachel of MySociety for advice
ACTION: KC and NL to coordinate recruitment process with Shireen Kovoor (Head of HR)
The proposal for dissemination and expectations around meeting materials was accepted. The following was also agreed: the Board will read materials when sent in advance so there is more space for dialogue at the meetings; updates from leadership should be points for discussion rather than a review of information; and a proposal about virtual meetings will be kept under advisement, allowing for occasional virtual meetings once new members onboarded. KC & TH confirmed their attendance at March, July, September and November meetings. It was agreed to postpone the May meeting to early June, to allow space around the Network Summit event.
ACTION: NL to issue poll for dates suitable for a Board meeting in late May/early June, to replace 16th May meeting
ACTION: NL to prompt for attendance a month before future meetings (and add a standing item to materials dissemination agreement)
ACTION: KC to write to JS & HT re March attendance and future agreed meetings
Next meeting: 21st March, 18.30-20.30, Venue TBC
KC & PW to connect re 360 Giving approach, including how to make this public
KC & SM to connect re IATI opportunity
AC & SM to connect re ON opportunity
TH & SM to connect re Data for Health opportunity
KC, MG & PW to draft proposal for Leadership approach with revised job descriptions, to include metrics, to be delivered in February
NL to arrange next Fundraising Subcommittee meeting
PW to show full Commercial funds raised in fundraising pipeline
KC/NL to ask Rachel of MySociety for advice about Board recruitment
KC and NL to coordinate recruitment process with Shireen Kovoor (Head of HR)
NL to issue poll for dates suitable for a Board meeting in late May/early June, to replace 16th May meeting
NL to prompt for attendance a month before future meetings (and add a standing item to materials dissemination agreement)
KC to write to JS & HT re March attendance and future agreed meetings