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.
Actions and minutes were not reviewed
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
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]
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