Chapters meeting with the new OKI CEO and Rufus

Dear all,

I’ve suggested to Open Knowledge chapters leads to have a conversation with Pavel Richter, our new CEO. Pavel is glad to have this conversation and hopefully we can have it at the beginning of September.

Here is the document where we’ll take notes of our conversation.



WE have some

1)Central is not
communicating with us . We have no idea what is happening in the central and we
are not receiving regular updates and information

2)OK Central is
not, not only exclude us from their global activities but also excluse us when
they interact with local organisations in Sweden. For example, Central sends
invitation to Swedish organisatins without involving us, or sending people to
Sweden again without involving us. I can give you basic example: If any Swedish
organisation send request to central, central immediately can involve us and
even direct them to us. We, sometimes hear that there is a conference, seminar
and a person from central is there too!

Sometimes we hear a local organisation got
funding from local organisation and will deliver a service based on OK open
source projects and even had partnership with OK central to deliver the

We feel like, we
are not part of OK Central but we are only PR tool of OK central. If
Microsoft central ignores Microsoft
Sweden, can microsoft Swedne grow in Sweden?

  1. We hear info
    from other people regarding reorganisation and new contracts that is happening
    in Central. We are not informed by central that there is a restructuring going
    on. Why we should hear this from external people?

  2. We are part of
    OKF because we think it is different than commercial organisations. If OK
    Central treats their employees like other commercial organisations, we loose
    our ambition to be in this organisation. OK Central should be careful when they
    ask their employees to be contractors. It is better to have an open discussion
    and ask feedback/ suggestions from central. For example: ‘Dear Ok group, we
    have revenue problems. Either we have to raise x millon usd until y date
    otherwise we have to either reduce salaries 10% for everyone to be able to
    continue to employ everybody or we wonder who is willing to leave and/or can
    leave and find another job ’etc.

If Ok Central
dictates their rules on their employees, we as OKSweden, who received almost
zero support from central, and who is not receiving any money from central,
feel not good. We wonder, than, what is the differentce to work for a
commercial organisation that only cares about profit and cost reduction?

OK Central, for
example, asks questions regarding not important things and in the end our c
omments/ suggestions are ignored. Let me
give you one example:

We almost
explained many times that using a
generic name: ‘Open Knowledge’, is not good idea because when we say we are
from Open Knowlege, no one understands whether it isa movement, organisation,
foundation etc etc. But when we say we are from Open Knowledge Foundation, at
least they know it is a foundation.

We explained our
logo is strange, yes it is taken from Census but Census is not static.

Anyway, we do not
expect our all suggestions to be accepted but we do not think we are responed
or listened properly.

We have very good
plans and we are able to do all these, as long as central communicates with us,
involve us and work for applications, projects with us.


Good to see this kind of feedback expressed publicly.

I expect the solution would be for much more public disclosure from all groups, chapters and central itself. This is what we expect from those we work with locally when putting forward the principles of open knowledge.

In Australia we run Board meetings which are broadcast publicly and then made available for others to see later. We are only just now establishing book keeping facilities but the intention will be to provide read access to anyone. There is a need for some privacy surrounding commercial discussions with supporters, funders, etc. However it should be possible for there to be a policy of public disclosure around agreements once negotiations are settled. Again, this is what we expect in the area of open Government data so it is a standard that groups, chapters and central would be very familiar with.

With regard to communication between Sweden and Central I couldn’t speak on that, but between Australia and Central the communication has been good so far. We do understand that there have been a string of organisational changes within Central, but continue to operate in good faith. I personally have very strong faith in Rufus and have a default position that anyone else may still be coming up to speed with just how open and trustworthy Open Knowledge is, in all its geographies and manifestations.

I’m happy to chat with @pavel_richter and others about this stuff any time :smile:

1 Like

I’m also positively curious to talk to @pavel_richter on how we can move forward with this! :slight_smile:

Lets do it :slight_smile: The last time I really had a chance to catch up with OK people from around the world was at the Munich OK Fest. I’m sure we could organise something more regular via video conferencing and give it a snappy title such as ‘Global Leadership Team Meetup’.

The way things operate here in Australia is most of the real action is at the grass roots level. If such folks had to wait for the Board to do anything useful then nothing would ever happen. I don’t expect this to be any different at a global level so it should be pretty easy for us to setup a time and virtual place to catch up on a regular basis. Internationally, that is.

I’d hope we could adopt English for discussion as that is all I really have to work with. But, I’m very happy to lose sleep and fit in with the time zones of others to get more collaboration between our groups internationally.