CEO Executive Assistant

“We are looking for an early career open knowledge enthusiast to assist OKFN CEO in the implementation of an updated global strategy.  Reporting directly to the CEO, the Executive Assistant provides executive support in a one-on-one working relationship. The Executive Assistant will serve as the primary point of contact for internal and external constituencies and International Network Members.

The executive assistant will liaise with staff, organise and coordinate executive outreach and external relations efforts and oversee special projects, in collaboration with the Communications Coordinator and the Director of Operations. 

The Executive Assistant must be creative and enjoy working within a remote, international environment that is mission-driven, results-driven and community oriented. The ideal individual will have the ability to exercise good judgement in a variety of situations, with strong written and verbal communication, administrative, and organisational skills, and the ability to maintain a realistic balance among multiple priorities. 

The Executive Assistant will have the ability to work independently on special projects, such as the Open Data Day, the team summits, but also complete a broad variety of administrative tasks for the CEO, including: managing an extremely active calendar of appointments; completing expense reports; composing and preparing correspondence that is sometimes confidential; arranging complex and detailed travel plans, itineraries, and agendas; and compiling documents for travel-related meetings….”

100+ Conversations to inspire our new Direction – Open Knowledge Foundation blog

“It has been almost two decades since OKF was founded. Back then, the open movement was navigating uncharted waters, with hope and optimism. We created new standards, engaged powerful actors and achieved change in government, science and access to knowledge and education, unleashing the power of openness, collaboration and community in the early digital days. You were a key mind in shaping the movement with your ideas and contributions.

Now, the World changed again. Digital power structures are in the hands of a few corporations, controlling not only the richest datasets but also what we see, read and interact with. The climate crisis is aggravated by our digital dependencies. Inequality is rampant and the benefits of the digital transition are once again, unevenly distributed. We transferred racism and prejudices of the past to the technologies of the future, and the permissionless openness we enabled and encouraged led in some cases to new forms of extractivism and exploitation.

What is the role of Open Knowledge Foundation to face the new challenges of “open” and the new threats to a “knowledge society and economy”? Which are the most urgent and important areas of action? Who are the partners we need to bring in to gain relevance and traction? Who are the allies we need to get closer to? Priorities? Areas of opportunity? Areas of caution?

We are meeting 100+ people to discuss the future of open knowledge, as we write our new strategy, which will be shaped by a diverse set of visions from artists, activists, academics, archivists, thinkers, policymakers, data scientists, educators and community leaders from all over the World, to update and upgrade our path of action and direction to meet the complex challenges of our times….”

100+ conversations to inspire our new direction

“We are meeting 100+ people to discuss the future of open knowledge, as we write our new strategy, which will be shaped by a diverse set of visions from artists, activists, academics, archivists, thinkers, policymakers, data scientists, educators and community leaders from all over the World, to update and upgrade our path of action and direction to meet the complex challenges of our times.

We believe you can help us understanding who could make a difference in this conversation….”

Working with UNHCR to better collect, archive and re-use data about some of the world’s most vulnerable people – Open Knowledge Foundation blog

“The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is a global organisation ‘dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people’.

Around the world, at least 82 million people have been forced to flee their homes. Many of these people are refugees and asylum seekers. Over half are internally displaced within the border of their own country. The vast majority of these people are hosted in developing countries. Learn more here. 

The Raw Internal Data Library (RIDL)  supports this strategy by creating a safe, organized place for UNHCR to store its data , with metadata that helps staff find the data they need and enables them to re-use it in multiple types of analysis. 

Since 2018, the team at Open Knowledge Foundation have been working with the RIDL team to build this library using CKAN –  the open source data management system. 


OKF spoke with Mariann Urban at UNHCR Global Data Service about the project to learn more. …”

Strengthening digital infrastructure and open source | Sovereign Tech Fund

It is a declared goal of the German government to strengthen digital sovereignty, i.e., the self-determined use and design of digital technologies and systems by individuals, private organizations and the state. Of particular importance here are the foundational technologies of the Internet, such as digital infrastructures.

Examples of digital infrastructure include code libraries or standardized protocols used by developers to write and test application software. These trusted components ensure that information can be translated freely from user to machine and back again. Available, accessible, and secure digital infrastructure is the foundation for digitalization in the public interest.

The creation of a new funding program specifically for this software domain wouldsupport the development and maintenance of digital infrastructure.

Mission Statement:

The Sovereign Tech Fund supports the development, scaling and maintenance of digital and foundational technologies. The goal of the fund could be to sustainably strengthen the open source ecosystem, with a focus on security, resilience, technological diversity, and the people behind the code.

Our approach

In the course of a feasibility study, the needs and possibilities of such a funding program will be examined. The primary goal of such a funding program would be to maintain, scale, and secure digital infrastructure. The open source ecosystem should thus be maintained and strengthened to ensure not only secure and resilient digital infrastructures, but also sustainability and competitiveness in general.

The idea is modeled on the OTF Core Infrastructure Fund and can learn from it as well as other programs, such as the Prototype Fund, and adopt practices that have already been tried and tested.

Meet the organisations receiving Open Data Day 2021 mini-grants – Open Knowledge Foundation blog

“The Open Knowledge Foundation is happy to announce the list of organisations from all over the world who have been awarded mini-grants to help them celebrate Open Data Day on Saturday 6th March 2021.

Thanks to the generous support of this year’s mini-grant funders –Microsoft, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Mapbox, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, Latin American Open Data Initiative, Open Contracting Partnership and Datopian – the Open Knowledge Foundation will be giving out a total of 61 mini-grants to help organisations run great online or in-person events on or around Open Data Day.

We received hundreds of mini-grant applications this year and were greatly impressed by the quality of the events being organised all over the world.

Learn more about Open Data Day, discover events taking place online or in your country and find out how to connect with the global open data community by checking out the information at the bottom of this blogpost.

Here are the organisations who will receive mini-grants for each of this year’s four themes:…”

Launching the Net Zero Challenge: a global pitch competition about using open data for climate action – Open Knowledge Foundation blog

“Open Knowledge Foundation is excited to launch the Net Zero Challenge, a global pitch competition about using open data for climate action. 

With a new administration in the USA and the COP26 meeting in the UK, 2021 will be a crucial year for the global climate response.

Let’s see how open data can play its part. 

Tell us how your idea or project uses open data for climate action – and you could win a $1,000USD in the first round of the Net Zero Challenge. …”

Launching the Open Data Day 2021 mini-grant scheme – Open Knowledge Foundation blog

“We are thrilled to announce that once again the Open Knowledge Foundation is giving out mini-grants to support people hosting Open Data Day events across the world.

Open Data Day is an annual celebration of open data taking place for the eleventh time on Saturday 6th March 2021. Everyone can take part as groups from around the globe create local events to show how they use open data in their communities….”

Launching the Open Data Day 2021 mini-grant scheme – Network and Community / Open Data Day – Open Knowledge Forums

“I am thrilled to announce that once again the Open Knowledge Foundation is giving out mini-grants to support people hosting Open Data Day events across the world.

We have 50 mini-grants of $300 USD each to give out this year and we are providing mini-grants to both:

Real world events in your location, and
Online events to connect with community members and people around the world virtually

To be awarded a mini-grant, events must fit into one of the four tracks:

Environmental data
Tracking public money flows
Open mapping
Data for equal development

Find out more in our launch blog post:…”

WANTED: Open Knowledge Foundation seeks visionary leader to steer the world towards a free, fair, and open society – Open Knowledge Foundation blog

“You are a charismatic, innovative champion of openness, and a strategist with leadership skills and experience of engaging highly motivated teams and funders.

We are the Open Knowledge Foundation, building a better future where knowledge is shared so all can live happier and healthier lives.

Together, we will spread the global message of openness and establish new rules to counter the unaccountable tech companies monopolising the digital age. We will tear down the artificial constructs built between communities that stem the tide of progress and create greater inequality. And we will address the future of AI and algorithms, intensify our work on frictionless data, and create fruitful, exciting partnerships with a growing list of global organisations….”

Brits demand openness from government in tackling coronavirus – Open Knowledge Foundation blog

“A new opinion poll has revealed that people across the UK want openness from the government as it tackles the coronavirus pandemic.

The Survation poll for the Open Knowledge Foundation found that in response to COVID-19, people want data to be openly available for checking, they are more likely to listen to expert advice from scientists and researchers, and they oppose restricting the public’s right to information.

The poll found:

97% believe it is important that COVID-19 data is openly available for people to check
67% believe all COVID-19 related research and data should be made open for anyone to use freely
64% are now more likely to listen expert advice from qualified scientists and researchers
Only 29% believe restricting the public’s right to information is a necessary emergency measure
63% believe a government data strategy would have helped in the fight against COVID-19….”

OKFN Open Science Mailing List will close on 31 Jan 2020 – where to next?

“Open Knowledge Foundation will be closing down their mailman lists by January 31st, 2020….Instead they will focus on offering a Discourse forum ( which already has an open science category:

There are two things for members of this list to think about: 1 – where are the important conversations on open science happening now? What new lists should we join as this one closes and are there gaps that need to be filled? 2 – where to preserve the list archives? Open Knowledge Foundation do not plan to do so publicly and there is value (I think) in preserving conversations dating back 12 years to a time when open science was at a completely different level of development. If anyone has ideas or could help with archiving that would be great – I have asked for a copy to be kept but I don’t know in what form it will arrive!

As a very early member of this list I think it played an important role in developing an open science community that has spun into many active and exciting communities around the world. Moving on is not a bad thing and there are so many more communication channels to connect on open science topics than back in 2008 – I’d love to hear your recommendations! …

The decision has come about for three reasons:

 1. Managing the mailing lists and keeping the infrastructure up to date represents an effort in terms of resources and administration time that Open Knowledge Foundation is unable to meet going forward.

2. GDPR: EU legislation now requires us to have an active and current knowledge of the data held on our websites, as well as the consent of the subscribers regarding the use of their personal data, to ensure GDPR compliance. Unfortunately, Mailman mailing lists don’t comply with this Directive, which means we can’t use this tool any more.

3. We are currently implementing a new strategy within Open Knowledge Foundation which will focus the organisation on several key themes, namely Education, Health and Work. We want to keep fostering conversations but let groups choose what the best platform is for that.”