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Announcing Rufus Pollock is Joining Viderum

- November 6, 2018 in News, Viderum

Open Knowledge International and Viderum are delighted to announce that Rufus Pollock is joining Viderum as President and CEO. Rufus is a pioneer and leader in the open data community, founder of Open Knowledge, and the original creator of CKAN. Rufus will also be acquiring a majority stake in Viderum and is committed to ongoing investment to accelerate its growth. Viderum is a leading provider of data portals and open data solutions to the public sector. Open Knowledge created Viderum in 2015 to take forward their pioneering work in creating CKAN, the open source software that has powered many of the world’s leading open data portals including, and many others. Rufus will be taking over leadership with transitional support from departing CEO Sebastian Moleski. Rufus said: “I’m incredibly excited about this opportunity. I’m passionate about the potential for open data and data generally to transform government, enterprise and the non-profit sector. Thanks to the great work by Sebastian and the team, Viderum has grown steadily over the years. I’m committed to continuing and accelerating that work.” Vicky Brock, Board Member of Open Knowledge International which set up Viderum in 2015 and remain active stewards and stakeholders in CKAN and Viderum, said: “We’re delighted to have Rufus back involved in this way. Rufus has a great vision both for the technology and for the broader data ecosystem, and we’re very excited to be part of this next step in developing and accelerating open data.” Sebastian said: “The growth of Viderum over the past three years has shown that an open-source startup can flourish and succeed in the international civic tech space. I’m excited to see Rufus join Viderum and he will be able to capitalize and develop on its strengths to deliver access to open data to everyone worldwide.”   About Viderum
Viderum is an open data solutions provider. Founded as a separate company in 2015, Viderum creates, maintains, and deploys technology for governments, public sector enterprises, and non-profit organizations to manage their data and publish it as open data. About Rufus Pollock
Dr Rufus Pollock is a researcher, technologist and entrepreneur. He has been a pioneer in the global Open Data movement, advising national governments, international organisations and industry on how to succeed in the digital world. He is the founder of Open Knowledge, a leading NGO with a presence in over 35 countries, empowering people and organizations with access to information so they can create insight and drive change. Formerly, he was the Mead Fellow in Economics at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge. He has been the recipient of a $1m Shuttleworth Fellowship and is currently an Ashoka Fellow and Fellow of the RSA. He holds a PhD in Economics and a double first in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge.

Board members wanted!

- February 15, 2018 in Featured, Open Knowledge International

Open Knowledge International (OKI), the international non-profit dedicated to realising open data’s value to society, is looking for people to join our Board of Directors. Background in brief below and full details here.

We want you!

We are seeking passionate people to join a committed and experienced team, to foster and promote our mission and achieve our goals. We are entrusted with holding the vision of the organisation and supporting the Executive Team to deliver with excellence. Our team provides independent advice, robust governance, and the ability to effectively challenge and support OKI’s ambitions. Our culture is dynamic, collegial, flexible and always open to new ideas. We are looking for up to three people to join our Board of Directors, and are particularly interested in those with expertise and experience in the following areas:
  • Board Level Experience or Experience as an advocate of the open movement, from grassroots to government
  • Finance
  • Advocacy
  • Media relations
  • Commercial
  • Fundraising
  • Research

Where we’re at

This is an exciting and important point in the journey of OKI and the Board. The organisation has been through significant development over recent years and we are now at point of stability, with good systems in place and great staff driving the mission. Taking the original vision of our Founder and President, Rufus Pollock, and the work done to build upon this by Laura James and Pavel Richter, and now under the leadership of Mark Gibbs and Paul Walsh, we are looking firmly to the future. We need a Board that can drive OKI to the next level of impact and inspiration, with a vision to match. We need people who care about open knowledge and can help OKI to push our agenda through the challenges faced in the world. We need steering and guidance, oversight of strategy and delivery, and those who can help ensure our impact as a organisation and our leading role in the open movement.

The mission?

We seem to be threatened with an increasingly closed world in a whole range of ways. Open Knowledge wants to be part of the solution. OKI shows the value of open data for the work of civil society organisations, provides organisations with the tools and skills to effectively use open data, and makes government information systems responsive to civil society. This is important; this matters; this is necessary for making the world a better place. The basics are done here: this is about supporting and challenging the Leadership team in getting the job done while navigating challenges as they arise. In addition to guidance around strategy, providing accountability, developing policy, fundraising and sustainability, etc, the Board will be looking at how we reframe ‘open’ in the current climate and looking at what’s ahead. OKI is a mixed business model, undertaking projects, utilising commercial opportunities and fundraising for core work. OKI is one organisation with a global network of communities, organisations, advocates, government officials and activists. OKI has a broad reach and is looking at how best to help people in particular sectors & domains – especially Civil Society Organisations – to use open knowledge (definitions, data and process, techniques and world views) to have impact in their fields. Questions to be considered include, ‘what is the right business model and strategy to deliver on mission?’, ‘what are the trade-offs in decisions around future focus?’, and ‘how do we support the Leadership to make the best decisions?’ We are looking for people who can help us figure out what approach we should be taking and then to help us do it. Throughout all this we expect Board members to be advocates and ambassadors for OKI, and we strongly welcome people who can aid us in diversity and inclusivity.

No Board experience? No Problem!

While leadership experience of non-profit or SME is essential for the board as a whole, it would be helpful to also include someone with no previous board experience: we want someone invested in the open movement, and have the capacity to support you in learning the ropes as a Board member. If you believe you have insight to offer and value to add to these kinds of discussions, then we warmly encourage you to apply.

Have a little time to spare?

We are asking for roughly 4 to 5 hours per month, which includes attendance at bi-monthly meetings held in London, for 2 years initially.

Meet the Team

Karin Christiansen
Board Chair Karin Christiansen has been Chair of Open Knowledge since September 2013. Karin is currently doing strategy, leadership and operational consultancy work including at the Open Data Institute. Prior to that she was the General Secretary of the Co-operative Party. She was the founder/CEO of Publish What You Fund, the global campaign on the transparency of aid. Before setting up Publish What You Fund, Karin worked as a Policy Manager at ONE and for many years as Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in the Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure. She joined ODI having worked as an Economist at the Rwandan Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture. Prior to that, Karin worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In 2011 Karin was named as one of the Devex London 40 Under 40 International Development Leaders. Jane Silber
Board Member Jane Silber is the former CEO of Canonical. Canonical produces Ubuntu, the leading open source platform for client, server and cloud computing. Before becoming CEO in 2010, she served as Canonical’s COO from the company’s founding. Jane has over 20 years of business development, strategic leadership, operations and software management experience. An experienced Board member, she currently sits on the boards of Canonical, The Sensible Code Company and Haverford College. She holds an MBA degree from Oxford University, an MSc degree in Management of Technology from Vanderbilt University, and a BSc degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from Haverford College. Helen Turvey
Board Member Helen Turvey (King) is CEO of the Shuttleworth Foundation. She originally joined the Shuttleworth Foundation to define international relations for the organisation, before moving into her present role where she is responsible for all of the Foundations strategic and operational elements. Helen was educated in Europe, South America and the Middle East. With 15 years worth of experience working with international NGOs and agencies, she is driven by the belief that open technologies, content and processes have vast benefits and value to offer education, economies and communities in both the developed and developing worlds. Dr. Tim Hubbard
Board Member Tim Hubbard is Professor of Bioinformatics and Head of Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at King’s College London. He is also Head of Genome Analysis at Genomics England, a company established by the UK government to execute the 100,000 Genome Project, which aims to mainstream the use of whole genome sequence analysis for treatment in the UK National Health Service (NHS). From 1997-2013 he worked at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute where he was one of the organisers of the sequencing of the human genome. In 1999 he co-founded the Ensembl project to analysis, organise and provide access to the human genome and from 2007 led the GENCODE project to annotate the structure of all human genes. He is an advocate of the benefits of open access and open data release for science and society as a whole and has served on multiple national information access advisory boards including Europe PMC (PubMedCentral) the repository for open access publications. He received his BA from Cambridge University (UK), and PhD from Birkbeck College, University of London (UK).


Full details and application process may be found here on our jobs page. Please note that a Board member is a Non-Executive and unpaid position. UK-based applicants are preferred but candidates based within UTC -1 and +4 will also be considered. The closing date for applications is 30th March 2018, to on-board new Board members in time for our June meeting. If you have any questions then do reach out via If you believe in our mission, and are working in a CSO or similar sector where you are using open to further your work, come join us – and help us make your work easier. We would love to hear from you!

Pavel Richter stands down as Chief Executive Officer

- October 16, 2017 in Featured, News, Open Knowledge international Local Groups

It is with a mixture of sadness and gratitude that the Board of Directors announces that Pavel Richter will be leaving his position as Chief Executive Officer of Open Knowledge International as of today. He will be available to support the Board and Leadership Team until the end of 2017, to ensure a smooth transition. Since May 2015, Pavel has played a critical role in the development and success of the organisation. While we will miss him and his thoughtful leadership, we wish him the best of luck in his new endeavours. We want to thank him for more than 2 years of dedicated service which involved many significant accomplishments. He managed the successful transition from our founder to a new Leadership Team. He maintained the position of Open Knowledge International as one of the key stakeholders in the movement for more openness. Together with his Leadership Team, Pavel defined a clear strategy and partnership approach for Open Knowledge International to succeed in an ever-changing funding environment, and stabilized the organisation. Over the coming months, we have asked Mark Gibbs and Paul Walsh to continue to lead the organisation. Mark and Paul will work closely with the Board to deliver the strategy that will carry Open Knowledge International’s mission forward in the coming years. During this transition period, it is the Board’s priority to maintain a stable and effective organisation. Mark will continue to lead the day-to-day operations of the organisation, and Paul will continue to lead and develop product offerings and the commercial strategy for the organisation. Mark and Paul have asked both Stephen Abbott Pugh and Katelyn Rogers to work with them and the Board in supporting our future fundraising efforts, as we define our future strategy. Again, we thank Pavel for the dedication, enthusiasm and motivation he has given to Open Knowledge International over the past couple of years. He will be missed by the staff, Board members and partners alike. We look forward to following the success of his career, and are hopeful and excited for the next chapter of Open Knowledge International as we continue to support our Community, our Chapters and Civil Society Organisations in their important work to open up data and knowledge. If you have any questions or concerns during this transition process, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly at