Helen Turvey

Shuttleworth Foundation Trustee meeting minutes – Year End 2011

Posted in Reporting, SF Trustee minutes by Helen Turvey on April 11, 2012

Financials and detailed reports will be included in the forth coming Annual Report:





L V Ferns – representing Lumbro Nominees (Jersey) Limited

H J Greig – representing Lumbro Nominees (Jersey) Limited

R Prosser (by telephone)


H Turvey (by telephone)

K Gabriels (by telephone)

M Shuttleworth (by telephone)

S Kirkman (by telephone)

A Deisveld (by telephone)


Mr Ferns acted as Chairman of the meeting and recorded the minutes.


The Chairman noted that as a quorum of directors was present agreeing to accept short notice of the meeting and its purpose, the meeting be deemed to be duly convened and constituted.


It was noted that each participant to the meeting had been provided with copies of the Financial Statements for the year ending 2011 along with the approved Budgets for 2012, copies of which are attached hereto and deemed to form part of these Minutes as if set out herein at length.

Ms Gabriels (“KG”) reported that it had been anticipated that the Trust would receive a 30% stake in the Siyavula SA Pty project. It was however noted that Mark Honer’s Fellowship had come to and end and that he was actively seeking (and almost secured) external funding and as a consequence the Trust’s holding in Siyavula SA Pty project would now only be in the region of 22.5%.

KG then discussed in general terms the budget. It was noted that the new operating model had now been working for two years and that savings had been made at the entity line. It was further noted that the Isle of Man entity absorbed the majority of the costs as Fellows were contracted through this entity.

KG also noted that there would going forward be extra costs associated with the Principe project.

KG then noted that the 2011 spend was only 57% of the budget and that only nine flash grants had been awarded which was a somewhat lower figure than had been initially expected.


Mrs Turvey (“HT”) provided an update and overview of all the Fellows and their work to date, full details of which can be located on the Shuttleworth Foundation website and wiki, with certain information on the public site and the Fellows personal blogs.

HT commented that a review was going to be undertaken to establish the spending pattern of a Fellow on a three year cycle. KG noted that Fellow contributions could vary depending on whether or not they were on the March or September intake cycle.

HT noted that Mark Horner had had a good last six months and had gained traction with the South African Department of Education who had printed 1.8m openly licensed text books. Mr Shuttleworth (“MS”) asked if there were any other countries doing this and HT said whilst there are pockets of activity, no country has. Mr Greig (“JG”) then asked what the plan for sustainability for Siyavula was. HT responded that in conjunction with the Department of Education there would be links in books to charge for ancillary services.

HT then noted that Rufus Pollock now had between thirty and fifty deployments of which Rufus ran thirty. HT also noted that the project was part of a European Commission bid which was successful and will be managed by Rufus.

HT then noted the work of Gavin Weale who joined last March. Gavin had produced a Youth magazine which was being distributed by young people for young people and that 80% of the costs for the first magazine had been covered through advertising. Gavin had applied for a second year fellowship which had been agreed.

HT reported that Phillip Schmidt was experimenting with a more disruptive in methodology – challenge based learning. There are also more schools, including the very popular School of data, and P2PU were on track to be a product the big change is that it is a lab and a methodology working with rather than for organisations.

HT reported on the activities of Kabir Bavikatte, who has just left the Fellowship programme. Since BCP’s were recognised by WIPO in 2010, SA, Namibia, India, Malaysia and Bhutan have adopted (or are in the process of being ratified) them in national law. 13 BCP’s have been completed and implemented and a further 14 are in progress, the idea has now gone viral, there are a lot of communities developing BCPs but calling them by other names.

HT then reported on Kathi Fletcher who was working on fostering an ecosystem of innovative tools. Her second year grant had been awarded and she managed to bring together over fifty people for free to sprint with her recently which was an amazing achievement.

HT noted that Arthur Attwell, who had been in the programme for 3 months to year end has moved his project forward with a prototype of site, rights agreements drawn up and is in negotiation with copy shops and large copy chains. He also has a large body of content uploaded.

HT reported that Paul Gardner-Stephen has advanced his technology and has been working with the New Zealand Red Cross to test in a disaster situation.

HT noted that François Grey also left the programme in September and have re-evaluated the long term strategy, have gained further funding and are continuing.

HT then spoke about new Fellows. Catharina Maracke is taking over the Harmony project which was looking at how people contribute to bigger projects in software and music and Marcin Jakubowski who drives the Open Source Ecology project, building a civilisation starter kit.

HT then touched on the Exposure and Learnings and noted that the calibre of applications was improving and that a NASA scientist wanted to partner with the Foundation which was a very encouraging sign.

JG asked how HT would interact with the Principe project as she does with the existing Fellows. HK noted that the talent in Principe was at the moment lacking and that existing Fellows may be brought into the project to help. The premise of the Foundation is to drive new ideas, and the island on Principe needs to build consensus, so we will need a fundamentally different approach.

MS wanted to thank HT and the team for their efforts to date.



There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed.

_________________________ _____________


2011 review

Posted in Reporting by Helen Turvey on December 7, 2011

As well as the continuing business of running the Foundation, this year we have welcomed 5 new fellows to the programme, created a sleeker look and feel our brand/website and created a new ‘Flash grant’.

Flash Grants:

The rationale behind these grants is that there appears to be some voices that are not heard, ideas not seen and Fellows that are not yet ready to be Fellows, bubbling around the periphery of our funding model.  We wanted to pay attention to that, and see if we can find a way to tap into some of the people/ideas and extend our networks.

Grants of $5,000 are nominated by each Fellow (including Fellows emeritus) to someone who they thinks are an impressive change agent and could be a potential Fellow (i.e. work in the field of open/education/tech).  We have given awarded to the 1st recipients and I will report back on how they faired in 6 months time!


Using the website crowd sourcing service from 99 Designs, we have updated our brand.  The process was surprisingly fun, cost effective, quick and far more challenging than I imagined it would be.  The winning design  is, imo,  far better than we would have achieved if we had briefed worked with an agency.

We also bought the Information Architects WordPress theme for $49.95  and have customised it somewhat to reflect us.  It is clean and simple to navigate – plus seriously easy to keep up to date!  Highly recommended.

Fellows 6 months highlights and reports:

Mark Horner

Full report back
and summary:

  • Department of Basic Education printing and distributing the Siyavula Maths and Physical Science for every learner in Grade 10 – 1.8million books
  • Life Sciences book started and making good progress

Rufus Pollock

Full report back and summary:

  • Estimated 30-50 *public* operational deployments of CKAN, of which RP runs about 20
  • Finalised separation of software and site: CKAN = data hub software, theDataHub.org = community data hub site
  • Community has grown significantly with now almost 50 OpenSpending datasets on theDataHub.org and growing group of core “data wranglers”
  • Spending Stories was a winner of the Knight News Challenge. Spending Stories will build on and extend OpenSpending.

Philipp Schmidt

Full report back and summary:

  • More disruptive in methodology – challenge based learning
  • More ”schools” with expert entities (school of citizen cyber science, school of openness with creative commons etc…)
  • P2PU were on track to be a product the big change is that it is a lab and a methodology working with rather than for organisations.

Kabir Bavikatte


  • Since BCP’s were recognised by WIPO in 2010, SA, Namibia, India, Malaysia and Bhutan have adopted (or are in the process of being ratified) them in national law.
  • 13 BCP’s have been completed and implemented and a further 14 are in progress
  • Idea has now gone viral, there are a lot of communities developing BCPs but calling them by other names
  • Move to India – has the opportunity to directly influence their indigenous knowledge policy and implementation

Gavin Weale
Full report back and summary:

  • 50,000 copies of a magazine produced and distributed 100% by young people
  • Covered 80% of costs in 1st issue through advertising and design
  • Y2 will expand from just advert dependent to internships, work placement, and opening up the minds of SA commerce to things like letting the kids play around with their brand

Kathi Fletcher

Full report back and summary:

  • Created Open API (OERPub) based on SWORD for OER’s.
  • Implemented in Connexions.
  • Massive content enabler, an importer that takes documents (Word, Open Office/ Libre Office, Google Docs, and some HTML and blog entries and transforms them into a remixable XML format – then lets authors upload and publish to OER repositories (currently Connexions).

Arthur Attwell

Full report back and summary:

  • Prototype of site
  • Rights agreements drawn up
  • In negotiation with copy shops and large copy chains
  • In principle commitment from publishers (i.e. Bloomsbury, UNISA, News Corp International, etc…)  to use service

Paul Gardner-Stephen

Full report back and summary:

  • MeshMS (Mesh SMS service), interactive mapping,  Rhizome file distribution or store-and-forward SMS working
  • Recognised as the leaders internationally in this space: finals of the World Embedded Software Competition for University students (South Korea), strong engagement by and with the IEEE 802.11 standards process (USA and international), presenting at the Adelaide Festival of Ideas and TEDx Adelaide (Australia), and also reaching the finals of the Ashoka Foundation World Changer’s Citizen Media competition (international) from a field of more than 400 entrants.
  • Next steps: add in the missing pieces, primarily the security and authenticity, appropriate trails with 3rd parties

Shuttleworth Foundation Trustee meeting minutes – Half year 2011

Posted in SF Trustee minutes by Helen Turvey on September 14, 2011

Eating my own dogfood – and publishing the notes from our Trustee meeting in July 2011:



L V Ferns – representing Standard Bank Trust Company (Isle of Man) Limited

S Lannigan – representing Standard Bank Trust Company (Isle of Man) Limited

R Prosser (by telephone)

H Turvey (by telephone)

K Gabriels (by telephone)

M Shuttleworth (by telephone)

S Kirkman (by telephone)

A Diesveld (by telephone)

Mr Ferns acted as Chairman of the meeting and Mrs Lannigan recorded the minutes.

The Chairman noted that as a quorum of directors was present agreeing to accept short notice of the meeting and its purpose, the meeting be deemed to be duly convened and constituted.

It was noted that each participant to the meeting had been provided with copies of the Financial Statements for the year ending 2010 along with the revised approved Budgets for 2011, copies of which are attached hereto and deemed to form part of these Minutes as if set out herein at length.

Ms Gabriels noted that the audit was now complete for 2010 and they had received signed Financial Statements for SF Advisors South Africa (Pty) Ltd and Village Telco Limited and that the Financial Statements for the Trust and SF Isle of Man Limited were almost ready for approval.

Ms Gabriels provided an overview of the financials for 2011 and noted the only changes in the last 3 months was the acquisition of a 30% share in Mark Horner’s company Siyavula thorough SF Isle of Man Limited and that current changes in South African companies legislation had caused some delay to this.

Ms Gabriels also confirmed that there would be two new Fellows with companies, one in Australia which was already established and another in South Africa, which SF Isle of Man Limited would also acquire shares using the same process.

Ms Gabriels further noted that on the Trust spreadsheet costs were mainly operational, whereas on the SF Isle of Man Limited and SF Advisors South Africa (Pty) Ltd costs were a mixture of operational and staff. She also noted that on the consolidated basis the group had currently spent 35% of the approved budget and that she estimated they would only spend a total of 91% of the total budget.

Ms Gabriels also noted that on comparison of costs between SF Isle of Man Limited and SF Advisors South Africa (Pty) Ltd, it should be noted that SF Advisors South Africa (Pty) Ltd was set up to maintain past employment structures and therefore it is noted the staff costs were higher.

Ms Gabriels reviewed the Fellows and their spending to date confirming that on average each Fellow cost $318,000 for this year in comparison to $309,000 for the previous year.

Following the comments in the meeting of 3 March 2011, Ms Gabriels had completed an analytical review of the spending per Fellow for the projects in the period September 2010 until June 2011. She had broken this down into three main sections:
1. Expertise
2. Props
3. Travel (excludes Fellows’ travel allowance)

Ms Gabriels reported that the majority of the monies had been spent on expertise, followed by travel, then props. She believed the reasons for this were that the Fellows, as Champions of an idea, and only having a short period of one year to execute the plan, needed to focus with the help of experts.

Ms Gabriels then gave a review of the following Fellows projects and the areas where monies had been spent, further details of each project can be located on the Shuttleworth Foundation website and Wiki:
Francois Grey
Rufus Pollock
Phillip Schmidt
Kabir Bavikatte
Kathi Fletcher
Mark Horner
Gavin Weale

Ms Gabriels said she would welcome any feedback on the analysed review and any comments of items that would be helpful to include for the future.

Mr Shuttleworth noted that he liked the way this analysed report was working.

Mrs Turvey added that now this report was in place it would provide a much better view at the end of the year and asked if there was anything different or any additions that should be considered for the future.

Mr Ferns, Mr Shuttleworth and Mr Prosser all agreed that they were happy with the current format of this report.

Mrs Turvey confirmed that Ms Gabriels had provided an overview of the Fellows and their work to date, and that full details of which can be located on the Shuttleworth Foundation website and Wiki, with certain information on the public site and the Fellows personal blogs.

Mrs Turvey also reminded the meeting that for every Dollar provided by the Fellow the Shuttleworth Foundation would provide Ten Dollars (or Fifteen, depending on the total amount committed), however if they collaborated with each other on a project this could be increased up to Twenty Dollars.

Mrs Turvey further noted that the re-applications process of Fellows had been reviewed and considered.

Mr Shuttleworth added that a more stringent and selective policy was being applied to ensure that all re-applications were considered fairly.

Mrs Turvey noted that they had considered a re-application from Mr Francois Grey and had rejected this.

Mrs Turvey further noted that there were two new Fellow applications in progress with offer letters and due to start in September, and that they had not yet reached the required ten Fellows.

Mr Prosser noted that he had read the Fellows blogs and information on the Shuttleworth Foundation website and Wiki and found them extremely interesting and helpful. He noted that it was good to hear what the Fellows had to say personally about their projects.

Mrs Turvey noted that with regards to Mark Horner’s project it had been intended to get one of his text books on the official approved educational text book list in South Africa by the end of the year, however she had just found out in the last week that the first application had been rejected.

She noted that the feedback provided by the local government was confusing and unclear, and as the book had been written by various teachers this was quite disappointing for everyone involved.

Mrs Turvey noted that Mr Horner intended to talk openly to the communities and teachers to gain more feedback and he will continue to make further submissions in due course.

Mr Prosser asked if a lot of local investigation work had been carried out with the government for this project.

Mrs Turvey confirmed that there had been and that it was very disappointing as the feedback was not helpful, however Mr Horner was keeping open channels and dialogue with the government and community of teachers.

Mr Ferns asked about Mr Grey’s project which had been rejected for re-application and how much help was needed to move his project forward.

Mrs Turvey said that the rejection of the re-application was not based on his performance over the last year and that the work he was doing was very important but she they felt that he was not the right person/right strategy to move this project to the next level.

Mr Shuttleworth also noted that consideration to the suitability of each Fellow for each project had to be considered. He also noted that many of previous Fellows had now provided an excellent track record of moving into important roles and top jobs and he thanked Helen and team for their hard work.

Mrs Turvey noted that a new Mini- Grant trial, which will be available to individuals in other work, for one year, to try to encourage potential new fellows and offer a “leg up” to new ideas.

She noted that the first of these was being considered in September and October and she would provide an update on this at the next meeting.

Mr Ferns asked if the fellows will mange this Mini-Grant themselves.

Mrs Turvey confirmed that the fellows would mange this themselves and they would provide details in a blog and basic information of how they spend the money.

Mrs Turvey confirmed that for the first time the Foundation was actively seeking a Fellow for a particular project to work with Canonical regarding licenses and that it was hoped to have someone appointed in the near future.

Mrs Turvey noted that following Mr Shuttleworth’s involvement with the Island of Principe, and following a meeting yesterday, they wanted the Trustee to consider in the future some non-commercial aspects and work to benefit the Island as a whole.

She noted that nothing had been agreed as of yet and once a plan had been considered and agreed that the purpose of the Trust may need to be reviewed, however further work was still required for this project.

Mr Prosser noted that he was aware of the issues in Principe and that it would be good if the Trustee could provide funds and resources to help the local people of the Island.

Mr Shuttleworth also noted that although it was good to focus on the commercial aspects in this Island, encouragement and support was also required to help the local communities and he noted the Island currently had 3000 adults and 6000 children.

Mrs Turvey also confirmed that it would be a very satisfying and a compelling story to be able to help an entire country in this way.

Mr Prosser agreed and said that this was a very interesting project and noted how a relatively small input here could make a big difference to so many people.

It was agreed that Mrs Turvey would discuss this project further with Mr Ferns.

There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed.

_________________________ _____________

Seeking Harmony Leadership

Posted in Uncategorized by Helen Turvey on July 21, 2011

Harmony 2.0 Leadership

As part of the Shuttleworth Foundation focus on open content, collaboration and copyright law, we are seeking a steward for the Harmony agreements and leader for the process of expanding their coverage of jurisdictions and types of content.

The digital commons are increasingly important – whether in the form of open source software or wikipedia or music / literature content licensed freely, or open access to knowledge and citizen cyberscience.

Much effort has been spent on the legal copyright licensing frameworks for publishing that material: the Creative Commons licenses, for example, and the work around GPLv3. Much less work has been done on the legal underpinnings for contributions: the legal frameworks by which content from different sources can be combined in the first place.

This represents a weakness and potential friction in the growth of collaboratively produced works. We need confidence that a work assembled out of contributions from different countries and different employers will stand up under international legal scrutiny, and behave in a predictable fashion. Projects that are keen to embrace collaborative development and contributions from “outside” need certainty about the options available to them, and the consequences each path might take.

So-called “inbound licensing” and “copyright assignment” agreements was for a long time simply absent or implicit. Projects often lump together code and content from different sources under a common license without any rigorous framework. In some cases, inbound licenses exist but they are ad-hoc efforts, created project by project.

Recently, the Harmony Project set about reviewing common legal agreements and practices for inbound licensing, to produce a standardised set of legal language covering inbound contributions which also reflects some of the range of approaches, much as the Creative Commons includes a range of parameters that codify different approaches to outbound licensing of open content.

The fruits of the work done by the Harmony group, representing many individuals, projects and companies, are now available as a “1.0” set of legal agreements. They enable organisations to accept contributions either as donations or under “wide license”, and provide a range of flexibility to the organisation as to what they can do with those contributions and which licenses they can in turn publish them under.

Those Harmony 1.0 licenses are a good first effort, covering contributions from the US, UK and compatible jurisdictions. But we know that the field of copyright law is fragmented and diverse, and that other jurisdictions likely have widely divergent perspectives on language that would be legally rigorous for contributions from from, or to, those jurisdictions.

We are seeking a leader for the work needed to expand the scope of Harmony agreements to cover more international jurisdictions, and to refine the concepts and language of Harmony to reflect feedback and experiences gained by those projects which adopt Harmony in the coming months. The person will be a steward of Harmony licensing, with a specific focus on international copyright law and the mechanisms by which collaboration between contributors from diverse jurisdictions can be put on a sound legal footing.

In addition to improvements in the language used between projects and contributors, we are also seeking to establish a framework and network of intermediaries that would act as a conduit for content to flow between jurisdictions. It is envisaged that we would establish a clearing network system, with formal relationships between intermediaries, projects and contributors, which would use agency as a mechanism for brokering the licensing or assignment of content from contributors to projects.

In addition to copyright, such intermediaries and agencies may also play a role in managing the legal risks inherent in copyright ownership, publication and contribution. For example, the risk that code contributed by an independent developer may inadvertently attract the risk of a patent infringement suit in a different jurisdiction. Such risks might warrant the involvement of insurers, and the Fellow would explore the relationship between insurance, risk management and the legal frameworks being developed by Harmony.

Fellowships at the Shuttleworth Foundation
The Foundation supports visionaries and change agents in civil society and academia through single-year renewable grants that cover their own needs as well as a mechanism to amplify their personal investments in programs, projects or initiatives.

Interested?  Contact me directly – or via: fellowships (@) shuttleworthfoundation.org

June – summer reporting

Posted in Uncategorized by Helen Turvey on July 11, 2011

This month ended with our biannual ‘Gathering’.  As we are based around the world, we all (active and non active Fellows) get together every 6 months to:

  • To share and to learn
  • To collaborate and grow stronger
  • To analyse and amend
  • To speak and to solve
  • To plan and to ponder

This Gathering was fabulously hosted by Francois, who took us to CERN, where we learnt a that we all basically knew nothing about how the world is put together – or indeed our purpose on it.  So please expect some silliness in further reading and in the pictures at the end of the post!

Citizen Cyberscience

For Francois, the entrée consisted of the launch of a series of geotagging experiments in collaboration with UNOSAT, aimed at exploring how well volunteers could match images of destruction in Libya to points on a map of the country. This represents a breakthrough in the CCC relationship with UNOSAT, as we have found a project that could be really useful for their clients, who can use the images to better assess damage on the ground.

The amuse-bouche was recording my pitch for a second year as a Shuttleworth Fellow from the back of  a taxi in the Beijing rush hour. Again and again and again and again.

The pièce de resistance was hosting the Shuttleworth Fellow gathering at CERN. It was a combination of French food, Swiss food and Dog food in large quantities – with a smattering of antimatter and some hadron sauce. The highlights for me included testing out P2PU for citizen cyberscience, and role playing to explore the challenges of protecting indigenous people’s biorights.

The plat de fromages included a slice of the Open Access Initiative workshop, where I spoke about Citizen Cyberscience, a sliver of time with the projects board of the Open Society Foundations, which will hopefully lead to some concrete projects, and a dash to London to plan the next London Citizen Cyberscience Summit with colleagues at UCL, King’s and Imperial, for February 2012.

The dessert was running a panel with Rufus on Open Science at the OKCon in Berlin and a one-day hackfest/workshop just prior to the conference. Both events exceeded expectations both in the number of participants, the work we got done and the new contacts and projects that were established during an intense few days. It was a very sweet experience!

Open & Collaborative Resources

As it is that time of year – Philipp also did his Fellowship Reapplication – Blog post about the last year is online, and the video on vimeo.

OKCon – Gave a presentation about “Hacking Education” (and P2PU) and together with other P2PU volunteers ran the P2PU workshop. Focus of the workshop was the creation of:
More Schools — School of Open Data (with OKFN/RP) and School of Citizen Cyberscience (with CCC/FG) are officially under development. Very excited to start working in these two areas – and do so with other fellows.

Building the Org – More interviews and discussion with the lawyers how to hire staff. Also getting ready to bring on three new people on in July/ August and a lot of the organizational groundwork has to be put in place. Also started working on book-keeping / financial set-up with Karen (CFO, Shuttleworth Foundation).

Gathering — I loved how every time I thought I couldn’t possible eat another bite of cheese fondue, Rufus would pass me the Raclette spatula. I strongly suspect that I sat next to a future nobel prize winner during at least one of the lunches. Probably the last one. By the way, rumors that I ordered cheese fondue again at the OSI dinner are entirely true. Thanks for organizing FG!

Highlights for Mark include:

1. New Siyavula identity created
2. New website, siyavula.com, launched which more accurately reflects what we do than the old one.
3. 3 Grade 10 textbooks were submitted for review for inclusion on the national catalogue, Mathematics, Physical Science and Wiskunde.

For Kathi:

  • Open Repositories SWORD Workshop: Met with the SWORD technical team to learn more about the second version of SWORD to make sure it would work for the OER Publishing API. Decided to use SWORD for the publishing API. The full reasoning is published in two blog entries: here  and here.
  • Publishing Clients: Continued investigation into clients that will use the SWORD service, including two translation clients and one word processing document uploader. More info here.
  • The Gathering: Met everyone, was given the idea for a WordPress plugin to publish OER, and fell for CERN.
  • Sprinting in Cape Town: The goal of the sprint was to learn about SWORD (the publishing API), start a generic implementation of a SWORD service for Plone, and get a couple of clients off the ground. We had 7 participants and even got started on the WordPress (or more generically, blog) plugin for publishing OER. More info here:

Access to knowledge

Kabir was also focussed internally with:

1) A number of strategy meetings to develop strategy documents for the way forward for the organization through 2011 and 2012
2) Presentations on community protocols at the 2 day meeting on Economic Justice organized by OSISA
3) Acted as the legal advisor to the African countries at the 1st meeting of the Inter-governmental Committee on the Nagoya Protocol in Montreal
4) Legal advise to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on reviewing the South African IP Amendment Bill

Open data

Rufus held an Open Data Event and Workshop in Bulgaria <http://blog.okfn.org/2011/06/07/open-data-workshop-and-opencamp-in-sofia-bulgaria-4-5-june/> and also an Open Gov Data Conference in Vienna – included a 1-day CKAN workshop and semantic web meetup the evening before.

It was also the month for OKCon – <http://okcon.org/2011/after>  – which is the annual event hosted by the Open Knowledge Foundation.  “OKCon is a wide-ranging conference that brings together individuals and organizations from across the open knowledge spectrum for two days of presentations, workshops and exchange of ideas.”

Youth publishing

Gavin spent this month signing off  research and spending time out in the field with the agency, talking directly to target audience and starting to unpack issues around youth unemployment and disenfranchisement in SA townships.

Work was also done, conceiving and working up the Ikamva Live one-week magazine sprint: another opportunity for immersion and road-testing aspects of Live Magazine with a group of township teenagers – to be completed and sent to print in early July.

He is super excited about the Google-powered mobile learning idea beginning to emerge and take shape, with positive early conversations with Google and other potential collaborators.  Lastly,the Gathering: meeting, presenting to – and being presented to by – the other Fellows and SF team. Great pleasure and honour to spend the week at CERN with everyone, (but sad to have missed the raclette – die to Chilean ash clouds!).

May I?

Posted in Uncategorized by Helen Turvey on June 12, 2011

Open & Collaborative Resources

Kathi has started her phased implementation strategy for the OER roadmap.  In May, she attended the IMS Learning Impact conference to get advice from leaders in learning software that have experience creating interoperable pathways between software and developing API’s. They recommended a phased implementation of the publishing API in Connexions (sooner is better than complete) and get started building demonstration tools that use the API right away to generate interest and create software that others can build on.

SWORD chosen for publishing API: They settled on SWORD and AtomPub to use for publishing OER (with extensions) and this was validated as a good approach through discussions at Learning Impact and subsequently at the Open Repositories 2011 conference (in June). SWORD is implemented in many institutional educational repositories (DSpace, Fedora, ePrints, arXiv, Zentity), which makes clients that can publish to multiple repositories much more likely and which provides a strong developer community.

Sprinting at the Plone East Symposium: They sprinted (communal coding) to extend an existing partial Connexions SWORD implementation to allow creation of modules from deposited Word files or CNXML (Connexions semantic document format) files and improve the handling of metadata (title, language, etc). With the help of fellow fellow, Mark Horner, we found and invited Carl Scheffler, whose background is in machine learning, and whose interests include improving education, to participate in the sprint, along with Connexions, and Penn State (advising).

Starting to expand the team: Carl will continue as a team member and began working on an editor that will make it easier to translate existing Connexions content and publish the translations. Also found was a team member to help with User Experience design for tools and services and with community engagement.

Philipp has a new website – P2PU launched their beta site at http://new.p2pu.org in late April, but started moving users onto it during this month. It’s a slight reboot of the learning model to allow more flexibility – not all courses have to start at the same time, and also hopefully encourage creation of more self-organised study groups in addition to courses. Also changed is some of the terminology, and are pushing the peer learning angle more strongly, so that users don’t fall into the old model of expecting to teach or be taught. They put in some groundwork to prepare the migration in June, but more on that next time…

Better support – Also did a lot of thinking about how to better support users. It is not perfect, but the combination of redesigned P2PU Handbook, and Q&A site, works much better than before. The new P2PU Handbook is part resources (screencasts, tutorials) and part community support forum. They set up an open Q&A site for any question that might come up at http://qa.p2pu.org. Both are monitored by the core community. And the newsletter now focuses on promotion of new courses and study groups as they are created.

Badges grow up – The interest in an open badges infrastructure has been overwhelming, and the project is transitioning to sit more within Mozilla. P2PU will be the pilot implementation for the badge issuer functionality. They also continue to help drive and
promote the ideas and are part of the advisory group, but it frees up some of resources to focus back on our core challenges at P2PU.

Hiring an army – a touch of an exaggeration – but not much!. They are growing and hiring, and the interview process is taking up a lot of time. The positions we are filling are a P2PU product manager, who will take over much of the platform development work from me; a product manager for School of Webcraft (which is a Mozilla position, but will co-report to Mozilla and P2PU), and two assessment related position (an assessment specialist and an assessment developer) to drive the Hewlett work forward.

Mark Horner has been extremely busy in May!  He completed an extremely successful translation hackathon on the 7th of May at Stellenbosch University’s Elec. Eng. Dept. (summary video still to come), presented at 3 of the 4 Tshikululu trust’s Maths educators’ meetings (Cape Town, Johannesburg and Limpopo (4th meeting is in June)) and this represents a partnership that could result in demand for Siyavula’s products, advice and support from 105 schools.

Both Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg hosted a week of evening events each. Both were very successful and established good connections with many schools. A number of interviews of educators using OERs/technology were filmed and these will begin appearing on the Siyavula site soon.  St Johns School for Boys in Johannesburg also expressed interest in uploading all of their science content (Effectively their own textbook for Physical Science Grade 10-12) onto Connexions

Siyavula registered as a member of the Publishers’ Association of South Africa (PASA) which is trivial to do but PASA has always been the organisation journalists have gone to to challenge what we do!

Citizen Cyberscience

Francois Grey’s Brasil@home  was the main highlight of the month, with a group of eight researchers touring Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, giving a lecture series on citizen cyberscience, running a two-day hackfest (in Rio) and having meetings with specific institutes, in particular INPE, the Brasilian space agency.

The main outcomes of the event are a series of new projects in the pipeline: volunteer digitization of archival documents about the Brazilian economy with the Brazilian think-tank IPEA; volunteer mapping of deforestation with INPE and two Brazilian Universities; drug design for parasite borne diseases with researchers from the Fiocruz institute. Plus several other areas of future collaboration defined in climate science and particle physics research.

Another important outcome of this event was the establishment of a Brazilian sister site to the Citizen Cyberscience Centre,  by several of the local organisers.

Access to knowledge

Together with the Centre for International Environmental Law, the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests, Kenya Young Greens, the Rainforest Foundation Norway, and BirdLife International, Kabir and the Natural Justice team developed a submission on REDD+ safeguards for the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. It was stressed that “In the discussion of biodiversity and social safeguards relating to REDD, … Articles 8j and 10c suggest that the most fundamental ‘biocultural safeguard’ is the right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC).”

They co-facilitated the first Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Capacity Development Workshop for African lusophone countries in Maputo, Mozambique. Approximately 35 participants from Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, and Mozambique included the ABS focal points of each country and other government officials, as well as representatives from the scientific community, civil society organizations, traditional healers, NGOs, and the private sector.

Also in Paris, the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) hosted a back-to-back experts meeting on access and benefit sharing (ABS) and biotrade and a conference on “The Strategic Importance of Biodiversity: The Beauty of Sourcing with Respect”. They explored the links between ABS and biotrade, particularly cross-cutting issues such as traditional knowledge, fair trade, and corporate social responsibility.The conference was directed primarily towards companies engaged in “ethical biotrade practices” and included some discussion of the Nagoya Protocol on ABS. UEBT also launched the latest version of its “Biodiversity Barometer”, which helps track awareness of biodiversity issues among consumers and the business sector.

Participated in the launching workshop of the Open AIR (African Innovation Research and Training: Exploring the Role of Intellectual Property in Open Development). The workshop sought to kick off the 3-year Open AIR project, which is supported by IDRC and GIZ. It seeks to address the questions, “What is the relationship between innovation, development and “openess”? What are the enabling conditions, and how do they interact?

Also participated in the information and preparatory meeting for Indigenous peoples and local communities on access and benefit sharing (ABS) and traditional knowledge entitled, “The Nagoya Protocol and the Way Ahead”. The meeting, which took place from May 21-22, is organized and supported by the ABS Capacity Development Initiative for Africa, the Indigenous Information Network (IIN), Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC), Conservation International, GIZ, and the Equator Initiative of the United Nations Development Programme.

Youth publishing

Gavin did some ‘youth employability in SA’ research fieldwork with partner agency the Consumer Insight Agency, including a 24-hour overnight immersion for me with them in the field, in Mxenge, Phillippi.

This process is proving crucial in developing an increasingly detailed understanding of the beneficiary group, their needs and the approach needed to tailor the project to make the most impact based on the model of Live magazine UK is trying to replicate… Research will be complete by mid-July.

Gavin had an intensive three weeks of meetings, networking and doing ‘creds’ presentations: notably Nike, Google, Red Bull, Ikamva youth, Big Issue, RLabs, Equal Education, British Council, Mahala magazine, Young in Prison, Children’s radio Foundation, and fellows past and present… creating foundations for potential partnerships and collaboration.

Agreeing and creating the plan for Ikamva Live – a one-week mini-mag production sprint taking place in early July, taking a group of 20 young people through the process of creating a publication… giving the chance to make a mentor call-out for volunteers.

As part of walking the talk, Gavin began mentoring two young people for a two-way learning process for me and them: a young publishing entrepreneur from Langa, an aspiring journalist from Phillippi.

Lastly, and perhaps most pleasingly, final figures show that Live Mag UK 10th birthday issue beat its £38K quarterly ad revenue target by £10,000… a significant marker in the push for full sustainability. read it online:

Nice = good business sense?

Posted in Uncategorized by Helen Turvey on May 15, 2011

I have been feeling extremely virtuous over the last few days…

My office had become rather cluttered with no longer required items that have little or no monetary value so over the w/e I popped them onto Freecycle.  Children’s toys, books, games, slippers, Christmas decorations and a computer screen have all found good homes and I am rather smug – having done something for others and my bit for the environment.

Yesterday evening, as someone came to collect the last of the items, they remarked upon the signage of my husbands vans (which is rather prominent) and asked if he was looking for more clients, including her and her workplace – good deeds working harder than any targeted marketing campaign – my smuggness knew no bounds!

Today then, I was pointed to Lunch Money for Tips as an interesting concept.  I think this is dreadful – and super sneaky.  The basic premise is that small business get paid ‘donations’ for being helpful.  If you have something like wikipedia – a charity, built for and by the people who use it and needs support or FOSS plug-ins that specifically require the cash to keep going – that is one thing.

A business however, that earns money for products or services, can choose how to operate, if good people are building good customer relations, then they will attract more business.  You can’t charge, or even make the suggestion of charging for time and advice that is not specifically agreed.  It feels sordid and messy.  What happened to just being nice making good business sense?

April showers…

Posted in Uncategorized by Helen Turvey on May 9, 2011

… and storms – but also the sun has been shining on us.  Highlights for this month are:

Open data

Rufus has started to talk about a data ecosystem where there are data cycles – rather than ‘one way street’ data processing ( Building the (Open) Data Ecosystem)as well as keynoting at UKSG’s annual conference and REPUBLICA about open data.

The OKFN (which Rufus heads up) has launched a new Film about Open Government Data and the Open Data Challenge – a pan-European open data competition.  His projects CKAN and Where Does My Money Go? / Open Spending go from strength to strength – noteworthy is a new Italian instance of Open Spending and EU Budget and EC Financial Transparency System Finances.

YourTopia – Development beyond GDP also won 3rd prize at World Bank Contest.

Access to knowledge
Kabir organised the Pan African Biocultural Community Protocols (BCP) Initiative in Cape Town with nearly 40 participants from all over Africa to strategize and plan an African BCP program for the year 2011-2012 (11th-12th of April) as well as the African Biocultural Rights Meeting with lawyers from across the continent to discuss the emerging community rights to their common property resources and the kind of legal capacity development required for communities to get legal recognition for their BCPs (13th of April- Cape Town) – an impressive amount of support and energy for each subject.

He also spoke at the SEED Green Economy event in Johannesburg on BCPs and how they add a rights based approach to the Green Economy and facilitated a 3 day workshop on Developing an Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Policy hosted by the Ministry of Forests and Agriculture in Bhutan. The workshop included a section on BCPs and how they can help secure community rights to their commons (18,19,20th of April, Thimpu).

Finally Kabir was the legal adviser to the National Biodiversity Center of Bhutan in developing their first working draft of their National ABS Policy. The draft will be subjected to extensive national consultations after which the final draft will be adopted by the Cabinet of Bhutan.

Citizen Cyberscience

Francois lectured on citizen cyberscience at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science and Education in Mumbai, the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore and the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai. Also met with reps from the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore, and top Open Access guru Subbiah Arunachalam in Chennai. The main outcome was identifying a scientific topic that would be suitable for kickstarting a larger citizen cyberscience effort in India (India@Home), involving citizen-based tracking of animals and plants, to study animal behavior and impact of climate change. A special focus is on using such projects as educational tools in schools.  Possible dates for an India@Home event were discussed: December 2011 is the current working assumption.

He also met with the Director of the Mauritius Research Council, the First Secretary of the recently formed Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, and various representatives of the University of Mauritius, the Technical University of Mauritius and the Mauritius Cybercity initiative. The main outcomes were full support for the local part of the organization of a Summit on Mauritius, possible dates spring 2012, based on the concept of a South-South meeting that would gather researchers from India, China and South Africa. Also made contacts to three researchers with relevant projects for citizen cyberscience: one in the area of radioastronomy, one in mobile health statistics and one in modeling the impact of cyclones on Mauritius.

Other work in April concerned moving the LHC@Home alpha test towards a beta version, planned public launch in May, and testing all components of citizen mapping software developed by colleagues in Ghana, for possible deployment in a project for damage assessment in Libya. Finally, a good deal of effort was expended on the final preparations for the Brasil@Home events, running 2-6 May, in Brasilia, Rio and Sao Paulo (lectures by several experts in each city + two-day hackfest in Rio).

Youth publishing

Live Mag SA seems to creating a lot of buzz on the ground.  Gavin has had positive noises from SA-based brands about Live Magazine plans, notably Nike and Coke – which would be an amazing start for the sustainability of the brand.  Plus a lot of media interest for Live Mag SA in the UK, including a meeting with Alex Clark (feature writer for the Times and Observer), Ben Ferguson from the New Statesman, and CNN International.

First iteration of the ‘live’ project mindmap for Live Magazine SA posted up on the blog.

Live UK has been certified by the Audit Bureau of Communications for Live Magazine in London, for an approved circulation of 28000+ – providing fantastic reassurance for potential advertisers.  Also in the onward march towards self-sustainability, having the best advertising yield yet for an issue for the 10th birthday issue of Live Mag in London – very encouraging sign.

There has also been the first internal presentation of the Live ‘Kidflow’ system: an attempt to develop some kind of new, ongoing social impact measurement for the level of engagement the project provides to young people (which will be used and replicated in SA).

The BBC in London has agreed to jointly submit a proposal for a Live Magazine pilot in Manchester linked to the BBC’s move to Salford, as a community engagement tool, using BBC mentors, and producing a joint London/Manchester one off issue in the Autumn.

Livity’s Google Zeitgeist Young Minds competition results in, with three of the successful finalists coming from Cape Town (who win a trip to the Zeitgeist event in London this month).  Developed by Livity, the Google Digital Experts first phase of recruitment finally launches, giving non-grads the chance to get free Google digital media training.

Open Educational Resources

Philipp had his first P2PU board meeting hosted at MIT OpenCourseWare office. Mark Surman (Mozilla Foundation) and Cathy Casserly (Creative Commons) were appointed to the board. Karen Gabriels, Shuttleworth Foundation CFO, joins as Treasurer. More info on organizational development here: http://sharing-nicely.net/2011/04/the-machine-that-runs-p2pu/

The re-boot of P2PU model and website is underway. The new site is progressing faster than anticipated, supported by an emerging open source contributor community. Check it out at http://new.p2pu.org and read about it here http://blogs.p2pu.org/blog/2011/04/27/313/

They also agreed to pilot with Saylor.Org to offer one of their courses through a P2PU study group and are initially testing this with an art history course, but could be rolled out to other courses and lead to stronger relationship. Early draft here: http://new.p2pu.org/en/groups/baroque-art-of-italy-spain-and-the-netherlands/

Generally thinking more about “Hacking Certification”, both in the context of P2PU pilots and work on badges, and more generally. Spoke about it in Vijay Kumar’s Open Education course (slides and notes here: http://sharing-nicely.net/2011/04/hacking-certification/) and again this week at the OCWC conference.

Finally P2PU submitted a proposal to Department of Labor OER grant program as part of the consortium of community colleges. Goals of the proposal include developing web developer training materials, and enhancing the P2PU platform to support community colleges, as well as spread the materials developed by the DoL to self-learners outside of institutions.

On the platform side, Siyavula hired another team member, Ewald Zietsman, who has reproduced the Connexions PDF pipeline locally but to produce FHSST-style PDFs which are crucial for printing the final books. Modules and Collections work which is very exciting.  Also, Obami have given a portal within their private social network for schools which we will use to raise awareness about our products.

Mark was interviewed for the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Youth feature which will be super convenient because it will come out in June, the same time as when we are trying to maximise publicity about the books (will link to this when possible), plus he presented on the OER panel at the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative’s Education Think Tank.

With a focus on administration: the new Siyavula website has been finished and is busy being populated with content. Expect www.siyavula.com any day now.  The Siyavula company name, Siyavula Education, has been reserved, now just waiting for changes of name, directors etc. to propagate.

At the beginning of April, Kathi Fletcher attended the NITLE Summit where liberal arts college leaders are thinking about liberal arts education in a digital age and wrote about John Seeley Brown’s keynote on educating for change.  Also participated in the OER workshop led by Hal Plotkin of the US Department of Education.For the OER Publishing API, Kathi worked with Connexions to determine the changes that will be needed in their code to support a publishing API, and started a site for sharing the API design, Connexions implementation, and the code for tools and services that make use of the API.

Planning for a coding sprint at the Plone East conference in mid-May and with Mark Horner’s help.  The sprint is designed to begin the process of implementing an OER Publishing API in Connexions, provide input about the cost and complexity of the full implementation, attract developers to the implementation of the API, and generate buzz about the OER Publishing API.

She also talked with several groups about how they might benefit from the OER Publishing API. Sometimes the ideas were slam-dunk ideas that seem immediately useful, and sometimes it was more of a cold call where I was planting ideas for the future. In the slam-dunk category, Kingston University has been using CNXML (the format of educational materials in Connexions) and has an editor that could publish directly to the Connexions software, Rhaptos, once the API exists.  Siyavula is creating translations and working on an offline editor to preserve document structure while facilitating text translation. Being able to publish derived copies back would be a huge benefit. In the area of planting seeds and ideas, I talked with MITE (interesting possibilities for publishing textbooks as remixable OER in Connexions), Wikimedia (building structured editors that might be shareable, and working on offline packages that could combine reference and textbook and other educational material), and OERCommons (concentrating on discoverability and creating great communities for sharing. It would be great if sharing in existing repositories was easier.)

The pain of reporting vs the joy of sharing and learning

Posted in Uncategorized by Helen Turvey on April 11, 2011

As a Foundation, we have a responsibility to our trustees and Founder to know where our money is spent and how it has changed the landscape.  The problem with reporting is that is is arduous, lengthy  and rarely do we have time to garner the interesting nuances of facts and figures. It is best, imo, to report as things are happening (release early and often) whilst there is still excitement about the findings (and doings) rather than have your mind on the next prize.  So…

Years ago, we used to do a monthly blog post on what the Foundation and the Fellows had been up to and we have decided to reinstate it.  It is not complicated, and far more information can be found by following the specific websites themselves, but hopefully will give you a point to jump off.  This post is long, b/c it looks at the first 3 months of the year, going forward it will be on a monthly basis – and shorter.

Open Data

Whilst Rufus is continually flying around promoting Open Knowledge (CCSR in Manchester about Open Data, Cambridge Geek Night, Workshop at Dev8D, EPSI Platform Berlin – Open Data: Apps for Everyone?, British Library, Managing Public Sector Information, NCVO Annual Conference, JISC Annual Conference ), he also has time to implement some impressive progress on his projects.

The Annotator (and AnnotateIt.org) project now has v1.0 ready to go, as well as overseeing the javascript library development he has personally developed the python-based Annotator store webapp deployed at AnnotateIt.org. He now plans to launch the system and work with partners to integrate and scale up.  Those interested in this killer piece of software – or simply keen to help explain the web, see: Open Shakespeare for how it works.

CKAN (Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network) has released CKAN v1.3 and there is a new CKAN wiki and CKAN site, CKAN tutorial at Dev8d as well as many more community instances.

There has been major code and community development on Where Does My Money Go? and Open Spending.  Rufus also announced: YourTopia – Development beyond GDP, in his words:

As well as having a very simple function: to tell you what country is closest to your ideal, the app also has a very serious purpose: to help us develop a real empirical basis for the measures of development that are used to guide policy-making.

Is health more important than education, or GDP, is the amount of R&D more important than amount spent on primary education? Help us find out what the world thinks!

Open educational resources

The big thing in the world of OER’s for me – is how it is becoming the norm.  The US government just ear marked a $2billion fund for the creation of OER’s and more and more institutions are changing their policies to align with open ideals.

Kathi Flecther, has started her long road of creating the OER highway to ensure that the many incompatible formats of OER’s can work together.  As the popularity of OER’s increases, the need for an Open API becomes more and more crucial to the success of the ecosystem.  The beginning of her work is be drawing on all of the contacts and projects she has worked for and with over the last few years to ensure that the OER highway infrastructure that she is creating will be useful for everyone.

Mark Horner continues to take his OER  project Siyavula to new heights.  Over the course of the next year, Siyavula will go from being a project developing OER’s for the South African education system to a for profit (profit making?) business.  The business plan is in place, team on board and they are ready to go – just waiting for the paperwork to come back from the powers that be…  Various different services have been added to the offering including Open Press (a web-service for the aggregation of print orders, offering users the benefit of economies of scale achieved through collaborative purchasing) and Full Marks (an open assessment bank with some tools to help educators generate tests and analyse results).

Whilst Mark is constantly in demand to talk at events such as the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative’s Think Tank – on Education, it is his routine work of weekly hackathons and evening events that continue to take up the bulk of his time (in fact, it is probably because he spends much of his time actually building the community that he is so in demand!).

P2PU is also growing up, they have completed and submitted incorporation documents for P2PU, Inc. (drafted bylaws, incorporation filing, appointed first board members, etc…) which will be based in the US, so are waiting to hear on tax exempt status from the IRS, Philipp says ‘form 1023 is a term that will strike fear in the hears of the bravest open education activist – we haven’t heard back yet, so I still only whisper it’.

A variety of important projects stem from the work of alternative higher education learning, including the work Philipp is doing on badges (accreditation systems outside of status quo).  P2PU has also secured funding from the Hewlett Foundation for $400,000 over 2 years, brilliant mark of the achievements that the project has made so far.

Citizen Cyberscience

LHC@Home processes over a billion jobs. It’s the worst-kept secret in volunteer computing: CERN’s LHC@home project is now processing real LHC physics. The volunteer computing project, which used to just help accelerator physicists tune the proton beam of the Large Hadron Collider, is now doing the sort of simulation of proton collisions which one day may help physicists spot new particles in the petabytes of data currently being produced by the world’s biggest physics experiment.

Just five years ago, experts thought running LHC physics on ordinary PCs would be impossible. But some nifty use of virtual machine technology – and says François Grey: critical sponsorship by the Shuttleworth Foundation – has removed the remaining obstacle of platform dependency. So far, this is an alpha phase, with a restricted number of volunteer computers (<100). But rapid progress in stabilizing the release means that the public launch of the project could happen by May or even earlier.

Citizen Cyberscience Centre has first annual sponsors meeting. With HP and IBM joining as project sponsors to back Shuttleworth Foundation founding sponsor,  a meeting on January 20th confirmed that the centre is now more than just a concept. Projects such as Computing for Clean Water (simulating nanoscale water filters) LHC@home and Cybermappr (crowdsourced deforestation mapping) are now either running or in the pipeline. CCC events are planned in China, Taiwan, Brazil, India and South Africa.

Best of all, a talented team of young programmers from France, Spain and Ghana, also part funded by HP, assembled for the first time and developed plans for Cybermappr, a general purpose crowd-sourced mapping tool.

Brasil@home starts to take shape. The event is planned for 2-7 May. Host institutions in Rio, Sao Paulo and Brasilia confirmed, and Mozilla Foundation keen to collaborate on one or maybe even two hackfest events there. Initial contacts made with Open Society Foundation for co-funding of the events, which will have the theme of citizen-based climate science. Representatives of citizen cyberscience projects Old Weather and ClimatePrediction.net are confirmed.

Access to Knowledge
Kabir kicked off the 1st meeting of the Asia Regional Biocultural Community Protocols Initiative in Srilanka with partner organizations from India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Pakistan. The aim of the meeting is to develop a strategy for supporting community based organisations within South and East Asia to develop biocultural community protocols to secure their rights to their lands and cultures.

He also organised a multistakeholder meeting in Geneva in partnership with the Union for Ethical Biotrade to develop a methodology for using biocultural community protocols to facilitate ethical trade relations between companies and communities engaged in biotrade. The meeting is a precursor to developing field based best practice examples in Madagascar, Brazil and Colombia.

A series of community meetings in the Lamu archipelago of Kenya happened, with communities developing a protocol challenging the multibillion dollar port that is being built on their lands without an environmental impact assessment or adequate consultation. The port is likely to displace thousands of people, wreak ecological havoc and disrupt the livelihoods of thousands more.

An agreement was signed between Natural Justice (the organisation Kabir co-founded) and the government of Sabah (Malaysia) to support the government in the development and implementation of laws and policies relating to community rights and biodiversity

A project in partnership with the Environmental Evaluation Unit (University of Cape Town) for the South African Department of Environmental Affairs for developing guidelines for the South African Biodiversity Act and the Bioprospecting and Access and Benefit Sharing Regulations concluded. The guidelines will be in print soon and translated into all the official South African languages. The guidelines also recommend the use of community protocols by communities to regulate access to communally held resources and knowledge

Youth Publishing

Gavin who has gained his experience with Live magazine in the UK, has now got his ‘Exceptional Skills’ visa confirmed – very good news indeed!  He will be moving to South Africa on the 9th May to implement all of the work he has been planning.  Part of what we push in the Fellowship is ‘living out loud’.  It is vital to reflect to be able to learn and for others to learn to, Gavin has started to blog about his activities and posted his communications strategy.

There is a lot that Gavin will have to learn about being in South Africa and how it differs, but he will be able to bring a huge amount of knowledge about business models for sustainability.  He was interviewed this week for a NESTA-funded book about 25 innovative business models in the ‘civic economy’.

That’s all for now folks, as I said – the post for April will be shorter – but not less action packed I hope!

Shuttleworth Foundation Trustee minutes

Posted in SF Trustee minutes by Helen Turvey on March 11, 2011

Last week, we had our Year End 2010 meeting with our Board of Trustees and whilst we have always shared the notes internally, we have not published the intricate details before.  I do so now, not because they necessarily make for compelling reading, but to keep us true to the principles of open and sharing.

First though, some background.  As the Foundation grew, and as we started funding where energetic and brilliant people were, rather than sticking to geographic boundaries, we were met with more and more administrative and financial resistance.  South Africa has strict foreign exchange controls and it was often costing us more to pay someone abroad than the work was worth.  We decided to restructure to enable us to operate more efficiently and be able to react to opportunities, wherever and whenever they arise.

For this reason, the Foundation is a purpose trust based in Jersey.  The group structure is as follows:

  • The Shuttleworth Foundation Trust (SF) is a purpose trust, registered in Jersey.
  • The purpose of the trust is defined as follows:
    • “To assist persons or projects to effect or which are otherwise involved in social change, with social change being the process whereby values, attitudes or institutions of society, such as education, family and industry become modified, to include both the natural process and action programs initiated by members of the community or any other person.”
  • It is for this reason that the Trust registered an entity in the Isle of Man, SF Isle of Man Limited (SF IOM).
  • SF IOM funds individuals interested in social change by offering them a Fellowship Grant and providing matching funding to the programs initiated by the Fellows.
  • We have offices in the UK and SA.
  • SF Management Team: CEO, CFO, COO and the Office Manager.

The Board is made up of a lawyer and accountants based on the Isle of Man.  Notes from the meeting can be found below.   As I said, they are not what the stuff of great novels are made of, but they are a true representation of the meeting and actions that are required to be taken.  They also ensure that we keep our commitment to being open and reveal ourselves, warts and all.




PRESENT: L V Ferns – representing Standard Bank Trust Company (Isle of Man) LimitedS Lannigan – representing Standard Bank Trust Company (Isle of Man) Limited

R Prosser (by telephone)


IN ATTENDANCE: H Turvey (by telephone)K Gabriels (by telephone)

M Shuttleworth (by telephone)


APOLOGIES FORABSENCE: The Chairman reported that apologies for absence had been received from Mr Diesveld and Mr Kirkman 
CHAIRMAN: Mr Ferns acted as Chairman of the meeting and Mrs Lannigan recorded the minutes. 
QUORUM: The Chairman noted that as a quorum of directors was present agreeing to accept short notice of the meeting and its purpose, the meeting be deemed to be duly convened and constituted. 
BUDGET OVERVIEW: It was noted that each participant to the meeting had been provided with copies of the Financial Statements for the year ending 2010 along with the approved Budgets for 2011, copies of which are attached hereto and deemed to form part of these Minutes as if set out herein at length.Ms Gabriels reported the financial results for the year ending 2010 and noted that the budget for SF Advisors South Africa (Pty) Ltd (“SF SA”) had been increased for 2011 due to further costs for theoffice move.

Ms Gabriels further noted that although $1.3 million had been budgeted in 2010 for the Fellowships, an amount of only $868,000 had been spent. Ms Gabriels explained that this was due to timing issues of when the Fellows would put forward their pitches and claims.

Mr Prosser asked if this difference would be paid and Ms Gabriels confirmed that this would be paid in due course, and was accounted for in the new budget, together with additional bduegt for new Fellows. Mrs Turvey confirmed that the Fellows had a deadline of 6 months from the end of their project to claim any further payments.

Ms Gabriels further noted that on the Consolidated Budget sheet, there was a difference in the percentage change amounts for SF SA between the reporting currency of US Dollars, and the local currency of South African Rand and this was due to differences in the budgeted foreign exchange rates for the 2010 and 2011 financial years.

Mr Prosser asked if Ms Gabriels and Mrs Turvey were happy with the proposed budget of $5.3m for 2011 and it was confirmed that they were. Mr Prosser also asked if monies were drawn down as and when required and Ms Gabriels confirmed that once funds were paid into the Trust it was moved in tranches to SF Isle of Man Limited, when required.

Ms Gabriels noted that the Trust and underlying companies were currently in the process of being audited, and this included the company Village Telco Limited, of which SF Isle of Man Limited owned a 30% share, even though as a Mauritius company an audit was not a legal requirement.

Ms Gabriels reminded everyone of the history of Village Telco Limited, a for profit company, and confirmed to Mr Prosser that no additional costs were borne by SF Isle of Man Limited, as a shareholder. Mr Shuttleworth also confirmed to the meeting the benefits of assisting Fellows by the use of a for profit company.

Ms Gabriels confirmed that once the audit had been completed, consolidated financial reports of the group would be available as a public document on the Shuttleworth Foundation website.

Ms Gabriels further noted that one of the existing Fellows was considering the incorporation of a for profit company and he would be requesting the directors of SF Isle of Man Limited to consider a 30% stake.

Ms Gabriels also noted that shareholder agreements should be considered to manage and control this aspect in the future, and that she would continue to work on streamlining the financial reporting, both internally and externally. She also confirmed that she would continue her directorship on Village Telco Limited, and was considering the directorship on the new for profit company, and that she had also taken a new role as Treasurer with P2PU.


FELLOWS: Mrs Turvey provided an update and overview of all the Fellows and their work to date, full details of which can be located on the Shuttleworth Foundation website and Wiki, with certain information on the public site and the Fellows personal blogs.Mrs Turvey also confirmed that for every Dollar provided by the Fellow the Shuttleworth Foundation would provide Ten Dollars (or Fifteen, depening on the total amount committed), however if they collaborated with each other on a project this could be increased up to Twenty Dollars.

Mrs Turvey further noted that although the Fellowships were granted for a one year period, this had sometimes been extended to for mulitple years, depending on the project development idea..

Ms Gabriels noted that at the next meeting she was proposing to present an analytical report of the funding provided to the Fellows and how the monies were spent.

Ms Gabriels further noted thanks from herself and Mrs Turvey for the assistance they had received from Standard Bank Trust Company (Isle of Man) Limited, particularly Mr Christian, Mr Ferns and Mrs Lannigan.

Mrs Turvey further noted that of the Fellows, there had been one reapplication, two leavers and three new applications, giving a current total of seven Fellows with sufficient funding in the budget to account for ten Fellows.

Mrs Turvey also noted that general communications, branding and public relations had been lacking and following a discussion last year with Mr Shuttleworth regarding this, she was going to investigate this further and would report in more detail at the next meeting.

Mr Prosser asked if the Fellows who had left had an obligation to report back and Mrs Turvey confirmed that there was no formal obligation, unless there was the involvement of a for profit company where a shareholder interest was held, however they were all invited to the regular gatherings of the Fellows and that at the last of these in November 2010, two previous Fellows provided an update and that most Ex-Fellows did keep in touch.

Mr Prosser also asked how many new Fellows were being considered for 2011 and Mrs Turvey confirmed that in addition to the current seven, there was sufficient funding within the Budget for another three.

Mr Ferns asked if the Shuttleworth Foundation Wiki was public and asked if this would provide better recognition and advertisement. Mrs Turvey explained that a lot of the information on the Wiki was already available on the Foundation Website and the Fellows own blog.


ANY OTHERBUSINESS: There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed._________________________ _____________



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