The Future of School of Data
Over the last few years, School of Data has seen impressive development and growth, going from a simple idea to an internationally recognised data literacy programme which has trained thousands of people, worked with dozens of CSOs and has multiple regional instances.
School of Data was conceived in early 2012 by Open Knowledge in collaboration with Philip Schmidt of P2PU and the project was officially launched to the public in January 2013.
Since then, it has grown to be an amazing network of data literacy practitioners, both organizations and individuals, implementing training and other data literacy activities in their country or region. Our local implementing partners are Social TIC, CfAfrica, Metamorphosis, and several Open Knowledge chapters including Spain, Brazil, France, Greece and more. In addition, we have worked in many countries thorough our dedicated fellows.
We have also worked with multiple funding partners including the Shuttleworth Foundation, Open Society Foundations, the Hewlett Foundation, Hivos, the International Development Research Centre, the World Bank and more. Finally, we have also had the opportunity to collaborate with literally dozens of CSOs, governments and other institutions both in developing materials, doing investigations, and providing training.
A network owned by its members
Members of School of Data work to empower civil society organizations, journalists, governments and citizens with the skills they need to use data effectively in their efforts to create better, more equitable and more sustainable societies.
Our members truly make School of Data unique!
After nearly 3 years of growth and shared successes, the time has come to formally recognise the growing array of School of Data partners and stakeholders and share ownership and decision making of School of Data with them.
We are very happy to announce that we have started the journey towards transitioning the ownership of the School of Data by establishing a governance structure. After intensive meetings, debates and voting during our last Summer Camp in Ottawa, the School of Data members elected a Steering Group and empowered them to represent the entire network, manage shared assets like the School of Data brand and fundraise for the network going forward. Our newly elected Steering Committee members are:
- Juan Manuel Casanueva, Director of Social TIC
- Bardhyl Jashari, Director of Metamorphosis, Macedonia
- Natalia Mazotte, Programme Manager of School of Data Brazil
- Sander van der Waal, Projects Director at Open Knowledge International
- Antonio Cucho Gamboa, Senior School of Data fellow and Open Data Activist in Peru
The Steering Committee is supported by the School of Data coordination team whose work remains invaluable in managing programmes and running data literacy activities in close collaboration with our local partners.
Legally, School of Data will still be homed at Open Knowledge, who remains a key stakeholder. However, the goal of having a governance structure is to ensure long term sustainability and empower our community to participate in School of Data’s development.
The Steering Group and the School of Data coordination team have a lot of work ahead, especially as they establish this new model. One of their most important priorities is to set up a membership scheme and define a clear process to join the School of Data network.
We already have the basic principles of a membership model:
- We strive for autonomy for our local partners and trust in our members
- We will be united by shared values and passion for data literacy
- We will continue to develop materials with open licence to encourage anyone to use, re-use and re-distribute them
- Membership will be determined by shared values, intention to become a member and contribution to the network
- The membership will be continuously validated though feedback and some quality control mechanisms
- The benefits of membership are, among others, shared knowledge and projects, visibility and brand, peer support and solidarity and a vote for the steering committee or representation in decision making
Do you want to become a School of Data member? Please get in touch – this is the perfect time for us to explore new frontiers and build the foundations of an amazing network of data literacy practitioners around the world!