Open Food Network Global Community Pledge
Version 2.0 - 1 August 2019
1. Purpose of Open Food Network Community
The Open Food Network (OFN) is a global network of people and organisations who work together on the development of open and shared resources, knowledge and infrastructure to support the emergence and development of food enterprises and short supply chains all over the world. We believe that in order to build a sustainable and resilient food system, we need to reconnect producers and consumers, so our aim is to empower people and communities and give them the tools and knowledge to develop the food hubs that they need for their community. The Open Food Network community pledge can be signed by any organization willing to co-develop the Open Food Network Commons and make it thrive.
2. What is the Open Food Network
The Open Food Network Commons currently consists of three types of products:
- The Open Food Network software. The code is open source, released under AGPL3 licence and accessible here, so anyone can use it and build their own project on it, without being part of the Open Food Network community nor having signed this pledge.
- Sector development products such as marketing tools, research, incubation programs, trainings, case studies, consulting, etc. These resources are released publicly under Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0 so they can be used by anyone for commercial or non-commercial use as long as they are attributed to us and released under the same licence.
- Other open source software and tools to support sustainable, sovereign and resilient food systems. Governance agreements for these developer and user communities will be developed, adapted from and linked to this Pledge, as needed.
NB: Our logo and brand are not products and are not shared under those open source licences.
Any product created by an Open Food Network Affiliate under the Open Food Network banner will be published under licencing consistent with the above. In the case of a local Affiliate winding-up, all Open Food Network-related intellectual property that has been created by that Affiliate will transfer to another Open Food Network Affiliate, or the Open Food Foundation (Australia).
The Open Food Network Community is the informal “body” that gathers Members of three kinds:
- Affiliates: organizations that are recognised Open Food Network partners and regional representatives, e.g. deploying and maintaining a recognised and branded instance of the Open Food Network platform in their region. They provide Open Food Network as a Commons for the communities, food producers and food enterprises within their defined region and meet the criteria outlined in section 7.
- Associates: those drawing upon and contributing to the Commons e.g. by running a white-labelled instance of Open Food Network.
- Service Providers: those drawing upon and contributing to the Commons to provide services as a web agency / developer / freelancer / marketing consultant / or selling Open Food Network-based services to clients.
To be a RECOGNISED AFFILIATE, which allows using the brand and claiming your organization as a “Affiliated member of the Open Food Network”, one must be a legal entity (can be under creation), must have signed the present pledge and must have followed the integration process described in section 7.
By becoming ASSOCIATES of the Open Food Network, parties recognise the value of the Commons that they are getting for free, and commit to contributing to help build and strengthen the Commons. See Section 8 for minimum requirements, and Section 9 for suggested areas for additional contribution. Commitment to contributions should be included in your response when you sign onto this Pledge. Associates and their contributions to the Commons will be recognised on the global website.
Similarly to Associates, SERVICE PROVIDERS can sign the pledge and should include how they will contribute to the Commons. These commitments will also be acknowledged on the global website, supporting service providers to build their reputation in the Open Food Network ecosystem. These commitments will also be acknowledged on the global website, supporting service providers to build their reputation in the Open Food Network ecosystem.
4. Purpose of this Document
The purpose of this document is to formalize the mutual engagement of the people and entities working together on the Open Food Network. In our open source culture and distributed network, every entity is engaged towards all the other entities in the network, and the best way we have found to openly formalize this mutual engagement is the present pledge. All people and entities signing this document have rights, but also responsibilities towards all the other signatories.
NB. We have no way to enforce contributions to the Commons. This Pledge provides a format for accountability and transparency where people are using the Commons but want to clearly be part of strengthening and spreading it. Anyone can use the code and resources we develop, but to be recognised as a community member we expect that you will sign on as an Affiliate, Associate or Service Provider and publicly commit to the contributions you will make.
5. Responsibilities of Members
In signing this pledge, signatories agree that they:
- Share the Open Food Network Values, as described here.
- Will be transparent and communicate with the community about projects and opportunities that can impact the community
- Actively contribute to the improvement and strengthening of the Commons (see below)
- Respect the licencing conditions
- Update their pledge commitments if they surpass or cannot keep them
Affiliates have additional responsibilities for:
- Building local development and service capacity to respond to local needs
- Represent the Open Food Network brand
- Respect the branding guidelines and ensure that they communicate their Open Food Network partnership / membership in communication materials (see Item 7)
Associates and Service Providers have additional responsibilities to contribute value back to the Commons, as per Item 9.
6. Advantages of Members
All Members of the Community are able to participate in the discussions and learning of the Open Food Network community, and point to their Association / Partnership on their website and marketing materials.
In addition, Affiliates (only) can:
- Use the Open Food Network brand for their local entity
- Use any URL containing openfoodnetwork or ofn
- Run an Open Food Network-branded instance of the Open Food Network marketplace platform in their region
- Vote to prioritise the use of common development resources for the technical pipelines
- Reference the reputation, experience, learning and support of the international Open Food Network community when applying for local and philanthropic grants or other funding.
7. Branding guidelines for Affiliates
Affiliates are authorized to use the Open Food Network brand and derivatives, under the following conditions:
- They have the choice to choose their own local brand, but they MUST communicate their Open Food Network partnership / membership in communication material e.g. “Affiliated Member of the Open Food Network” visible on the homepage of the website, and clearly visible on any written communication. If their local brand is an obvious derivative of the Open Food Network brand, this mention is not necessary but the fact that they belong to the global community must be clearly communicated.
- They are encouraged to choose a local branding as much aligned as possible with the global brand, to maximize the clarity of the Open Food Network global brand and so that the local media coverage and activity reports can easily be associated and reused for the benefit of the global network. But given the subsidiarity principle, the local Affiliate remains free to choose its local brand.
- We actively discourage local Affiliates to limit the use of the Open Food Network brand or derivative to the software product only.
- In order to keep a minimum of alignment between all the Open Food Network brands, local Affiliates SHOULD use the global brand icon of the basket in their local brand design. We recognise that there may be a transition period for existing home-branded Affiliates.
8. Licensing conditions for Associates
Associates providing a white-label Open Food Network service (using an open source Open Food Network product to commercialize a self-branded product) are expected to ensure a reasonable public attribution of their use of the Open Food Network Commons. Where providing services based on our code or resources, Associates and Service Providers MUST clearly communicate their use of the Open Food Network commons where users will see it. This means:
- Displaying this short sentence (including hyperlinks) : “This product is powered by the Open Food Network, which is a global network of people and organisations building and sharing digital tools and knowledge to support a resilient and regenerative food system. ”
- Displaying the logo of the Open Food Network
- BOTH of these items must be displayed on the homepage, or (if there is a strong case not to) within one click of the homepage…
- Where the service being provided is a software product, the terms of the licence MUST be met - in most cases this will mean that a link to the Associate or Service Providers’ source code must also be provided.
9. Active contribution of Affiliates, Associates and Service Providers
The Affiliates, Associates and Service Providers of the Open Food Network are using the Commons developed by the community, and are encouraged to contribute to the Commons in return. Their choice of how to contribute to the Commons should be articulated in their signing of the Pledge. Suggested activities could include:
- Support other Affiliates and Associates through:
- participation in discussions on the community forum
- sharing budgets and financial models, sharing marketing and organizational strategies, etc.
- supporting other partners in solving technical or organizational challenges
- Providing an annual report / summary of progress to the global community
- Contribute to the shared costs of maintaining Open Food Network Core Commons (“Open Food Network CC” = open source infrastructure, knowledge and community), in the form of revenue-sharing e.g.
- Affiliates contribute to Open Food Network CC through a % of revenue and/or annual contribution and/or % of development budget and/or time / expertise. We recommend that a minimum of 20% of affiliate income is dedicated to Open Food Network CC. The annual engagement is discussed with the community and communicated transparently on the community forum and budget management systems.
- Associates: white-label instances can contribute to Open Food Network CC through a % of revenue, annual contribution, % of development budget and/or code, time or expertise. The annual engagement is updated in the Pledge signing, discussed with the community and communicated transparently on the community forum and global website.
- Service Providers: freelance / contractors contribute financially either to Open Food Network CC, or to local Partner if company selling a service based on a local Partner instance. The amount can be discussed and adapted to every situation, but to be part of the community, a Service Provider need to contribute in a “fair” way.
- Contribute to management of the Open Food Network Core Commons (“Open Food Network CC”) by:
- participating in online meetings of the global community
- participating in decision-making and processes
- contributing to ‘gardening’ e.g. maintenance and update of the global information sites, including their instance / partner page, Open Food Network handbook, user guide and other documentation
- contributing to the development of code or other products and resources
- Engaging with the community re. code improvements and new features to avoid duplicating / clashing with other work, packaging enhancements to facilitate merge into the master code, and contributing to the costs of integration where necessary.
- Develop products for the Commons that support the emergence of a resilient, sovereign and regenerative food system
- Drive research and development projects that can benefit the Open Food Network community.
- Proactively seek out funding opportunities and relationships with potential benefit to the whole community
- Take leadership and responsibility for some roles needed by the community (code review and merge, global facilitation, development of new features, fund raising, etc.)
- Encourage local and individual users to contribute to the global commons through: contributing case studies and operational activities to share ideas and inspiration; and contributing finance and expertise where possible and relevant
NOTE: In some cases Associates and Service Providers may specifically procure development services from the Open Food Network development teams. Payment for services is dealt with in specific service agreements and beyond base contribution referred to here.
10. Joining the Open Food Network Community
If you wish to be the formally recognised partner / representative of the global Open Food Network in your region, you need to join as an Affiliate.
Affiliated entities are run democratically, enabling other values-aligned local actors to take part in the project, make and influence decisions about the strategic direction of the Open Food Network nationally, and take care of that Commons locally. Our current preference is for only one entity to run one Open Food Network branded instance in any given region. If there is already an Open Food Network Affiliate in your region, you are encouraged to join / get involved / collaborate.
To be approved as a local Open Food Network Affiliate, a given entity needs to:
- Agree that they share the Open Food Network values
- Sign the present pledge
- Post a message on community.openfoodnetwork.org to present its organization, its values and mission, and its anticipated projects / use and development of the Commons in its region. This will enable the other partners to engage in a discussion with the newcomer. If the local Affiliate candidate is organized around a hybrid set of local organisations (e.g. a non profit and a cooperative) with all contributing locally to the Open Food Network community, they must explain their legal agreements and describe who will be signing the pledge and who is holding the shared responsibility for the Commons. This must be done through a Discourse post on the community forum.
- Participate in a global monthly online meeting of the global community for which the agendas are posted here…
- If no objection is voiced by a current Affiliate (lazy consent), the newcomer becomes an Affiliate
NB. You may NOT publish or provide an Open Food Network-branded service based on the Commons UNTIL you have signed the pledge and been accepted by the Community.
If you are wishing to deploy a ‘demo’ instance and / or do not yet have a legal entity, you can apply with your own individual name as a “provisional” Affiliate until entity and local governance is established.
An Associate or Service Provider using the Open Food Network platform to operate their activity is encouraged to take part in the Community, initially by signing this pledge and posting a message on community.openfoodnetwork.org to present its organization, values and mission, intended use of the Open Food Network Commons and an outline of how they intend to contribute to the Commons they use (through some or all of the activities outlined in Part 6).
11. Leaving the Open Food Network Community
There are various ways an Affiliate, Associate or Service Provider can leave the Open Food Network Community:
- The entity decides to follow another path and doesn’t want to keep co-building the project within the community. In that case, the member should state this publicly on the community forum and explain the reasons for this decision. They will then be removed from the signatory page.
- An Affiliate, Associate or Service Provider doesn’t respect their commitment or responsibilities towards the community. That can happen if they act in a way which is not aligned with the Open Food Network values, becomes inactive, violates licence conditions or doesn’t keep commitments. [See Conflict Resolution section below]. If an entity stops being an Affiliated or Associate member, in practice this means removing reference on the global Open Food Network information website (openfoodnetwork.org) and asking the former partner to remove shared branding from their Open Food Network instance.
The decisions in the community follows the subsidiarity rule: every Affiliate, Associate and Service Provider has its own decision making process for the decisions that concerns only its perimeter.
For the decisions that concern more than one Open Food Network Affiliate, or the broader community, the given process should apply:
- Someone opens a thread on https://community.openfoodnetwork.org/ and share about the situation, the tension, and the proposal he/she asks the community to decide upon.
- The person who opens up the thread is in charge of facilitating it and asking specific people to contribute, or can ask someone to facilitate.
- In particular, the facilitator needs to make sure the people/partners impacted by the decision are asked to contribute to the discussion.
- If a consensus or a consent emerges from the discussion and no one objects, the decision is taken through “lazy consent”. This means that we will assume agreement in the absence of any objection.
- If no consent can be reached, then a vote can be called. In that case, every Affiliate has one voice, and a decision requires ⅔ of support to be adopted. [NB. Voices of other Members to be considered on a case by case basis e.g. depending on the issue]
13. Conflict Resolution
Any tension can be processed through either a post on the community forum and/or a discussion during a global community hangout. Every member of the community is responsible for raising the point and describe the tension they feel. Aligned with our values, they are expected to formulate /their tension in a non-violent and non-judgmental way, and propose a constructive solution that would relieve the tension.
For the specific case where a member’s Affiliate status is questioned - the other members of the community are entitled to raise the issue during a global community hangout and designate a facilitator to open up a discussion with the member. The facilitator’s role is first to ask genuine questions to enable the community to understand their situation, and then to enable a mutual understanding between the member and the rest of the community. If the issue remains and the community express that this member is not respecting the present commitment, the facilitator invites the given member to switch membership type (e.g. to Supporter) if they wish to. If the answer is yes, a thread is posted on Discourse to explain the situation and decision of the member to step out of their Affiliate role. If the answer is no, then the conflict resolution process applies.
14. Review of this document
This pledge is open for review and suggestions until it is publicly open for signatures. After that, it can be reviewed upon request by opening a thread on the community forum. At least 3 Affiliates need to agree that there is a fundamental need to review the document before any modification can be passed on. In case a modification is proposed, all the signatories will be notified and invited to participate in the discussion. After the decision is made (see decision making process), all signatories will be notified about the modification and will have 15 days to withdraw their signature if they want. By default, the signatures remain on the document and the signatories are considered to agree with the new document. It is the responsibility of the signatory to maintain its contact details updated.
15. Signatories / people and organizations that supports the pledge
To sign, please reply to the forum Thread, including:
- Who you are signing on behalf of, e.g. yourself as an individual or as an authorised representative of an organisation. See above (Item 10) if you run multiple entities cooperating the Open Food Network products locally.
- The membership type as below
- The agreed ‘pledge’ for that member type
- Explain in a few words which part of the Open Food Network commons you plan to use and how you plan to contribute back to the Commons.
- Official contact email address
- ‘Ping’ handles of other forum users who are part of this organisation signatory
PLEASE don’t forget to leave a contact detail for any further communication!
- Affiliates - Regional Open Food Network Instances / Chapters
I commit to take care of the Commons and deploy it as an enabler to support the emergence of a variety of food hubs reconnecting producers and consumers locally.
Official (accepted by community)
Provisional (in the process to join the community)
Enterprises running a white label version of the platform
As I/we use the Open Food Network Commons to make my/our own business thrive, I/we commit to give back to the Open Food Network community and contribute to the Commons, either with time or money, in a transparent way.
c) Open Food Network based Service Providers
Enterprises selling software or other support services based on the Open Food Network, who are different from the organisation running the local Open Food Network instance
As I/we use the Open Food Network Commons to make my own business thrive, I/we commit to give back to the Open Food Network community and contribute to the Commons, either with time or money, in a transparent way.