Kicking off international partner/community monthly discussions

Continuing the discussion from Interim governance arrangements - working together and next steps:

We think that there is a need for more opportunities for people to talk, get connected, share information and start to make decisions where they affect ofn global. We (in Aus) are a bit of a bottle-neck in this - at the moment we are having ‘one-on-ones’ with all of you, and not effectively transmitting info across (and not keeping up with all your needs :smile:)

We think it’s time for a ‘next level’ communications structure that can start building relationships across the international community. Proposing something like a monthly international hangout (international ‘circle’), in which everyone is welcome AND each country / region / instance has at least one person there (perhaps nominated / rotating - whatever). agenda could include

  • intro and check-in (who and what)
  • progress updates
  • organisations and business models - issues arising etc
  • technology overview, part. focus on localisation, internationalisation etc
  • funding applications, possible partnerships
  • report from OFF re. budget (keen to move to ‘open budget’)

Larger objective of the group to develop arrangements for collaborate governance of OFN

Also really aware that we would struggle to coordinate and facilitate this at the moment. Would be really awesome if someone else (? @MyriamBoure @CynthiaReynolds @NickWeir) could take on the cat-herding (time-zone wrangling etc) and get this in place!


Immediate objective is just for all of you to know more about what’s going on elsewhere . . you’re all really interesting people!

thanks Serenity
yes i would like to be part of this.
it would be great if someone made it happen
if nobody else makes it happen then I will after I get back from my wilderness work on the 18th
talk to you soon!

I know that @MyriamBoure has some interesting ideas on how we can do this :wink: I am looking forward to it.

Hei everyone!

First of all, I say YES!!! We need moments not only to be able to share our issues and discuss them, but also to build relationships among our community, which is of course hard with people from all over the world :smile: Hard, but needed as we are all working together on that project because we want to build a food system that care for the people.

1- I think it’s very good idea to organize a monthly Hangout (HO) where we can bring issues/updates/opportunities to share with the community and be able to interact. Doing that in a community HO will avoid to answer the same questions many times in one-to-one discussions.
I also really like what you propose @serenity :

I would precise that the check-in could include a “how do you feel” question, and I would add a “closing circle” in which each one can say a word to share how (s)he feels after the HO.

Also, I suggest, so that people who can’t be here can know what we said, to share on Slack (maybe on a “community” channel? Or should we do that on Discourse, in this discussion for example?) a document that can both make the facilitation easier, and in which we can have the notes from the meeting to share them.

Here is a suggestion (fake example!):

At the beginning of the HO we can take 3 min to write all the things we want to talk about, one idea per line (the power of the Drive for collaborative work!) and then we go through each point, the person who has written it explains the point, we decide on action/what to do, say who takes the lead, and we move to the next point. (this template can be adapted of course, it’s just a proposal)

We can have for each meeting a facilitator (role = open the session, make sure there is one point per line, make sure we go through all the points in the given time, close the session) and a secretary (role= write down actions/informations/roles on the right part of the spreadsheet).

I’m just trying to visualize how to be efficient with a bigger group of people and answer all the needs of the community. I think with such a spreadsheet, we can: all contribute with our needs/questions, and we have a document to share after the meeting. And we share the facilitation/secretary role.

2- BUT that doesn’t mean that we won’t need also one-to-one discussions, if needed on specific topics. For example if we say that for one topic raised in the Global HO, Kirsten and Lawrence work together on YYY point, they may need to interact on a one-to-one basis. But that will be more “action oriented” then than general discussion.

3- About the time&date: I propose to find a regular time&day per month (for example first Thursday of the month 8am GMT), so that we can book it in our agenda for the next months. We can start with 1h and see if it’s enough to go through all the points? Or do you think we need 1,5h?

4- I’m ok to take the coordinator role on this =

  • I can open a discussion about people (where we can introduce ourselves), and we can tag this discussion there also about the monthly community HO
  • Make a doodle to see what day/time is more suitable (share on Slack? Are we all on Slack?)
  • I can create the Hangout invitations and share them so that we all have the link of the HO for the D-day
  • Prepare the spreadsheet for each HO
  • Share on Slack after the HO
  • And if I can’t do that for one session, I take the responsibility to find someone to replace me :smile:

Did I forget something? Are you happy with that? Any comment/suggestion? If someone else want to coordinate that, of course, I have no problem with sharing the role/letting it go to someone else :slight_smile: I just say that I’m ok to do it.

This discussion is also linked for me to the “integration process” of newcomers… No time now but we can open a discussion on that later.


this sounds awesome @MyriamBoure - and I love that you have found an excuse to play with embedding google sheet into discourse :wink:

for my 2c (Kirsten)

  • I would be very happy for you to on the coordinator role and things above
  • I would prefer for things to be managed and shared in discourse as much as possible - not everyone is on slack and it’s being used more for quick day-to-day discussions than recording / coordinating
  • we could choose whether to set up a topic in here, or if more privacy is preferred or needed could be in the ‘OFN Partners’ category

Go for it @MyriamBoure !! I think that sounds like a very manageable and “light weight” way of managing the monthly meetings and very happy for you to take on the coordination role as proposed! THANK YOU! (I agree with Kirsten re sticking with discourse rather than adding slack if possible).

Yes - this all sounds great to me too.
Thanks Myriam.
I look forward to the doodle
Just for information - I will be away on holiday from 14th June to 3rd July

Thanks for your feedbacks, and sorry for the silence the last days, I was off for a week after the OuiShare Fest, needed to disconnect :wink:
Ok, so let’s move forward on that!
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to try out these remote-facilitation technics, we’ll learn while doing of course, let’s be agile :wink:

Ok for sticking with Discourse, I got your point. But I guess we can keep that in the open discussions, in “governance”? It can be interesting also for newcomers to see how we organize the global governance, and how we manage those monthly meetings, what topics are discussed, no? We won’t write precise things in those spreadsheets, that’s just a tool to go through all the points, we won’t go into details here. And anyway, we want the system to be transparent :wink:

To prepare the doodle, I started looking at the time zone and I’m a bit afraid it may be hard to have a very convenient time for everyone… let’s see what we are ok with, given that it will be only one hour per month :wink: And in any case, we’ll find a solution :slight_smile: @openfoodnetwork, do you know where Eric lives in the US? I didn’t find him on Discourse.

Eric is in north carolina . . will reissue his discourse invite

I don’t think we have anyone on the west coast to worry about at the moment, so we can ditch San Francisco and that opens up some options. If we can make it not a friday night, looks like we could go for the 9pm Melbourne slot and we should be able to get a rep from each? @lawrence @NickWeir @lin_d_hop

Yes @Kirsten, I’m sorry I took me too much time to follow up on that question!
Yes, if we look at the time table, it seems that the only “reasonable” spot is:
Oslo: 13:00
London: 12:00
Melbourne: 21:00
Johannesburg: 13:00
North Carolina: 7:00

Here is a doodle with different regular day options, so that we can start those international community meetings!
I answered personnaly depending on my availability for the first meeting, then we’ll manage it for the next ones, but we will be able to book the date for the next months from now. We will see if that “regular day thing” works, or if we need to make a doodle every month, but let’s try that and we’ll see if that works :slight_smile:
@lawrence @Kirsten @serenity @NickWeir @CynthiaReynolds @lin_d_hop @eric please fill it in!

Ok, so it seems that we have two options that fit everyone, great!

Second Thursday of the month (first meeting Thursday 9th July)
Second Tuesday of the month (first meeting Tuesday 14th July)

So, as we have to decide, I propose the Second Tuesday of the month! Our first meeting will be Tuesday 14th July :smile:
Please put it in your agenda, and you can already book all the second Tuesday of the month, at the time indicated above.
I will send you a recurrent google hangout invitation, but pay attention, sometimes the time difference is not well handled by google hangout.

As we said, that would be great if at least one representative of every OFN local could be here :slight_smile:

Ping @lawrence @Kirsten @serenity @NickWeir @lin_d_hop @eric @CynthiaReynolds @lisekvan, and pass the word :wink:

Hi @MyriamBoure,

As Kirsten noted on the localised branding topic (Localised branding - components to be content managed) it would be great if we could add a topic to the HO about rebranding and how this should work for local sites. There have been a few thoughts flying around the Melbourne office as the new brand was developed and implemented onto the AU site and now that this work is more or less done we have to start thinking about how it can work for other local sites. There will no doubt be some thoughts from different locations about what works best for them, and how rigid vs flexible the branding should be when it’s localised (from completely locked down all the way across to not at all, and all shades of grey in between).

Could we please add this as an agenda item? And I’d like to attend if that’s ok :smile:


Hi @danielle, hi everyone!

To make it simple, here is the link to the google hangout that will happen on July 14th (see time above):
So anyone can join easily :wink:

@danielle I can send you an invitation if you give me your email adresse :wink:

For the agenda, I thought we would take 3 minutes at the begining of the HO to put together the things we want to talk about in he coming hour. The idea is that we can add things without any preparation :wink: But I guess we can open it now already if some of us already want to put things on :wink: Here’s the link.

Those who write a point on the agenda will explain it in one minute when we reach the line (we’ll take points one by one).


Hello, My name is Theresa Schumilas. I am a CSA farmer and post-doctoral fellow at the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems here in Ontario, Canada. My post-doc project is to launch a series of ‘experiments’ aimed at bringing sustainable food system advocates (farmers, processors, hubs…) into collaborations with programmers… to explore the potential of new internet and communication technologies in helping us realize sustainable food systems. I call my project - Farm 2.0. One of the projects I’d like to tackle is bringing OFN to Canada, and I’ve been networking and talking with partners here around that. Is it OK if I join your scheduled hangout to listen in. I should say that I am totally not technologically literate - and I’ll have to figure out the hangout thing, but if I can figure it out, can I show up?

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Hello @tschumilas ! Wahou, that is awesome to see how people from all over the world are interested in the OFN infrastructure to build sustainable food systems where they live :slight_smile: Did you already have an exchange with people from OFN? If you want we can have a first hangout, before the community hangout, just to learn more about your project and maybe answer some of your questions? So that you can not only listen, but maybe also participate in the hangout! If you want we can plan a call next week-end? 11th or 12th? Or if not possible for you on those dates, let me know when it’s more convenient for you. @Kirsten and @serenity, is it fine with you if you proceed like that? Do you want to be present in the first call?

Hi @MyriamBoure-- yes I’ve had conversations with you folks in the past - over a year ago I had contacted you to explore bringing OFN to Canada - but my doctoral work got in the way :smile: and time was limited. So - here I am again - ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’ as we say. July 14 works, if my calculations are correct, that is 7:00 am here - which is great. I’ll skip the pre-meeting and try to dive in if thats ok with you - I’m going to be away for a few days and my schedule is kind of crazy right now. BTW - curious if you have ever heard of ‘Harvest Hand’ ? These developers are from Eastern Canada (so no where near me), but seem to have a common ethic with what we are doing. They have not been explicitly open source though, and their priority has been CSA mgmt software. But I’m thinking of linking up with them to explore some mutual projects. I’m wondering if you have had any experience linking with firms working on proprietary systems? Or is this a ‘no no’. Talk with you on the14th

Hi @tschumilas! That sounds good :slight_smile:
About firms working on proprietary systems, I don’t know about Harvest Hand, but I am currently discussing with The Food Assembly, a big player in France and other european countries, but they don’t provide only a software, they also support the hub creation and management. My view is that those kind of players could integrate their business model within OFN. For example The Food Assembly could have a “group” of hubs on the OFN platform and propose some particular support & services to the hubs of their network.
It’s not so easy, but I think it’s important to open the door for discussion and see if there is any possibility to work together instead of competing with each other. That’s my way of thinking, I don’t believe in competition anymore :slight_smile:

Thank you everyone for participating to our first community hangout!
That was really impressive and great to see all of us gathered, from all around the world :smile:
With Anselm we have “cleaned” a little bit the hangout file. You can check it and complete/correct if needed.
For the points where we had some actions linked, there is a leader who is in charge to ensure that the action happens, but (s)he can ask for support if needed :slight_smile:

I suggest that we keep the same file for the next hangout and just add a new tab each month, so that we don’t mix up with different links.
Anselm @Selmo is going to invite you to the OFN global drive he has started, in which we can “move” the documents we have that are about OFN global. That will make it easier to work together on our global exciting challenges :slight_smile:

The next community hangout will be on Tuesday 11th August, same time as today:
Oslo/Paris: 13:00 - London: 12:00 - Melbourne: 21:00 - Johannesburg: 13:00 - North Carolina: 7:00
Here is the link:
Anselm will be facilitating that hangout :slight_smile: