The Open Food Network Community Pledge (v1.0)
is now ready for signing._
Please read thoroughly and then follow the instructions at the bottom to sign-on.
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 infrastructures to support the emergence and development of food hubs 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 OFN community pledge can be signed by any person, organization or institution that supports what we are doing and is aligned with our vision, mission and values.
The Open Food Network Community is the informal “body” that gathers Members of five kinds:
- Affiliates: organizations deploying and maintaining the recognised and branded instance of the Open Food Network platform in their region. They provide OFN 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 by running a white-labelled instance of OFN.
- Service Providers: those drawing upon and contributing to the Commons to provide services as a web agency / developer / freelancer / marketing consultant / or selling OFN-based services to clients.
- Contributors: individuals, organisations or institutions contributing to the Open Food Network project with time, skills and/or money, including Users of a local instance.
- Supporters: other individuals, organizations or institutions supporting the Open Food Network mission.
The code of the platform is open source, released under AGPL3 licence and accessible here, so anyone can use it and build its own project on it, without being part of the OFN community nor having signed this pledge.
However, 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.
Users of the Open Food Network platform (e.g. hub managers or groups using the platform to operate their initiative or Associates running their own ‘white-labelled’ instance do not have to sign this agreement in order to trade on or use the Open Food Network platform. However, if they wish to participate in decision-making at the global level, and be acknowledged as an Associate, Service Provider, Contributor or Supporter of the Open Food Network community, they do.
3. 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.
4. 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
- contribute actively in the community life (see below)
Affiliates have additional responsibilities for:
- building local development and service capacity to respond to local needs
- represent the OFN brand
- ensuring that they communicate their OFN partnership / membership in communication materials e.g. “Affiliated Member of the Open Food Network” or equivalent
- contribute to the Commons, as per Item 6.
Associates and Service Providers have additional responsibilities to contribute value back to the Commons, as per Item 6. In addition to licensing requirements, Associates providing a white-label OFN service are expected to ensure a reasonable public attribution of the contribution of the Open Food Network Commons.
5. Advantages of Members
All Members of the Community are able to contribute in the discussions and decisions regarding the Open Food Network Community.
In addition, Affiliates (only) can:
- use the Open Food Network brand for their local entity
- use any URL containing openfoodnetwork or ofn
- have discounted access to expertise and services of the core development team when required
- reference the reputation, experience, learning and support of the international OFN community when applying for local and philanthropic grants.
6. Active contribution of Affiliates and Associates
The Affiliates and Associates of the Open Food Network are using the Commons developed by the community, and are encouraged to contribute to the Commons in return.
The way they contribute to the Commons is their choice and can include:
Support other Affiliates and Associates through:
- participation in discussions on the community forum
- sharing budgets and financial models, share marketing and organizational strategies, etc.
- supporting other partners in solving technical or organizational challenges
- provide annual report / summary of progress to the global community about the local OFN partner
Contribute to the shared costs of maintaining OFN Core Commons (“OFN CC” = open source infrastructure and community), in the form of revenue-sharing e.g.
Affiliates contribute to OFN 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 revenues is dedicated to OFN CC. The annual engagement is discussed with the community and communicated transparently on the community forum.
Associates: white-label instances contribute to OFN CC through a % of revenue and/or annual contribution and/or % of development budget and/or time / expertise. The annual engagement is discussed with the community and communicated transparently on the community forum.
Service Providers: freelance / contractors contribute financially either to OFN 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 OFN Core Commons (“OFN CC”) by:
- participating in global community hangouts
- participating in decision-making and processes (e.g. co-budget)
- contributing to ‘gardening’ e.g. maintenance and update of the global information site, including their instance / partner page
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.
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 Affiliates and Associates will specifically procure development services from the OFN development teams. Payment for services is dealt with in specific service agreements and beyond base contribution referred to here.
7. Joining the Open Food Network Community.
If you wish to deploy the platform as a Commons for your local ecosystem, and be the formally recognised OFN instance for that region, you need to join as an Affiliate, as outlined above.
Affiliated entities are run democratically, enabling other values-aligned local actors to take part in the project 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 OFN Affiliate in your region, you are encouraged to join / get involved / collaborate.
If you wish to be the regional representative of OFN and fulfil all the criteria above and below as an OFN Affiliate, but wish to use different branding, then you should follow the process as below and include request to be an OFN Affiliate with a differently branded instance.
To be approved as a local OFN Affiliate, a given entity needs to:
- Agree that they share the OFN values
- Sign the present pledge
- Post a message on community.openfoodnetwork.org to present its organization, its values and mission, and its project to deploy the Open Food Network in its region. This will enable the other partners to engage in a discussion with the newcomer.
- Participate in a first global monthly community hangout.
- If no objection is voiced by a current Affiliate (lazy consent), the newcomer becomes a partner
If an Affiliate has no legal entity, they will remain as a “provisional” Affiliate until their entity is established.
A Contributor of the Open Food Network becomes eligible to join the community by the act of contributing, and becomes a Member upon signing the Agreement.
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, and intended use of the Open Food Network. They can later outline how they wish to give back to the Commons they use (through some or all of the activities outlined in Part 6).
8. 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 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 OFN values, or becomes inactive. [See Conflict Resolution section below]. If an entity stops being an Affiliated member, in practice this means removing reference on the global OFN information website (openfoodnetwork.org) and asking the former partner to remove shared branding from their OFN instance.
The decisions in the community follows the subsidiarity rule: every Affiliate and Associate has its own decision making process for the decisions that concerns only its perimeter.
For the decisions that concern more than one OFN Affiliate, or the broader community, the given process should apply:
- Someone opens a thread on Discourse 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”
- If no consent can be reached, then a vote can be called. In that case, every Affiliate has one voice, and a decision require ⅔ of support to be adopted. [NB. Voices of other Members to be considered on case by case basis e.g. depending on the issue]
10. 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 he/she feels. Aligned with our values, he/she is expected to formulate his/her 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.
11. A note on future licensing
There might be an option in the future for complementary adoption of a Commons Based Reciprocity Licence. We are investigating the future use of a commons based reciprocity licence to encourage [enforce?] community contribution from for-profit host users/organisations. This type of licence is under development (currently seeking funding) but is likely to take a couple of years. Central is a reciprocity clause requiring contribution from certain entities e.g. those using the code for commercial gain/profit (to be defined)***. If this type of licence is developed we would consider adoption if it could be done so in line with this agreement and with limited/positive impact on (not for profit) partner organisations.
12. Review of this document
This pledge is currently closed for review and suggestions. 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.
SIGNING ONTO THIS PLEDGE
To sign, please ‘reply’ to this Thread, including:
- Who you are signing on behalf of, e.g. yourself as an individual or as an authorised representative of an organisation
- The membership type and agreed ‘pledge’ for that member type as outlined below
- Official contact email address
- ‘Ping’ handles of other forum users who are part of this organisation signatory
Signatories to the OFN Community Pledge
a) Affiliates - Regional OFN 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 OFN community and contribute to the Commons, either with time or money, in a transparent way.
c) OFN based Service Providers
Enterprises selling software or other support services based on the OFN, who are different from the organisation running the local OFN instance
As I/we use the Open Food Network Commons to make my own business thrive, I/we commit to give back to the OFN community and contribute to the Commons, either with time or money, in a transparent way.
c) OFN Contributors
I commit to consider the Open Food Network as a Commons that I’m part of developing and making thrive. I commit to propose constructive solutions to issues I might face on my experience with the Open Food Network. We are all crew in the Open Food Network Ship, there are no passengers, so I commit to be part of the crew and contribute with my skills, time, money and/or ideas, as much as I can given my personal circumstances.
(hubs and producers who trade on OFN)
(funders, individual contributors not attached to any local OFN chapter, etc.)
(Individuals, organizations & institutions fans of OFN)
I believe in the Open Food Network vision and mission, and even if I don’t use it or contribute to it, I do support the Open Food Network project as I believe it can have a positive impact on the world we live in.
***“Essentially, the Commons Reciprocity License can be regarded as an adaptation of the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA license, featuring, however, an additional clause –the “reciprocity” clause– whose goal is to preclude the commercial exploitation of the commons by people who did not yet contribute to them. The “reciprocity” clause entails, therefore, a condition according to which only those who contribute to the commons are entitled to commercially exploit them –but only to a similar or equivalent extent (i. e. they can take only as much as they have given to the commons). In other words, works released under this license would remain freely available to all for non-commercial use, whereas commercial exploitation would only be permitted to those who (already) contributed to the commons pool –and only proportionally to such contributions. Alternatively, standard copyright provisions apply: commercial exploitation can only be legitimately done previous authorisation by the relevant right owners, and subject to the payment of the corresponding licensing fees (if any)”
Continuing the discussion from OFN global community agreement / community pledge