Invest in Open Infrastructure exists at the intersection of open source technology, higher education, and a global community of researchers and practitioners. Our work does not operate in a vacuum, and as an organization focused on sustainability, we feel a responsibility to ensure we’re advancing structures and platforms that are building an equitable future of access for all.

At the core of our work are people. For them to feel safe and able to fully participate, we believe our systems and structures need to actively address the systemic inequities that exist in open technology (e.g., 1, 2, 3...) , higher education, and can be exacerbated by funding and capital.

We, as an organization, are trying to do our part and ensure we’re challenging the structures that exacerbate inequity in research and scholarship. As a part of this, we began work with inclusion experts DeEtta Jones & Associates (DJA) last summer to investigate ways IOI can better serve and steward the sort of equity that open infrastructure can and should enable.

For us, this starts with governance and representation, and more specifically, who and how are we making decisions about infrastructure and systems to support research and scholarship. Equity and anti-racism are also deeply embedded in our process and work, from our research convenings, assessment criteria, and actions we recommend and take.

Over the next few months, in collaboration with Code for Science & Society (IOI’s fiscal sponsor), we will work to fully operationalize the recommendations and strategies designed by DeEtta Jones & Associates to evolve our decision-making structures to more directly imbue care, equity, and representation into our work and leadership. This work is supported by a Nominating Committee, who will work closely with IOI leadership and the broader Steering Committee to examine governance models, gaps in representation and expertise, and ways we can begin to address the systemic inequities and whiteness that persist in our communities.

You can read more about this work on the Code for Science & Society and DJA blogs. You can also find (and reuse!) the resources guiding our process below.

  • Board Nomination: Learn a defined, research-rooted method for carrying out board nominations and selections that prioritize equity.
  • A template worksheet is also provided to help you enact this nomination and selection process.
  • Board Onboarding: Connect your new board members to the knowledge and colleagues they need to shepherd your organization well, and with an equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racist lens.
  • Best Practices for Board Governance: Discover crucial ways to operate for inclusion, individually and collectively, that prioritize effective group process and shared understanding

Our work exists in the reality of biased systems. Evolving our governance is one step towards deconstructing those biases and ensuring our work is enabling a more equitable and sustainable ecosystem for open knowledge creation and dissemination.

We’ll be sharing more about our work and commitment to addressing the systemic biases and racism in our ecosystem over the coming months. Sign up for our mailing list for the latest updates, or get in touch.

Posted by Kaitlin Thaney