Building on our recent announcements about our work ahead, from funding to scale and operationalize IOI’s work, our 3-year strategic plan (and our process for designing it), and most recently, the launch of our first “community council” to inform our strategies and work around accountability and equity, IOI is actively seeking recommendations for individuals and organizations operating at the intersection of infrastructure and access in service of communities to join IOI’s governance. We are intentionally looking for those leading work in adjacent fields, communities, funding realities, and types of “infrastructure” to expand and grow our work.

This includes organizers coordinating collective action to drive measurable change, those working to address our systemic injustices in technology while they work to change the system, and those testing and advancing different economic models and frameworks for funding and sustaining core technologies and services that communities rely on.

At the heart of this work lie core issues surrounding governance and representation -- what voices are invited in, whose needs are represented, who  are we designing solutions for, what strategies and thinking can we learn from to apply to the myriad of challenges in our sector.

More information on how IOI’s governance is evolving can be found below. To nominate yourself or a colleague for a role on our Steering Committee, please fill in this form.

Applications close September 15, 2021.

How did we get here

IOI first began as a coalition of infrastructure providers, research organizations, institutional representatives, and open advocates. That initial group of individuals worked from August 2018 through early 2020 to scope IOI, generate interest and financial support, and staff the project, becoming IOI’s first Steering Committee.

We’ve written over the past few months about steps we are taking to clarify how decisions are made at IOI as we hit a moment of growth and maturation. We’ve also shared resources from work we’ve done with inclusion experts DeEtta Jones & Associates on building inclusive and anti-racist governance to ensure we’re actively working to reach beyond our own lived experiences and countering the layers of inequity that exist at the intersection of open source, prestige in research and higher education, and oppressive structures that are often exacerbated in funding and resourcing.

We are faced with some big questions ahead and have been examining ways to design our governance and decision-making structures to best inform and grow our work moving forward. A key part of that is whose voices we are seeking, whose expertise and lived experiences we invite in. We know that to challenge our assumptions and push us to center equity and access in our work.

We know the models (and the people) that have gotten us to where we are today — and are grateful for all those who’ve worked to develop, fund, advocate for open infrastructure in research. But to truly reform, grow, and scale our collective impact in furthering openness and equity, we need to reach outside of our usual suspect circles.

Who are you inspired by or learning from? Where are you seeing practitioners, movements, organizations push the boundaries and experiment with models to center equity and access to support their communities? We’d love to hear from you.

Posted by Kaitlin Thaney