Celebrating Collective Growth at our Annual Fall Open House

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Last week, we were delighted to host our 3rd Annual Open Gov Hub Open House with 100 members and friends of our community. The goal of this special gathering was to pause from the day-to-day busyness that consumes so many of us, to deepen our connections and reflect on and celebrate our collective achievements.

This year we highlighted some exciting Open Gov Hub developments:

  • Key findings from the biggest research we’ve undertaken to date about our network (the who, what, why, where and how of our 40+ members’ work)

  • Wishing farewell to some outgoing members (Rethink Media, Cadasta, Ushahidi, and Land Alliance), and welcoming several new ones to our community (BRAC-USA, Just Results, Directorio Legislativo, Collaborating for Resilience, and Center for International Private Enterprise)

  • Holding a record number of activities (61 events, meaning one every single day for 3 months straight!) in Q2 2018

  • Publishing our Guide to Great Events

  • Calculating an estimated average cost savings per member organization of $14,000/year!

  • Informal and formal shared staffing arrangements between groups more and more each day (which is key as staff is any organization’s most valuable resource)

  • Introducing our new 10-person Member Council (bios forthcoming on the Hub team page)

  • And our single biggest announcement: the expansion of our Global Network of Affiliate Hubs!

The seed of our Global Network of Affiliate Hubs was planted in 2014 when the first partner Open Gov Hub was established in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2014 by one of our founding members, Accountability Lab. Since then, Accountability Lab has led the establishment of additional affiliate hubs in Liberia (2016) and Mali (this summer). Yet we never had any dedicated resources to support these global, hub-to-hub partnerships (beyond the very occasional Skype call, etc.) until a small “Staff Swap” Pilot between the DC and Liberia Hubs this year. In fact, the head of our partner Hub in Liberia, Luther Jeke of the iCampus, attended and spoke during this Open House as part of this program.

And now, building upon the success of our pilot and through the support of a new grant from the Open Society Foundations, the Open Gov Hub will expand our Global Network of Affiliate Hubs in the new year. We will work with up to 8 different hubs worldwide, facilitating peer learning across several countries to support the sustainability and impact of all partner hubs in the network.

These partnerships will be a two-way street: our Hub in DC will share what we’ve learned over 6 years in operation in our signature How to Run a Hub training - which covers both the business side and the mission-oriented programs that we run (from the big picture strategy to the small details that are vital for success). And we look forward to learning from new and existing hubs at different stages of their development, with the end goal to all become better hubs, that better serve as engines of efficiency and collaboration supporting social changemakers in our communities.

If you’re interested in learning more about these global hub partnerships, you can inquire here.

At the Open House, several Hub organizations also set up interactive Exhibit Booths:

Finally, two brave souls presented incredible, amusing and informative 5-minute Ignite Talks (which is no easy feat!). They both focused on the theme of digital democracy.

These talks were a fantastic way to learn about innovative initiatives from a few of our members. Check them out here!

Ignite Talk from Victoria Welborn of National Democratic Institute (NDI):

Facebook, Fake News, and Democracy: A Love Story

Ignite Talk from Teddy Wilhite of the International Republican Institute (IRI):

“Developing Inclusive Governance through Improved Technology (DIGIT Program)”

Many thanks to those who went above and beyond by preparing an Ignite Talk or Exhibit Booth, and to everyone who made this event possible and a great success!