Everything you wanted to know about the Open Gov Hub.
What is the Open Gov Hub?
The Open Gov Hub is the world's first co-working community focused on transparency and open government issues.
We are a co-working community in Washington, D.C. and a network of 40 organizations, mostly international development NGOs, promoting transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement around the world.
The 20,000 square foot Hub is the physical workspace home of about 200 people promoting these open government ("OpenGov") reforms through technology, research, media, and advocacy.
The Open Gov Hub was established in late 2012 with Global Integrity and Development Gateway as co-founders. There are two global affiliate Open Gov Hubs - the first in Kathmandu, Nepal and the other in Monrovia, Liberia.
Why does the Open Gov Hub exist?
The Open Gov Hub’s mission is twofold:
- to provide a physical home to opengov organizations (helping them be more efficient and share resources)
- to serve as the center for collaboration, learning, and innovation on opengov issues, helping members be more effective and have greater impact together.
Where is the Open Gov Hub and what does it look like?
The Open Gov Hub is located in downtown Washington, D.C. at 1110 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 500. Our 20,000 square foot modern space is an “open bullpen” design ringed by a total of 23 meeting rooms. We also have a modular dedicated 2,000 square-foot events space that can be configured in many different ways.
Here is a 2 minute virtual tour of our space (from when it first opened in 2014).
What kind of organizations work at the Open Gov Hub?
The Open Gov Hub is home to a wide range of open government organizations including international development nonprofits, technology-focused groups, policy-oriented advocates, a few media organizations, and more. We deliberately take a "big tent" approach and welcome people and organizations pursuing open government activities in the broadest sense.
For more information about who we are, what we work for, and how we do it, check out our Community Values.
Does that mean government?
We believe organizations and individuals outside of government should play an important role in encouraging open government/governance reforms around the world, and we exist to help support their efforts. This includes local and international civil society groups and NGOs, multilateral institutions like the World Bank, multi-stakeholder initiatives (who work closely to support reforming governments like the Open Government Partnership), and more.
Currently the Open Gov Hub does not have any members that are formal government entities. However we have partnered with various government entities on events (including DC local government, US federal entities like USAID and the White House, and hosting visiting delegations from other country governments). We would also certainly welcome individuals or units from government(s) (domestic or international; national or local) as OpenGov Hub members if they have an interest in opengov issues.
What does the Open Gov Hub do?
In addition to all the work of our respective members, the Open Gov Hub itself regularly organizes and hosts a wide variety of activities, at least on a weekly basis, to support and benefit its member community as well as the public.
This includes but is not limited to public and private discussions, panel events, happy hours and other social events, workshops, hackathons, conferences, book/report launches, brown bag lunches, and much more.
To see our latest upcoming activities and get a sense of the types of events we organize and host, check out our Events page, which is regularly updated.
We also increasingly organize various activities just for our members to help them innovate, learn from and with each other, develop new skills, gain new knowledge, and work together to have greater impact.
Who actually runs the Open Gov Hub?
Technically speaking the Open Gov Hub is not a separate legal entity but rather is considered an initiative of its two founding NGOs, Global Integrity and Development Gateway. These two organizations co-signed the long term lease on our space, administer our member contracts and help provide basic administrative structure and operational support/oversight to the Open Gov Hub.
Is this an incubator?
No., this is not a start-up incubator in the classic sense in that the Hub does not directly invest in its member organizations and grow their work.
Rather, the Hub seeks to bring together both small and medium-sized organizations working on the broader open government agenda and to support support them through access to shared essential resources, as well as regular collaboration and learning opportunities.
Is there staffing for the Open Gov Hub?
Yes, there is a full-time Open Gov Hub director and a communications and operations associate for the community to facilitate knowledge sharing, collaboration, community building, and operational oversight.
Can anyone host an event in your space?
Yes! Though we require organizations interested in becoming members to have some connection to our "opengov" theme, we also rent out our event space and meeting rooms to the public.
Our accessible downtown DC location and modern, modular, high-tech spaces could be the perfect place to host your next conference, retreat, happy hour, hackathon, workshop, and more. Just let us know what you're looking for and we'll be happy to respond right away.