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Under The Hood: We have goals, lots of goals

In this edition of OpenMedia Under The Hood we share our major high-level goals for the years ahead.

This latest blog in our Under The Hood series lays out OpenMedia’s Strategic Goals for 2016 to 2018.  This blog is co-authored with Alexa who led our robust strategic planning process while she was our Managing Director last year and then subsequently acted as our Interim Executive Director over the past six months.

As with all of our work we try to live out our values and crowdsourcing principles in our internal operations. So first off we’ll lay out the basics of the process we used to come up with our strategic goals.

As per usual we started with you our community. We took a deep dive into our 2015 Supporter Survey that was sent out to our community in early August. We brought on a super volunteer (Rozali Telbis) to assist with data analysis. Over 6,500 supporters from 87 different countries responded in 2015.  Some of the highlights can be found in this post.

Here are just a few of the inspiring 2922 responses we received to the question about why you care about the open Internet:

  • “The Internet embodies the possibility of true democracy and so must be kept open to the people.” - Orvel, Canada

  • “[The] Internet is the New Printing Press, that 'could' spread welfare and equality through knowledge.” - Gonzalo, Spain

  • “The Internet is a connecting force for the international community - it's a way for people from all different classes, cultures, religions, ages, etc to learn from and interact with each other.” - Emily, Canada

  • "Reliable, quick and uncensored Internet access is a hallmark of a prosperous 21st century society" - William, US

  • “An open Internet is critical to enable individuals to exercise maximum participation in public decision-making. . . It will become the single best guarantor of global peace and global sustainability.” Charles, Australia

Once we had reviewed input from our community we spent a day reflecting on our work and data from the last year and identifying opportunities to build on OpenMedia's unique role in the digital rights landscape using world cafe breakouts and an amazing graphic facilitator.

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We then collaboratively identified key goals that emerged through the discussion and developed Priority Outcomes and ranked them through a dotmocracy process. Once we had this level of goal-setting finished each of the teams at OpenMedia was asked to produce more detailed goals, work plans, and measurements.

The best part of the process was that we did not let these documents sit on the shelf and collect dust (not that we ever print anything). We built in quarterly check-ins to recognize and report on progress, make adjustments, and keep focussed.

Here’s a fancy visual of how it all fits together.


Why did we adopt this process? We needed something that could give us a clear container to work in quickly, but also incorporate community and team input, and enable more detailed and distributed planning.

That’s enough about process right?

Okay, here are our Strategic Goals for the years ahead!


Strategic Goal #1: Get our house in order

What this means: Wow! We are not a startup any more. We have grown from a very small, mainly volunteer team, to a high-output team with 14+ uniquely talented individuals working beyond human capacity. It’s time to catch our breath and get the organizational systems in place to sustainably support OpenMedia staff and volunteers to do their best work and allow us to have the greatest impact.

To that end we commit to recognizing and respecting our capacity while creating conditions for each of us to achieve mastery, autonomy and purpose in our work. To learn more about the importance of Mastery, Autonomy, Purpose see the Video: HERE, and the article HERE.  We set this as the first goal primarily because our team is consistently over capacity (influenced by their passion and dedication) and we want to ensure we prevent team members from burning out.

Strategic Goal #2: Further develop our international presence and voice.

What this means: We know that the Internet knows no boundaries and that digital rights issues are global. We know we have expertise in mass mobilization, deep engagement, and crowdsourcing policy solutions to share and to be of service at an international level. We have an international community of supporters who we want to serve. We aim to respectfully and authentically learn, listen, and connect with others as we further develop our capacity to step onto the international stage. In particular we will look for opportunities to integrate cross-cultural learnings into staff development as our work grows.


Strategic Goal #3: Rock Canada.

What this means: OpenMedia was founded in Canada over eight years ago. Our early work focused on the Canadian jurisdiction but several years ago our community pushed us to take on international threats to the open Internet. We want to make sure we continue to support our Canadian community while we increasingly increasingly step up outside Canada. We are a strong recognized voice on digital policy issues in Canada and we will follow through on the work we have been doing to positively shape Canada’s digital future. For 2016-18 we will work to maximize the possibilities opened up by last October’s change of federal government.

Strategic Goal #4: Strengthen and diversify our funding.

What this means: We know our strength and power comes from the individuals that make up our community. It is important to us that our revenue sources reflect who we serve. We are focussed on continuing to diversify revenue sources and increasing the proportion of recurring monthly revenue as this allows us to do our work and use our resources more effectively. To this end, we aim to maintain or ideally grow the percentage of revenue coming from small grassroots donors, which promotes financial stability and ensures that our revenue sources are aligned with the composition of our community. If you believe in our work we hope you’ll consider signing up to be a monthly donor.


Strategic Goal #5: Engage and amplify the voices of our community.

What this means: How we do our work matters. We are excited about using digital tools and campaigns to facilitate cultures of participation, collaboration, and respect. We will experiment with participatory and community-led processes – modeling the values that should govern government and commercial decision-making. We will tackle challenges facing the digital environment by crowdsourcing solutions, priorities, and ideas from our community.


You’re probably thinking that these goals are extremely high level.  These goals operate as an umbrella from which more specific priorities, measurements, work area strategies and work plans fall under. If you want to look and comment on some of the details you can find them in this public document.  We also as always welcome your input in the comments section, and via email, Facebook, and Twitter.

(This piece was written jointly by our founder Steve Anderson, and our Interim ED Alexa Pitoulis)



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