The Door is Open for our Awards

Amanda Brock
17th June 2020

2020 is unlikely to be the year you expected.

We have all been locked down – and worn down – with the events that have come to pass.

However, as the folk song and unofficial anthem of the US civil rights movement goes, “We shall overcome.”

We shall overcome, as a united, collaborative, forward-looking community, sharing to build our and our children’s futures as best we can. As best we can, is in collaboration.

In the light of recent events and the Black Lives Matter campaign, we are also taking stock at OpenUK. We have set up a steering group and are making sure that we have an appropriate and updated Code of Respect. The steering group will put that in place and continue to meet monthly to monitor it and revise as and when necessary.

We intend to have a Code of Respect rather than a Code of Conduct. For us, this involves adding an extra layer to ensure we are accessible to all and that diversity, whatever form it comes in, is respected in all of our work.

To achieve this, we have to make sure that the door is open for anyone to take part and that we encourage anyone who wants to participate feels they can make that difference from the start. As part of this, as an organisation, we will be building out a Supporter network with a right to vote for our Board from 2021 onwards. The structuring of that is in progress and will be made public this autumn. It will not change the fact that everyone and anyone who agrees to comply with our Competition Policy and our Code of Respect will be able to participate in our activities.

We’re here to do our best to represent our communities in Open Technology. That’s a term everyone should get used to as you are going to hear it a whole lot more. We use it to cover open source software, open hardware and open data, but there may be further opportunities to look at the role that being open provides to individuals, to projects and to companies.

It’s also more than fine to suggest something we should be doing or to suggest setting a group or event up that you would like to lead. Some of these events may have to involve looking at funding but joining a work group or Committee is open to anyone.  No need to be a member. No need to pay. The door is open.

Alongside the work we have going on internally, I’d like to encourage everyone to recommend those colleagues or contacts that they think deserve recognition. Let’s pull together over the next couple of weeks and find people, organisations, projects and companies to celebrate. Let’s make someone smile by giving them a nomination for the OpenUK Awards.

Of-course, the usual suspects deserve the “nominations hug” (it’s virtual and socially distanced. You can give it here openuk.uk/awards). Of-course we should nominate them, but let’s also think about the unsung heroes and nominate folks who may not have the confidence to put themselves forward or who have shunned the limelight.

And let’s do something we have been bad at for too long. Let’s recognise the diversity amongst us by making sure we each make those nominations.

Nominations need to be made by 30 June, 2020.

The process is simple and short – visit openuk.uk/awards to nominate.

And finally, in a time when self-care is all the rage, do it. Feel free to self-nominate and give yourself or your organisation that special moment of satisfaction when you receive your congratulatory email. If you don’t take care of nominating yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?

A shortlist of 3 nominees for each of our 6 categories will be announced by our awesome Judges in July. Who could be more awesome than Chris Lamb, @lamby, Cheryl Hung, @oicheryl and Jeni Tennison, @JeniT.

Our 5 Awards are:

Individual

Young Person

Open Source Software

Open hardware

Open Data

Winners will be announced at our Digital Awards Ceremony on 20 October, 2020.

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