You are here: Home / About us / News / Latest / Reflections on a year of 'Open Working'
by sarah last modified 13/11/2023 02:41 PM

Reflections on a year of 'Open Working'

by sarah last modified 13/11/2023 02:41 PM

Trinity's Annual AGM, one of the many events in which we share data with stakeholders

At the start of 2023, Trinity  was awarded a Maker and Maintainers grant from Power to Change, which kicked started a transformative journey in our open-source development.

"For me Community Tech is all about tech that is led by our organisation as opposed to tech that leads our organisation" Sarah Bentley

This blog post, by Development and Communications Manager, Sarah Bentley, reflects on the lessons learnt and the evolution of our approach to Community Tech and Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

Vision for Community Tech and FOSS: Our vision was to use FOSS to enable efficient data management and reporting. We collect data across a wide-range systems and platforms, from ticket updates to promoter reports, audience numbers for annual reports, to impact statistics. Our goal was not only to streamline our own processes but also to create accessible tech solutions for grassroots and smaller organisations.

Open Working and Transparency: As part of the grant, I participated in an Open Working course, this emphasised the importance of transparency in our steps and work. This approach complemented our existing Working Group model and allowed us to communicate our vision for Community Tech and FOSS both internally and externally.

Time for Reflection: The grant provided a valuable opportunity for introspection. In my multifaceted role, which I describe as 'money in and stories out,' I rarely have the chance to consider the bigger picture. As a Maker and Maintainer, I delved into how Community Tech and our Tech Makers project aligned with our broader initiatives, specifically how we can communicate why we choose FOSS over over 'off-the-shelf systems' or platforms like Google Forms.

Engagement with FOSS Community: Dedicated time with the FOSS community revealed that our efforts with CIVICRM hadn't gone unnoticed. People shared our interest in building solutions through CIVI, leading us to support a research project within CIVI on real-time data reporting. Engagements included community meet-ups, connections with charity/grassroots communities, and presentations at institutions like Bristol University.

Democratising Data: In my role as the data processor and visualiser, I realised the significance of empowering communities with data ownership. Sharing our processes resonated with others contemplating similar approaches. The focus shifted towards making data more democratic, placing power in the hands of the people rather than businesses' with differing values.

Our tech journey continues to evolve and we will keep updating our findings via blogs and social media.  Read more about how we are engaging in community tech solutions:

Power to Change

Document Actions
Filed under: