As many of you already know, I have taken over the role of Chairman of the Board of the Open Planets Foundation from Adam Farquhar as of February 1, 2013.
Clearly, Adam has already presided over an enormous achievement, first in conceiving and establishing the Open Planets Foundation, and second in bringing the OPF to the point where it is a stable, viable organisation that is both self-sustaining and debt-free. On behalf of the Board, I thank him and applaud his efforts.
Nevertheless, many new challenges lie ahead. First and foremost, we are hoping to achieve a new level of impact and financial sustainability through our new membership model. The new model consists of three tiers of paid memberships, based on the size of the member organisation. The model also introduced affiliate members, whose contributions are made through in-kind effort. We hope that the tiered model will open the door to a much wider pool of members, which will in turn increase our visibility, impact, and community network. The challenge is to reach out to these organisations and convince them to join the OPF.
In addition, we hope that the affiliate model will help build our portfolio of software assets and increase our USP. The challenge is that this will require additional sustainable technical effort to manage the in-kind contributions effectively.
Finally, I hope that we can shape the organisation so that it can position itself and support its members in the context of Horizon 2020 and the new European funded project landscape.
I must admit that I find these challenges daunting. But I am confident that, with the cooperation of the Board, our Managing Director Bram van der Werf, the OPF support staff, and our membership, we can meet these challenges, secure the future of the organisation, and meet the requirements of our members.
I am looking forward to working with you all!