2015, Year in review - We believe that people, not projects, change the world.

People, not projects, champions, not project plans, make a real difference in the world. This is one of the key pillars of our theory of change and it was reinforced by much of what we learnt in 2014. In 2015, we dove deep into what an enabling environment for change makers looks like. The network effect of the fellowship proved to be invaluable.

Crafting solutions to social challenges does not come with a step-by-step guide or an expert with the magic formula. What you need is support to keep on experimenting, testing, failing and fighting back. It can only be solved by doing and learning, and the best way to do that is together (with others, in the trenches). We fund individuals in the first instance, but we specifically fund individuals together, on parallel, and often intersecting, roads.

We are dedicated to building a small community of Fellows that not only shape and influence each other, but trust and respect each other, even when opinions differ. This close mesh network forms a strong support structure of peer references - experiential, intellectual, social - it is a network of peers with a comparable frame of reference, learning and evolving, amplifying useful truths and cautionary tales, accelerating the positive social change.

2015 has been a tumultuous year globally. New social challenges appeared, old ones neared breaking point and questions of belonging was at the heart of much of the turmoil. Openness and technology have a key role to play in enabling each of us to reclaim the power to change the world for the better, build our own solutions and share with others. We’ve started by creating a space where this seems not only possible, but inevitable.

Year in THINKING

How we measure success

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Applicants, and sometimes even Fellows, find it difficult to compute the broad question “what do YOU want to do?”. They keep looking for guidance to narrow down the scope of possibility and fit within prescribed parameters. Yes, we want open and innovative, we like technology and we get excited about...... >>

Our experiment in the world

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This is not where we started and it is almost certainly not who we will be indefinitely. But our experience in philanthropic investment so far has resulted in a couple of key principles that govern how we behave in the world, and specifically how we structure our relationships with those...... >>

Download our legal templates

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Since 2007 we have required Fellows to apply open licences - first CC-BY-SA and then CC-BY - to all intellectual property created during the fellowship. The same principle applies to works produced within the Foundation. Openly licensed resources are only as useful as the number of people who can access...... >>

Year in PEOPLE

We focus our energy by supporting openness in intellectual property, data, privacy, hardware, education, publishing, government, science, telecoms, environment, music, transparancy and the Web.

Year in MONEY

We maintain a small core team to continue to develop and support our fellowship programme with the strategic insight and flexibility we offer Fellows. The vast majority of our funding is spent either directly or indirectly on Fellows and their projects.

How we spent our money

How our fellows spent their money

At the heart of our co-investment fellowship model is the principle that Fellows continue to invest in their own ideas. The Foundation amplifies the Fellow’s investment by matching it at least tenfold, along with covering the cost of their time for the year.

The figures you see here do not reflect each Fellow’s fellowship year funding, but rather the funds unlocked within our financial year, as the fellowship years start either March or September and Fellows are not required to spend the available funds proportionately throughout the year.

Adam Hyde

Fellowship duration: September 2015 - present
4 months of fellowship in 2015
Committed funds
Fellow contribution: $20,000.00
Our contribution: $217,500.00
Spend breakdown
Software
$60,000.00
People
$32,500.00
Travel
$10,773.14
Total $103,273.14

Astra Taylor

Fellowship duration: September 2015 - present
4 months of fellowship in 2015
Committed funds
Fellow contribution: $22,353.58
Our contribution: $251,035.77
Spend breakdown
People
$87,500.00
Infrastructure
$6,705.80
Office Space
$6,600.00
Total $100,805.80

Catharina Maracke

Fellowship duration: May 2012 - March 2015
2 months of fellowship in 2015
Committed funds
Fellow contribution: $19,488.64
Our contribution: $291,257.26
Spend breakdown
Total $0.00

Daniel Lombraña González

Fellowship duration: September 2013 - present
12 months of fellowship in 2015
Committed funds
Fellow contribution: $15,933.34
Our contribution: $223,095.10
Spend breakdown
Software
$110,500.30
People
$68,427.74
Infrastructure
$12,655.35
Travel
$1,766.42
Other
$1,617.32
Total $194,967.13

Dan Whaley

Fellowship duration: March 2013 - present
12 months of fellowship in 2015
Committed funds
Fellow contribution: $0.00
Our contribution: $96,000.00
Spend breakdown
People
$96,000.00
Total $96,000.00

David Wiley

Fellowship duration: March 2013 - March 2015
2 months of fellowship in 2015
Committed funds
Fellow contribution: $0.00
Our contribution: $0.00
Spend breakdown
People
$0.00
Total $0.00

Esra'a Al Shafei

Fellowship duration: September 2012 - September 2015
9 months of fellowship in 2015
Committed funds
Fellow contribution: $13,325.00
Our contribution: $146,252.84
Spend breakdown
Software
$81,950.00
People
$44,577.84
Total $126,527.84

Jesse Von Doom

Fellowship duration: March 2014 - present
12 months of fellowship in 2015
Committed funds
Fellow contribution: $22,091.59
Our contribution: $303,678.41
Spend breakdown
People
$231,370.00
Software
$69,100.00
Infrastructure
$29,000.00
Legal
$5,070.00
Total $334,540.00

Johnny West

Fellowship duration: March 2014 - present
12 months of fellowship in 2015
Committed funds
Fellow contribution: $16,581.99
Our contribution: $221,896.72
Spend breakdown
People
$306,501.76
Travel
$12,793.66
Marketing
$8,398.06
Infrastructure
$3,881.84
Office Space
$1,209.00
Total $332,784.32

Jonas Öberg

Fellowship duration: March 2013 - March 2015
2 months of fellowship in 2015
Committed funds
Fellow contribution: $0.00
Our contribution: $0.00
Spend breakdown
People
$0.00
Total $0.00

Luka Mustafa

Fellowship duration: March 2015 - present
10 months of fellowship in 2015
Committed funds
Fellow contribution: $18,163.26
Our contribution: $228,308.31
Spend breakdown
People
$183,566.73
Infrastructure
$72,805.89
Travel
$20,154.85
Marketing
$9,727.43
Office Space
$6,892.36
Total $293,147.26

Peter Bloom

Fellowship duration: September 2014 - present
12 months of fellowship in 2015
Committed funds
Fellow contribution: $9,716.74
Our contribution: $188,301.24
Spend breakdown
People
$183,785.36
Infrastructure
$154,074.96
Travel
$22,250.53
Marketing
$3,999.30
Other
$2,798.75
Total $366,908.90

Peter Murray-Rust

Fellowship duration: March 2014 - present
12 months of fellowship in 2015
Committed funds
Fellow contribution: $12,390.98
Our contribution: $347,595.53
Spend breakdown
Software
$29,021.08
People
$19,774.54
Travel
$7,083.81
Legal
$1,680.00
Training
$138.75
Total $57,698.18

Rory Aronson

Fellowship duration: March 2014 - March 2015
2 months of fellowship in 2015
Committed funds
Fellow contribution: $1,481.48
Our contribution: $18,518.52
Spend breakdown
Software
$25,000.00
Total $25,000.00

Seamus Kraft

Fellowship duration: September 2014 - present
12 months of fellowship in 2015
Committed funds
Fellow contribution: $12,450.96
Our contribution: $245,560.04
Spend breakdown
People
$120,511.00
Software
$40,500.00
Marketing
$5,000.00
Total $166,011.00

Sean Bonner

Fellowship duration: September 2014 - present
12 months of fellowship in 2015
Committed funds
Fellow contribution: $16,701.70
Our contribution: $280,809.30
Spend breakdown
Travel
$134,000.00
Infrastructure
$90,000.00
People
$85,511.00
Training
$30,000.00
Other
$41,000.00
Total $380,511.00

Waldo Jaquith

Fellowship duration: September 2015 - present
4 months of fellowship in 2015
Committed funds
Fellow contribution: $1,714.02
Our contribution: $86,663.98
Spend breakdown
People
$62,500.00
Office Space
$1,080.11
Infrastructure
$172.67
Total $63,752.78
Adam Hyde
Astra Taylor
Catharina Maracke
Daniel Lombraña González
Dan Whaley
David Wiley
Esra'a Al Shafei
Jesse Von Doom
Johnny West
Jonas Öberg
Luka Mustafa
Peter Bloom
Peter Murray-Rust
Rory Aronson
Seamus Kraft
Sean Bonner
Waldo Jaquith