Global Network Strategy Proposal
Vision, Mission, Values and Guiding Principles
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 10 “Our vision for the Creative Commons Global Network is nothing less than realizing the full potential of the Internet — universal access to research and education, full participation in culture — to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity.”
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 7 “The mission of the Creative Commons Global Network is to build a global commons of creativity and knowledge, and grow a movement that advocates, promotes and enables openness and sharing around the world.”
Values and Guiding Principles
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 4 The Creative Commons Global Network shares a culture of appreciation that embraces diversity and is bound by the goal of increasing access to knowledge and culture worldwide. We value:
¶ 6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 10 We value and recognize the right to share, modify and improve our shared culture and knowledge as a key element of our work together. The core goal of the Creative Commons network is to establish a regulatory environment and a set of norms and practices that promote and support openness and sharing as key societal values.
The Digital Commons
¶ 8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 8 We understand the digital commons broadly. We provide the legal infrastructure to enable sharing and collaboration, and we work to reform copyright legislation around the world to better reflect the needs of the digital commons. More broadly, we also work to support viable and sustainable collaborative sharing in a digital society.
¶ 9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 2 We are committed to stewarding and developing a healthy commons. We support the sharing of knowledge and culture by individuals and organizations, and believe in collaboration and growth that is built based on the commons.
¶ 12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 3 We value our diversity, actively promote equality, and oppose discrimination. We are especially aware of the differences that exist among members of our network in relation to culture and language, and the disparities in relation to access in the use of technology. We are committed to adapting our practices and internationalizing our tools to make them available and accessible around the world.
Transparency and Accountability
¶ 15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 2 It promotes participation, communication, exchange of ideas and getting feedback, even when this is difficult. All of this builds trust, which is the foundation of healthy communities and teamwork.
¶ 17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 As activists, supporters and contributors to the Creative Commons Global Network, we work together to reach our goals in a special partnership with Creative Commons HQ. We share a common vision across the movement, and we collaborate with each other, across our teams, the network and other organizations that share our values.
We work openly
¶ 18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 1 Openness provides an important framework towards a more transparent community and society, one that can improve decision making processes, be accountable to all, and be better prepared to deal with diversity. We work in the open wherever possible and practical, with clear processes for participation, decision-making, and collaboration. We share strategies, content, and code openly to encourage contribution and engagement. We strive to use open formats, open source software and open tools.
We use free and open licensing and support the public domain
¶ 19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 3 Free and open licensing and a strong public domain are basic mechanisms that establish conditions for the digital commons to grow and thrive. We support, promote and care for the Creative Commons licenses and tools. We support and promote free and open licensing of content and public domain related options, especially when public resources are involved. We use free and open licensing for all the content we create within the network.
We respect each other
¶ 20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 2 We are a community that embraces disagreement and discussion and we strive to always make decisions by consensus. We respect each other and our differences, so it is essential to our work and our capacity to listen to each other’s views and ideas. As a global community, we recognize and respect cultural, linguistic, ethnic, and religious differences among members. We do not tolerate harassment or discrimination in our communities, or as part of our work. We actively embrace opportunities for global collaboration and work to ensure translation of our work for effective collaboration.
We participate and contribute
¶ 21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 Our network actively seeks inclusivity and broadening opportunities for participation. We believe the success of our work depends on inviting new people who share our values to join the movement and participate meaningfully in our work. We are an engaged community. We participate in those areas that are of interest to us and we contribute to the processes and activities that serve to strengthen and sustain a healthy network.
Creative Commons Global Network Model
- ¶ 23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 12
- Coordinate the activities of the most active contributors of the movement (both individuals and organizations)
- Provide a structure of representation for CC at national levels
- Provide guidance to the movement by collaboratively defining strategy and providing stewardship for the CC licenses
- Establish Platforms — defined areas of activity or work programs
- Grow, evaluate and improve the network
- Advise and build consensus on global CC positions and strategy
- Evaluate staff support
- Facilitate dispute resolution
- Advise and build consensus on resource allocation
- Participate in global fundraising efforts
¶ 24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 3 The CCGN is membership based. It is composed of Network Members (individuals) and Partners (organisations). Individuals working in Partner organisations can join the network as individuals as well. The Global Network Council (GNC) comprised of elected Network Members and CC HQ representatives is the governing and decision-making body for Network Members and Partners.
¶ 25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 7 Both types of members largely have the same rights and responsibilities. Network Members and Partners can speak on behalf of their country teams as CC (e.g., a statement of support for Freedom of Panorama, as CC Poland) in relation to issues covered in any of the activity Platforms defined by the CCGN. Network Members can represent their country teams in the GNC and have voting rights whereas Network Partners cannot. (This is based on the assumption that Network Partners will always have individual Network Members within their organisation).
¶ 26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 11 In principle, any contributor to the movement who commits to the CCGN’s values and guiding principles and is willing to actively contribute to its activities and sustainability can become a formal CCGN Member (if it concerns an individual) or Partner (if it concerns an organisation). CCGN Members would not be “members” in formal sense under state, federal or other applicable laws governing CC HQ that would grant members rights thereunder. And CCGN Partners would not be “partners” in the formal sense under state, federal or other applicable laws governing legal “partnerships” for liability or any other legal purpose.
¶ 27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 3 The CCGN is designed to encourage broader membership beyond the current affiliate teams and organizations. We expect current affiliate team members and affiliate institutions to form the initial membership of the CCGN, but we recognize that not all people and organisations currently in the affiliate network may want to participate as Members or Partners of the CCGN. We also do not expect every person contributing to the CC movement to join the CCGN structure to participate in governance. Regardless, everyone is welcome to contribute to activities as part of the movement without approval or formal membership.
Becoming a CCGN Member or Partner
¶ 30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 11 To become a Network Member or Partner, the individual or organisation needs to be recommended by at least 2 existing members of the CCGN and approved by the Global Network Council (organisations that want to become Network Partners cannot be vouched for by their employees or people directly affiliated with the organisation).
¶ 31 Leave a comment on paragraph 31 6 Applications for membership can be vetoed by existing Network Members, who need to provide a rationale for vetoing a membership request. If a veto is challenged by another existing Network Member, the decision goes to the GNC’s Dispute Resolution Committee.
¶ 32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 7 Network Members and Partners need to sign the Global Network Charter, to be developed by the CCGN in consultation with the global community, which defines the rights and responsibilities of Network Members and Partners. The MoU will be eliminated and the Charter will replace it for Network Members and Partners. The formal process and final Charter will be defined at a later date. This will be the new formal agreement between the individual or organization and CC HQ. Network Members and Partners have to renew their membership periodically every 2 years.
¶ 33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 9 A Country Team is constituted by all Network Members and Partners working in a particular country. How Country Teams organize themselves can be determined locally, and will depend on local characteristics, preferences, and priorities. However, the CCGN establishes four basic rules that need to be adhered to by every Country Team:
- ¶ 34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 12
- Country Teams must be open to all Network Members and Partners that are working in that country (a Network Member or Partner may only be affiliated with one Country Team at a time. However, this does not preclude them from doing projects or contributing in other countries).
- Each Country Team will send one representative to the Global Network Council. Representatives are elected for a period, likely 1 or 2 years, to be determined at a later date.
- Each Country Team will select an individual to be responsible for coordinating and communicating on behalf of Country Team activities. They will serve as a point of contact for CC HQ when forwarding or responding to inquiries regarding activities in that country. This is analogous to the “public lead” in the current model, but each community may select their own appropriate title for the position. This person may be the representative to the Global Network Council but is not required to be.
- Country Teams agree to work by consensus. In situations of conflict, Country Teams can appeal to the Global Network Council’s Dispute Resolution Committee.
- ¶ 36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 8
- Run activities and provide support to local projects.
- Serve as a contact and information point for questions about CC.
- Represent the CCGN in interactions with national and local governments and organisations.
- Maintain and update a country-specific website on cc.org (xx.creativecommons.org)
- Establish national consensus on national positions related to the CCGN.
- Report on accomplishments to the Global Network Council.
- Elect a representative for the Global Network Council and ensure their role and responsibilities are actively fulfilled.
The Broader CC Movement
¶ 37 Leave a comment on paragraph 37 1 It is important to underscore that the Creative Commons movement goes well beyond the CCGN governance structure outlined in this proposal. It includes a multitude of contributors, professionals and activists working to further the goals of Creative Commons in their daily work and personal pursuits, and through organizations, governments, and institutions. All who contribute do so in projects and/or as part of their everyday professional activities or personal passions. We use the general term “contributor” to describe people and organizations active in the CC movement who are not part of the CCGN structure, to distinguish them from formal Network Members and Partners.
¶ 38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 1 Participation in the Global Creative Commons Network is open to any person or organisation who commits to CCGN’s values and guiding principles, and is approved as a Member or Partner, as described above. As a Contributor, any person or organisation still can participate and engage in the movement in areas including Platforms, CC Country Teams, or collaborating in another capacity.
Global Network Council
¶ 39 Leave a comment on paragraph 39 2 The Global Network Council (GNC) is the governing and decision-making body of the CCGN. It consists of elected representatives of all Country Teams and representatives from CC HQ. It meets at least once a year in person (ideally at the Global Summit) and carries out its work through subcommittees.
¶ 41 Leave a comment on paragraph 41 3 The GNC has an Executive Committee that consists of 10 members. 7 members represent the CCGN, elected by the GNC, and 3 members represent CC HQ, 2 appointed by CC HQ and CC’s CEO, who will be an ex-officio voting member. Elections for the CCGN representatives will be held annually and they will serve for 2 years (3 members elected in odd-number years and 4 members elected in even-number years). There will be no reelection in consecutive terms, but representatives can be reappointed after a leave of one year.
- ¶ 43 Leave a comment on paragraph 43 1
- It develops and monitors the strategy of the CCGN and provides input for the CC HQ strategy
- It approves Platforms (defined areas of activity, based on a shared set of objectives that Network Members and Partners engage in) and resources at their disposal, including a budget
- It approves (or denies) new Network Members and Partners and their renewals.
- It is tasked with growing the overall CC Global Network and the broader movement, and evaluating the CCGN
- Provides conflict resolution (via the Dispute Resolution Committee)
- Contributes to the license stewardship (via the License Stewardship Committee)
- It raises funds for the CCGN
The detailed decision-making procedures of the CCGN, including the GNC and its subcommittees, will need to be defined, and should be based on consensus where possible.
Role of CC HQ within the Global Network
¶ 44 Leave a comment on paragraph 44 2 The global charity Creative Commons Corporation (CC HQ) is a US-based 501(c)3. CC HQ directly participates in the GNC’s Executive Committee and is thus a key member and partner of the CCGN. CC HQ has legal obligations as a US 501(c)3 and requirements within its mission, bylaws, and funder agreements that may, in some circumstances, require it to prohibit certain activities, expenditures, or partnerships under the CC name. It also has several additional responsibilities, including: providing core support for the Creative Commons Global Network (CCGN) and broader CC movement, stewarding legal and technical infrastructure, including the CC licenses, and managing the brand and trademark. CC HQ has an organization strategy and mission that is complimentary and supportive of the CCGN’s mission.
¶ 45 Leave a comment on paragraph 45 1 CC HQ remains a distinct organisational entity. However, as part of its strategy, CC HQ is an active member of the movement, participates in the CCGN, and supports and facilitates the CCGN. CC HQ’s responsibilities in support of the CCGN and the movement will include:
- ¶ 46 Leave a comment on paragraph 46 3
- It supports the Secretariat of the Global Network Council (GNC). The Secretariat provides administrative and organisational support for the GNC and its subcommittees and organizes its annual meeting
- It supports Platform Coordinators for CCGN’s Platforms
- It co-organizes Global Summits with the GNC
- It consults further development of the (existing) legal tools with the GNC (via the License Stewardship Committee)
- It provides communication tools for internal (i.e., mailing lists, slack channels) and external (i.e., Country Team websites, slack channels) communication
- It consults the GNC as part of its own strategic planning
- It manages the global trademark and brand
- It fundraises to support CC HQ and CCGN initiatives in collaboration with the CCGN
HQ support and funding
¶ 47 Leave a comment on paragraph 47 3 CC is made up of several interconnected elements: the global network of Network Members, Network Partners, and contributors, and the charity based in the United States (CC HQ). Fundraising is led globally by CC HQ, and the organization has set a strategic priority of growing and supporting the network. This section outlines where and how CC HQ will provide support; how the CCGN will participate in fundraising activities (together and for Country Team projects); and how we will fund Platform activities. CC HQ will provide direct financial investment and management in the following areas, to support the activities of the CCGN:
¶ 48 Leave a comment on paragraph 48 2 CC will hire and manage staff dedicated to supporting the CCGN. Currently, those positions include three full-time positions: a Network Manager (Simeon Oriko, Kenya), who provides daily support, communications, and administration for Network Members and Partners; an Events Coordinator (Alison Pearce), who leads event planning and support, particularly for the Global Summit; and a Director of Ecosystem Strategy (Claudio Ruiz, Chile), who is responsible for supporting the CCGN design process, implementation, and organizational transformation to work in an open, collaborative environment. Other positions may be required in the future. Staff dedicated to supporting the CCGN, who are managed by HQ, will have accountability to the CCGN.
¶ 49 Leave a comment on paragraph 49 0 Further, CC staff are all engaged and committed to changing the way we work with the CCGN, and transforming CC programs to operate in a global, diverse, open culture of collaboration. The GNC will advise regularly on the supports provided and recommend improvements and changes.
¶ 50 Leave a comment on paragraph 50 0 The Global Network Council and its subcommittees will require administrative support to manage agendas, facilitate applications and renewals for Network Members and Partners, manage processes (e.g., dispute resolution, fund allocation), and support decision-making. CC HQ will support this with its staff subject to available budget that will be established with advice from with the CCGN and as approved by the Board of Directors.
¶ 51 Leave a comment on paragraph 51 1 The Creative Commons Global Summit is an event that traditionally brings affiliates together with partners to learn and plan for future work. As part of its support for the CCGN, the Global Summit will become an annual event, and will include the annual in-person meeting of the Global Network Council. CC HQ will develop the event in collaboration with Network Members and Partners, and will lead on fundraising and sponsorship to support the event and travel subsidies.
¶ 52 Leave a comment on paragraph 52 0 CC HQ will establish a small fund to provide small amounts of resources for everyday activities that support Platform projects (e.g., printing, food for small events and bookings for gatherings). These funds will be administered by CC HQ with a simple but legally compliant, real time process for application and reimbursement.
¶ 53 Leave a comment on paragraph 53 2 The Global Network Council will establish a set of “Platforms” — these are areas of work and collaboration within the CC movement. For example, “open education” could be a Platform. It would have defined areas of interest, goals, projects, and even policy positions. A more extensive description appears later in this proposal. Each Platform will have a Coordinator with a defined set of responsibilities. CC HQ will support this role either with staff, with external contracts, or with partner organizations who fulfill the role. Platform Coordinators are accountable both to CC HQ and to the CCGN through regular reporting.
Global Initiative Fund for Platform Activities
¶ 54 Leave a comment on paragraph 54 0 To support the activities, projects, and initiatives of the CCGN, CC HQ will lead the development of a Global Initiative Fund in collaboration with the CCGN. CC HQ will provide development staff support to design fundraising appeals, including outreach campaigns, donor solicitation, and grant proposals. CC HQ will also provide administrative support to issue grants and awards from the fund.
¶ 55 Leave a comment on paragraph 55 0 The size of the fund will be determined annually by two factors: the amount of funds raised by CC HQ and the CCGN that are dedicated for use as part of the Fund; and funds CC HQ contributes directly from its annual budget.
¶ 56 Leave a comment on paragraph 56 1 Allocation of resources from the Fund will be done based on recommendations from a subcommittee of the Global Network Council, acting as a grant review board. CC HQ will act as the administrator and supporter of the fund, providing development leadership, financial management, administration for contract/grant awards, and auditing, and will draw a reasonable annual overhead from it to support these activities. It will report annually to the Global Network Council on the status and activities of the Fund.
¶ 57 Leave a comment on paragraph 57 0 The grant review subcommittee will be comprised of 7 people, including 2 representatives from CC HQ. It will make recommendations to CC HQ as the administrator of the fund, who will issue the awards. Funds will be allocated to projects within an established Platform (as defined by the Global Network Council). The subcommittee will also define annual priorities (e.g., focus on a particular Platform), maximum grant sizes and allocations within Platforms, solicit applications, review proposals, and recommend grantees and allocations. It will review grantee reports as required.
¶ 58 Leave a comment on paragraph 58 0 There are two issues pertaining to fundraising: how CC HQ and the CCGN collaborate to support the CCGN’s activities, including the Global Initiative Fund, and how teams may fundraise using the CC brand.
Fundraising for the CCGN
¶ 59 Leave a comment on paragraph 59 0 As the Global Network Strategy is intended to establish a new level of cooperation and collaboration across the movement, it is important that Network Members and Partners also participate in activities that help to raise funds for the CCGN’s activities. CC HQ and the Global Network Council will collaborate in the design and implementation of initiatives to raise funds dedicated to network activities, including, but not limited to: the Global Summit, the Global Initiatives Fund, major donor outreach, public fundraising campaigns, and grants that could be applied to provide support. CC HQ development and communications staff will lead these initiatives in collaboration with Network Members and Partners.
Fundraising for Country Teams and projects
¶ 60 Leave a comment on paragraph 60 8 Many CC network teams (country or project based) will need to solicit funds for specific projects they wish to undertake. The goal is to enable effective project work with positive outcomes in the name of Creative Commons. In some cases, it will be appropriate to do so as a CC Member. This section outlines the ways that this will be permitted, and the necessary accountability required from network teams, and CC HQ.
¶ 61 Leave a comment on paragraph 61 1 It is in the interest of the CC network that we co-ordinate appeals to funders to ensure they do not receive concurrent (or even overlapping) requests from multiple network teams. CC HQ manages a global fundraising pipeline of funders and needs to be able to set priorities for funding and manage relationships. Sharing information regarding funders and funds received also helps build a more resilient network, and ensure we are maximizing our fundraising potential through co-ordination. Finally, CC HQ has an obligation to meet specific requirements to maintain its tax status in the US, to adhere to grant reporting and other obligations imposed by funders when funding is secured in the name of, or as endorsed or supported by, CC, and to protect the integrity of the brand and reputation of the organization.
¶ 62 Leave a comment on paragraph 62 0 Network teams may seek funding for local in-country projects under the name of their CC Country Team (e.g., CC El Salvador). A set of detailed processes will be developed, but in general, the following rules will apply:
- ¶ 63 Leave a comment on paragraph 63 8
- Network Members and Partners must have the support of their Country Team to solicit funding for their project as a CC country initiative
- Teams, Network Members, and Network Partners must report annually on funds raised under the CC country name to their Country Team and to CC HQ. This information will be shared with the Global Network Council
- Teams, Network Members, and Network Partners must notify CC HQ in advance of their project and their intended funder list, and receive approval from CC HQ to appeal for funds using their CC affiliation. Solicitations may not identify CC HQ as a project supporter, partner, or participant without expressed permission from CC HQ
- CC HQ will provide advice and support, including grant or proposal review, and strategic advice. CC HQ reserves the right to lead or co-ordinate the approach with the funder
- CC HQ may, at any time, cancel or withdraw support for a project if it contravenes its policies, endangers its tax statutes, violates agreements with CC funders, or otherwise is considered harmful or damaging to CC
- Teams, Network Members, and Network Partners may not establish independent legal organizations using “Creative Commons” or “CC” in its name, or with organizing documents that suggest any affiliation, support, partnership or other relationship with CC that might reasonably be interpreted as being legally-related to CC
- Teams, Network Members, and Network Partners may not solicit general donations for their Country Teams using the CC country name (e.g., Donate to CC El Salvador)
¶ 64 Leave a comment on paragraph 64 0 CC HQ and network teams may also collaborate directly to raise funds for a specific project (e.g., a grant to CC HQ and sub-grants to a network team for a specific initiative). Those allocations are governed by the participating network teams, not by the CCGN governance structure.
¶ 65 Leave a comment on paragraph 65 2 Platforms are enabling structures for activities carried out by Members and Partners of the Creative Commons Global Network (CCGN). Platforms are aligned with the CCGN’s global strategy and approved by the Global Network Council (GNC). Platforms enable diverse and widespread participation while ensuring that activities of Network Members and Partners are strategically consistent. At a minimum, a Platform frames what a Network Member or Partner can do in CC’s name.
¶ 66 Leave a comment on paragraph 66 3 Platforms can be issue based (e.g., copyright reform, open education, GLAM, etc), region based or function based (e.g., mentoring). All platforms are based on a shared set of objectives defined in a document (relation to mission / scope of engagement / ways of working / resources).
- ¶ 68 Leave a comment on paragraph 68 2
- A position document that describes the shared set of objectives on a specific category of interest (global issue, network function, or regional coordination of work). The document sets out the Platform’s relationship to the CCGN’s mission, its scope of engagement, and the channels and ways through which Network Members, Network Partners, and contributors can participate in its work
- A plan of work (including strategy, measures for success, methods for evaluation and reporting)
- A set of resources that are available to support work, including at a minimum a Platform Coordinator
¶ 69 Leave a comment on paragraph 69 1 A platform can be proposed by anyone in the broader movement. Each platform needs to be approved by the Global Network Council. Once a platform is approved, the Council will recommend a coordinator and resources to support its operations.
¶ 70 Leave a comment on paragraph 70 1 While decision-making is limited to Network Members, participation in platform activities is open to anyone. Network Members, Network Partners, and contributors may join any platform and are expected to work together to achieve its goals. Platforms must provide clear, inclusive pathways for contribution, including a strategy for enhancing the diversity of participants.
¶ 72 Leave a comment on paragraph 72 0 Platforms need to report on their activities to the GNC on an annual basis. Reporting falls within the responsibility of the Platform Coordinator. Based on the reports, the GNC can renew a Platform for another year. The Platform Coordinator is also responsible for providing light-weight monthly updates on ongoing activities to the GNC.
Glossary / List of Entities
- ¶ 73 Leave a comment on paragraph 73 6
- Creative Commons Global Network: The core structure for the global Creative Commons movement that is composed of formal Network Members and Network Partners
- Creative Commons movement: A broader community that includes not only formal Members and Partners of CCGN but also individual and organization contributors
- Network Member: An individual who has been approved as a formal member of the CCGN. Needs to have a demonstrated commitment to the objectives of the CCGN and must have signed the Global Network Charter
- Network Partner: An institution or organisation that has been approved as a formal member of the CCGN. Needs to have a demonstrated commitment to the objectives of the CCGN and must have signed the Global Network Charter
- Contributor: An individual or an organization who actively participates in the CC movement, but is not a formal member of the CCGN. Contributors can, in particular, participate in Platforms
- Country Team: A group consisting of all Network Members and Partners based in a particular country. Country Team members may also work internationally with other teams
- Global Network Council: Consists of 1 representative from each Country Team, plus 3 representatives from CC HQ, including CC’s CEO, who is ex-officio member. Convenes once a year
- Dispute Resolution Committee of the GNC: Consists of 5 elected members of the GNC. Meets as needed
- Executive Committee of the GNC: Consists of 7 elected members of the GNC plus 3 representatives from CC HQ, including CC’s CEO, who is ex-officio member
- License Stewardship Committee of the GNC: Consists of elected Network Members (not necessarily members of the GNC). Serves as an advisory board to CC HQ on the maintenance, versioning, and other issues relating to the license suite
- Development Committee of the GNC: Consists of elected Network Members (not necessarily members of the GNC). Tasked with providing leadership and advice to collaborative fundraising with CC HQ for the CC network
- Platform: A defined area of activity that the CCGN engages in. Supported by a Platform Coordinator