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OSI as a foundation serving underserved

Purpose: OSI to serve as a conduit in making Open Space Technology expertise more easily accessible to underserved people in US and abroad.

Here's how it might work: OSI would be the conduit between these parties: 1) OS practitioner who has identified a group that desires practitioner's services 2) The underserved group desiring training or assistance in using Open Space Technology 3) Individuals, a foundation or some other funder that prefers to work with a nonprofit 501c3 organization.

OSI could be contacted by any one of the three different parties mentioned above to initiate a partnership or activity.

1) If a donor initiates the relationship by offering a grant for instance, OSI could make known to the OS network that funds are available and proposals are being accepted where OS practitioners are providing services to underserved people.

2) A OS practitioner could already have an agreement with an underserved group and could then solicit funding and OSI would serve as fiscal agent.

3) An underserved group might contact OSI saying, "We have heard about Open Space and believe we can benefit from it. How might we be able to receive training and technical expertise?" In this case, OSI would put this on OSLIST and make underserved group and any interested practitioners aware that OSI could serve as a fiscal agent should either group find a interested donor.

OSI's would refrain from initiating any partnerships. OSI would simply invite people from the three different groups above, using various means such as list serves, explanation on the website, simple brochure? to contact us should our services as a conduit be helpful.

Services OSI provides would be outlined in a letter of agreement signed by the three parties.


imagining several levels of funding support passthrough possible

some distinctions that seem helpful...

1. direct expenses paid in part by osi/funder, other part paid by individual practitioner
2. direct expenses paid in part by osi/funder, other part paid by local/host/affiliated org
3. direct expenses funded entirely by osi/funder,

4. direct expenses funded in part or full by osi/funder, with some compensation coming from local/host/affiliate
5. direct expenses funded entirely, plus some compensation for the actual work
6. direct expenses funded entirely, plus a 'market' rate for compensation for work

i think the first three are much more easily supported because there is no direct compensation involved to the practitioner. only covering of direct expenses. i think number 4 is most complicated because of the way it straddles the payment fence. 5 and 6 seem easier to justify, but because of the compensation part, it would require relatively more scrutiny for conflicts of interest and overpayments. cases 4, 5 and 6 probably work best if the money/grant would be made to the local host organization and let them pay the practitioner for fees/expenses as they choose. optoins 1,2 aND 3 seem simple enough to pay the practitioner directly, as there is already a market price set for direct expenses.

for reference, i think david smith's project was probably a 2. what i'm proposing in nepal is most likely a 1. my guess is that the "peace corp" or what i might start calling "space corps" would be operating various projects in the 1, 2, and 3 levels.


Kerry Napuk suggested that a letter of agreement should include responses to these points:

1. Project purpose
2. Desired outcomes
3. Local sponsor (invitation or confirmation letter)
4. Training (desired if not conditional for direct financial support?)
5. OSI financial support (minimum/maximum limits as percentage or absolute amount of project)
6. Achieved outcomes, e.g. brief report on project results and next steps with right for OSI to publicise to members and donors


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