Our Theory


Every day, OPEN groups enable millions of citizens take action online and offline. As progressive organisers and activists, they face multi-national challenges like climate change, bad trade deals, and eroding access to democracy. Yet the most effective means for citizens to meet these challenges are almost always at the national level, changing public policy, media narratives, and their communities.

Each OPEN member organisation is an independent group working within its national context. But we problem-solve and innovate together. We share research, tools, and tactics that build our collective power. And we form bonds of trust and respect that allow our disparate organisations to become stronger together.


Our Program



OPEN connects groups to each other so they can share innovations, technologies, analyses, and lessons learned. These connections speed innovation and magnify impact.

Groups connect year-round to share lessons learned, cautionary tales and best practices to supercharge every aspect of what we do and how we do it. The combination of shared values, similar practices and almost no institutional competition creates an extremely honest, generous and valuable exchange.

We connect virtually through thousands of messages every month, live web seminars and facilitated learning circles across multiple issue and role cohorts. We gather physically at regular global and regional summits and through international staff exchanges. Over 120 such physical visits have occurred since 2014.


OPEN facilitates multinational campaigns on issues that cross borders, like climate change, trade, and corporate accountability.


OPEN enhances the effectiveness of member organisations with best-in-class technology, training and strategic analysis.

OPEN network members benefit from special access to best-in-class external resources ranging from video production to management coaching. And OPEN’s staff of seasoned campaign veterans provide expert training and strategic support where appropriate.

OPEN also coordinates collaborative tech development across the network to innovate the next generation of digital tools for grassroots advocacy. Priority frontiers for this work include unleashing the full organising power of mobile-first platforms – especially in the Global South – and turbo-charging campaigns led by local volunteers.



OPEN helps new organisations launch, thrive, and make a difference in countries all across the globe in record time, bringing new allies and new leaders into the network.

When OPEN launched in 2013, there were five founding organisations following 15 years of linear progress. Three years later, the network has more than tripled. Our priority growth areas are Europe and the Global South.

OPEN helps each start-up initiative achieve the high-quality leadership, strategy, technology, funding and institutional foundation they need for success. And the OPEN peer network ensures that every startup begins with the accumulated wisdom of those who have come before.

Today, recent OPEN startups across 5 continents are already fighting and winning campaigns on critical issues from air quality in Poland to child poverty in New Zealand to police brutality in South Africa.

Innovations in tactics and technology regularly flow from new groups to older groups and back again, accelerating progress for all.


The OPEN Way


The OPEN Network operates on three principles that increase members’ capacity, multiply impact, and build what OPEN is calling network generosity – an open-handed willingness to exchange resources and knowledge in order to further the global movement for progressive social change.

Low Competition

Full OPEN membership is restricted to national organisations and limited to one group per nation. This eliminates the territorialism and competition for resources, credit, and membership that so frequently block full transparency and generosity between coalition partners.

Member Ownership

OPEN’s work is advised by a rotating Core Group appointed from Full Member organisations. Each Full Member organisation contributes 1-1.4% of their annual revenue to support OPEN and pledges to pay as much of their own networking costs as they can afford. Member contributions continue to increase year on year as the OPEN network grows. OPEN has a goal of being entirely member-funded by 2025.

Culture of Trust and Respect

High respect motivates every group to learn from and support every other. High trust enables full transparency. OPEN seeks a high degree of ideological and methodological alignment across the network, to ensure each group recognizes every other as being on the same team, even if they work on different issues at different times. This fuels the engine of collaboration.


The OPEN Team

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Giovanna Alvarez-Negretti


Over the past 20 years Giovanna has been a passionate advocate for civic and political rights around the world. Giovanna co-founded and led ¿Oíste?, a US-based NGO focused on advancing civic engagement, political participation, and advocacy by people of Latin American decent.  Concurrently she held a number of other leadership positions in a variety of US NGOs, government commissions and political campaigns. On a global level, Giovanna served as the Middle East Regional Director for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), an organisation that promotes lasting peace with justice around the world. Giovanna has also worked as a consultant, advisor and trainer in leadership development and civic engagement strategies for under-served communities in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe, with a particular focus on women, minority and indigenous groups.

Giovanna is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a recipient of the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, a Prime Movers Fellow, and a Eisenhower Fellow.  She is a passionate campaigner for the independence of Puerto Rico and helped to lead the movement to stop US military exercises on her home island of Vieques in Puerto Rico


Phil Ireland

MANAGING DIRECTOR  •  phil@the-open.net  •  Newcastle, Australia

For over 10 years Phil has worked as a campaigner, organiser, and strategist  with some of the world’s leading campaigning organisations. Growing up in Newcastle, Australia, one of the world’s largest coal ports,  he spent much of his life participating in work related to climate change and politics. This has included local organising, leading Oxfam’s advocacy engagement with Australia Pacific region in the United Nations climate change negotiations, and the completion of a Ph.D. in climate change politics and adaption with a focus in South Asia. Phil is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and plays a leadership role in organisational governance around the world  including being the Chair of GetUp, one of Australia’s largest campaigning organisations, Vice-Chair of the Global Campaign for Climate Action and advising a range of boards. He also serves as a Conjoint Lecturer at The University of Newcastle and is on the experts register at the Geneva Center for Security Policy. Phil has authored several peer-reviewed academic articles, book chapters, and articles in the public media.


Shilpa Mudiganti

Director of operations  •  shilpa@the-open.net  •  bangalore, india

Shilpa Mudiganti is our Director of HR & Operations and has been our very first staff on board. She is passionate about bringing systems, structure and progressive people practices in the Non-profit and Social Enterprise space. Shilpa has more than 15 years of work experience which includes working with international Fortune 500 corporates to local NGOs to UNDP in Sierra Leone. When she is not working, she loves to dabble in acting and production for plays and in learning sustainable living practices.


Michael Snook

Director OF TECHNOLOGY  •  snook@the-open.net  •  New York, USA

Michael Snook is an organiser and technologist from Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. His time in the political world has taken him from field organising, to fundraising and speechwriting, to analytics and targeting, to tech administration, to software development. In 2009, Michael helped found BoldProgressives.org and later served as Chief Information Officer, directing a team of designers, developers, and data analysts to keep things running smoothly while building new organising tools to bring innovative new tactics and strategies to life. He gets excited about space exploration, cognitive linguistics, and distributed leadership models.


Becky Jarvis

network support director  •  becky@the-open.net  •  cardiff, uk

Becky is one of the world’s leading international practitioners in digital-first campaigning. With nearly 10 years experience working at, and with fast-growing digitally driven startups. As one of the first staff at 38 Degrees (UK) she generated millions of online actions and member-led donations. As one of the longest serving staffers at OPEN she has experience working across the organisation and across the entire global network. At OPEN she has trained, coached and supported organisations to grow and thrive, providing direct support for the launch of over ten OPEN groups. They now have millions of members between them and run high-impact, strategic and brave campaigns every day.


Hiemanshu Sharma

Lead Engineer  •  hiemanshu@the-open.net  •  bangalore, india

Hiemanshu has been a technologist for as long as he can remember. He started programming at the age of 15, and has worked on a wide array of different technologies. He loves tinkering with new technologies and finding just the right tool to solve a problem. He has experience working with large scale collaborative projects including Android and Fedora Linux. In his down time, Hiemanshu likes to play with his son, try out new video games, and build prototype apps to solve messy old problems in elegant new programming paradigms.


Stephanie Danielle Roth

european coordinator  •  stephanie@the-open.net  •  berlin, germany

With a research & journalism background, Stephanie brings several languages and 15 years of direct campaign experience from throughout Europe. She was the campaign coordinator of the successful ‘Save Rosia Montana!’ campaign which brought to life massive citizen engagement in a post-communist Romania. For this engagement she was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2005. Stephanie is amongst a handful of campaigners who developed and managed large transnational EU campaigning amongst a diverse range of organizations, teams & facilitated inclusion and exchange in continuous networks. Examples include the TTIP/CETA european citizens initiative as well as the latest reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.



Ranjani Rajashekaran

Finance Manager  •  ranjani@the-open.net  •  london, u.k.

Ranjani has a Master’s Degree in Accounting with 9 years of experience in diverse fields like accounting and finance, supply chain, advertising and operations. While most of her experience comes from the corporate sector, she is very enthusiastic about being associated with OPEN and contributing meaningfully to society.

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Indu Naresh


Indu is our Admin Assistant. She brings with her a career spanning 10 years and a rich experience of providing administrative support in the hospitality industry and other backgrounds. She considers herself a true Bangalorean, who can relate to why this city was once called, “the garden city of India”, and how the tech boom has changed it all.  She loves driving and finds it destressing.


Vimal Jobanputra

software development manager  •  vim@the-open.net  •  wellington, new zealand

Vim has been building software and leading technical teams for 20 years, focusing on working with early stage start-ups and social enterprises. He loves seeing big ideas come to life, and is passionate about cultivating the conditions for building software that is robust, intuitive and has purpose. Vim is responsible for OPEN’s major software development efforts, helping ensure member organisations have access to the best tools available to maximise their impact.


Aurora Adams


Aurora is an alumni of GetUp in Australia, where she was a Senior Campaigner working on their Refugee, Human Rights and Election campaigns. She is a descendant of the Gunditjmara people in Victoria, and grew up on Wonnarua country in NSW on a garlic and olive oil farm. As Librarian, she tries to keep tabs on what’s happening all around the network, and facilitate the smooth collection and sharing of knowledge between the different organisations.