Sharing the unused feasibility studies and the Fiche Factory: objections?

Hello @reeflings,

TL;DR: this post is a proposal to share a copy of the Fiche Factory (without personal data) and the AND-28 and MOL-26 feasibility studies with Wooncoop, and to create a short post in The Reef’s Open Knowledge category.

If you are short in time don’t hesistate to not read this post :sweat_smile:

1. Meeting with Wooncoop about the Fiche Factory

Last week Monday I had a meeting with Norbert, the Brussels coordinator of Wooncoop. This meeting followed on me telling Samenhuizen that we’d be happy to share our Fiche Factory, and Samenhuizen passing on that message to Wooncoop.

Norbert told me that Wooncoop would like start a project in Brussels. They are in contact with several groups, one of which Bram is a member, then Tatibah and then a group from the Communa scene (forgive me the details).

I screenshared and showed him the AND-28 and MOL-26 feasibility studies, and also a quick glance into the Fiche Factory. Norbert told me they would be happy to receive a copy of anything we would be willing to share.

2. Sharing the Fiche Factory: ideal situation vs practical limitations

Based on the Open Knowledge principles, @alberto’ flagged that the ideal set-up would be one where we make everything publicly accessible (interested nerds, see What is open?).

The problem with that in this case is 1) there’s a serious GDPR / personal data issue, and 2) it makes it possible that our data fall in the hands of a commercial actor.

3. Proposal

My proposal would be this:

  1. We share with Wooncoop a copy of the Fiche Factory (without the personal data) and a copy of the two feasibility studies. The one request we would make would be to not pass it on to commercial actors, but other than that I reckon it should be fine if the documents get passed on to other interested parties (a bit like the Leegbeek / Saint-Vide file).

  2. We make a short post in The Reef’s Open Knowledge category, where we announce that we’d be happy to share our Fiche Factory. If someone is interested, please send us an email.

4. Objections?

I’m assuming this is fully in line with our “Openness” key pillar, but given all the work that went in, and also that the decision is irriversible, I prefer to seek consent.

If anybody has an objection, please share them in this thread. In the absence of any objections by Thursday 11 July, I will then send the files to Wooncoop.


I don’t think 1 is a real problem, though data would have to be curated. I also don’t think 2 is a big deal, because commercial operators have already scooped up everything attractive to them. Like you say in the presentation “there’s a reason why these sites are for sale”.

But that said, from my brief interaction with Norbert it was clear to me that Wooncoop has neither a culture of open knowledge nor the interest to acquire it. It is not realistic to ask them to publish a proper dataset from our fiches; nor is it realistic for us to do it, we are stretched too thin. So, I guess your solution is the least bad we can do. No objections.


according to the link you mention, the fiche factory is not open data. The data must be machine-readable. and we have a folder with word documents in different formats

I remember i mentioned this point when we were making the scouting process. but my opinion was not taken into account. it’s a pity we did not create a proper dataset with this work from the scratch :smiling_face_with_tear:

oups. deadline is gone! i would appreciate a longer deadline for taking decisions. i am not so fast decision maker

thanks for this proposal Lie,

i agree with the proposal because the non for profit nature of the tatibah project. but i would be very clear that Norbert has no right to share this information with any other party. for his eyes only. i am worried this will end up circulating and ending up in the hands of bad actors

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Hi Manuel,

I haven’t shared the files yet, but when I do I will insist that it is important to us that the files do not end up in the hands of commercial actors.

As for your point on Open Data, I personally think that The Reef is very committed to this (especially Open Knowledge), and we try everything that is within our means to make it happen. For the Fiche Factory however, the need for self care and managing our energy trumped our commitment to open data without any hesitation.

The energy, time, sweat and tears that went into this undertaking is vastly underestimated. Adding any extra effort on top of that - IMHO - was just not possible. Should you know someone who has the energy to invest in structuring the data set, don’t hesitate to encourage them to do it.

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Thanks for this Lee!

A few propositions/comments

I think we should share our file with them, explaining that not everything might be interesting to them as some (most?) may be occupied. The comments should help identifying that or at least making a first sort out.
I think it would be good practice given that they very nicely shared theirs…

I didn’t need to make an objection in this case but I agree with Manuel. It’s something that we never picked up but that was part of team gov tasks. I think one solution would be to post it in the emergency signal group. Let’s pick it up at our next meeting.

I think it’s a good idea to share the file with the Leegbeek guys. @manuelpueyo is this something you can take care of?

I also fully agree on the need to make sure online consent works well. At the same time however I think it’s important to not create too many emergency notifications and/or to overly formalise our processes.

In this case my reasoning was this:

  • It’s a relatively non-controversial decision, given that it is 100% in line with our key values.

  • I tagged all Reeflings and included 4-5 days reaction time. If we are expected to check in online twice a week, everyone should have had the chance to have their say.

As I said: I’m all for making sure online consent works well, and at the same time I would like to avoid an overload of notifications or losing energy on wanting to consult everyone on everything.

Happy to discuss it in Team Governance though.

I agree with you! we do our best, and it’s cool like that. But creating an open dataset it’s not that difficult. in fact we are already doing it in the reef!!=== :point_right: :point_right: when we use the google form to register participants to our events, the end result in the background is a machine readable dataset :smiley:

ok I will talk to Vincent and see if they are interested in having a copy . since they kindly share their database with us