Open call for a non-executive director

Posted Oct. 13, 2020 by Amber Griffiths and Dave Griffiths

We are looking to appoint a new Non-Executive Director for the UK based FoAM Kernow studio, for an initial fixed term of 1 year. This is primarily an advisory position for the studio, and it is unpaid โ€“ it is a similar role to being a member of a charity board.

About us

FoAM Kernow is registered in the UK as a non-profit organisation (Company Limited by Guarantee, No. 09073427). You can find our articles of association, and our environmental, equality and data statements on github. Our 2019 activity report is available here.

Most of our time is spent on projects to better understand the ecosystems we are part of, encourage more sustainable behaviours, design bespoke appropriate technology (things that can be understood, fixed, repurposed, sometimes off-grid or even elephant-proof), reduce inequalities, and enable people to develop creative and confident relationships with science and technology.

In practical terms, youโ€™ll find us designing workshops, building hardware and electronics, writing software, creating exhibitions and unusual opportunities, giving a voice to our communities, publishing our work, teaching from primary to postgraduate levels, advocating for political change, and giving people a leg-up wherever we possibly can.

We see transdisciplinarity (working outside established boundaries) as the only viable approach to tackling the most pressing problems, and routinely embed co-design and citizen science as essential approaches for encouraging and including broader perspectives. Once you start with a problem and work your way out, disciplines become a bit nonsensical.

Our projects are usually collaborations or commissions working with publicly-funded organisations, so we make all our work freely available for those who have ultimately paid for it through free software, creative commons and open access publications. This means anyone is able to modify or build on our work for their own purposes.

About you

Rather than setting out too many criteria, we are very open to hearing from you about why you would be good for the role.

Some potential backgrounds could include open hardware development, climate change action, policy making, data visualisation, inequality, someone who works for or runs a public organisation like a museum, media lab or botanical garden, or something completely different. We welcome and actively seek diversity as it brings the breadth of perspectives, ideas, knowledge and culture that is essential to our organisational aims. We are less likely to take people with similar backgrounds to existing Directors, but wonโ€™t rule this out.

Above all you must be interested in helping FoAM Kernow to develop, and be well aligned to our ethos of working open-source, non-profit and for environmental purpose.

About the role

We have recently taken on two new Non-executive directors (Dr. Karen Anderson and Jane Sutherland), and are looking for a third person through this open call - to bring new experience, help think about long-term strategy for the organisation, and provide oversight. We will meet at least twice each year for general updates, as well as when necessary for specific issues like changes within the organisation or major decision making. The position will be for a fixed term of 1 year.

Non-executive directors bring an objective view of the business, sit on the board, attend board meetings and so vote on major decisions, but don't get involved in the day-to-day running of the business. Non-executive directors are not employed by the company, and can not be paid for work through the company.

Please read this for a general overview of the statutory responsibilities of a Non-executive Director.

To Apply

Please send us an email to tell us why you are interested in the role, and what you hope to bring to it, by 8 November 2020. Include any relevant links to you and your work online, and a CV. Also include any questions that you have for us.

Weโ€™ll review applications internally, and get back to you by the end of November.

Please note that an individual cannot be appointed a director of a company if they are an undischarged bankrupt (unless the court has given him leave to act), nor can they be appointed if they have been disqualified by the court from holding a directorship.