Open Working 101

A collection of resources to help Sport England (and YOU!) work more openly.

Anne Hilliger
CAST Writers
Published in
5 min readMar 30


CC-BY ND Bryan Mathers (

Over the past six months, We Are Open (WAO) has run three workshops and many “office hours” with the 22 National Governing Bodies (NGBs) taking part in the Innovation and Digital Accelerator programme — developed by CAST as part of Sport England’s B2022 fund. Our goal was to help the participants integrate more open approaches to their work. To achieve that goal, we provided many examples, approaches and resources for them. And because we like openness, we wanted to share it not just with them - but also with you.


At WAO we’re keen to encourage working openly everywhere we go. This is why we we created badges as our way of encouraging people and organisations on their journey towards ever-greater openness and transparency. You can submit evidence that is meeting the criteria of the badge to earn it. The criteria of the badges are based on the Principles of Open Working by the Open Organization.

These badges are not tied to the programme and everybody who is starting to work openly or already is working in the open can earn them as part of their journey.

Earn your Open Working badges! Go directly to the badge claim form

First Steps in Open Working badges.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Open

WAO’s free email-based course helps you learn the benefits of working openly! This approach has many benefits to you and your organisation, including greater agility, faster innovation, and increased engagement.

📎 Sign up to the Email course here!

CC-BY ND Bryan Mathers (


During the programme we ran three workshops to help the NGBs understand the best ways to work openly. Now we want to share the outputs of these workshops with you.

Workshop 1: Getting Started with Open Working

An introduction to open working. We are talking about why it is beneficial for organisations to work openly, we show some examples of open working and introduce the open working principles from the Open Organization.

📖 Slides for Workshop 1

Workshop 2: Going Further with Open Working

In this workshop we showed ways in which the NGBs can work in the open and introduced some tools and resources. We also helped them apply the Open Organization principles to identify future ways to work more openly with other NGBs.

📖 Slides for Workshop 2

Workshop 3: How to encourage Open Working

The last workshop introduced the participants to different ways of licensing the work and how to work with Creative Commons licenses. Additionally we talked about how important it is to model the behaviour you want to see when working in the open.

📖 Slides for Workshop 3

Tips and Tricks for Spreading Openness

🚀 Openness is about change

Our professional, 9 to 5 workaday world was designed for another era. But openness is about embracing a different mindset. Here are some articles that can help you think about how your mindset can influence your organisation!

🤝 Openness is an invitation

As you begin to spread openness, you’ll want to ensure that it’s easy for people to participate. Once people are working together with you, the project might need to adjust in response to their input. These few articles have tips and tricks for managing collaboration.

🌱 Openess is the new normal

For inspiration, have a look at what Greenpeace did in the realm of open!

Opening up social impact-focused organizations

In “Opening Up Social Impact-Focused Organizations”, authors Laura Hilliger and Heather Leson pool their years of experience in non-profit, humanitarian, and impact-focused organizations, offering guidance for leaders working to transform their organizations with open principles in mind.

Book Cover

Writing about Open Working


This is an introduction into writing habits and ideas on how to structure the content of your blog posts. Writing is the basis for working openly, so this module helps you get into the habit of writing and publishing your work.

Blog posts

Getting started with Medium

What’s a weeknote?

You’re welcome to use any platform for working openly and writing about what you’re up to. We recommend Medium, because it’s easy to create publications, and get your writing featured elsewhere. You can also have multiple editors, and ask for feedback on your work before it’s published.

Note that you will not need a paid account. This is for removing paywalls for articles that you can read on the service. We also do not recommend submitting your articles to be behind these paywalls.

The overall help section for Medium can be found at

Going further:

Catalyst resources

Catalyst has a wealth of resources around lots of things relating to digital and charities, especially when it comes to open working! Most useful things are linked to from the following pages:

  • Working in the open — benefits for you and others. Weeknotes. Sharing work outside your organisation. Reusing others’ work. Copyright. Creative Commons.
  • Useful tools — digital tools for productivity and collaboration.
  • Writing for your users — how to use words and other content to make your services work better for your users and everyone else.

Community resources

Here are some additional resources from the wider community to help you learn more about open working:

  • Open Source Guides — a collection of guides for running an open source project, including guides on contributing, licensing, and community building.
  • Mozilla Open Leaders — a community-driven mentorship program for developing open projects and practices.
  • Open Collective — a platform that enables communities to collect and disburse money transparently.
  • Open Knowledge Foundation — a global non-profit network that promotes and builds tools for open knowledge, including open data, open science, and open government.
  • OpenIDEO — A community-driven platform for designing solutions to social and environmental challenges, with a focus on working openly and collaboratively.

If you want to know more about open working get in touch with us at We Are Open or leave a comment.

Check out our free resources on Learn with WAO.



Anne Hilliger
CAST Writers

Cooperator @WeAreOpenCoop. Media education. Learning design. Gender studies. Arthouse cinema.