The roles

There are many different ways to contribute to the OFN project. Inspired by the holacracy model, we differentiate the people from the roles they can play for certain periods of time. A person can have multiple roles, and a role can be fulfilled by many persons. Some roles relate more to an local affiliate level. Others more to a global level. Some needs to be done at both levels, like communication for instance.

At local level (local OFN entity & community)

Organizing the Saas service on the OFN software

Super administration of the OFN platform

This role includes all what relates to setting up the localized version of the platform: translation in local language, VAT setup, taxonomy setup, local links, setting up a local user guide, etc. We have setup a specific guide for super-admin to support you in your role ! Check-it out :-)

User support

This role includes: reporting bugs on github, curating needs that emerge from the community and report them in the community forum wishlist (which is curated by the Product Owners of the global team - see below)

System administration

This role includes all what relates to the management of the servers: making sure the platform is up and running, intervene in case there is an issues, etc. This role is now more and more mutualized at the global level, but some affiliates still have local ressources to fulfil that role.

Contributing to sector development

Training and consulting services

This role means mainly building training offers and organize sessions for your local community of existing and potential food hubs and other community food enterprise. And/or offer consulting services to support establishement of new food hubs, or increased performance of existing ones. It can be for example a training or consulting on marketing or logistic strategy, including potentially some integration with the OFN local platform to setup automated emailing campaigns, etc.


This role is all about building and contributing to research projects, writing article, building content and knowledge that can support the development of local and sustainable food sector.

Incubation programs

This role consists in building programs including all the dimension you need to build a performant and resilient food hub. Programs can be over a week, or based on weekly sessions for some months, or include some mentorship, etc. To build those programs, this role can use the various commons produced by the OFN global community.

Managing the entity and developing the community

Community building and facilitation

This role includes all what concerns attracting stakeholders, users, contributors, partners to federate a strong and diverse community where people feel they share values and some common vision, and want to collaborate and commons projects. Building and facilitating a local community requires some onsite and/or virtual facilitation skills, so that everyone feels welcome, included, and can find ways to participate to the community in the most adapted way. Community facilitation is also closely linked with local governance, and how we include stakeholders in the decision making process. In distributed and inclusive organisation, documentation is also key for a community to thrive, as the rules and codes of the community needs to be shared for people to be able to participate.

Communication & marketing

This roles is all about local communication, like local newsletter, campaigns, local social media, press relationship, participation and organisation of local events, online presence, word of mouth, ambassadors strategies, etc. It support community building and help reach a sufficient number of users for the commons to sustain itself economically.

Human organization

Like a "human resources" department, this role is about making sure the roles needed for the project to thrive are fulfilled, and deploying strategies to attracts and recruit the required skills and human energies. It's also about making sure workers (volunteers or paid) feel great while contributing to the project, learn, grow, and feel joyful. What we do out of love and joy will create joy and love, so it's important for us that people contributing to the project don't do things only because they can be paid for that, but because they are committed and love what we are all building together!

This role includes making sure the legal papers are done and we respect our legal obligations, invoicing and accounting management, budget planning and follow up.


This role is all about finding money to be able to pay people so they can dedicate real time to develop the project and don't have to work aside to sustain themselves. Until we have reached some self-sufficieny of course, as our aim is to step by step build sustainable business models both at local and global level. Until now fundraising has been done more on a local level, local affiliates have found grants and have contributed to finance the global level of operations. This can continue and we highly encourage it, but we also aim at doing some global fundraising through global reach foundations.

At global level (the global OFN network & community)

Developing the OFN software


This role is all about the technical development of the software, which includes coding, code review, merging and releasing. Developers will fix bugs, solve technical debts, maintain the APIs (connectors that enable to communicate with other software) and build new features in close relationship with the product owner. So they ensure both the maintenance and the improvement of the software.

UX design

This role is closely linked to the development role, and product owner. The UX designer will work on the user interface and user experience to build a platform that users will easily understand and use. It is a key rule to maximize user adoption of the platform.


This role is key to ensure the general quality of the software. Before a new release is deployed in production and accessible to users through the various local OFN platforms, testers will check that the release doesn't break anything. For any piece of code added, testers will check that the feature this code is supposed to bring is functional and that nothing else has been affected. We want to prevent any regression with a new deployment of a release in a local platform.

System administration

This role includes all what relates to the management of the servers: making sure the platform is up and running, intervene in case there is an issue, etc. We have organized a global sys admin team to make sure we can intervene quickly in case a server is down and a local OFN platform is unaccessible.

Product owner

This role makes the interface between the users and the developers. It receives the request of the users, analyses the needs, brainstorms with users and developers about potential solutions, and when a solution has been collectively chosen, makes sure what is developed answers the original need once finished. It is also in charge to curate the massive amount of needs reported by users, so contribute to driving the prioritization process, and find ways to communicate that process to users to mitigate their frustration.

Train Driver

This role is more a "pipe coordination" role. When the product team has agreed on the next things to develop, the train driver will make sure the developments are moving forward and fixes and features are delivered on a regular pace, and nothing gets stuck.


This role is a shared role, and a key role in an open source community, as non documented open source software is not really reusable by other, so can be considered somehow as "flawed open source". Every contributor is supposed to participate to maintain and improve the documentation of the processes and the organisation of the community.

Developing sector development ressources

Research and analysis

This role is all about building and contributing to research projects, writing article, building content and knowledge that can support the development of local and sustainable food sector. We aim at activating the global OFN network around shared research projects. Research can be held both at local and global level.

Building and sharing hub management tools and guidelines

Knowledge is a non rival common, it can be shared without being lost. This role is all about creating content, building and sharing knowledge about how food hubs can be run efficiently, in order to support the development of the sector. These ressources can then be used by local affiliate to build training and consulting services. To be more concrete, these ressources can be marketing guidelines, business models, logistics models, legal models, organizational models, etc.

Building and sharing training, consulting and incubation material

In complement to the precedent role, this role is about sharing training materials, so training and incubation programs, consulting services, so that local affiliates can build on each other and enrich each other's reflexions.

Managing and developing the OFN community

Community building and facilitation

At global level as well, we need to faciliate the community of local affiliate managers, and welcome and support the development of new OFN affiliates in the world. So concretly, this role includes support to people who want to develop new OFN communities and entities worldwide, answering community forum posts and Slack messages, making sure new comers are filling welcomed, etc. It also include facilitation processes to organise collective decision making at global level, on priorization for instance, or opening and holding spaces to discuss about tensions people might feel. Welcoming and onboarding can be on non technical dimensions (support building the team and learn facilitation) or on technical dimensions (support people who try to deploy the software).


This role is about building a consistent global image for the Open Food Network project. It includes external communiation: website, social media, and internal communiation: documenting our processes (like writting and keeping up to date those gitbooks!)


In an open source community, documentation is key not only for the software, but more generally on all the processes in place, so that people who would like to join can know about the rules of the game. This role is shared by all contributors.


This role is all about finding money for the roles that are specific to the globa level: software and sector development resources development, global communication and community building and facilitation. We aim at doing more global fundraising as we believe that what our global community develops can really make a difference.

Financial management

This role is about managing a distributed global budget. Local affiliates do all contribute to global pot to finance the operation of the global team, ongoing development of the sofware, communication, etc. But we have no global organization neither global bank account today, and it wouldn't make sense to transfer money accross currency zones all the time and pay the attached fees. So we currently manage 4 "global wallets" in different countries where affiliates can transfer their contribution to finance the global level of the commons. We track expenses for the global level and manage cashlow and treasury through this open budget spreadsheet. Still WIP, so sorry if this is still very messy !

Human organization

As a distributed organization trying to maximise empowerment and participation of every contributors in decision making processes, we have no formal coercive hierchy, but a more fluid, agile, open and contributive dynamic of powers, supported by various processes. This role is about supporting onboarding of new contributors and making sure everyone is happy. It means opening and holding spaces when tensions need to be expressed and facilite an agile evolution of our processes.

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