About Open Heroines

“My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you. But for every real word spoken, for every attempt I had ever made to speak those truths for which I am still seeking, I had made contact with other women while we examined the words to fit a world in which we all believed, bridging our differences.” ~ Audre Lorde

Illustration of women collaborating.

Our Story

In October 2015, after a long day at the Open Government Partnership conference, a group of women held an unofficial meeting at Punto Gozadera, a feminist cultural and recreational space in Mexico City.

It was the first global open government women's event.

We found a place where we could share our thoughts on the challenges we face as women in this field and spoke of future plans.

Three months later, in January 2016, this group decided to create a Slack team (♀ openness) to continue our discussions and develop actions together. It is a global group of women and non-binary people who work in the fields of open government, open data and civic tech. The group is a safe virtual space where women & non-binary people can meet like-minded individuals, share their experiences, get advice & words of encouragement.

A Medium blog was also launched with a simple mission — to give a visible platform for women from these spaces to express their thoughts, ideas and critique. Often, the voices of women and non-binary people remain missing in critical global conversations. Community members have since used this platform to contribute to a variety of topics that are related to the open government, civic tech and open data sphere from around the world. 

In the first five years of Open Heroines, we relied on volunteers to do community work. However, the community expanded fast, the pandemic hit and it became hard to get work done by volunteers alone. In 2021, with the support of the Hewlett Foundation, we hired three part-time consultants to help nurture the community. We want to live by our values and acknowledge the time and effort done by women.

To date, we have supported our community through travel grants, writing grants and funding our members to organise local and international events. We also further conversations about the issues that affect our members such as toxic workspaces, tokenism when it comes to considering them for speaking engagements, pay discrimination, and the like. 

Open Heroines is not a formal organisation. Our fiscal and logistical home is Development Gateway.

Our Team

Meet the core team that leads Open Heroines and coordinates community efforts.

Marisa Miodosky
Marisa Miodosky
Community Coordinator at Open Heroines
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Mor Rubinstein
Mor Rubinstein
Founder of Open Heroines
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Wakini Njogu
Wakini Njogu
Communications & Advocacy Consultant
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Sarah Orton-Vipond
Sarah Orton-Vipond
Director of Engagement & Partnerships at Development Gateway
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To amplify the voices of women and non-binary people in civic tech, open governance and, open data.


To build Open+ spaces that are inclusive, diverse, and feminist by design to better serve women and non-binary people.

Our Values

To build Open+ spaces that are inclusive, diverse, and feminist by design to better serve women and non-binary people.

Illustration of two women joining hands with a heart.


Open Heroines is a global and intersectional feminist community that appreciates, respects and values diversity (backgrounds, age, gender, etc.)

Illustration of women joining hands.


Everyone’s voice and experiences are important.

Illustration of women collaborating.


The community is alive when its members contribute, care for it and take part in co-creating activities.

Illustration of women building a puzzle.


Iron sharpens iron. Open Heroines encourages members to work together on ideas/projects as well as give each other feedback.

Illustration of people around a to-do list.

Transparency and Accountability

Open Heroines believes in transparency, openness and accountability. Its communication is open and transparent. The leadership team commits to sharing statements on how resources are allocated.

What you can find in the Open Heroines community

Brilliant and experienced minds for consultation
A space to share new ideas and get feedback
A platform to catalyse collective action
A platform to express your ideas through written and visual formats
A community to get and give mentorship/advice and uplift each other
A platform to share job and learning opportunities
A platform to spark feminist conversations among peers

Values of being an Open Heroine

You are part of an international and intersectional feminist communityThat amplifies feminist voices in the open+ spaces.

You are in a safe space

Open Heroines does not tolerate discrimination and judgement. All members should adhere to the Code of Conduct and must respect others.

You are part of a diverse network that can be instrumental in enhancing your career or projects

Open Heroines has members from diverse backgrounds, training and working experiences. Some Heroines work in policy, advocacy and/or philanthropy; others do coding, data mining, and data architecture; some are activists; while others are researchers and more. This variety enriches your work through consultations and debates, collective action, mentorship and shared opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a non-binary person?

A non-binary person is someone who does not neatly fit into the categories of man/woman, or male/female.

What do you mean by Open+ spaces?

Open+ spaces refer to lines of work that are in the field of open - from open data to open software to open government. We also include civic tech as it helps to achieve openness as well and intersects with the fields mentioned above.

What kind of support does OH give?

We give personal support to community members in toxic work environments or those who have suffered discrimination in the fields of Open Government, Open Data and Civic Tech. In addition, we sometimes give monetary support such as writing or travel grants. We also offer our community members a platform to publish their work and also further conversations about the issues that affect them such as toxic workspaces, tokenism when it comes to considering them for speaking engagements, pay discrimination and the like.

What do you mean by a safe space?

A safe space is a space where conversations are done in good faith and are not shared outside.

Can transgender women join Open Heroines?


Do I have to be a woman to join OH?

No, we accept non-binary people too.

How can I become an Open Heroine?

Click on the ‘Join Us’ button at the top right corner and fill out the Membership Request Form.