A few words on our ownership-structure.
iwdb.org is created and maintained by breed-enthusiasts. Some are very central within breed-clubs, others are not. When we started out on this adventure, we wanted to create a resource for the whole breed. It’s very important for us that one individual can’t close down the whole thing or decide to keep the data private for whatever reasons. Free and open for all is what we are aiming for, both now and in the future.
To make sure we had a model which would secure this, we looked at several different models for ownership. In the beginning we wanted to offer the database to the breed-bodies for ownership and maintenance. What we didn’t consider was how different breed-bodies may have different aims and policies. We were afraid that such an ownership-structure would lead to chaos, endless discussions and a situation where nothing would be done. This would not be favourable for the breed or for the database.
We then came up with the idea of creating an informal trust to run the database. We had previously set up a core group of volunteers, but needed to take ownership issues out of that group and into the hands of a group of trustees.
The trustee group is self-recruiting. If one trustee leaves the group for any reason, the rest elects a new trustee. The group of trustees are all founders of the system and have been with us since we started the project. They have all proven their interest in the breed and their unselfishness in this work.
The current trustees are Per Arne Flatberg (Norway), Maura Lyons (Scotland), Edita Bérésova (Czech republic), Jean Timmins (England) and Pernille Monberg (Denmark)
You will probably notice that we are all based in Europe. Simultanously we are stressing that this is an international initiative. We do have contributors on all continents (except Antarctica, where we don’t know of any Irish Wolfhounds). However, the initiative for the database was done in Europe, which is probably why we elected all trustees from that continent. We don’t think there’s any risk of a European bias, though. Data-collection is done through all possible sources, and if anything we have been more concerned about getting data from continents where we don’t live than from Europe.