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A big part of my job is talking. I talk to a _lot_ of people who are interested in learning more about Open Badges and the role Mozilla plays in this space, on a regular basis. The meetings I set come from a variety of sources; sometimes, folks reach out to us through our google group, twitter feed, or community calls, other times they come in as a referral through internal Mozilla folks and sometimes they come in through other members of the community and their respective networks. We’re eager and willing to have conversations with just about anyone interested in learning more about Open Badges and exploring how we can either help with their next steps or if they are further along in badge system thinking, how to help them integrate with the Mozilla Open Badge Infrastructure. 

In addition to all these in-bound conversations, we also do out-bound outreach to organizations who we think would help us seed the Open Badge Infrastructure with high quality, desirable badges.

Having been a part of this Open Badges team and initiative for just over 6 months now, and having kept track of most of the conversations I’ve had thus far, I thought it would be helpful for me as well as for my team and our community, if I put together a report on all these inbound and outbound outreach efforts and get an idea of the kinds of organizations we’ve been talking to — how many higher ed folks have shown interest in badges?, what about K-12?, what’s the regional representation of these various organizations?, do any of these folks have existing badge systems? etc. 

The following summary and pie charts naturally represent a snapshot in time as we continue to speak with folks on an ongoing basis and continue to foster and grow the Open Badges community. 

Partner Conversations from Dec 2011 to June 2012 tally:

114 non-DML related inbound and outbound outreach conversations

30 DML funded winning teams

60 DML non-funded winning teams

TOTAL (snapshot in time): 204 conversations

114 non-DML Partner breakdown (Inbound vs. Outbound)

in-bound vs. out-bound conversations diagram

We have a ton of in-bound interest that amounts to about 3.5 times that of outbound outreach conversations. As we scale, how to deal with all the in-bound interest and how to automate the process of on-boarding interested folks in a seamless manner is something we’re working hard to find a solution for. 

Partner breakdown of how they would touch the OBI

how partners would touch OBI diagram

Overwhelmingly Issuer: This is what we expected. Once the ecosystem is populated with high quality badges, we anticipate other roles within the ecosystem to start kicking into high gear. 

Partner breakdown into Organization Types

organization type diagram

Majority are tech startups that further breakdown into MOOCs, Displayers, Ed-Tech companies etc. 

Partner breakdown into Regional Representation

Regional representation

Unsurprisingly, partners who have expressed interest are majority North American. However, we have a growing community in the UK as well. Internationalization and localization efforts are also underway on the product roadmap. 

Issuer Target Demo breakdown

Target demo breakdown

We appear to have a balanced breakdown of demographics represented from current snapshot of conversations from youth informal to middle and high school formal to higher ed to workforce and professional development not to mention various communities of practice. There are still many more sectors out there that we think will benefit from badges that need exploring who we plan on targeting for strategic outreach. 

Existing Badge Systems

Existing badge system breakdwon

Of all the folks we have spoken to, a significant majority do not yet have a badge or certificate system in place. We think with Open Badger we can help many organizations, especially the smaller shops, get over the initial hump of having to set up an infrastructure to stand up their own badge system. Open Badger will provide hosting of the badges as well as help issuers walk through the badge design and metadata assignment. This snapshot indicates that there is still a lot of work for us to do. 

This unscientific partner report was an opportunity to essentially slice and dice the various organizations we’ve been in contact with in different ways. It’d be interesting to do a followup partner snapshot report down the road in another 6 months or a year and see how the percentages budge and in what direction. 

As always, feedback, comments and questions are welcome.