The Openscapes Flywheel: A framework for managers to facilitate and scale inclusive Open science practices

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Erin Robinson , Julia Stewart Lowndes


Solutions to large-scale environmental and social challenges require radical collaboration that blends technology and people — and the Open science movement is answering that call by transforming how we work together. While often the focus is on data, publications, code, software developers, and researchers, the transition to Open involves investment across agencies and organizations of all kinds. One critical and often-overlooked part of transitioning to Open is that it requires support from managers and leadership, who do not need to be Open science experts but who can imagine the return on investment and support their teams through time and resources to learn new skills and technologies, take risks, and even fail through the process. In this paper we describe our work developing the Openscapes Flywheel with NASA Earth science data centers, using the concept where transformations occur from relentlessly pushing a giant, heavy flywheel that builds momentum over time. We offer three practical ways managers can support their teams and grow morale and technical capacity across their organizations: (1) Engage bright spots, through welcoming them and creating space and place; (2) Empower a learning culture through, investing in learning and trust and working openly (3) Amplify Open science leaders, through leveraging the common and inspiring the bigger movement. Together these lessons create kinder and more inclusive organizations that are more resilient as data volumes increase and software evolve, and dispel the hero myth of science. Engaging, empowering and amplifying efforts to support people while modernizing our workforce is the way that we will meet the world’s greatest challenges, from climate change to social justice to democracy. We can already see how working this way increases inclusion, reproducibility, and resilience within and across government, academic, and non-profit organizations, and are hopeful for what we can do together in growing this movement.



Adult and Continuing Education, Environmental Studies, Remote Sensing


: Open science, management, data science kinder science, NASA Earthdata, open science, data science, kinder science, NASA Earthdata


Published: 2022-10-10 08:49

Last Updated: 2022-10-10 15:49


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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Conflict of interest statement:
The authors have no competing interests to declare.

Data Availability (Reason not available):
All Openscapes Champions curriculum materials are found here. NASA Openscapes work is documented on the project website and materials are shared openly in the Github organization here (