Frequently Asked Questions

Why Alkemio?

The key is alignment: “where” do we want to go? Alignment is critical for collaboration of any sort. Especially as collaboration crosses organizational boundaries. And the issues facing our society, large and small, cannot be solved by people or organizations working alone.

Teams/Slack/Google Workspace/Whatsapp etc. are all great for interacting and producing - but they do not put the change central. And having a clear shared understanding of the change is critical. Read more about this in our blogpost.

We believe that we can succeed in working on challenges, together. That is why Alkemio is an open source platform, to benefit everyone. Generally, Open Source software is software that can be freely accessed, used, changed, and shared (in modified or unmodified form) by anyone. Open source software is made by many people, and distributed under licenses that comply with the Open Source Definition. The license used by Alkemio is the EU-PL license.

Alkemio is proud to be contributing as a practical example of how to do open source in a societal innovation context. Perhaps more importantly we are also keen to share our learnings on the challenges and barriers faced in our journey.

Explore our code base at the Alkemio Github repository.

Alkemio comes from the idea that to create something good that also works there is a need of mixed elements. Our new name reflects that solving complex challenges needs a mix of knowledge, collaboration, creativity, dedication and some magic. Alkemio started from an idea and some core values attached to it. The idea was to create an innovative web space where people can interact and cooperate on things they share interests in. The core values and purpose are explained in the Foundation page, but the sense of community is a core one. After consulting that page you will understand what do we stand for and what we want to achieve.

Alkemio foundation

Public values should be central. We love tech. But not how it is often used. We do not want data and digital tools to exploit people. Interactions should benefit public values, rather than commercial or other interests.

The relationship between both websites is the following: Alkemio is the platform. It helps you make progress on challenges, together. It is backed by the Alkemio Foundation to guarantee its purpose.

You will therefore find all the Challenges and contributors at alkem.io. Then, on alkemio.org you can find more about the foundation behind Alkemio, such as our Manifesto, the team and our partners, as well as relevant content such as blogposts and recent newsletters.

Platform Usage

There are multiple levels on the Alkemio platform:

  • Space: Frame of reference
  • Challenge: Understanding the issues to be addressed within the frame of reference
  • Opportunity: Identifying solutions for how to make progress together on the Challenges
  • It is hierarchical in that Spaces contain Challenges, which in turn contain Opportunities - with the Alkemio Platform hosting many Spaces.

    Each level has a Community around it. Individuals and Organizations can choose to join a Space to contribute to multiple Challenges around a certain theme. It is also possible to join separate Challenges in different Spaces.

    Within all three levels, Users can discuss the topic, share relevant information in a structured manner, and brainstorm by using whiteboards.

    Under Challenges, you can search for the Challenges that you care about based on tags.

    You can find your profile settings by first navigating to your profile. Then clicking on the ⚙️ icon. You will find the possibility to update for example your bio, keywords, skills, as well as updating your profile picture.

    Currently, only organizations that have a partnership or subscription to the Alkemio platform will have a verified label.

    On the Space level, there is one Organization responsible for the content of the Space, the Facilitating Organization. However, on a Challenge as well as Opportunity level multiple Organizations can be leading, the Leading Organizations.

    Currently, only Space administrators can make Challenges and afterwards they can authorize the Leading Users to further administrate the Challenge. We are working towards enabling Users to create Challenges as well.

    You cannot create a Space on your own but you can contact us and we can create it with you and guide you in the process.

    Alkemio offers the possibility to create, share and get knowledge on topics that are meaningful to more than one person and it gives you the tools to connect with those people and figure out solutions together. The platform fulfils three functions: challenge management, social network and marketplace. Through these functions users willing to cooperate will be able to connect, communicate and cooperate to solve common challenges. Facing big challenges within a community increases the chances of solving the issues.

    There is no "owner" of Challenges :) But there are "Leads", either Users or Organizations that care about the Challenge being addressed. You can find them under the Leading Users and/or Organizations.

    Each Opportunity lives in exactly one Challenge. A Challenge can (and hopefully does!) have many Opportunities. If you want to "include" an Opportunity in another Challenge, then we suggest to make a hyperlink as each Opportunity has a dedicated URL that can be used to refer to it. This link could then for example be in the “References” section or in a Callout Card.

    Each Space, and each Challenge, can choose (a) who can see the content (b) who can contribute. This is tied to membership, and how a user becomes a member of a Space or Challenge is also a setting. The default setup is that when a user is a member of a Space, then the member can access all content in Challenges and can contribute to all Challenges. So it is by default open as we want everyone to be able to contribute! However, each Challenge can then choose to (a) require users to become members of a Challenge to see the content in the Challenge (a "private" Challenge) (b) require users to become members to be able to contribute (add comments in a Challenge etc). There are also other settings available e.g. related to who can create Opportunities in a Challenge.

    Open-source refers to the source code that provides the functionality on the Alkemio platform. It does not imply that the data is open. The data, such as the content of the Space, can be only accessed by the users that have the right credentials. As a member of a certain Space, you will be able to access the data from the Space you’re a member of, but not from other (private) Spaces. The data is protected at the api level, with there being an explicit authorization model for all key pieces of data on the platform that determines who can access each piece of data. The platform adheres to GDPR, and the data is stored within the EU (in particular, using a Microsoft data center in The Netherlands). Note that the data for a Space is also accessible in a structured way for users of the Space (through this datamodel), which makes it very easy to transfer to a different environment.

    Other suggestions?

    Hopefully this FAQ has been helpful! Do you have any other questions related to the platform or the foundation behind it? Or do you have a suggestion for questions that should be added to this FAQ? Please fill out this form below!