Three weeks ago I moved jobs from working for Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, as an educator, to professional development officer at the Australian College of Midwives (ACM) in Canberra, Australia. I haven't been in my new job for very long, so can't tell you too much about it, because I'm still getting my head around what it entails. However, the main tension I have already come up against is moving from an environment where I was encouraged to develop open access education and resources, and free learning opportunities for the community under an open intellectual property policy, to working for a small non-profit organization that has to do everything it can to make money and be financially viable, within a closed IP framework.
This is causing me to think very carefully. How can I continue to work for national and international midwifery collaboration, which includes open sharing of resources and ideas, yet protect the financial interests of the organization I work for? How can I make money by providing professional development opportunities to midwives in Australia, yet stay true to the philosophy of open access education? Is it possible to do this in the non-profit sector? Is it even appropriate or relevant?
I would love to hear from anyone who is in the same situation and work for non-profit organizations? How do you keep a balance between making money, yet contributing to collaboration and education development in the wider community? What can be "free", and what should be paid for?