A Tragic Passing and a Wonderful New Arrival

As things transition into what’s a major holiday season in many cultural traditions, OPEN has had more cause than expected to reflect upon the things that matter most in life. We are a small team of mission-driven professionals dedicated to solving technical challenges in service of climate change mitigation.  But we are also a small professional family, and this month’s newsletter is dedicated to two events that far overshadow the day to day focus of our work.  (We will have a regular program newsletter for you next week)  

A time of loss…. 

Last week, we lost a valued member of the OPEN team, when Julia Watson passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.  Julia ran the books and other critical parts of our back-office since OPEN Technologies was founded.  She had a rare combination of strengths:

values, deeply held and deeply lived; 

warmth and kindness, generously distributed; and 

tangible, concrete abilities to help shape and groworganizations that are dedicated to positive change.        

Our bi-weekly “accounting” meetings covered a lot of ground.  Julia and I each spent more than two decades working at the intersection of economic and social transformation, had overlapping communities, and also shared a strong connection to Gambier Island. As a result, our important work conversations – about invoicing schedules, bridge loans to make payroll in the challenging times, how to structure year-end bonuses in the good times – would be offset by and coupled with equally important discussions about all the complexities of humanity.  I consider it a true gift to have had the opportunity to work with Julia, as someone who could help bridge the vast territory between the biggest why’s to the most tangible how’s of making a small, growing impact business work. I consider it a gift to have worked with a good friend.  


And a time of birth… 

Meanwhile, in happier news, we are thrilled to introduce Isabella H. W. Christiaanse, future energy modeler extraordinaire and current baby girl to OPEN project manager Theo and his wife Mia.  

Isabella arrived a bit early in the grand scheme of things but probably not as early as Mia 

and Theo may have liked after four days of labouring.  Four days.  Not a typo.  We are all very excited for them and looking forward to meeting Isabella in the days ahead.  

Theo will be taking a break from his regular modelingand prototyping tasks to spend the next few weeks (mostly) enjoying figuring out how to be a parent and partner in this new stage of life.  

In the meantime, we are thrilled that science (aka our office pool) will finally have an answer to the question of whether Theo’s lengthy dissertations on the intricacies of python and energy modeling have the same impact on a baby as they do on his colleagues!  

Stay safe, healthy, and connected, everyone.  


Donovan Woollard, 

OPEN Technologies