Shaun Russell

Product Owner and Head of Projects

What does Shaun do at OpenUp?

I manage a range of projects and products, mostly in the Accountability Stack Programme, where our goal is to inform, empower and activate citizens so that they can better engage with government on important issues.

About Shaun

Don’t focus on the goal, focus on the process that will get you there. We all want world peace*. We all want equality*. We all want love and attention*. But these grand abstractions distract us from the small (and sometimes boring) steps that are needed to get there. Solving the world’s great social problems is easy in your head, but reality is a whole other box of frogs. I believe, as an organisation, OpenUp is a space where I can collaborate with smart, passionate, and caring people who are able to simplify and distil these impossible goals into essential actionable projects that tackle these problems one little bit at a time. I am trying to take these seemingly insignificant steps forward every day so that in decades I can look back at a life of compounding social interest, and show that I helped change the world for the better.

* I assume


  • Completed a BA in English, Film and Media Studies
  • Completed an Honours Degree in Film Studies
  • Completed an LLB in under five years while working full time
  • Worked as a researcher for seven years at activist organisation Ndifuna Ukwazi