The Open Source Initiative has seventy affiliate members. They represent a broad swath of the open source community, representing educational institutions, projects, and communities. We’re especially proud of our affiliates’ excellent work: thought leadership in open source philosophy; forward-thinking, community-building initiatives; and the work they do as part of fulfilling their missions to develop, innovate, and encourage the adoption of open source technology.
We wanted to take a moment to share the work of some OSI affiliate organizations and their stellar leadership across the greater open source community in community, design, and technology. Our goal is to offer just a few examples of how some of our affiliates are working which may inspire andinform your own efforts.
Brandeis University recently launched a program in Open Source Technology Management, to help train those seeking leadership roles in companies and communities, giving them a foundation in the value and necessity of open source software and philosophy. The program at Brandeis also creates a space for students to work directly with individuals active in the open source movement.
Creative Commons completely revolutionized licensing for content and media through the creation of the Creative Commons suite of open licenses. Their optimism and dedication to building a cultural commons have inspired countless people around the world to adopt open licenses and share their creative works.
The Debian community is best known for the Debian “universal” operating system, which powers everything from home computers to servers to the International Space Station with 100% free software. The Debian Social Contract highlights how a community’s commitments can further its mission by centering both users and developers.
The Document Foundation supports open source in many forms through their work with LibreOffice and the Document Liberation Project. LibreOffice provides a robust desktop and online office suite, allowing broad-scale adoption of open source software in homes, schools, and workplaces. Additionally, the Document Foundation does a great job providing a model of how a foundation can support a project while staying true to the values of open source.
Building maps and mapping tools are not just a matter of convenience to help us get around — they are necessary for humanitarian efforts, disaster response, and creating social equity. OpenStreetMap provides technical and social infrastructure for community map building. They also show the greater community how an open source project can be involved in humanitarian efforts while building world-class software.
The Python Software Foundation demonstrates excellence in community building and organizational leadership. Among other activities, PSF supports PyCon events around the world, providing opportunities for people just getting started in open source to learn and get involved wherever they are.
The Software Freedom Conservancy works on a number of fronts for the free and open source community. In addition to licensing enforcement efforts and assisting developers in understanding and protecting software freedom, they provide fiscal sponsorship and a home for a growing collection of communities and projects. These projects flourish with the help of the Conservancy.
Wikimedia provides a home for several projects and initiatives, including Wikipedia. Wikipedia has completely changed the way societies interact with knowledge and information. The Wikimedia community builds amazing things in open, collaborative communities that together build a reusable knowledge commons.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of our amazing affiliates and the inspiring work they are doing. It just demonstrates a small sample of what is happening with the OSI community. We’re proud of our affiliates and their commitment to open source. We would be excited to promote the great work of our affiliates with the broader open source community, so please let us know what you’re up to. We invite both our affiliate members to share those projects that provide open source leadership, and we also invite the community to reach out to us to find colleagues and peers within our affiliate communities that may be able to help them and their projects toward open source success.
– The OSI Board of Directors
Image credit: “Post1020Header.png” by Open Source Initiative, 2019, CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication, is a derivative (cropped, scaled, and color adjusted) of “Glacier National Park” a U.S. National Park Service photo, available under Public Domain, via the U.S. National Park Service.