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Working Groups

Your great idea could be just the missing piece that makes the open source world a better place!
Would you like the resources and mentors to make it real?

The OSI Incubator Program can make your brilliant open source idea happen.

OSI Incubator LogoThe OSI Incubator Program provides opportunities—and resources—to interested contributors to self-organize around affinity issues and projects. Each OSI Incubator Project is dedicated to addressing a specific need of, and for, the open source community in line with the OSI's mission of education and advocacy while building bridges among different constituencies. Incubator projects focus on the creation of resources for open source communities, development practices, licensing or any other non-code aspect of the open source ecosystem.

You can view and join OSI Incubator Projects--or develop your own--on the OSI Wiki. Below you will find some of the OSI's most active Incubator Projects open to all to join and contribute to.

FLOSS Desktops For Kids
IRS & FLOSS Entities
TL;DR Legal
Management Education Free/Libre/Open Works (FLOW)
Public Policy Working Group



The OSI is very excited to announce the creation of, and invite your participation in, the following Incubator Projects and Working Groups.



FLOSS Desktops For Kids
In line with the "Maker" movement and supporting STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Math), this project helps schools and school children learn about and use open source software. This incubator project provides resources and mentors to help school districts, teachers and kids learn about computer hardware, networks and software through hands-on activities that re-builds computers. Using surplus and discarded school computers, kids break-down and repair computer hardware components, install open source software including Linux operating systems, Libre Office, GIMP, etc. The project teaches kids about computers and computing by doing. Once completed, the kids can take their computers home, "for keeps."

How to Participate:
Learn more about the Incubator Project
Contact the Incubator Project Lead, Patrick Masson


IRS & FLOSS Entities
The FLOSS Entities Incubator Project explores how the IRS position toward FLOSS organizations has changed, how these changes affect new and existing FLOSS nonprofits, and what alternatives to independent tax-exempt status are available to new projects. It will also produce informational materials and recommend advocacy initiatives to address this issue.

How to Participate:
Learn more about the Incubator Project
Contact the Incubator Project Lead, Allison Randal


TLDR Legal
The goal of this project is to direct visitors that are looking for helpful, simple community interpretations towards TLDRLegal by establishing linkbacks between summaries and their respective license pages. In terms of execution, it's important to have simple, accessible navigation while maintaining the following conditions:

  • Explicit disclaimers of endorsement of content, review and sourcing of summary data
  • Explicit disclaimers of legal advice
  • Clear separation between TLDR & the OSI designating it as a neutral 3rd party

How to Participate:
Learn more about the Incubator Project
Contact the Incubator Project Lead, Kevin Wang


Management Education Free/Libre/Open Works (FLOW)
Mainstream project management education and practice has not kept pace with the evolution of successful free/libre/open source peer-to-peer scenarios. Other than through individual project leaders who happen to be based at educational institutions or active within open source projects, the management education field as a whole is only superficially engaging in open source models. For the most part the field is missing the substantial academic and formal business literature on free/libre/open ethics, methods, processes, governance, HR management, corporate strategy, law and financing, all of which have come to prominence in the operational life of business, government and science.

To give a prominent tangible example of the disconnect, in the past decade many commercial and government organizations worldwide have adjusted their competitive hiring and procurement processes to include a mandatory requirement for PMP Certification (Project Management Professional), PRINCE2 Certification (Projects in Controlled Environments, v.2) or various “agile methods.” However, each of these accepted approaches lack significant accommodation of key aspects of free/libre/open development and assumes projects are under exclusive organizational terms, and hierarchical management. This OIS Working Group will explore and document what are the best practices for remote, distributed and decentralized projects created and cultivated by community? The results will be made available to various sectors to help educate and train individuals and organizations in open source project and portfolio management.

How to Participate:
Learn more about the Working Group
Contact the WG Lead, Joseph Potvin


Public Policy Working Group
OSI is often approached for assistance from the public sector (government, public education and so forth) regarding policy for free and open source software. This includes the full range of expressions of policy: reference models for small government (municipalities); federal agencies' seeking guidelines on open source viability; national referendums and economic development initiatives which rely on free and open source software as a strategic element of the plan.

The Public policy Working Group (WG) extends OSI's resources, creating an international collaborative effort and a network of policy practitioners and enthusiasts. The WG will create and manage an inventory of adopted policies, best practices, documentation, and general knowledge to support individuals and organizations with an interest in or responsibility for creating and implementing effective policies in the adoption of free and open source software.

How to Participate:
Learn more about the Working Group
Contact the WG Lead, Deb Bryant