OSI is changing, and you can help! I spoke at FOSDEM in Brussels on Saturday, on behalf of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) where I serve as a director. My noon keynote covered a little of the rationale behind OSI and a quick synopsis of its last decade from my own perspective and then announcements on OSI's behalf about the work we’re doing to make OSI strong and relevant for a new decade.
For the last three years, the OSI Board has been aware of a need for change. It’s mission needs a renewed expression. We decided the best way to achieve this was to switch from a Board-only organization focused largely on licensing to a member-led organization with an elected Board of facilitators. We discovered this was hard to invent, and last year eventually settled on the approach of incremental transformation. The first step of that transformation is now real. OSI now has the core of an Affiliate membership, with delegates from as many open source communities as are willing to participate. The Board has invited an initial set of Affiliates to join and collectively devise the new OSI.
What will that new OSI do? It will naturally continue stewardship of the Open Source Definition and the canonical list of approved licenses. But it will now also embrace the other parts of its mission:
I made three important announcements which initiate that embrace:
These are just the first steps; we’ve still a long way to go. Now we have a body of Affiliates on board, I hope both that they will accelerate the Board’s progress towards change and that they will self-organise as obvious opportunities are identified. I hope we can use an "open source" approach to create a new OSI for the new decade.