Advocate Circle

Page created on December 24, 2017 | Last modified on January 25, 2023

[Jump to OSI Advocate Circle working documentation]

We’re inviting those who ran for the OSI Board of Directors to join the OSI’s Advocate Circle.

[Advocate Circle mailing list]

The OSI is recognized internationally as an authority in the advancement of open source software and communities. As such, the OSI regularly receives inquiries and opportunities to engage in a variety of activities and initiatives to further the advancement of open source. Unfortunately, many of these requests—while extremely valuable for the advancement of open source—are beyond the OSI’s ability to resource appropriately, and thus go unanswered and undeveloped. The OSI Advocate Circle was created to extend the capacity and capabilities of the OSI by capitalizing on the experiences, expertise, and good will of the variety of professionals currently working in and with the open source community, as well as those interested in working in and with the open source community.

The OSI Advocate Circle is open to all of those who have stood for election as an OSI Board Member. If you are interested in joining the Advocate Circle please contact the OSI directly via the OSI’s contact form (please select “Memberships” under the “Category” menu).

The OSI is extremely fortunate to work with a who’s who of internationally respected organizations and individuals promoting open source software and the open ethos. Working as an OSI Advocate Circle Member may allow the Member to work directly with innovative open source projects, interesting and committed communities, and talented people. Volunteering with the OSI may help provide the Member with personal and professional development opportunities: learn a new technology, develop coding skills, learn about emerging trends and practices, meet colleagues, peers and mentors, and build a professional network.

The purpose of the Advocate Circle is to help further the OSI’s mission to educate about, and advocate for, the benefits of open source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community.

Advocate Circle Mission/Vision:
Work with the OSI Board of Directors (“OSI Board”) to (i) support the strategic direction and goals established by the OSI Board and (ii) grow the knowledge of the OSI general membership and constituencies in the open source community by providing insights to best practices, emerging practices, new trends and projects in open source, as well as participate when available at open source meetings/conferences in support of OSI.

The OSI Advocate Circle Members will participate in open discussions and draw/share from knowledge and ideas that are current and relevant. The objectives will be met by sharing ideas, discussing challenges, exploring new directions and, where appropriate, initiating research or inviting experts to present on key topics related to open source. Meetings will be virtual (by phone) unless there is an agreed desire to have physical meetings or workshops to develop specific initiatives. Members are expected to actively participate, work with other Members, and answer emails promptly.


  • Promulgate the value of open source.
  • Increase the knowledge base of membership and constituencies
  • Give members and constituents an opportunity to be visible with speaking opportunities.
  • Underscore a sense of community.
  • Increase OSI membership base.

Topics of Discussion:

The proposed topics are set out below. Additional ideas are invited.

  • Fundraising.
  • Affiliate organization membership.
  • Corporate membership.
  • Various open source projects.
  • Media outreach.
  • Newsletter.
  • To commit or not to commit to a project? CLAs, etc.
  • Open source, intellectual property, and legal obligations.
  • How to educate and get the legal team on board.
  • Negotiations around open source.
  • Copyleft vs. permissive open source licenses.
  • The role of the technical and the non-technical persons in open source.
  • Open source repositories.
  • Best practice for establishing an open source program in a company (policies, etc.)
  • Open source audits.
  • Share knowledge, experiences and best practices.
  • Share industry specific information related to open source: commercial, projects, government, etc.
  • Engage legal and non-legal subject matter experts for speaking/webinar opportunities.
  • A World without open source (what we wouldn’t have, highlight successes using open source, etc.).