Anne-Marie has been a member of the Apereo (and formerly Ja-sig) community since the mid-2000s, active in the implementation of open source technologies in higher education in the UK and Canada.
She has been a member of the Apereo Board of Directors since 2018, and has held the role of Board Chair since 2020. She is currently Deputy Provost of Athabasca University, Canada’s largest open university, and works as an external advisor to the government of British Columbia’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills. In this context she has been successful in introducing the idea of a sector-wide OSPO pilot as part of the Ministry’s Digital Learning Strategy. This project explicitly aims to build community and capacity in open source, supporting wider access to education and reduced costs for the sector. It is expected to be funded in 2023/24.
She has also been a core member of the OpenETC (opened.ca) in British Columbia since 2018, providing a sector-wide set of shared open technologies including WordPress, Mattermost, and Sandstorm.
She co-authored and teaches the Open Educational Technologies module of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Open Education programme, and as a passionate advocate for open education, she believes that open education is not truly possible without open platforms to support it.
As she cycles off the Apereo Board after her second term of service, she is keen to continue to play an active role in advocating for and supporting open source globally.
How the candidate will contribute to the board
Anne-Marie brings existing Board level experience. As Chair of the Apereo Board over the last 3 years she has led the replacement of our Executive Director, a full operational and financial review, and is currently working on a revision of our strategy, due to complete as her Board term ends. She also has significant Board experience from other domains having sat for over a decade on the Board of a building preservation charity in the UK.
She has experience dealing with government representatives through her work in Canada and with Apereo. Through her work in Scotland leading Girl Geek Scotland (a women in IT advocacy group) for 3 years she has experience working with the private tech sector.
Through her senior leadership roles in higher education she brings financial, organisation, communication, and change management skills to the OSI, along with her education domain experience. She brings a wide global network of contacts within the open education movement along with strong community building skills.
Why the candidate should be elected
Having worked in higher education technology for over 20 years, Anne-Marie brings experience of the realities of implementing open source successfully in a domain that has been rapidly moving towards adoption of commercial and proprietary tech in many countries.
As awareness of surveillance cultures and the predatory nature of educational technology companies become more visible post-COVID she believes there is a real moment appearing for strong advocacy for change and wider adoption of open source. She has been writing and advocating for changes to public sector procurement practices for over a decade to make the adoption of open source more possible, seeing this area as a systemic barrier at present.
She believes that education is a particularly important domain for open source communities to engage with, as it is a crucial opportunity to build the awareness and talent that can support the wider global open source movement.
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Questions for the candidates received from Luis Villa:
Your time: You have 24 hours in the day and could do many different things. Why do you want to give some of those hours to OSI? What do you expect your focus to be during those hours?
Licensing process: The organization has proposed improvements to the license-review process. What do you think of them?
Broader knowledge: What should OSI do about the tens of millions of people who regularly collaborate to build software online (often calling that activity, colloquially, open source) but don’t know what OSI is or what it does?
Regulation: New industry regulation in both the EU and US suggests government will be more involved in open source in the future. What role do you think OSI should play in these discussions? How would you, as a board member, impact that?
Solo maintainers: The median number of developers on open source projects is one, and regulation and industry standards are increasing their burden. How (if at all) should OSI address that? Is there tension between that and industry needs?
OSI initiative on AI: What did you think of the recent OSI initiative on AI? If you liked it, what topics would you suggest for similar treatment in the future? If you didn’t like it, what would you improve, or do instead?
Responsible licensing: There are now multiple initiatives around “responsible” or “ethical” licensing, particularly (but not limited to) around machine learning. What should OSI’s relationship to these movements and organizations be?