Commitment To Elevating The Very Best

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) has worked for over 20 years to promote and protect open source software and communities, animated by the principles of software freedom and recognition of the value of collaborative development. While open source is distinct from free software, this distinction isn’t clear for many, and our shared roots bind us together.

It is because of our shared history and our commitment to elevating the very best qualities of the open source movement that we choose to make this statement today:

OSI applauds the efforts of every individual who has ever spoken up and taken steps to make free, libre, and open source software communities more inclusive. Without you, the movement would be less vibrant, less welcoming, and irreversibly diminished.

Whether you’ve led your community to implement a code of conduct or taken the time to mentor someone who isn’t like you, whether you’ve reported toxic behavior or pressured community leaders to act: thank you. It takes courage to change the status quo, and all too often, that comes at a personal expense.

Ultimately, ours is a moral movement, and our integrity hinges on whether we rise to meet the challenge of seeking justice and equity for all.

As we move forward, we hope that we can learn as a community and incorporate the lessons of the past into building a better future. Further, we hope we can build bridges to those who have been shut out of our movement, whether by omission or commission, at the hands of systemic bias as well as toxic and predatory behavior.

As the saying goes in open source, “Many eyes lead to shallower bugs.” So too do many perspectives lead to better software. Here’s to a better, more inclusive tomorrow.

- The OSI Board of Directors


Image credit: "CommitmentToElevatingTheVeryBest.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 "American avocets flying above Floating Island Lake" a U.S. National Park Service photo, available under Public Domain, via the U.S. National Park Service.

To promote and protect open source software and communities...

For over 20 years the Open Source Initiative (OSI) has worked to raise awareness and adoption of open source software, and build bridges between open source communities of practice. As a global non-profit, the OSI champions software freedom in society through education, collaboration, and infrastructure, stewarding the Open Source Definition (OSD), and preventing abuse of the ideals and ethos inherent to the open source movement.

Open source software is made by many people and distributed under an OSD-compliant license which grants all the rights to use, study, change, and share the software in modified and unmodified form. Software freedom is essential to enabling community development of open source software.