Open Source Initiative Blog

  1. Thank You for a Fantastic First POSI!

    We’d like to take a moment to thank our community for making our event on Practical Open Source Information a resounding success -- with more than 300 attendees, 30 speakers, a brilliant keynote address from Heather Leson of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies about the role open source plays in humanitarian efforts, and three tracks, our half-day event proved to be a valuable space for many members of our community to come together and discuss a wide range of pressing issues affecting open source practitioners everywhere. (Recordings of all event talks and panels will be made available shortly!)


    We’d like to thank our program committee members, Pam Chestek, Christine Lemmer-Webber, Sam Kimbrel, Justin Colannino and John Mark Walker for selecting our event’s final programming. We’d also like to thank our OSI staff members who made this event possible -- Deb Nicholson, Vladimir Bejdo, Betsy Waliszewski, Phyllis Dobbs, Jessica Iavarone and Stefano Maffulli -- and our volunteers, who played crucial roles in running the event itself -- Kenny Coyle, Sri Ramkrishna, Remy deCausemaker, and Salt Hale.


    If you attended or spoke at POSI, please take a minute fill out the short survey we emailed to you, so we can make future events even better. Thank you all, once again, for making this event possible -- we couldn’t have done it without the support of people in the open source community like you!

  2. Schedule Finalized for Practical Open Source Information

    Our new half-day event on Practical Open Source Information is coming up soon on September 16th. With a unique focus on discussions related to everyday open source issues in all types of organizational contexts, POSI is a can’t-miss event for anyone seeking to learn ways to deepen their participation in open source from experienced practitioners.

    Though our schedule has been published for about a month, we are now proud to announce that ourschedule has been finalized, with a big addition:our event will start off with a few words from our New Executive Director, Stefano Maffulli!Make sure to attend his opening remarks at 10:45 AM EDT, just prior to our Keynote.


    We’d also like to point out several details regarding event administration. We will be using an instance of the open source web conferencing system, BigBlueButton, to stream our talks and panels at POSI, with hosting courtesy of our in-kind sponsors at Blindside Networks. 


    Remember to register in advance for POSI -- registration is gratis, but tickets are limited as we use registration figures to plan for adequate bandwidth for the event. Please,don’t wait until the last minute to register!Register here, now.


    Seeing this post during POSI? Seeking help? Contact us at for day-of assistance during the event.

  3. Open Source Initiative names first Executive Director

    SAN FRANCISCO, September 8, 2021 -- The Open Source Initiative ® (OSI), stewards of the Open Source Definition that sets the foundation for the open source ecosystem, is excited to announce Stefano Maffulli as its first Executive Director.  The appointment is a key step for the transformation of OSI into a professionally managed organization, a process that the Board of Directors started in 2020.

    After an expansive search led by OSI’s purpose-built staffing committee, the Board of Directors appointed Maffulli, an experienced international leader in enterprise and open source environments. OSI is grateful to Deb Nicholson, interim general manager, for her outstanding work in this transitional year.

    “Bringing Stefano Maffulli on board as OSI’s first Executive Director is the culmination of a years-long march toward professionalization, so that OSI can be a stronger and more responsive advocate for open source,” says Joshua Simmons, Board Chair of OSI. “We can now deprecate the role of President transitioning to Chair of the Board with confidence about OSI’s future.”

    Maffulli joins OSI after decades of open source advocacy, both as a contributor and leader. He co-founded and led the Italian chapter of Free Software Foundation Europe from 2001 to 2007, structured the developer community of the OpenStack Foundation and subsequently led open source marketing teams in several international companies. An enthusiastic open source user, he’s contributed documentation patches, translations and advocated for projects as diverse as GNU, QGIS, OpenStreetmap and WordPress.

    “Open source software is everywhere, but its definition is constantly being challenged,” Maffulli says. “The zombies of shared source, limited-use and proprietary software are emerging from the graves where we put them to rest in the 90s, threatening the whole ecosystem.”

    OSI’s definition - and licenses - keep pace with today’s whiplash technological advances. 

    “Mobile devices, cloud, artificial intelligence/machine learning and blockchain offer new opportunities for developers, entrepreneurs and society as a whole who all deserve a strong OSI not only to maintain a definition of open source that works in modern settings but also forges a path for how to effectively produce modern open source software,” he adds.

    Members of the wider open source community also welcomed Maffulli to the OSI.

    • "Successful open source depends on the solid bedrock of open source licenses, but it also requires so much more," says Allison Randal, Chair of the Board of the Open Infrastructure Foundation. "The new structure of the OSI will enable the Executive Director and the Board to put renewed energy behind the practical aspects of producing open source software in open and collaborative environments, facilitating healthy dialog around how open source projects and communities can continue to evolve toward a more sustainable and equitable future."

    • “Open source has no geographical barriers. Software produced and shared by the global community is one of the greatest human achievements. By hiring an ED with an international background, the Open Source Initiative is reinforcing its mission to steward the Open Source Definition for the wider community,” says Samson Goddy, co-founder of Open Source Community Africa.

    • "This is an important change," says Karen Sandler, executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy. “I congratulate the OSI for engaging in a critical re-evaluation of its role in the FOSS community and redefining how its board functions. I'm excited to see what the future holds for OSI with Maffulli's leadership.”

    About OSI

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is the steward of the Open Source Definition (OSD) and the community-recognized body for reviewing and approving licenses as OSD-conformant. The OSI is also actively involved in Open Source community-building, education, and public advocacy to promote awareness and the importance of non-proprietary software. The mission of the OSI is to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community.

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a California public benefit corporation, with 501(c)3 tax-exempt status, founded in 1998. For more information, visit

  4. Practical Open Source Information -- Event Schedule Now Available!

    On September 16th, 2021, the Open Source Initiative will be hosting a free, virtual half-day event on Practical Open Source Information. Geared towards open source developers, scholars, lawyers and managers interested in learning about open source in practice, this unique event will featurespeakers with extensive experience in the field -- with a focus towards new adopters and those looking to deepen their open source participation.


    We’d like to thank everyone in the community for their support of this new event -- especially those in the community who contributed by submitting one of the many, high-quality submissions we reviewed in putting together our line-up!We are also pleased to share the schedule today -- it includes many sessions we think you can’t miss!


    The schedule of talks and panels can be foundat this link. At POSI, our events will fall into three tracks:OSPOs and Lawyers,focusing on open source compliance, procurement, and legal topics;The Open Source Journey,with talks and panels for open source professionals;andAcademia & Beyond,geared towards discussions on open source community and education matters.Our speakers are sharing their own experiences in implementing and working with open source software and communities, and we are looking forward to lively discussions with and amongst audience members via several panel sessions.


    We are also excited to announce thatour keynote will be delivered by Heather Leson, who will be speaking about the role open source can play in furthering humanitarian efforts -- drawing on her experiences with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, where open source, open data, and open principles drive humanitarian action.


    Registration for the event is gratis, but isrequiredto attend, and can be found at thislink. As always, this event couldn’t happen without community support -- please feel free to share links to our event with people who might be interested in what this new event has to offer! 


    For anyone who might be interested in volunteering at the event, we could use some room monitors for POSI! Room monitors welcome speakers and report any issues in the room to OSI staff -- if that sounds like something you’d like to get involved with, get in touch and let us know what talk(s) you may be interested in monitoring. 

    Community support can also come in the high-impact form of sponsorship -- if your organization is interested in sponsoring this event, please reach out to us at The event prospectus is availableat this link.

  5. OSI’s 2021 Board Election is Concluded

    Our Individual seat winners are Aeva Black and Catharina Maracke -- both new to the OSI Board. We are also welcoming Hong Phuc Dang back and are excited to have Thierry Carrez join us as a new Affiliate Board Member. Thank you to all our members and affiliates for your discussions, your participation and your votes. 


    We'd like to thank everyone who participated in this year'sextralong board election,investigation and subsequent re-run process. We especially appreciate everyone who took the time to run for the OSI board and we hope to continue collaborating with you all in the future. Your willingness to serve is one of the things that makes the open source community such an amazing place to work.


    Thank you to our Oversight Committee for all their work to interpret the results of the investigation and help us ensure transparency in this process. This was a difficult task and we really appreciate their willingness to support the integrity of our community elections in this way. We’d also like to thank Ben Adidas at Helios for providing a fantastic open source voting solution and helping us when we needed help during our investigation. 


    Josh Simmons, OSI’s Board President said, “This was a tough year and we are deeply grateful to everyone who has helped us understand what happened. We look forward to holding slightly more boring elections going forward as well as updating our technical infrastructure to improve our record keeping workflow.”


    Board member seats expire at different times so that we can maintain some continuity. Our next election will take place early next year. There will be two Individual seats and one Affiliate seat up next year.

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