Up Next: Open Source Initiative Board of Directors

Up Next: Open Source Initiative Board of Directors

Chicago’s lakefront. Photograph: Richard Cummins/Corbis

I’m headed to Chicago.  No, not a delegate to the NATO Summit, but expect to share the same traffic jams.

This weekend thirteen Open Source Initiative (OSI) directors meet face-to-face in Chicago.  Three directors are recently elected, myself included, and a full agenda awaits.

If you’re not familiar, here’s the nutshell background:

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a non-profit corporation with global scope formed to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community.

One of our most important activities is as a standards body, maintaining the Open Source Definition for the good of the community. The Open Source Initiative Approved License trademark and program creates a nexus of trust around which developers, users, corporations and governments can organize open source cooperation.

The most pressing issue for the board today is moving the organization from a self-appointed group of volunteers to that of a member-driven organization, no small task, but an important one if OSI is to become most relevant.

- Deb Bryant

The Year of Open Government: Who’s Making it So?

goscon_notsite_300I’m going to GOSCON 2010 – the Government Open Source Conference – of course, and as conference chair I hope I’ll see you there too.

We’re back in Portland Oregon this fall.  Visit the web site for news, conference program, speaker line up, and registration.

So you ask me, what’s hot this year?  One thing for certain; following the Obama Administration’s Open Government Directive, state and local governments have turned to the Swiss Army knife of open technology tools to crack open up government data for the sake of transparency and to unleash innovation in some of the most unexpected ways.

We’re gathering an amazing group of city, state, county and federal leadership to sharing their stories and successes, expose and debate the challenges. Great break-out sessions on what government is doing, and most exciting, the growing civic engagement movements in government IT like Civic Commons and others.  Deep discussions in the hallways.  Interactive panels. Lively debates in the after hours of Portland’s great pubs and eateries.

We’re partnering with the Seattle non-profit  Knowledge As Power  and the OpenGovWest folks this year and hosting an Open Data Summit.

We’re launching a first ever IgniteGov event smack in the middle of GOSCON, to gather the public service/civic advocacy/transparency/community crowd for a fast-paced and fun exchange of ideas.

And much more.  Check out the web site, and help us spread the word.  Here’s the Digest version:

Event: The Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON 2010)
Web Site: http://goscon.org
Dates: October 26, Open Data Summit, October 27-28, GOSCON
Topics: Role of open source software and collaboration enabling leading Open Government and Transparency initiatives throughout the US. Open technology strategy, policy, acquisitions, operations, organizational readiness, exemplary projects and use case are covered in breakout sessions.  Executive Open Data Round table includes state, city and federal leadership. Open Data Summit on gathers government, civic, and technology interests to collaborate on standards issue.
Intended Audience: Pubic Sector CIOs, IT Directors, Infrastructure and Development Mangers, Contract Managers, Data Managers, Enterprise Architects, IT Policy Advisers, Public Information Officers, Public Administrators with responsibility for information technology strategy.  Internal gov2.0 evangelists will also benefit from the program.

Location: The Nines Hotel, 525 SW Morrison, Portland, Oregon 97204

Registration:    Government and non-profits, $195 until October 18, $250 thereafter, Corporate $295 until October 18, $375 thereafter (includes all sessions, exhibits, conference meals, and materials.

Conference Organizers: Oregon State University Open Source Lab osuosl.org

Open Source Voting : An idea of Global Importance

IPA Japan Representatives

IPA Japan Representatives

I just returned from Matsue, Japan, also known famously as “Ruby City” after the programming language whose inventor lives there.

During my stay there I provided the keynote for a Shimane University-sponsored seminar on Open Source Software, Industry and Academic collaboration.  It was an honor to represent some of the institutions and groups in Oregon, the successes and challenges we’ve faced in using, promoting, developing and supporting a full open eco-system in our somewhat unique state.  Key to my message and encouragement to participants from all sectors of their region was this; if you want to demonstrate the value of open source to non-technical constituencies, identify and collaborate on a project with clear public benefit.

One of the panelists was Mr. Hatta from Japan’s Information-Technology Promotion Agency’s (IPA).  He told me later he changed his presentation as I spoke, struck by the proposition of public benefit projects.  I’ll ask for his presentation and share it here soon.

His wrap-up recommendation: create a public benefit project and the suggestion that project might be an Open Source Election system,  apparently an idea with universal appeal/compelling need.

I’ll come back soon to sharing more about my travels to Matsue City, their impressive open source software initiative, the investment their government has made, and the outstanding collaboration between the university, industry and public sectors.

I’d also be remiss in my public benefit duties if I did not provide a final plug for the February 18th Open Source Digital Voting Foundation’s (OSDV.org)  “TrustTheVote” intro in Portland, Oregon (see prior post for agenda).  I’m looking forward to introducing them to my colleagues in Japan soon, and looking forward to hearing from Gregory Miller and John Sebes, the co-founders, even sooner.

osdv_logo

TrustTheVote! intro in Portland, Oregon

Feb 18, 2009, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

CubeSpace, 622 SE Grand Ave, Portland

Open Source Voting Systems On the Way

osvd

I’ve recently been asked to join as an adviser to the Open Source Digital Voting Foundation.  In my view, this is one of the most important open source projects around for the US system of democracy.  I was deeply impressed by their open standards specification,  public trust approach and the work they’ve done thus far – with little public fan fare – to establish the non-partisan initiative which has become known as “TrustTheVote!”.

Recognizing a large, active OSS community exists in Oregon, the OSDV is coming to Portland on February 18th to introduce their project.  Although the meeting content is designed for a technical audience, the project overview and progress-to-date would be of interest to many.

Here’s a description of the event.  You can also view details including a map to the event at Portland’s CubeSpace on Yahoo or Calagator.  If you’re in the area, hope to see you there!

TrustTheVote! intro in Portland, Oregon, Feb 18, 2009

Discover this imperative “public digital works project” of the Open Source Digital Voting Foundation. The OSDV Foundation is a Silicon Valley based public benefits corporation whose mission is to work to restore trust in how America votes through the design, development, and demonstration of open source digital voting technology.

Join us to learn details about the “TrustTheVote Project,” a well funded non-profit effort which has been under the radar for 2 years. The OSDV Foundation is now raising public awareness, and expanding efforts including a planned development center in Portland, Oregon.

Our guests are two executives of the Foundation including its Chief Technology Officer. Their presentation will:

  • Introduce the project, its motivation, founding, and development efforts to date;
  • Walk through the TrustTheVote technology road map and review major projects underway;
  • Discuss development philosophies and approaches including experience-driven design and test-driven agile development;
  • Review opportunities for systems architects, software developers, SDQA/test specialists, and user experience designers;
  • Cover plans to expand the volunteer developer teams, future opportunities for senior members of technical staff, and opportunities for you to get involved.

Presenters:
Gregory Miller, Chief Development Officer

E. John Sebes, Chief Technology Officer

event on: Yahoo or Calagator

Brazil: Joint Development Defines Free Software & Standards

It’s Day One of GOSCON and we’re about to start our distributed discussion “Global Dialogue on the Impact of Open Source Software in Transforming Government”. Marcos Vinicius Ferreira Mazoni shared these comments on the sustained government initiative in Brazil to use open source and open standards – proprietary software not excluded.  Comments include his views the value of collaboration and knowledge- Continue reading

Open Document Panel Video Released

GOSCON '07 ODF PanelDuring several days of last October’s Government Open Source Conference, we captured some of the sessions on video. We can’t cover them all, but I try to pick what we think will be of greatest interest after the conference is wrapped.

My first Flick Pick of the Week is the Executive Panel on Open Document Formats. It may be a bit backwards to start with the closing panel, but this topic will change soon enough so we didn’t want to sit on it too long. In fact since the panel was taped, the OpenDocument Foundation, which made news by taking a position for a different format altogether, has retired as an entity.

Participants included Adobe’s James King; IBM’s Arnaud LeHors; Microsoft‘s Jason Matusow; OpenDocument Foundation’s Paul “Buck” Martin; and Sun Microsystems’ Douglas Johnson. Thanks again to the panelists. (I’m sorry Jason has been swamped but the other four panelists were able take time to weigh in on questions that had been collected from the audience but not always fully answered during the limited time at the conference.)

The GOSCON site provides the slide set, video and an open discussion thread (the latter a first for the conference web site – we shall see.) Mo info mo betta; you be the judge.