Joseph Potvin 2015

Last modified by Administrator on 2016/04/05 11:27

  1. How to Contact Me
  2. What I'd Like to Contribute as a Member of the OSI Board
    1. Extend and Re-Invigorate the OSI Brand of Trust
    2. Enhance the Free/Libre/Open Works (FLOW) Syllabus
    3. Some General Reflections
  3. I Think I Am What I Do
    1. Free/Libre/Open World (FLOW) Payments
    2. Property-Powered Rail Open Development Model
    3. Some of My Earlier Contributions That Have Lasted

How to Contact Me

I'll be happy to respond to questions on the list at [email protected] or via my direct email [email protected]. Comments & questions are also possible at the bottom of this page, but I might not notice them as promptly.

What I'd Like to Contribute as a Member of the OSI Board

Extend and Re-Invigorate the OSI Brand of Trust

Given the OSI's long-established and respected Softare License Review Process I would like to help the OSI community create and offer compatible principle-based "good housekeeping" certifications amongst the various derivative "open source" methods that have arisen in domains well beyond software, for example:

I would like to collaborate with the OSI community to formulate a set of criteria through which the OSI could usefully build upon its role as the primary touchstone "brand of trust" for designating genuine "open source" production and distribution, in a world where "open" branding has become ubiquitous (good) and ambiguous (not good). Of course, it's been wonderful to see the concept proliferate, but what's there to do about "openwashing"?  I suggest there's no better-placed entity than the OSI to establish a certification program for "open source" claims beyond the software realm. The OSI could strategically and pro-actively build upon the derivative logo arrangement that was worked out (after-the-fact and a little haphazardly) with OSHWA to proactively come up with a series of OSI logos derived from the primary logo, for OSI-certified "openness" in domains other than software. This remains to explore and discuss, and I understand that it's a non-trivial proposal. With your vote, I commit to working with others to formulate the concept with various options, and to help facilitate thoughtful consideration. Of course, if after consideration the OSI members and the Board decide to not pursue such a direction, I'll be fine with that. I think the idea should at least be explored and discussed.

Enhance the Free/Libre/Open Works (FLOW) Syllabus

With your vote, I'd like to advance the FLOW Syllabus in several ways to support continuing education. This is a curated collection of online external learning resources that offer clear and useful freely-available web-based information from diverse sources. They are the best sources we can find which explain or illustrate the free/libre/open way (ethics, methods, processes, governance, HR management, strategy, security, law or financing). This syllabus does not shy away from delving deeply into primary concepts. And it is designed for both business and technical people.

This resource arose initially from my own firm's 2013 commercial contract with a Fortune 500 company that asked for a 5-day internal training course for their managers. They had already been highly active for years in advanced free/libre/open projects, but they wanted to more fully understand several complex issues and get up-to-date on recent court decisions and conceptual developments. I suggested to my client that this was a common need, and that we ought to make this a re-usable collection of learning materials that could be shared with anyone. I could then deliver to them a particular instance of the course at their location. They enthusiastically agreed. After delivery, my client and I jointly approached the OSI Board to ask if they'd like to host further development of the syllabus as a shared resource for advanced learning about the free/libre/open way. This initiative now involves collaboration with the Open Educational Resource university (OERu) and others. In 2014 the FLOW Syllabus has expanded to include the FLOW Video Series (coming soon!) with the first three episodes being animated and produced by the communications team at University of Southern Queensland all under CC-by 4.0:

  • Episode 1: "Constraints on the FLOW of Ideas for Devices"
  • Episode 2: "Expression of an Abstract Idea + Tangible Device" (Explanation of the reasons for decision in the 2014 US Supreme Court Case, Alice Corp v. CLS Bank)
  • Episode 3: "Do You Want to RENT an Idea? Or Harness the FLOW of Ideas?"

Some General Reflections

More about my perspective on OSI and the free/libre/open way is available in an interview in the November 2014 OSI Newsletter.  Here also is a draft version of an academic article submitted for publication next month in Technology Innovation Management Review. (This version is still in editing, and will be taken offline when the official version gets published in TIM Review.) In this paper I propose a generalization of the multi-entity coordination methodology that was originally developed through the past three decades by the global free/libre/open source software movement. I offer a general structure for visualizing resilient multi-entity coordination in any domain.

In the sections below, I outline two fields in which I have been actively applying the free/libre/open way in domains other than software.

I Think I Am What I Do

Free/Libre/Open World (FLOW) Payments

I'm an economist by formal education, and in that domain I work on "Free/Libre/Open World (FLOW) Market Payment" in both research and practice. Among other things, I work to enable buyer and seller freedom to negotiate any and all attributes of price and payment in open markets. 

In April 2014 I submitted a concept paper to W3C's inaugural meeting on web payments. This and subsequent community discussion via the W3C Interest Group on Web Payments led to the draft Use Case: Choosing Attributes of Price which remains empty, but which I'm drafting presently. In parallel I am working under contract with DataKinetics  on a 100% free/libre/open project to enable choice in terms of price and payment. We're currently scoping some contributions to electronic invoicing projects such as OpenInvoice and through venues like the European E-Invoicing Service Providers Association (EESPA) amongst others. We'd like to ensure that price and payment terms themselves are independent of platform or payment service. We're making sure our work aligns with primary global standards in financial messaging (ISO 20022), e-commerce (ISO 15000) and business documents (OASIS UBL). Meanwhile, on the same general topic I'm preparing my doctoral dissertation entitled “Free/Libre/Open World Market Payment" (Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA), Project Management; Université du Québec). The core research includes the design and development of several extensions to a free/libre/open source economic model. The purpose of the modeling is to explore the potential macro-level emergent effects of greater micro-level choice in price and payment attributes.

Property-Powered Rail Open Development Model

I am also lead author of the Property-Powered Rail Open Development Model which introduces to the real property and transportation sectors some elements of free/libre/open source strategy.  This business concept is being peer-reviewed in industry fora and is the basis for a genuine proof-of-concept railway development project. Yes, we're trying to create a real passenger railway service, and we're presently in the process of signing real consortium members. Transit system modeling work will include the design and development of an extension to the free/libre/open MATsim (Multi-Agent Transportation Simulation) software to include property value effects of metropolitan-scale passenger rail access.

Some of My Earlier Contributions That Have Lasted


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