Mekki MacAulay

Last modified by mekki on 2020/03/01 20:06

Mekki MacAulayHi! I'm Mekki (he/they), the open source strategy guy at IBM Canada. I’m running for the Open Source Initiative’s Board of Directors because I'm passionate about the future of free, libre, and open source software.

My goal is to help deliver on the OSI's mandate to curate open source citizenship.  In particular, I want to help ethical, open organizations create value for all their stakeholders, be they clients, complementors, partners, employees, share holders, or the general public.  Gone are the days where we fight over our share of the pie.  Open source strategy isn't a zero-sum game.  Done right, we can all win and all grow together.  That's my vision for the future of open source globally.

I've been involved in open source since the early days.  I remember, in 1998, when Netscape and others helped form Mozilla.  In 1999 I was installing early versions of the Apache web server.  Not long later, I recall attending the Mozilla 1.0 party (long before Firefox(bird)!)  While I am a computer engineer who has written open source code, I took a different approach to open source contribution, preferring to focus on academic research and promoting of non-code participation, which has grown exponentially as mature projects recognize the value of broad skill sets!  I've presented my research at numerous open source and academic conferences.  You can read some of my papers and view some of my presentations on my curriculum vitae.

It's not too late to become eligible to vote!  You can register as an Individual Member until March 2nd in order to be eligible to vote in the election. Membership is $40(USD)/year, free for students, and discounted for anyone who can't afford the standard price: Join OSI today!.

Why support me with your vote?

I've built my career around open source, first as an IT project manager implementing top-quality solutions, then as an academic who researches open source strategy, and finally, most recently, as open source strategy advisor at IBM, working closely with our Red Hat cousins to help IBM turn red and do open source right!

I walk the open source walk to go with the open source talk. I champion open source internally and online, showing organizations large and small how to shift towards open principles and strategic management practices.

I have the privilege of being part of a broad network of open source colleagues around the world.  I share the visions of my colleagues Josh Simmons and Chris Aniszczyk (and really, you should vote for them!)

Who am I?

I’m an engineer and a business guy at the same time (WAT?).  As a computer engineer, I got sick and tired of good (open source) solutions getting overruled by bad management decisions. So I shifted my career and did my PhD in strategic management with a focus on technology strategy and open source strategy in particular.  I've been arguing that open source strategy not only is the ethical way to do business, but also is a superior way to make money where everyone, including competitors, complementors, clients, and employees win at the same time for more than 15 years!  IBM's acquisition of Red Hat added a lot of legitimacy behind my arguments and it is a privilege to be a part of the IBM transformation towards an all-in open strateg model. In my personal life, I'm a giant geek and nerd (and dork because I know the difference between the two!).  I'm a crazy cat dude and work with feral cats in Toronto.  I love video games.  I'm a former entrepreneur.  Former academic. Former federal government.  Former martial arts school director.  Former jazz musician.  Beer and coffee snob. Foodie. Cultural chameleon. Oversharer.  Mental health advocate. Suicide awareness promoter.  Constantly striving to become a better human than I was an hour ago, and it's a lifelong pursuit.  


While I've been involved in open source for more than two decades, I'm relatively new to the governance space.  Rather than taking hard positions right here and right now, what I commit to you is that I will be open and transparent in all of my positions at all times and will own when I don't know something and will strive to learn and listen to all viewpoints before making up my mind on something.  I also commit to changing my mind if and when I'm presented with new evidence or convincing arguments contrary to my previous position.  I'm not someone who digs his heels in.  I'm all about evidence-based policy and I follow the evidence where it goes, whether I like the final result or not.  That's my commitment to you.  I also commit to give you as much transparency as I'm allowed with respect to my role as the open source strategy guy with IBM-Red Hat and, of course, commit to recuse myself from any decisions that relate to my employer and its (considerable) open source community involvement.

My platform:

  •  Engage each issue with a level head in an open and transparent manner, listening to all sides and deliberating with consideration of both policy and ethical principles from the major (sometimes competing!) schools of philosophy
  •  Promote the ethical business side of open source participation by for-profit organizations by demonstrating with experience, knowledge, and evidence how it's actually the best approach to modern business in most industries and under most circumstances
  •  Elevate, magnify, and champion under-represented voices in open source communities
  • Collaborate with my experienced colleagues with tenure on the OSI board to ensure I fully understand the historical context of decisions and benefit from their considerable experience


Feel free to ping me online in any of the many media platforms on which I have a presence.  For example, you can find me on LinkedIn, on Twitter, Facebook, and via email: [email protected] for personal and [email protected] for business.

(Election profile based on modified version of Josh Simmon's template.  Vote for him!)


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