hp-headshot.jpgAbout me

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I have just completed my two-years term as an OSI board member. In my first year, I served as the treasurer/CFO overseeing budgeting and financial reports. In the second year, I acted as the Vice President supporting the OSI President especially during the transition period when our general manager unexpectedly resigned. We devoted a huge amount of time to keep operations running, did a lot of administrative work ourselves and conducted the hiring process together with the staffing committee. Last year I organized and chaired State Of Source, OSI's first ever event that aimed to connect OSI with our members, open source contributors and communities. Before that I also hosted the OSI Annual Board Meeting in Berlin where I organized OSI's first international public meeting outside of the States "Open Source: Past, Present and Future". During my time on the board, I spoke and represented OSI at events across Asia and Europe (CCC, EU Policy Meeting, Fosdem). 

I am the founder of FOSSASIA, an organization that strives to improve people’s lives through sharing open technologies, knowledge and fostering global connections and sustainable production. FOSSASIA develops a wide range of open source software and hardware solutions with a global developer community from our base in Asia. Two projects that I am heavily involved at the moment are Eventyay, an open source event platform and Pocket Science Lab, an open source hardware device used for electronic measurements and science experiments. Over the years I have established a network of partners across Asia from education institutions to tech communities and user groups. Together with the FOSSASIA team, we train hundreds of young students and developers every year through Codeheat program where participants learn coding, improving their technical skills while contributing to existing open source projects.  

I currently serve as a board member of the Open Source Business Alliance Europe, a German non-profit that operates Europe's biggest network of companies and organizations developing, building and using open source software. I advise companies on open source strategies, e.g. Daimler and work with one of the largest online platform in Europe Zalando SE on open source practices. 


I have chaired the annual FOSSASIA Summit for 12 years now. I want to share that it is very rewarding to see new projects, partnership, friendship coming out of the summit. People moved to places where we organized the event, people got new opportunities or started their open source journey etc. FOSSASIA Summit has become a platform where people connect, exchange ideas and collaborate around FOSS. The event will take place online this year on 13-21 March, running on our own open source system Eventyay. 160+ speakers from 33 countries, 6 continents are joining us. More than 150+ virtual sessions plus 28 hours of onsite hands-on workshop at the Lifelong Learning Institute in Singapore. I would be very happy if you can join us too. More details at https://summit.fossasia.org

Who to vote for?

  • Of course I would hope you vote for me as I have been on the board for 2 years, I have learned a lot and I understand very well the problem and the opportunity we have with OSI. I am well connected in both Europe and Asia. 
  • Do not vote for me just because I am a woman from Asia, look at my work. Some of the white male candidates I know here are doing amazing work. I mentioned this because too often these days they do not receive the recognition they deserve. I'm amazed reading through their work references and experiences. 
  • I also want to share that two European board members ended their term together with me and decided not to run again. We need more European members on the board not only to enhance diversity but also to connect OSI with the European Commission and all the major FOSS initiatives happening currently in Europe. We need people from different perspectives and experiences, and having someone who can speak European or Asian languages would add a big value to the board. 

What is my agenda?

  • For two years, I have been trying to start an OSI Working Group in Europe but I failed. Even though we had volunteers in Europe who contacted us several times and offered to support us to start something in Europe, the board was not ready to make this step. Open source is global however OSI is still often criticized for being a US-centric organization. We need to change that by doing real work not just by having a person of color on the board. Unfortunately one person could not make a difference in this case. I wish I could have had more support from the board on this topic. If I got elected, I will continue to work towards my goal of increasing OSI's footprint internationally starting from Europe and Asia. 
  • I will help OSI to engage actively with its individual and affiliate members, understand the needs of the stakeholders and explore ways to provide value to them. 
  • I will make sure OSI adjusts its membership and affiliate programs to make the onboarding process more suitable for organizations outside of the US. 
  • I will support OSI to improve its recruitment strategy and make it possible to hire international staff. 


Created by Deb Nicholson on 2021/02/17 20:47

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