Last modified by vmbrasseur on 2018/03/02 22:14

Hi there! I'm VM Brasseur, but you can call me Vicky. I'm running for the Open Source Initiative Board of Directors and I would be grateful for your vote.

How can OSI help?

Open source has gained mindshare and acceptance over the past few years, and while it's tempting to jump on the "Open source has won!" bandwagon for a comfortable ride, we still need to maintain and strengthen the worldwide understanding and appreciation of open source.

If I'm elected to the OSI board, I would like to help the organisation with…

  • Maintaining and increasing awareness: One of the the side effects of open source "winning" is that people are now starting to take it and OSI for granted. People newer to open source are questioning the need for licensing, for license review and approval, and even for the Open Source Definition itself. How can we, as the OSI, help to educate the open source users and contributors of the future about the history of the movement, the importance of licensing, and the critical role OSI plays in open source and therefore in all of modern software development?
  • Engaging OSI membership in advocacy and education: As a non-profit and volunteer organisation, the OSI has a large mission but a small staff. This naturally restricts the amount of outreach that can come from within the organisation itself. Thankfully, OSI is not simply the Board of Directors. It's composed of hundreds of passionate and knowledgable members. To this point the OSI has been ramping up its internal operations and did not yet have the cycles to engage its membership. Internal OSI ops are now stabilised to the point where the organisation can start encouraging member efforts in open source advocacy, education, and outreach. Our membership is passionate and vocal. How can we as OSI members and board members help our fellow members pursue and share those passions and voices?
  • Evolving the OSI brand beyond licensing to community advocacy and outreach: While the statistics are not available, it's not unreasonable to believe that OSI's open source license review has thus far saved millions of $USD in legal fees and staff time. This is a service that is valuable worldwide. We've owned this niche for the past 20 years, but there are other places where we can help. Currently open source has several organisations dedicated business-focused  advocacy. What it now lacks is community-focused and -driven advocate for its mission and philosophy. Leveraging the experience, knowledge, and voices of our membership, OSI can become the nexus for open source practitioners, news, and expertise worldwide. 
  • Collaborating with like-minded organisations: The OSI is not alone in its mission to educate and support the precepts of free and open source software. This is a worldwide movement with worldwide supporters, contributors, and organisations. How can OSI continue to collaborate with other open source, data, government, culture, etc. organisations around the world to help grow our shared mission?

About Me

You probably know of me from:

I've been using and advocating for free and open source software for nearly thirty years (you wouldn't believe how long it took Linux v1.0 to download over a noisy 14.4K baud modem line).

After two decades as a business analyst, software developer, and director/VP of software development departments, I now use my knowledge and experience to help small and medium businesses understand, use, contribute to, and release free and open source software in ways that are meaningful both to FOSS and to the companies' bottom lines.

I am a very frequent public speaker at free and open source software events, presenting on topics of community management, business strategy, technical management, among others. I also often mentor for and participate in programme committees for FOSS events, with a personal goal to help new presenters share their stories and experiences. This passion for supporting new speakers and contributors also takes center stage in my role as an author and community moderator for

Continuing my focus on bringing new voices and contributors into free and open source software communities, I'm the author of _Forge Your Future with Open Source_, the very first book detailing how to contribute to free and open source software projects, regardless of your ability to program. 

Why vote for me

  • Open Source Advocate without portfolio. I don't identify as a member of any single community or project; I float between all of them, listening to their triumphs and troubles, and connecting them with like minded people in other communities who can provide or use help. This means I'm not beholden to the politics or needs of any one community, project, or foundation and can work for the best for all of free and open source equally.
  • No corporate affiliations. As a freelancer I work and have worked with many different organisations, but I owe my allegiance to none of them. I can therefore prioritise the overall good of FOSS without concern for offending my employer.
  • Broad perspective. I've been participating in and supporting FOSS for nearly 30 years, yet serving the needs of my clients means I'm always paying attention to the new of today as well as the next new on the horizon. This gives me the perspective of history as well as that of future technological needs.

Why I would like to serve on the OSI Board

Serving on the board of the Open Source Initiative would be a formalisation of much of the work I already perform in the greater open source community. It would allow me to serve Free and Open Source software beyond my informal and ad hoc advisory capacity. If in joining the OSI Board of Directors I can make even a single small difference, my time will have been well spent. As we all know, great things can grow from small seeds. 


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