The Open Source Policy Roundtable

The Policy Roundtable is a neutral, non-partisan, group of experts in different fields focused on working through the policy implications of Open Source in the US, hosted by the Institute of Applied Open Source at Johns Hopkins University. Roundtable participants come from different sectors, academic backgrounds and affiliations, bridging both policy research, development, and practices.

Open approaches and especially open source software are growing in popularity. This growth has already reconfigured entire industries and promises to continue to be a disrupting force across technology and society. The Policy Roundtable aims to foster discussion about the policy implications of this explosion in open approaches. With a particular focus on a few key areas described below, we want to see, shape, and prepare for an increasingly open future.

Initial Focus Areas

There has been a lot of focus in open communities on the legal and technical meanings of open. This roundtable will focus on the higher order implications: economic, political, and social. Our effort will be geographically centered on US policy, drawing from experiences globally. We will start with an initial set of focused topics:

  1. Implications of investment in open source software at all levels of government, industry, research, and university institutions:
    • Shared digital infrastructure & sustainable maintenance
    • Economic development
    • Education, workforce development, diversity equity & access
  2. Implications of open source software in international policy
    • Trade & innovation exchange
    • Regional innovation policy
    • Digital sovereignty & independence
  3. Consequences of open source software for society
    • Privacy, transparency, & trust
    • Scientific reproducibility
    • Open community and culture

Welcome To the Discussions

Our goal is to invite multidisciplinary discussion. We will convene several forums: a mailing list, organized meetups at related events and conferences, and a dedicated in-person yearly roundtable workshop. We might host symposia and virtual events as well. We will curate a mix of invited participants that include both academicians and practitioners.

Each Policy Roundtable event is designed to foster a specific type and scope of discussion. We will open some events to the public, but most discussion will happen in invite-only forums with participants selected for their contributions to the collective discourse.

To enable free discussion, we ask participants to adhere to the Chatham House Rule, which permits use of the information presented in discussions, but prohibits identifying speakers, participants, or affiliations. Beyond that, we hope to maintain high standards of courtesy and respect in our exchanges of ideas, and we will facilitate discussion with that end in mind.

Facilitators & Contact

The facilitators are Jacob Green ([email protected]) and James Vasile ([email protected]). Please contact them directly.