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OpenInfra Foundation Project Funds: Directed Funding for Open Source Projects


Guest: Wes Wilson (LinkedIn)
Foundation: OpenInfra Foundation (Twitter)
Show: Let’s Talk

In 2012, the OpenStack Foundation was created specifically to support the OpenStack software. At the time, that was what was needed and it paid off. Since then, the landscape has changed, and the use cases have changed. The OpenStack Foundation has evolved into the OpenInfra Foundation, still focused on OpenStack, but also looking at new use cases and how to support open-source infrastructure.

In this episode of TFiR: Let’s Talk, Swapnil Bhartiya sits down with Wes Wilson, VP of Operations at the Open Infrastructure Foundation (OpenInfra Foundation), to talk about the Foundation’s latest initiatives and its role in helping organizations embrace the cloud.

The OpenInfra Foundation helps companies by:

  • Offering a neutral ground to take on the IP, the trademark pieces, and put them in a place where it can’t be “taken advantage of” by one of the organizations.
  • Following the 3 Forces model (developers, users, and commercial ecosystems) for sustainability.
  • Adhering to the 4 Opens collaboration principles (open source, open development, open community, open design).
  • Having a specific focus: the infrastructure layer of things. Because of this, it is able to put a lot more attention on the individual projects or project funds that would come in.
  • Making it easier for multiple organizations to work together to focus on developing and improving the software that they care about.

The members wanted a way to more directly support and fund projects. Instead of all of the funds coming into the main Foundation and then divided up from there, they were looking for a way to more directly support those things. So that’s why the Project Funds came to being.

  • A Project Fund can be for a specific project. If there is a set of organizations that want to come together and focus on a specific project, they would set up a legal entity, OpenInfra Foundation would help them form governance, and then they would have a separate budget that they would then allocate towards that project. They can manage their own project and have their own community.
  • The framework is set up in a way that allows the organizations to work together, work with the Foundation to guide them, and to develop the lifecycle that works best for their communities and their projects.
  • Project funds are structured in a way that, if wanted, there is the opportunity for the project to have its own community days and events, even its own summit.

What’s ahead for the OpenInfra Foundation:

  • The OpenInfra Summit in June 2023 will be held in Vancouver, BC.
  • The goal this year is to help bridge some of the gaps globally, particularly helping the public sector and policymakers understand open source.
  • It will continue to look for opportunities to do collaborative work with other foundations and other open-source organizations. For example, its General Manager Thierry Carrez is a board member of the Open Source Initiative (OSI).

This summary was written by Camille Gregory.

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