Open Policy Alliance: A New Program To Amplify Underrepresented Voices In Public Policy Development

Deborah BryantOn behalf of the Open Source Initiative and the public policy team,  I’m very pleased to share early news of our new educational program – one aimed at building and supporting a coalition of underrepresented voices from public benefit and charitable foundations. This new program – the Open Policy Alliance – seeks to empower these voices and enable them to actively  participate in educating and informing US public policy decisions related to Open Source software, content, research, and education.  The OPA is created in response to increased demand for public dialog and stakeholder engagement in these adjacent and related “open domains”.

New regulations in the software industry and adjacent areas such as AI and Data are on the rise around the world.  Cyber Security, societal impact of AI, data and privacy are paramount issues for legislators globally.  At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic drove collaborative development to unprecedented levels and took Open Source software, open research, open content and data from mainstream to main stage.  Moving forward, developing these important public policies whilst not harming the ecosystem requires an understanding of how our ecosystem operates. And ensuring stakeholders without historic benefit of representation in those discussions becomes paramount to that end.

Open Source is a global, borderless activity.  But public policies are developed locally. The OPA will focus on education in the US while exchanging and sharing information with like-minded organizations globally to make any single investment in resources available for the broadest possible impact.

The OSI recognizes the importance of diverse perspectives and seeks to address this gap by joining with other like-minded organizations.  By bringing together public benefit and charitable foundations with a stake in open collaboration and public access to the value of its results, the coalition aims to foster greater understanding and increased dialog in the realm of Open Source.

Founding members of the Open Policy Alliance include the non profit organizations:

We have a modest start with a valuable vision and committed participants. We invite public benefit and charitable foundations with an interest in Open Source software, content, research, and education to join the OPA. By working together, the coalition members will amplify their collective impact, creating a more inclusive and equitable future for Open Source.

We’ll have more news for you in July.  If you’re planning to attend the FOSSY event, you’ll be able to hear our OSI executive director Stefano Maffulli talk about the global policy landscape and OPA’s role in it on July 15th.

For more information about the OPA please email [email protected].

This article was published in the Open Source Initiative (OSI) blog, Voices of Open Source. It is republished by Open Health News under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0). The original copy of the article can be found here.