Recently I published a blog post that was a chance for me to articulate some of the challenges of Free Software as it connects to social work / grassroots organizing. This was a response to an article written thirteen years prior by Bruce Byfield, titled “Why FOSS is not on activist agendas”.
When I wrote this, I kept coming back to governance. I thought some folks hanging out here might appreciate this as an analysis piece.
For the people who want the tl;dr:
While I don’t agree with all of Byfield’s sentiments, he identified some key challenges that still hold truth today: a predisposition to focus on differences and not similarities, an outreach approach centered on ethics and not software, and the importance of opportunities for intersectional interaction.
[…] So, while Byfield is right that there is an almost competitive nature of ideas in activism, it is not enough to write insularity off as a fixed aspect of nature. […]
Instead of seeing diversity and inclusion initiatives as problematic or unneeded, D&I groups in FOSS communities stand to be the most effective people at building community and influence.
[…] We need more representative governance models in open source communities that reflect the interests of the communities around them, not necessarily an individual, a company, or group of companies. […]