Meet and Greet the Community!


Hi folks! I know we’re all a generally friendly bunch, but we may not know each other that well, or if you’re like me, your memory may fail from time to time in remembering what everyone is working on.

So, let’s introduce ourselves! Reply to this topic and say hello, and if you’re looking for extra content to share, consider one or more of the following ideas:

  • What companies, organizations, or projects you’re associated with.
  • Why sustainability matters to you.
  • Where you’re located in the world.
  • Something interesting about yourself…


And since I started the topic, I’ll kick things off!

Michael Downey here, currently with the Digital Impact Alliance at the United Nations Foundation. I help run a program we creatively call the DIAL Open Source Center. Our center is all about supporting open source projects that serve the “triple nexus” of international development, humanitarian response, and peace-building technology. We provide both financial support via grants and collaborative funding programs, as well as direct and indirect technical assistance such as consulting on topics like: sustainability, program/project/product management, community development, and software engineering best practices.

I’m officially based in Portland, Oregon, but our offices are in Washington, DC and New York City. Sustainability matters to me because the projects I’ve been involved with are too critical to the world and too dependent on a small number of maintainers to let them run purely on volunteer effort or single-organization points of failure.

Before this work, I helped lead a project called OpenMRS, an electronic medical records platform for the developing world. We received FSF’s Free Software Award for Projects of Social Benefit for our work in scaling up the community from a single research activity to a grassroots community-driven project.

Looking forward to ongoing collaboration by folks who care about similar topics, and to help move the needle on the growing concern of long-term sustainability of open source!


Hi everyone. My name is Justin Dorfman and I currently reside in Los Angeles, CA. Around 1998 a friend of mine told me about Linux and the FOSS movement I couldn’t believe my ears. It seemed too good to be true. I guess that was the sustainability seed, planted in my head ~20 years ago.

I started getting into Open Source Sustainability around 2012 while I was at MaxCDN. During my tenure, we helped fund many projects as well as donated infrastructure for organizations such as Bootstrap, Font Awesome, MacPorts, Debian, JS/jQuery Foundation & many more.

2 years ago @pia and I co-founded SustainOSS (aka Sustain, Sustain Summit). So far it has been a blast!


Hi everyone. I am Georg Link :wave: , PhD Candidate :man_student: at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. I use pronouns he/him. I grew up in Germany :de:

I joined open source when I booted my first computer :desktop_computer: with internet. One memorabilia I cherish from the early days is a DVD :dvd: and case that I designed for the 2006 OOo conference in Lyon. The tragedy from which LibreOffice emerged got me obsessed with the business side of open source. I earned a bachelors in business and completed an apprenticeship in a bank :bank:, away from open source to experience how an established economy works.

After earning a masters in business informatics and an MBA, I joined a PhD program. This ended my break from open source and I dove deep into issues concerned with corporate engagement in open source. In 2017, I co-founded the CHAOSS project for fostering a conversation on how we can use metrics to assess open source project health :thermometer:. I also advance the Bugmark project which develops market mechanisms :chart_with_upwards_trend: for open source.

I will graduate in May 2019. I have not finalized future plans but I want to advance sustainability of open source and build communities.


I knew you looked familiar. DM me if you ever want to do a Sustain + CHAOSS collaboration or whatever.


Hello all!

I’m Rachel Lawson and I work for the Drupal Association. I’m based in Norfolk, UK, which is where my twitter, Drupal and pretty-much-everything userid “rachel_norfolk” comes from - no, Norfolk is not my surname! (Even Dries has got that wrong on occasion!)

As the Community Liaison (I don’t like the term Community Manager) for the Drupal Association, I spend pretty much all my time working on initiatives to support the sustainability of the project.

I try not to fly. So, it is really quite normal for me to be jumping on the motorbike days before a european conference, simply to ride there. So much more fun than the departure lounges!


Cat Allman with Google’s Open Source Outreach team. It’s been my privilege to help out with Google Summer of Code and Google Code-in for the past 11+ years, along other efforts to support the open source ecosystem one project at a time. I spend a chunk of every day evaluating and responding to sponsorship requests AND searching out projects and developer events whose sustained health benefits the Internet and Google’s stack. I also give talks, help host events like Sustain! and provide advice inside Google around open source community issues such as Code of Conduct. In my spare time I’m the Google lead on ScienceFoo Camp (see Wikipedia) and serve on the board of

I’m based in San Francisco but our work is global, which is as it should be.

My first job in “Open Source” was as a marketing contractor for Mt Xinu, the first commercially supported release of BSD Unix back in the 1980s. I also was employee #5 at Sendmail Inc in the late 1990s. I’ve cared about FLOSS for a while now :slight_smile:


Hello everybody!

I am Manrique Lopez, one of Bitergia shareholders and working there as CEO (whatever it means). Passionate open source communities member since 2000-2001. Proud World citizen, trying to spend as much time as possible with my family in Spain, and as close to the sea as work time leaves me. I love surfing, so, I can’t live too much without waves.

I started using Linux and open source software because I wanted to test my HP48 calculator algebra software in a modern environment instead of a 4MHz processor. So, my first device running Linux was not a PC but a Compaq 3130 handheld (206MHz processor, 16MB RAM). I started running Familiar distro (based in Debian) and GPE (based on Gtk) graphical environment, and contributing and participating in both communities. And since then, there has been no stop: Maemo, Meego, Mozilla Firefox, … I’ve been involved in some regional, national and international communities, and I’ve worked as Spanish Open Source Enterprises Association manager and expert consultant for the National Open Source Reference Center for a couple of years.

Being and Industrial Engineer, where you don’t expect to end working in anything related with Computer Science, I am very lucky to be working in a company like Bitergia, very committed to open source and the communities around their projects. Active member of CHAOSS community, and proud that the 100% free, open source project started by Bitergia is one of CHAOSS Software founding projects.

I think sustainability is key to ensure that a project moves forward, and by sustainability I am not only talking, or just talking, about money, but people and more precisely, people’s time. And some times, that time costs money. The strongest engagement I have seen with projects is not related with money, but with fun. Once it is not fun to collaborate with a project, people give up. So, keep this fun!!


Hello everyone!

I’m Samson Goddy and I work with Sugar Labs. A Nigerian teenager(soon to be adult), samson_goddy my twitter handle. I consider myself a bit of a legacy for One Laptop Per Child project, because that what got me into open source world. I am 19 now and I have about 10 years experience as a Linux user, first 7 years as a Fedora with Sugar Desktop user and currently stuck with Fedora running two GUI (Gnome 3 and Sugar 0.108). When I saw my peers playing with Fifa and Pro Evolution Soccer, I was working with Inscape, Turtle Art, Scratch, Etoys, terminal and remixing the Sugar Desktop to my own taste. I wrote a python project in 2014, a game software for Sugar OS on the Sugar Labs app (Activities) store, which got about 36,000 downloads and over 50,000 installs in around 2015 -2016.

So fast forward, I was a GCI student from 2013 - 2016, then mentor and now GSoC mentor. Winner of Google open source Peer Bonus 2017, now one of the Oversight Board Members for the Sugar Labs community. I am practically helping to run Sugar Labs because I was so interested in the community behind the Sugar Desktop.

I am super excited about doing stuff to sustain open source, that why I am doing a lot of volunteering to advocate for open source specifically in Africa. So I co-founded a project, a soon-to-be non-profit organization called Open Source Community Africa. So part of our plan to continue sustaining OSS, we are expanding within (Nigeria, Uganda, Congo, Kenya, Sierra Leone). In Nigeria, we are in five cities. So our plan is to house African projects centered about open source, creating a community of open source lovers and of course, replicating advocates. Our biggest event was doing a meetup with over 400 students in a university and our focus was on #foss.

I am thinking about getting a job around “open source” if you have any you can ping me. Thank You in advance. But Yay! I am looking forward to collaboration and the future for open source. I will try to connect Africans to become creators not just users of technology.

Open Sourcerer


Hey everyone,

My name is Serkan Holat, I’m half Turkish half Dutch, currently living in Amsterdam area, Holland.

Next to my freelance software development job, I’m helping organize “tech for nonprofits” events, as part of Netsquared Amsterdam, an initiative from Techsoup. And also working on some experimental web based open source projects on the side.

Although I started developing applications in 2000, since I was always on Microsoft side, and worked for commercial companies / projects, it took a different path for me to figure out the importance of open source.

Around 2010, I had my eureka moment when I realized that I had to write same type of application (content management system) with more or less same features for four times, for different companies in the last ten years.

Therefore, I’m not only interested in the state of existing initiatives, but more curious about, how can we stop “reinventing the wheel” altogether? How a regular software company can get into open source, start sharing their knowledge, without taking a financial risk?

To be more specific:

  • How many organizations are out there that are creating the same type of software, finding same solutions? And probably not only software, but any type of “knowledge” (architectural, industrial designs, formulas etc.)? In other words, what is the size of “knowledge investment” overlaps across industries?
  • Can we find a way to make “using open source licenses” a financially viable option (subsidizing these investments), so the knowledge can be freely shared across organizations?
  • And if we could achieve this, how would this affect our progress in all knowledge related areas (speed of innovation, technological advancements)? Or in short, what is exactly the sales pitch of open source?

I’m planning to open a new thread on these items / ideas, so we can brainstorm further.

From Holland with love,

Experimental ideas on financial sustainability of open source

Hi All, I’m Andrew Nesbitt, I live and work in the South West of England. I work on an open source project called Octobox that helps software maintainers keep on top of all the work their involved in on GitHub.

I also work on a season project called 24 Pull Requests that runs every year to encourage people to give back to the open source projects they use. This year, based on discussions I had at Sustain we’ve opened it up to track any kind of contributions, not just code contributions, more details here:

I’m particularly interested in how package management in open source software, the dependency graph of an ecosystem can give great insight into how different projects and people are connected and where the weak points are, like openssl and heartbleed.

For the past few years I’ve also worked on, a project to help provide data and insight on open source usage across many ecosystems, one aspect of this is to help highlight critical projects that are lacking in support and prime candidates for sustainability improvements.


For those who missed it, @benjam and @andrew were recently on the Changelog, highly recommended.