Principles of Open Source Institutional Design

re the cell references, i tried to match these questions to the Governance Readiness questions (weirdly, rn i can’t seem to find the spreadsheet i think i referenced, but the same refs are here: )

This spreadsheet is amazing! Who did this research? And has it been published so that we can officially reference it?

@GeorgLink it’s from the Governance Readiness workgroup.

@jlcanovas let’s talk about it!

Hi @GeorgLink!

The spreadsheet including the questions about governance was developed in the context of the Governance Readiness WG. Look at the WG description (Resoures section) to see the main deliverables.

For now, the “most official” publication is the website we developed, where you will find those questions and some context. But any suggestion to move forward these ideas is more than welcome.


Thanks @jlcanovas, the additional background is helpful to understand where the data came from.

I think the work you all have done in the working group has the quality for an academic conference paper – adding this work to the collective body of knowledge we collect through research. That’s something I could help with if you or others are interested in it.

Exactly! A conference paper has also been in the route plan of the WG. I was planning to reactivate this idea in the coming weeks, but let’s continue discussing in the Governance Readiness WG thread. I’ll make the call there, expect updates :smile:, and thanks for your help!

hi folks - following up with notes from this cross-group call with @jlcanovas (as he reported in the Governance Readiness thread):


  1. Javier Cánovas
  2. Greg Bloom
  3. Richard Littauer (enabler)


  • Governance readiness questions help complement/enrich the questions proposed by the Principles of Governing OSS Working Group. Also, dimensions from Ostrom’s framework are helpful in organizing governance readiness questions.
  • Proposal to align both working groups into a single effort. Existing working groups will conclude, and a new one concentrated on governance-related issues will start.
  • The new working group could be called “Governance Guide” or just “Governance.” In Discourse, there is already one tag for governance-related threads (i.e., “Governance Readiness”). Maybe we could reuse this title or just changed it to “Governance.”
  • The new working group would include initiatives such as elaboration on principles, a matrix of questions to ask frequently (joining ideas from previous WGs), etc. Any new ideas are welcome.

Open Questions

  • What should we do to make existing resources more useful/accessible? Some ideas include revisions to questions, academic paper, the evolution of the matrix, etc.
  • What other resources should we align these materials with? FOSSGovernance?

Please, do not hesitate to comment on any of the previous points :partying_face:

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FYI – next week the Ostrom Workshop on the Commons is hosting Seth Frey to talk about his work on institutional design and online communities. Seth has advised me a few times over the years and his paper (among other work) is very relevant to our conversations. See below, and here:

Join remotely on Monday, April 5 , from 12-1 p.m. (ET) for a Colloquium featuring Seth Frey (UC Davis). His paper “Emergence of Integrated Institutions in a Large Population of Self-Governing Communities” should be read in advance and please come prepared for discussion. The format includes a 15-minute presentation followed by 45 minutes for questions and comments. Colloquiums are recorded and will be archived. Papers, flyers, Zoom link, and archived recordings can be found on the Colloquium Series web page. Open to everyone; please share the attached flyer.

Connect to the Colloquium Zoom meeting at this link: Launch Meeting - Zoom

NOTE: The Zoom connection will remain open until 1:30 to allow for informal post-talk conversation immediately following the colloquium. Additionally, you may request a one-on-one or small group Zoom meeting with the speaker by emailing Meeting times are offered on the day of the colloquium up to 11:30 and after 1:30 or on another day by special request.