How we work

Understanding the Organization for Ethical Source’s structure and governance model

The Ethical Source movement organized into a legal entity in late January. We had some goals when creating this structure that we took great care to reflect in its statutes (which we also sometimes refer to as “bylaws”), its code of conduct, and its working mode (not published yet). We wanted a lightweight and simple structure that reflects our existing ad hoc practices, limits bureaucracy, and empowers our community to drive industry-wide change. We wanted active members to steer the direction of the organization. And we wanted to sustainably anchor our work around our mission to promote ethical practices and outcomes in free and open source software and other digital commons.

In the next few blog posts we’re going to explain how this structure works in practice, how it enables our mission, and the different ways in which you can get involved, contribute, and help steer it.

We’ll follow each post with a live session for our existing community and for vetted newcomers, where you will be able to ask questions, make comments, suggest changes, and get involved.

We’ll organize the blog posts from most pragmatic (“I just want to participate, where do I sign?”) to most theoretical (“Please explain the provision in article 21 of the bylaws”). This might change a little, but for now we’re planning the seven following posts:

  1. Active members & paths to membership
  2. Working groups & working mode
  3. Code of conduct
  4. General assembly & overall structure
  5. Committee
  6. Staff & executive director
  7. Bylaws & founding members

The goal of this effort is to create a welcoming, inclusive, and transparent structure where you feel safe and empowered to contribute to more ethical outcomes to open collaboration around digital commons.

Stay tuned.

Tobie Langel