I’m running for election to the affiliate member seat on OSI board of directors, on behalf of Associazione LibreItalia, the house of LibreOffice in Italy. I have already been a member of OSI board of directors from 2016 to 2019, so I already know the organization and my potential responsibilities if elected. If you are an OSI affiliate organization, I look for your vote.
WHY I’M RUNNING
I’ve been active in OpenOffice and LibreOffice marketing, communications and community building projects, in Italy and abroad. I’ve handled marketing and media relations for OpenOffice from 2004 to 2010 and LibreOffice since 2010, and I’ve been a spokesperson for the LibreOffice project since 2010. I am also co-chair of LibreOffice Certification Project, and co-chair of ODF Advocacy Open Project at OASIS. In my opinion, Free Open Source Software must grow beyond the boundaries of the community of FOSS advocates. I would like to help OSI in achieving this objective, by providing my experience in marketing, communications and community building.
I’d also offer my management experience, and my foundation/community related experience. I’ve been involved in the process of setting up The Document Foundation, and launching LibreOffice in the market. I’ve also managed to grow the Italian LibreOffice community and set up Associazione LibreItalia.
MY RELATIONSHIP WITH FOSS
I’m 65, Italian from Assisi, living in Milan since 1968. I’m rather different from the usual FOSS advocate. I’ve been a marketing and communication professional for almost 40 years. I’ve been a top manager of large US based corporations and large US based PR agencies, and then a freelance consultant.
I’ve discovered FOSS with OpenOffice, looking for an alternative to Microsoft Office. It was 2002, and I was already in my late 40s. Since 2004, I’ve been a member of the OpenOffice community. I’ve handled marketing and communications, advocating FOSS with the media, and I have contributed to the growth of the Italian community. I’ve also been a regular speaker at conferences.
In 2010, I’ve been a founding member of The Document Foundation and LibreOffice. Since then, I’ve managed marketing and communications and represented the project at conferences worldwide. I’ve also been a member of the Board of Directors from 2010 to 2014. Since 2014, I’m working as a consultant to manage marketing and media relations for LibreOffice, and to grow the community both at global and local level. I’m also a spokesperson for the project.
In 2014, I’ve been a founding member of Associazione LibreItalia, the house of LibreOffice in Italy. I’m a Director, and the Chairman Emeritus (elected by other Founders and Directors). I represent the association at conferences and events, and within Italian government agencies. Associazione LibreItalia is an OSI Associate Member, and an advocate of Free and Open Source Software in Italy.
I’ve also helped the Italian government to define their software procurement guidelines. FOSS and open document standards are now the default choice for public administrations in Italy, although many organizations ignore the rule and keep on buying proprietary software and using proprietary document formats.
In addition to that, I’m an advocate of open standards, and especially of the Open Document Format (ODF) standard. I’ve studied the advantages of open document standards and the disadvantages of proprietary standards for interoperability, and I try to educate enterprises and public administrations on the topic. In 2019, I have contributed to the launch of the ODF Advocacy Open Project at OASIS, to pursue the educational objective at a higher level.
MY OBJECTIVES @ OSI
If reelected, I will focus on some specific tasks, which I find key for the future of OSI:
Strengthen OSI Affiliate Organizations: I have organized the first quarterly OSI Affiliates call in late 2018, because I thought that OSI was not exchanging enough information with these organizations. Now that quarterly calls are happening regularly, I would like to bring them to the next level, by bringing OSI Affiliates instances to OSI BoD.
Strengthen OSI Marketing/Communication Activities: OSI should be the reference for FOSS licensing issues, and for the many related topics, not only for the FOSS ecosystem but also for the IT industry at large. Today, OSI role is not perfectly clear even for some FOSS based organizations, including companies who base their business on FOSS. OSI as an organization – i.e. not only OSI BoD members and alumni – has to raise its profile beyond the current FOSS boudaries, and needs a well thought marketing/communication strategy, which I would really like to contribute to and coordinate, based on my professional experience.
Strengthen OSI Position in Political Circles: OSI, in his capacity of OSD steward and champion of software freedom, should be in touch with supranational entities such as the EU (to name just one) and national governments, especially when they are involved in decisions about FOSS or in migrations to FOSS. During my term, I have tried to pursue this objective, which should become an organization wide effort.
Increase the Presence of End Users in FOSS Projects: As a user without significant tech skills, I have gone through the effort of being accepted inside FOSS projects by showing how I could contribute to the community, but for one who has succeeded I am sure there are many who give up because they do not feel welcome. I want to reduce these barriers by creating an easy path into FOSS projects for end users who want to help but do not know where to start from.
Vote for me, because I have the background and the experience to help OSI grow and achieve these important objectives.