Catharina, David, Jonas & Rory - new alumni

by SF Team, 5 March 2015

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Created by PiConsti (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

March 2015 brings us 4 Fellows advancing to Alumni status. We are honoured to have been a part of their journey so far and welcome them continuing to engage and being an integral part of our Fellows network.

Catharina Maracke took on the issue of contributor agreements for free and open source software (FOSS) projects through the Harmony project in March 2012. Where Fellows typically bring their own project into the Fellowship, Catharina was in the unusual position of taking on an existing project with various and varying role players. Hers was a very nuanced role, having to be sensitive to industry and community dynamics.

Catharina is a strong legal mind committed to serving the open community as it evolves. Over the past 3 years she has come into her own, re-imagining and expanding the scope of her work to include much broader legal services around intellectual property rights, risk and collaboration in FOSS projects. This is what she will continue to explore under as she exits the fellowship programme.

David Wiley has been a stalwart of the open education movement for more than 10 years, leading from within academic institutions. Joining the Fellowship in 2013 allowed him to focus on open educational resources (OER) full time, working towards institutionalising OER and the related collaborative practices in learning institutions.

He now supports schools and colleges through Lumen Learning to bring down costs and improving learning outcomes by replacing expensive closed textbooks with OER. He has demonstrated success at all levels in the state of Utah and beyond, pushing boundaries all the time.

The key success for this Fellowship from our perspective is the demonstration that students stay in school longer, learn more and achieve better results by simply having access to materials. David has proven that OER are not only a cost effective alternative, but an essential tool in achieving quality educational outcomes for many. One of his biggest challenges going forward will be growing his team to meet demand as he exits the fellowship.

Jonas Öberg focused on the importance of attribution in relation to openly licensed digital works. Attribution is the one right all users of openly licensed resources retain, yet it is difficult and inconvenient to retain attribution as a digital work is used and reused online.

Through his work on Commons Machinery and, Jonas addressed the problem by exploring technical ways in which attribution can be retained by building the meta-data into the object itself and creating seamless attribution. He built the technology needed to convey provenance for any type of digital work and demonstrated how this could be used with plugins within a browser environment.

Jonas is an experienced leader in the open source movement and will continue his advocacy work around attribution while expanding his role within a number of open technology initiatives. He has recently taken on the role of Executive Director at the Free Software Foundation Europe.

Rory Aronson continues to experiment with open hardware and community building through the lens of food security and the carbon footprint resulting from food production and quality. Both the technology and the big vision are important. FarmBot and OpenFarm are just two examples of the imaginative ways in which he seeks to advance the thinking and practices in this space. Rory will continue to nurture these projects while exploring the broader open hardware movement.

Watch the Foundation’s perspective on these remarkable people:

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