While writing a chapter on governance for the Art Of Community, I kick off the chapter with the wonderful story of how Mike Basinger, a volunteer who has never worked for Canonical Ltd, has been able to serve on two of the most significant governance bodies in the Ubuntu community. I think the story itself speaks well for the Ubuntu governance infrastructure; an infrastructure that other Open Source projects have also been building on for their own communities too.
I asked Mike what excited him about the Ubuntu community and he described it eloquently:
“What excites me about the community governance is the sense that Ubuntu is a community of thousands of people from every country, race, sex, and religion who have got together and said ‘we want computing to be this way’. Linux and Open Source has enabled this as opposed to what Microsoft or Apple tell you. It is the sense that our community’s governance is open and anyone who wants to contribute can and has a say in the direction of Ubuntu. It is that the community’s main focus is to help each other, be that is write code, create documentation, or answer questions from our users.”
That made the hairs on the back of my neck stick up.