[IAEP] Sugar Labs Oversight Board - Candidacy
dfarning at activitycentral.com
Sun Oct 9 21:34:35 EDT 2011
I, David Farning, would like to announce my candidacy for a position
on the Sugar Labs Oversight Board.
As a member on the original Sugar Labs Oversight Board, I came to feel
that as much as I believed in the vision of OLPC and Sugar Labs there
were a number of needs in the ecosystem which could be met by a third
1. The voice and needs of deployments were being over shadowed by the
global voice of Sugar Labs and OLPC.
2. There was no organization provide service and support for
deployments. As a result, deployments required a significant amount of
technical sophistication before they could get started.
3. Because of the volunteer nature of Sugar Labs, developers tended to
work on the interesting and innovative problems rather than the daily
grind necessary to deliver a fully polished educational platform.
For the past two years I, and a number of other developers, have been
establishing Activity Central  to help fill the above needs. Our
model is to provide technical service and support to deployments. This
effort has resulted in the Dextrose  operation system which we
custom develop and support for several large and small deployment.
Because we depend on customer revenue for our sustainability we have a
strong incentive to meet the software needs of deployments.
Because Dextrose is based on Upstream Sugar and OLPC OS releases
Activity Central has a strong incentive to assist in the continued
success of Sugar Labs and OLPC. To this end we have made a number of
1. All code written by Activity Central developers will be released
with an open source license.
2. Activity Central developers spend 60% of their time on revenue
generating work. They are free to spend the remaining 40% of their
time on projects which are of general value to the ecosystem.
3. Activity Central supports a Community Architect whose job is
identify and support local and global communities that are valuable
parts of the Sugar Labs and OLPC ecosystem.
>From time to time I am asked why I chose to form a third organization
rather than work within Sugar Labs or OLPC. A third global
organization brings several advantages to the ecosystem:
1. It promotes cooperative decision making. When the ecosystem
consisted of two primary participants, Sugar Labs and OLP, there was a
tendency for competitive decision making. When a third player was
added to the mix, the value of cooperative decision making become more
2. Organizations with a business focus often provide value to a Free
Software ecosystem. Interestingly OLPC-A has seen this and has been
shifting toward a 'social entrepreneurship' model.
3. Activity Central approaches the ecosystem from a different
viewpoint than either sugar Labs or OLPC. As global innovators both
Sugar Labs' and OLPC's strengths are top down. Ideas and
Implementations flow down from the central organization to deployments
and users. As a service provider, most of Activity Central's ideas and
implementation flow up from deployments and user. Our work flow is to
solve issues faced by individual deployments which we generalize and
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