Open Source Stories began as a conversation. A discussion about all the incredible things that we saw people building, creating and doing with open source technology and with the open source spirit. Red Hat is often thought to be synonymous with open source, and we’ve had the opportunity to be part of its evolution. We helped Linux move from a hobby operating system to a powerful platform that has helped to significantly change the IT landscape. We’ve seen open source "answers" in nearly every corner of IT, and we’ve been proud to be a leader in many of those efforts. It’s what makes us Red Hat. We’re also proud that Red Hat’s own culture has become a model for what an open organization built on collaboration, transparency and meritocracy can look like.
Along the way, we noticed something powerful - open source transcends technology. We believe that part of our responsibility as an open source leader is to shine a light on the stories that show the power and influence of the open source way.
And so Open Source Stories was born.
It began as a documentary series that showcased interesting ways to apply open source thinking. But since the premiere of our first film in 2015, it’s become so much more than that. It’s morphed into a larger platform that allows us to share the stories of what people can accomplish when things are open. Open Source Stories is a human-centered initiative that defines open source as not just technology, but a specific way of thinking that is becoming a leading innovation model.
What started as films, has expanded into articles, educational events and more. We’ve told the stories of a community-powered arts festival; a network of volunteers designing 3-D-printed prosthetics and giving them away for free; a high school that launched a student-run IT department; advocates for open health care records; organizations using open source to build self-driving cars; and an art museum creating interactive and collaborative exhibits.
For me, the most rewarding part is seeing the connections that are made because of this initiative. In October, Jon Schull, the founder of e-NABLE - subject of our film "Open technology, faster progress" - participated in a workshop at Tate Exchange - focus of our newest film, "Art of Exchange". Red Hatter Martin Percival also participated in the discussion that examined post-human production, exploring the value of collective creativity, open source, bias in machine learning and big data. The thread tying these seemingly unrelated entities together is Open Source Stories.
As Open Source Stories continues to grow and evolve, what I hope people take away from it is that open source is more than just a way to create innovative software. Open source is about building things without limitations, connections and forming new communities without boundaries. Open source can change lives.
These stories give us a glimpse into the possibilities created by an open and collaborative future.
Watch the films, read the articles and learn more about Open Source Stories. If you have an idea for Open Source Stories or want to share your own, send us a note or use #opensourcestories—we’d love to hear from you. To stay up to date on our efforts, sign up for our newsletter.
About the authors
Leigh Day leads global Marketing Communications and Brand at Red Hat, the world's leading open source provider to the enterprise. Her organization includes brand, public relations, analyst relations, content strategy, creative strategy + design, customer reference program management, marketing resource management and events. Leigh and her team have designed a highly effective internal agency model, known as the Open Studio.