By our community, for our community

In its 20th year, Linux Professional Institute (LPI) has turned a major corner. It’s restructured to be more accountable to our global community of open source professionals. With the launch of the Membership Program we’re now ready for the next step — giving Members direct say in LPI’s direction. In the spring of 2021 we’re running the first election for our Board of Directors and we’d like you to consider being a candidate.

Anyone can apply to be a candidate for the Board — you don’t need to be a Member of LPI or even a longtime part of our community. We’re looking for people who share LPI’s mission (to promote the use of open source by supporting the people who work with it) while bringing to us a broad range of skills, views and experience. We’re a global organization that seeks a Board as diverse as we are, and are especially looking for people with backgrounds in:

  • Non-profit governance
  • Finance and business management
  • Open Source (of course)
  • Promotion and advocacy
  • Human Resources and Career Development
  • Membership programs
  • STEM and IT Education
  • Skills standards and certification

If you have interest or experience in any of these fields, please consider applying to be a candidate for Director of LPI. You’ll be part of a great team, in charge or a large open source organization with a worthy mission and resources to follow that mission. You’ll help drive the future of open source by improving both the quality and quantity of skilled and ethical practitioners. For some, this kind of high-level participation can be good for career advancement and visibility.

Inside LPI this election is a Very Big Deal to us, as we see ourselves as more than deliverers of exams and issuers of certifications. LPI has always been about empowering the individual in open source, not only in technical skills but in career search, professional ethics and personal development. With a community as large and globally diverse as we now have, LPI must evolve to meet the needs of open source practitioners everywhere. As other open source organizations curtail or eliminate the role of the personal member, LPI moves to embrace and celebrate the individual’s contribution to the growth of open source.

After decades of following a foundation model through which decision-makers were appointed in private, our new bylaws chart a path to an LPI leadership — its Board of Directors — elected by our professional Members. The first step in our bylaw changes involved establishing the concept of an LPI Member, who has not only attained superior technical skills but committed to an ethical code of similarly high standards. It also means that, having established membership we owe these members transparency and accountability … and authority.

The design and implementation of the process has been a multi-year team effort; the bylaw changes were simply the catalyst that informed what we had to do. Getting there involves many hard workers within our community — staff, partners and volunteers — but the result will be worth it. A recent milestone has been the successful formation of a Nomination Committee that will help create the ballot from which our members choose the candidates they see best suited to guide us in the coming years.

We designed an election process that best serves the community — open, thorough and independent. I won’t explain all the details in this post, I’ve already recorded three webinars that detail the process here, here and here. While these webinars are not particularly entertaining or funny, they’re very informative and should help you understand how our election process works.

The third webinar, the most recent one as I write this, is about the most recent part of the process — assisting anyone  interested in becoming a Director of LPI. The application to be a candidate is online. If you need more information, feel free to consult the above webinars or this page on the LPI website. And if you still have questions, feel free to write to me, or the LPI governance email.

This first election will take place in the spring of 2021, ending at our Annual General Meeting where the votes will be counted and LPI gets its first elected Board.

We look forward to hearing from you. You’ll find it an effective use of your volunteer time, beneficial to both you, for LPI and for the global open source community. You may even find it exciting! But even if not, you’ll definitely find it rewarding.

About Evan Leibovitch:

Evan is LPI Director of Community Relations and one of the organizations' co-founders. A longtime advocate of open computing and open source, he was ZDNet's first Linux-specific columnist and has participated in numerous conferences, nonprofits, policy initiatives and white papers. Before re-joining LPI in 2017 he worked for the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) working to bring Internet access and work opportunities to refugee centres in Egypt, Uganda and Kenya. He was co-founder and first president of the Canada Chapter of the Internet Society, and first Chair of the the North American At-Large advisory body of ICANN. He is based in Toronto, Canada.

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