Episode 125

Astor Nummelin Carlberg of OFE on the Economic Impact of Open Source


June 17th, 2022

38 mins 38 secs

Your Hosts
Special Guest

About this Episode


Astor Nummelin Carlberg


Richard Littauer | Amanda Casari | Ben Nickolls

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source for the long haul. On this episode, we have joining us, Astor Nummelin Carlberg, who’s the Executive Director of OpenForum Europe. OFE works with open technologies and public policy. Today, Astor goes in depth about a report he co-authored with another team of economists, and we also find out Astor’s thoughts on what we should do to make open source more sustainable, what his team at OFE does in terms of policy work, and he shares the challenges to everyone involved in the open source ecosystem and how you can engage in them. Go ahead and download this episode now to learn more!

[00:01:11] Astor explains what OFE is.

[00:04:20] We hear about a report that came out and how the economic impact of open source has been.

[00:08:58] In thinking about policies and recommendations, Amanda wonders what information would help about understanding open source from a systems level that Astor hasn’t been able to access but would help with making better policy decisions.

[00:12:19] Astor gives us his perspective on how we can best use OSPOs and OSPO networks to come together to release more data.

[00:17:38] We hear Astor’s thoughts on the tension between working in public, protecting individual’s privacy, and the ability to work in public and not be a target of harassment, as well as working openly and allowing information to be transparent for people who are making large scale decisions.

[00:20:18] Now that OFE has released this report, Richard wonders what we should do to make open source more sustainable and how can we do that. Astor also tells us the budget was secured for the Centre for Digital Sovereignty in Germany.

[00:24:41] Astor tells us about his team and what they do in terms of policy work.

[00:31:35] Ben wonders how we can enable that conversation with the government to happen more authentically and representatively.

[00:34:00] Find out where you can follow Astor and OFE online.


[00:07:15] “Open source is a good investment.”

[00:07:26] “Open source is a greenfield for policy makers to figure out how to engage with this ecosystem.”

[00:11:06] “Research and data access to open source is still severely underfunded.”

[00:25:29] “The classic Cathedral and Bazaar metaphor works with policy very well.”


  • [00:35:44] Amanda’s spotlight is a paper recently published by colleagues of hers called, “The penumbra of open source.”
  • [00:36:27] Ben’s spotlight is The Linux Foundation report on open source software security that was recently published.
  • [00:37:01] Richard’s spotlights are two films he watched: Grandma and Blue Bayou.
  • [00:37:29] Astor’s spotlights are Find Shelter and Frank Nagle’s new article in Brookings.



Support Sustain