Episode 154

Clare Dillon of InnerSource Commons on OSPOs and the Open Ireland Network


February 17th, 2023

40 mins 39 secs

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About this Episode


Clare Dillon


Richard Littauer | Leslie Hawthorn | Justin Dorfman

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source for the long haul. Today, we are excited to have joining us Clare Dillon, who’s the Executive Director of InnerSource Commons and works with the OSPO++ Network to support the establishment of University and Government Open Source Program Offices globally. In 2021, she Co-founded Open Ireland Network, which is a community of people talking about open source in Ireland. Our discussions today take us through how Clare got into open source and involved with InnerSource Commons, their relationship with the TODO Group, and the importance of the Japanese community in the InnerSource Commons. Also, since Clare Co-founded the Open Ireland Network, she fills us in on what it is, and gives an overview of the research and her findings from a report that was produced with the Irish government on, “Open Source and InnerSource Skills in Ireland: A Call for Action.” There is much more, so download this episode now!

[00:02:07] Clare shares her background story of how she got into open source, how she joined an Irish company called Nearform, and meeting Danese Cooper, who introduced her to open source and the concept of InnerSource.

[00:04:48] We hear how Clare got involved with InnerSource Commons with Danese Cooper.

[00:06:47] When talking about InnerSource Commons, Clare goes in depth on how many people are active members, separate members, and since it’s a 501(c)(3), how big the budget is. She also explains how InnerSource is more about the methods and practices.

[00:11:31] Leslie wonders if Clare has found in her experience that organizations that come to InnerSource who may not have any experience with open source are more disposed to community engagement or doing co-development outside of the firewall after they get that experience with InnerSource.

[00:16:11] Clare tells us her thoughts about the long-term implications for the health of the open source ecosystem.

[00:19:11] On the InnerSource Commons website there is English and Japanese, and we find out how active it is for the people who speak Japanese into InnerSource.

[00:21:01] We hear about the InnerSource Commons relationship to the TODO Group and Anna Jiménez, who’s a community participant at InnerSource Commons as well.

[00:22:34] Since Clare is the Co-founder of Open Ireland Network, she tells us what it is and gives an overview of the research and her findings from a skills report that was just produced with the Irish government.

[00:28:07] We learn is there’s any intent to support the skills agenda in Ireland with more open source work, and if the Irish government plans for economic development in Ireland if that’s something that the Open Ireland Network is encouraging.

[00:31:47] Clare shares some thoughts on the long-term implications of nationalistic approaches towards open source markets.

[00:36:31] Find out where you can read the report and follow Clare on the web.


[00:09:54] “Many of the original founders of InnerSource Commons were motivated by the idea of creating a whole new set of people who were able and willing to collaborate in the open source community so that they had that experience within their jobs, and therefore would be more likely and able to contribute either within their jobs or in their own private time to the open source community.”

[00:26:54] “What was really fascinating to me was there was almost equal emphasis in the folks that responded to the survey about the non-technical skills. So where are the people in sales and marketing who understand this ecosystem? Where are the people in legal professions who understand the legal agreements necessary?”

[00:29:33] “One of the most interesting areas that folks are now beginning to be aware of is that it’s not just the technology that gives you a leapfrog in, but also market access.”

[00:29:54] “When I was talking to some of the industry development agencies in Ireland, the idea that there are industry vertical foundations focusing on innovation in particular areas were a huge interest to them.”

[00:34:32] “If you’re enabling people to do open source in any nation, it enables collaboration across nations.”


  • [00:37:43] Justin’s spotlight is Ghost.
  • [00:37:57] Leslie’s spotlight is to go check out the Digital Public Goods Charter that’s been published.
  • [00:38:38] Richard’s spotlight is the National Portrait Gallery in Dublin.
  • [00:39:06] Clare’s spotlight is Sue Borchardt, who’s a research artist and her amazing animation series she created on Cultural Evolution.



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