Episode 49

What OpenUK Does with Amanda Brock & Andrew Katz


August 14th, 2020

50 mins 44 secs

Your Hosts
Special Guests

About this Episode


Eric Berry | Justin Dorfman | Richard Littauer


Amanda Brock

Andrew Katz

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! Today, we have two special guests from the UK, Amanda Brock and Andrew Katz. Amanda is CEO of the UK body for “open” and OpenUK. Andrew is a lawyer working for a small boutique consulting firm that does open source things. We are discussing contact tracing apps and how they are going. We will find out how Amanda built her team when she was at Canonical. Then we will find out all about OpenUK and OpenUK KidsCamp, and the MINI-MU Glove, which is the coolest things ever! Andrew tells us about open hardware, Open-Silicon, open source licensing, and research he is doing. Download this episode now to learn more!

[00:01:06] Alex and Amanda tell us how they know each other and what they are working on.

[00:02:30] Since Alex and Amanda are both involved in contact tracing apps, which are coming out right now, they talk a bit about the British effort there and how it’s going.

[00:06:38] Justin is curious and wants Amanda to tell us when working at Canonical, the day to day for a lawyer just coming into the organization that was shaking things up in the Linux world and just the open source world, what did she do and how did she build the team. She also talks about the Dell deal when Dell started putting Ubuntu on their laptops for context, which was the first thing she worked on.

[00:10:54] Andrew turns the table and asks Amanda how it felt and how did you adapt to dealing with changes in negotiation dynamic changes. Richard asks how has that fueled your work with OpenUK and how do you feel that experience has allowed you to go forth and work there and what are your goals?

[00:15:24] Amanda talks about what OpenUK does and she tells us more about OpenUK KidsCamp, which their goal is have it running by 2022. She talks about the “MINI-MU Glove.” What a cool thing! (kit linked below.)

[00:22:41] Justin goes back to Canonical and wants to know what went wrong with Ubuntu phone. Andrew tells us how his experience has been working with open hardware. Andrew also lets us know of some other open hardware projects other than what he’s working on. He explains what Open-Silicon is.

[00:30:17] Eric wants to know what challenges Andrew is seeing with open source licensing and does he feel there is a certain amount of pressure or necessity for you to push and determine these different licenses that should exist. Also, what’s the goal of the research he’s been doing.

[00:35:41] Richard is amazed by the level of hardware hack that seems to go on in Britain, like RepRap, and he asks Andrew if he has any thoughts on why they are further along.

[00:39:27] Amanda tells us where we could find them and where can we read about the work that’s going on and she tells us about her book.

[00:45:40] Eric has one last question for Amanda and Alex and asks them why do they think that these countries are not wanting to open source their research and their findings in order to help us reach our goal of everybody can go back to school and work? They tell us their thoughts on this.


  • [00:42:18] Justin’s spotlight is Sia.tech by NebulousLabs,
  • [00:42:43] Eric’s spotlight is our amazing editors for this podcast at Peachtree Sound. ☺
  • [00:44:01] Richard’s spotlight is strangeparts.com.
  • [00:44:35] Andrew’s spotlight is CERN Open Hardware Licence.
  • [00:45:07] Amanda’s has two spotlights: OpenRan and LibreOffice.


[00:31:56] The most interesting part of the research has been talking to people, you know, who are well understood, who are very prominent in this area, and understanding their different viewpoints.”

[00:37:20] “With Brexit, it made me sort of focus a bit more on what was happening.”


Amanda Brock Twitter 

OpenUK Twitter

OpenUK Linkedin


OpenUK GitHub

Andrew Katz Twitter

Andrew Katz Linkedin


OpenUK Kids Camp

MINI.MU Glove Kit



Peachtree Sound

Strange Parts

CERN Open Hardware Licence


LibreOffice article

Open Tech Reponse

Moorcrofts Corporate Law-“CERN Open Hardware Licence 2.0 Andrew Katz presents, ahead of the official release.”

Free and Open Source Software: Policy, Law, and Practice (second edition to be released August 2020)


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