OSHWA Board Nominees

This year, we have 10 board nominees for 3 open seats on the OSHWA board. Board members will hold a 2-year position. Once board members have been chosen by the community, the board will appoint a President, VP, and Secretary. As every nominee answered “Yes” to having 5 hours a month to give to the board, we did not include that question in each nominee’s data. Board responsibilities include fundraising, advising on goals and direction, and carrying out compliance of the organization’s purposes and bylaws. The vote will be open on Oct. 20 and Oct 21. Since the post is so long, here is also a .pdf spreadsheet of the nominees. Members will be emailed a link to vote. Here are the nominees in random order:

Toni Klopfenstein

Why do you want to be on the board?

Over the last few years through my work at SparkFun Electronics, I have seen the great benefits and necessity of having a unified Open Hardware community. I would like to be on the board to continue improving and strengthening this community, and to help the community by working towards more common, widely known standards for open source hardware. For myself personally, all OSHWA-hosted events I have attended previously have been of great personal benefit and growth, and have given me the opportunity to meet many people and see many projects from the open source hardware community that I may not otherwise get a chance to work with.

Do you currently serve on the boards of other organizations?

No.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

My current role at SparkFun Electronics includes maintaining and distributing our documentation via tools like GitHub, so I am well aware of many ambiguities the current open hardware definition has. I am passionate about helping the community grow and improve based on what feedback I see from the community in that role, as well as my previous role in tech support, where I was able to see many of the places that users of open hardware run into trouble or get confused.

I also am skilled at working with people of many different backgrounds and experience levels with open source hardware, and have the communication skills necessary to enable productive communication between extremely technical open-hardware ‘veterans’ and complete newbies to the field.

I also am very self-motivated, and good at prioritizing work that is not necessarily well-defined or clearly driven by others.

Do you have an interest in serving as the board President?

Yes.

Tamer Elzayyat

Why do you want to be on the board?

To utilize my knowledge and experience.

Do you currently serve on the boards of other organizations?

No, but I am a member in many organizations.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

PhD research now in electronics, and aim in same way.

Do you have an interest in serving as the board President?

Yes.

Matt Joyce

Why do you want to be on the board?

I need something worthwhile to do. A raison d’tre. OSHW is an amazing organization supported by amazing people. I’d love to help push it forward, pull it up, and let it rest on my shoulder as needed. Of course more likely than not with the community behind it, it would more likely be like riding a jet powered tiger.

I’d still love to help out if I can. So I offer my assistance.

Do you currently serve on the boards of other organizations?

Nope.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I believe in the mission deeply. I’m honest. I have no incentives to work against or for anyone. I am surrounded by some of the best hardware folks in NYC. And, I’m generally a pretty good person.

I don’t think a board should want more than that out of its members.

Do you have an interest in serving as the board President?

No

Michael Weinberg

Why do you want to be on the board?

While not as important as actual design and creation of OSHW, legal and licensing issues have the potential to have a huge impact on its development and growth. OSS serves as a guide, but not a perfect analogy, for hardware. I want to be on the board of OSHWA to try and help make sure that legal and policy structures are in place to foster OSHW. I also want to make sure that the OSHWA does everything it can to encourage the development of easy to understand best practices that allow non-lawyers to easily navigate some of these thorny issues.

Do you currently serve on the boards of other organizations?

No

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I’ve never been qualified for anything I’ve ever done. That being said, I helped organized the OH/DC event that brought open source hardware to policymakers in Washington, DC, helped OSHWA with some of the legal issues in its FAQ, talked about policy and legal issues surrounding OSHW at a few Open Hardware Summits, and write about OSHW legal issues every once in a while.
I am not, however, proficient in KiCad. If that’s a requirement I probably shouldn’t be on the board. Not that I wouldn’t like to be proficient in KiCad or anything. Just that I’m not right now.

Do you have an interest in serving as the board President?

No

Nahid Alam (nominated by Addie Wagenknecht)

Why do you want to be on the board?

Nahid served as the review chair for this years OHSummit and I [Addie] found her to be dependable, dedicated and easy to work with, she always was available for calls, meetings and was quick to respond to emails. In addition she is a member of the OSH community. She is founder at litehouse.io

Do you currently serve on the boards of other organizations?

Nahid served on the board of Chicktech (http://chicktech.org) and helped them with arranging robotic workshop (http://chicktech.org/programs/past-events/chicktech-high-school-2013-psu/) for woc and girls in tech.

She also arranges a monthly hardware meetup (http://www.meetup.com/Bay-Area-Modular-Electronics-Meetup/)

What qualifies you to be a board member?

Please see above. I highly recommend her -Addie

Do you have an interest in serving as the board President?

Yes

Lars Zimmermann

Why do you want to be on the board?

To push and support open source hardware and help to develop it. With being on the board I hope to get more grip, a network and possibilities to do this beyond the scale I am already doing this. 

Do you currently serve on the boards of other organizations?

No

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I advocate for open source hardware for years now, as open source economist. I am not an engineer. For that reason I have different motivations and viewpoints on the matter.

I like to explore the potential of open source for hardware in other fields than electronics. My current main interests are to make open source hardware work/bring it to the discussion for a circular economy as well as for the future of our freedom and democracy.

I initiated and am part of different projects focussing on open source hardware like:

The Open It Agency: http://openitagency.eu

The IPO Tables: http://ipotables.net (new)

Baubus: http://baubus.de (new)

OWi: http://owiowi.net

I write about open source hardware in my blog, there you can find also more projects: http://bloglz.de

I did research and do workshops and consulting on open source hardware business models. I wrote the chapter about business models for an upcoming book about open source hardware “building open source hardware”.

Do you have an interest in serving as the board President?

No

Joshua Pearce

Why do you want to be on the board?

I want to help legitimize open source hardware as a concept to ease government and investor funding of its development, accelerate commercialization and catalyze mass-scale deployment. I want open source hardware to be the established default rather than the exception. I would also like to help the OSHWA build a centralized database to house all kinds of OSH to make it easier to find, use, adapt and share.

Do you currently serve on the boards of other organizations?

I am on the advisory board for the AMSE Additive Manufacturing Challenge (IAM3D) and have agreed to sit on the Advisory Board for Adopting Appropriate Technology (ADAPT) as a Framework for the Technology and Engineering Education Curriculum for the National Science Foundation’s DRK-12 Grant Program. In Canada, I was on the board of advisors for Hearthmakers Energy Cooperative in 2009 and the Advisory Committee of the Sustainable Energy Applied Research Centre from 2011. I have also sat on numerous advisory boards for small stat-up companies and NPOs.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I have a well-documented track record as a major advocate of open-source hardware in academia and the popular press. I have published extensively on both the technology of 1) open source appropriate technology (OSH for sustainable development), 2) RepRap 3-D printing (OSH for distributed manufacturing), 3) OSH for scientific equipment development and 4) policy against closed IP. For example, I published the seminal call for OSH scientific equipment in the journal Science (a top journal) and followed up with the book Open Source Lab (2014) published by Elsevier (the top scientific publisher) to help legitimize the now burgeoning field. I also published in Nature (another top journal) a piece challenging both patents as a innovation source and the public funding of closed research. My work is regularly covered by the mainstream media, where I am careful to ensure the meme of “open source hardware is a technically superior method of development” at every opportunity. For example, see the Newsweek article on our open source metal 3D printer for less than <$1200.

Do you have an interest in serving as the board President?

No

Theodore Ullrich

Why do you want to be on the board?

I was at the very first OSHW meeting at Eyebeam in 2010. Here are some photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/teddesigns/sets/72157623642265534/

I started and run a product design and development consultancy, called Tomorrow Lab (http://tomorrow-lab.com). Since day one, Tomorrow Lab has always looked to uphold and create Open Source Hardware, however it has been difficult to keep commercialization as a priority when you are also trying to stay ‘open’. That being said, I’m interested in pushing to merge the two towards everyone’s benefit. I believe you have to resolve these issues in order for OSHW to flourish.

Do you currently serve on the boards of other organizations?

Tomorrow Lab is is on the World2NYC Board with the NYCEDC, and the NextTopMakers Board.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

Ultimately, I see the role of a Board Member to guide the application of the organization’s goals to current activities and opportunities. Its all about staying relevant. Therefore, a connection to industry is an important qualification.

As an engineer, industrial designer, and startup founder, I am familiar with the needs of the hardware community. I meet with new hardware startups in NYC almost daily. My business consults for dozens of them per year. I believe the insights available from a person in my position would offer value for OSHWA.

Do you have an interest in serving as the board President?

Yes

Rose Swan Meacham

PERSONAL STATEMENT
Ensuring that new technology and hardware is made available to everyone is essential to fostering innovations that will improve the standard of living and education for us all. I strongly believe that anyone (no matter what age, gender, race, or economic background) is capable of contributing to scientific discovery in transformative ways.

This is a topic I feel extremely passionate about and I strongly believe that Open Source Hardware can be used by communities world-wide to fill in for failing governmental systems such as clean living standards, STEM education and private healthcare. By unifying innovators with new ideas for creating, improving, or sharing Open Source Hardware I believe we can help individuals make visible impact on their communities worldwide.

I would be honored to invest my energy and resources to ensure that Open Source Hardware is made both accessible and easy to work with by people from all backgrounds.

OUTREACH & EDUCATION
If allowed to serve on the board for OSHWA, I would organize educational events within schools and community spaces for the general public, including STEM topics for young adults (especially girls!), where open source hardware is used as a way to fuel interest and share technical skills.

I had the privilege of giving a TEDx Talk last year about Women In Science and through my research learned that while the number of girls in many undergraduate STEM programs outnumbers boys, the number of graduate level female students reversed to the minority. Among women surveyed in PhD level mathematics courses at Columbia, the majority attributed this to feelings of being undervalued and a lack of support from their peers.

Creating a common voice and networking space through OSHWA would help disseminate new knowledge about developing Open Source Hardware, but it would also provide the support many minority and underprivileged individuals need to be successful in STEM fields.

ONLINE NETWORK
It is important to take advantage of an online network to help connect OSHWA members with likeminded Makers worldwide. This network could include live streamed panel discussions that we host, video lectures from experts who lead our outreach educational events, and an encyclopedia of source code and data on Open Source Hardware.

These entries could reference StackOverflow and resources like Arduino’s Forum to help provide our community with the tools necessary to advance their own hardware projects and share improvements on existing schematics. In a sense, it could become a new user-driven forum for learning about the Open Hardware movement and advancing its progress by supporting those who are working with new designs.

Do you currently serve on the boards of other organizations?

The most recent non-profit organization that I worked with was the Imagine Science Film Festival, which organizes an annual film festival in New York, as well as events throughout the year that make science accessible to the general public through film. The events were designed to make accurate, often esoteric scientific concepts more engaging and relatable through panel discussions and interactive activities for all ages.

The experience I gained would be extremely valuable to help with fundraising and creating a stronger global network of like-minded Makers. My responsibilities included planning and attending board meetings and developing new strategies that could help bridge the gap between art and science. I managed volunteers and hosted film screenings, panels with scientists and artists, planned educational events, fundraising parties, and started the first overseas outreach program which hosted film events and workshops in Saudi Arabia, Ireland, France, and Ecuador.

I worked directly with investors and sponsors, including Nature, Science/AAS, Google, Vimeo, NY Science Exchange, and universities such as NYU, New School, and Rockefeller to maintain the support we needed to bring quality content to the general public for free whenever possible. For example, I worked with Google and the University College Dublin to create the Mobile Science Cinema Truck – a private theater that was designed to bring science-themed activities and films to underprivileged areas throughout Ireland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTt4XfCcHxI

Another example includes an educational series that I organized with the New York Hall of Science to teach children about biological sciences and how to create their own animations. The culmination of the event was a screening of their films that was hosted online from our sponsor Vimeo and in theaters throughout New York during the film festival.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

The mission of OSHWA is very dear to me and I believe that my unique research experience would enable me to make a tangible difference.

My experience working for non-profit companies and sitting on boards gives me a pre-established network and resources I could draw from to help develop OSHWA. But perhaps more importantly, as a recent masters graduate from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University, I have hands-on experience working with Open Source Hardware. I am currently applying this knowledge as a researcher in a Neuroscience Lab at NYU and developing a new experiment with collaborators in the Psychology and Neuroscience departments at Princeton University.

With new efforts being made by researchers to make their experiments available to the general public for free, I can see a huge potential for immense discovery by people outside of academia in the next decade. But a link between access to research and open source hardware and technology needs to be formed. I would like to start new movements among researchers to connect directly with the Open Source Hardware community to make the new technology developed in laboratories available to everyone. For example, Jack Andraka, was in high school when he invented a revolutionary test for pancreatic cancer and attributed his discovery to Aaron Swartz.

Do you have an interest in serving as the board President?

Yes

James “Laen” Neal

Why do you want to be on the board?

I believe in open source–software as well as hardware– as a tool for the advancement of technology. I think OSHWA does excellent work promoting the philosophy of open source, and I’d like to lend my skills and resources to helping further its goals.

Do you currently serve on the boards of other organizations?

No.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

As a maker, I develop open source hardware. As a hobbyist, I use open source hardware. As the owner of a manufacturing service, the main group I want to serve are people making open source hardware.

Do you have an interest in serving as the board President?

No