Open Anniversary

This year (2023) we will be celebrating several important milestones, including the 25th Anniversary of Open Source.

Celebrating Anniversaries is much more than just throwing a party. It is also an opportunity to look back in history, to reevaluate the mission and values, and to build a new future for an organization or community.

With that in mind, Open Anniversary aims to provide an innovative and inclusive platform for the community to celebrate, remember, and reimagine the open source movement.

The celebrations will revolve around 12 themes, one for each month of the year. A major milestone was selected for each theme. The themes are presented below:

Free Culture

On January 15, 2001, Wikipedia was established. Creative Commons was coincidentally established on the same date. Wikipedia was created by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, while Creative Commons was founded by Lawrence Lessig, Hal Abelson, and Eric Eldred. Both Creative Commons and Wikipedia are highlights from the free culture movement.

Open Source

The "open source" label was created by Christine Peterson at a strategy session held on February 3rd, 1998 in Palo Alto, California. That same month, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) was founded by Bruce Perens and Eric Raymond as a general educational and advocacy organization. The group adopted the Open Source Definition for open-source software, based on the Debian Free Software Guidelines.

Open Business

The book "The Open Organization" published by Jim Whitehurst, former CEO at Red Hat and current president at IBM, provides great insights on how to build a successful business based on many open source principles, including transparency, participation, and community. Red Had celebrates its anniversary in March--Bob Young founded ACC Corporation in March 1993 and the company was later renamed to Red Hat Software when merged with Marc Ewing's business.

Open Government

The Sunlight Foundation, a leading nonprofit that advocates for open government, was founded in April 2006 by Ellen S. Miller and Michael R. Klein. Open government is the governing doctrine which holds that citizens have the right to access the documents and proceedings of the government to allow for effective public oversight.

Open Knowledge

The Internet Archive was founded by Brewster Kahle in May 1996 and the Wayback Machine was launched in 2001. The Internet Archive is a digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge," providing free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications, games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and books.

Open Hardware

The Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) was established as an organization in June 2012 by engineer Alicia Gibb, who had been working on the Open Hardware Summit. The OSHWA is a non-profit organization that advocates for open-source hardware.

Open Education

Open Educational Resources (OER), one of the key components of Open Education, was first coined in July 2002 at UNESCO's Forum on Open Courseware. OER are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.

Open Web

Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal to develop a distributed information system in March 1989, while working at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research). On August 6, 1991, he published the first website, dedicated to the World Wide Web project itself, and announced it on the Internet. In 1993, the World Wide Web project was made available with an open license, allowing the Open Web to flourish.


On August 25, 1991, Linus Torvalds, then a 21-year-old university student from Finland, announced a project on the comp.os.minix user group. The initial release (version 0.0.1) was created on September 17, 1991, and the official public release happened on October 5, 1991. In January 1992, Linux adopted the GNU GPLv2 license. This "hobby project" would later become one of the most prominent examples of free and open-source software collaboration.

Free Software

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a non-profit organization founded by Richard Stallman on October 4, 1985 to support the free software movement, which promotes the universal freedom to study, distribute, create, and modify computer software. The GNU General Public License was written in 1989 for use with programs released as part of the GNU project.

Open Access

Aaron Swartz was born November 8, 1986 and was one of the leading voices for open access. He published the "Guerilla Open Access Manifesto," helped launch the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and founded the online group Demand Progress, known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act. His death was the result of years of disproportional prosecution from the government.

Open Data

On December 7, 2007, a meeting held in Sebastopol, California, was designed to develop a set of principles of "open public data." Open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone - subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike.