About the Foundation for Public Code


This resource


  1. Growing the public code ecosystem
    1. Awareness
    2. Partnerships
    3. Chapters
  2. Tending to stewardship
    1. Activities and processes
    2. Codebases
    3. Communities of practice
  3. Achieving sustainability
    1. Philanthropy and grants
    2. Structural funding

This roadmap serves as a model for how we’re developing, growing and scaling our organization. It is defined and approved by the board of directors.

Growing the public code ecosystem

Awareness, Partnership, and Chapters

The Foundation for Public Code will continue to transform and expand to meet the growing needs for digital infrastructure stewardship in the public sector.


Now that we have created and tested our core process of stewardship, and are helping multiple codebases move towards maturity, we need to expand our capabilities to bring an awareness of public code to public organizations big and small across the globe, as well as contribute to general public understanding of what is at stake regarding the procurement and stewardship of digital infrastructure in government. To this end we will expand our capabilities and capacity to continuously produce educational and awareness-building materials and activities:

  • media production
  • participating in and organizing events
  • white papers and research
  • press and published books/articles
One year Five years Twenty years
  • Build out media production capacity
  • Begin producing library of media assets: videos, whitepapers, podcasts
  • Develop coherent awareness-building strategy and voice
  • Unprompted press and citations connecting digital transformation and public code
  • Well-known stewardship resource sought by many codebase owners
  • Public organizations have procurement policies which explicitly consider public code options
  • Public code is an integral part of public administrations and popular zeitgeist globally
  • Multiple books published
  • Many citations in press and research


The Foundation for Public Code seeks to establish partnerships with interested public organizations, and help them prepare to participate in the codebase stewardship collaboration process. By building networks of collaboration with partners at the municipal and regional levels, it will become easier to bring the case for structural financial support to national governments and larger states or provinces, as many of the gains in sharing public software across cities are recognized most easily by these ‘parent’ organizations.

A focus for the partnership program will be global diversification, with an interest in discovering and supporting existing open software infrastructure that has been developed by cities and their vendors regionally, and which solves a problem for multiple other potential replicating organizations. In addition, we will seek organizations that are planning similar large procurements, and help them collaborate around a single shared codebase instead of working in in parallel.

One year Five years Twenty years
  • Define and build-out Partnership relations
  • International Partner
  • Create narratives of collaboration with partners in order to bring more interested parties in
  • Provide firesouls with anything they need in order to advocate for us
  • Multiple international partners (for instance OS2)
  • Examples of networks of partners leading to structural funding
  • Example of shared procurement amongst partners
  • Vast global ecosystem of partners on many levels of public administration
  • Significant percentage of partners heading towards structural funding


The Foundation for Public Code is transforming its organizational model to enable international chapters. There will be a global umbrella organization, along with local chapter organizations. The umbrella organization will be an association in which the strategic council, board of directors, and delegates from the chapter organizations work together to define long term priorities. Local chapters will tailor their work based on the needs of the local public code ecosystem and participating public organizations. The North America chapter is the Foundation for Public Code’s first local chapter.

One year Five years Twenty years
  • Consolidate and grow the North American chapter
  • Launch the European chapter
  • Identify opportunities for future chapters
  • Chapters in 3 to 5 geographical regions
  • Wide financial and political support for chapters from within their respective regions
  • Chapters in all or most geographical regions, supporting public code regionally
  • Global umbrella organization setting the global agenda for public code

Tending to stewardship

Activities, Codebases, and Communities of practice

Activities and processes

As an open organization, we approach our stewardship activities as open process codebases. We continue to develop activities like the governance game that serve to help public organizations transform their capabilities and capacities toward participation in public code ecosystemic collaboration and codebase co-development. While we may work to prototype and refine these processes, they are ultimately held in stewardship as process product codebases that we aim to provide to ecosystem participants, such as private consulting practitioners and transformation agencies within public organizations. We will develop a certification process around these activities, including our core stewardship processes, that will allow practitioners, both public and private, to offer these activities as commercial or internal services.

Our direct stewardship activities will focus primarily on codebases that generate awareness of the value and capability of the public code approach, and are most broadly scalable to our global partner community. In order to manage stewardship for codebases beyond our capacity, we will develop an open reference process for building non-profit vehicles, with their own governance, participation, and financial model, in which to steward public codebases independently. We will work with other organizations that specialize in generating such vehicles, like software conservancies or open cooperatives.

One year Five years Twenty years
  • Launch formal process stewardship practice
  • Help a codebase that is spun off from the host organization become its own external non-profit stewardship foundation
  • Include on our website a visual and short explanation of what we do
  • Our processes being used and replicated by another organization
  • A community of practice in consulting services that utilize our process templates
  • Our process templates used by a variety of organizations globally
  • A rich ecosystem of single codebase stewardship non-profits


As we grow, we will work to diversify both the geographic and functional range of the codebases we steward. We will build awareness and utilization of public code by ensuring that the codebases we steward serve as aspirational examples of the capabilities of public code to provide essential, efficient, reliable, and valuable infrastructural resources and services that implement policy. We will strive to have the codebases we steward become the standards in their respective public domains. Codebase stewardship becomes a role modeling performance activity.

One year Five years Twenty years
  • Determine how much capacity we want to invest in direct stewardship in 5 years
  • Develop pipeline for codebases to be stewarded by other organizations
  • Refine codebase routing/gating criteria for ongoing internal or external stewardship
  • Directly steward an International collaboration
  • Positively impact the codebases under our stewardship
  • Procurements of new software in public administrations consider public code options, including the stewardship model and/or the Standard for Public Code
  • Key national infrastructure under stewardship
  • Many codebases are international collaborations
  • Growth in codebases under stewardship model
  • Some key global infrastructure is public code under direct stewardship
  • Software infrastructure in public administration defaults to public code stewardship model

Communities of practice

One of the core realizations of open source development is that it is made of people. This is doubly true for public code, as it involves both open software developers and policy makers. In order to create a successful ecosystem public code practice, the foundation needs to provide awareness and education in public administrations and training and certification to outside vendors and consulting services. This process of awareness, education, and certification is both horizontal across all aspects of digital transformation in the public sector, and vertical, oriented around specific application spaces and codebases. As mentioned above, these vertically oriented communities of practice may even evolve into self-governing non-profit vehicles for stewardship. The horizontal communities within and around public organizations will include networks of stakeholders in digital transformation ministries and OSPOs, public code developer communities, and professional development organizations.

One year Five years Twenty years
  • Engage another organization in using and developing our materials and practices
  • Organize a conference around a stewarded codebase community of practice
  • Get testimonials in our website
  • Regular stewardship community meetup group
  • Create modular content to more easily adapt to different personas
  • Launch an online open source learning platform where we can host course material based on the stewardship framework
  • Create guidance modules for codebase lifecycles, governance, and finance
  • More codebases under external stewardship than internal
  • Annual public code conference
  • Our educational and certification materials and processes in use by external organizations, public and commercial
  • Many annual conferences around public code codebases
  • Our educational and certification materials are de facto definition for public code stewardship

Achieving sustainability

Philanthropy and Structural funding

Philanthropy and grants

As we build the case for structural funding at regional and national levels, we will continue to be financed by both individual and organisational philanthropy. While we expand our successful outreach to philanthropic individuals, we will also begin to participate in the large-scale funding ecosystems of granting organizations such as Bloomberg, Omidyar, Realdania, and others. To this end, we will build a core practice that concentrates on communicating and maintaining relations with grant-making individuals and organizations.

One year Five years Twenty years
  • A third > €1 million individual grantor
  • Participation in multiple fundraising networking events
  • Respond to calls for proposal from at least 3 granting philanthropic organizations
  • Produce visual content for potential investors
  • At least three multiyear recurring philanthropic gifts
  • Present at a significant fundraising event for international organizations (e.g. WEF)
  • Enlist at least one marquee philanthropic individual as our ambassador to the community
  • A global mix of large philanthropic organizations and individuals support our non-core activities
  • We have numerous ambassadors in the philanthropic space
  • We manage philanthropic funds that we re-grant to public code organizations

Structural funding

To ensure a long-term sustainable future for the Foundation for Public Code we must establish sources of recurring structural funding from our members and other partner public organizations. It is our aim that all core stewardship activities will be sustainably resourced through these structural funding mechanisms. We will build out capabilities that focus on acquiring these relationships at regional, national and supra-national levels, and transparently report our impact and financing to both philanthropy and these structural partners.

One year Five years Twenty years
  • Secure structural funding of > €250K from at least one regional or state public administration
  • Continuous structural funding from public organizations supports a significant portion of the Foundation’s core activities
  • Core activities are continuously well supported by structural funding from public organizations