Open Source for Sustainability

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In 2017, two years after introducing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in its “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," the United Nations reported that digital technology—particularly open source—would be instrumental in achieving them. Linux Foundation Research set out to understand how the open source community has advanced the SDGs so far, conducting a comprehensive study of the LF’s diverse portfolio of projects.

The study analyzed use cases as well as documented efforts of the community, its curators and contributors, and its working groups to map efforts to the different dimensions of sustainability represented by the SDGs. Our research identified hundreds of digital public goods, from open content and standards to software and hardware, that advance at least one of the 17 goals. By capturing where and how our projects are having impact, we outlined where the LF community can direct resources to broaden and deepen these efforts. 

This report represents an insightful account of the open source ecosystem from the perspective of the people, the environments, and the social and political systems that are impacted by the Linux Foundation’s work. Read the detailed findings in the full report.

Author: Kirsten D. Sandberg
With a foreword by Bilel Jamoussi, International Telecommunication Union

More About LF Research

Open source communities are at the heart of an explosion of technical innovation, where industry leaders, engineers, and end users are collectively creating and improving the digital infrastructure on which the global economy depends.

With an extensive community of members, connections with thousands of companies, and hundreds of thousands of open source contributors, professionals, solution providers, and users, the Linux Foundation is in a unique position to investigate the growing scale of open source collaboration, and provide insights into emerging technology trends, best practices, and global impact of open source projects.

By leveraging project databases and networks, and through a commitment to best practices in quantitative and qualitative methodologies, Linux Foundation Research is designed to be the go-to repository for open source insights for the benefit of organizations and governments the world over.