Open-Source Leg Governance

A Clear Vision, Collaborative Spirit, and Transparent Decision-Making


Our extensive evaluation across various governance structures revealed the Benevolent Dictator for Life (BDFL) model to be most aligned with the Open-Source Bionic Leg project's ethos. This decision is rooted in a profound appreciation for the model's merits, including focused leadership, clear guidance, and the potential to create an efficient, consistent, and stable vision. While acknowledging its merits, we are cognizant of the model's intrinsic challenges and have devised a holistic plan to incorporate the BDFL model effectively into our ecosystem. Our commitment is to navigate the challenges of open-source development with a clear vision, collaborative spirit, and transparency. This governance structure aims to foster innovation, inclusivity, and community-driven decision-making.

Distributing Leadership within Our Community

Though the BDFL model centralizes authority, we envision a collaborative spirit. By distributing core responsibilities among key community figures, we ensure project resilience, minimizing the dependency on a single leadership entity. Once our community reaches a critical mass, we will initiate mentorship programs and training sessions to nurture skills and align emerging leaders with our ecosystem's vision. Additionally, we will implement periodic rotation of responsibilities to ensure a fresh perspective and prevent stagnation. Furthermore, our forward-looking stance necessitates a clear succession roadmap, detailing the democratic process for selecting successors, ensuring our project's longevity. We will also establish regular channels for community feedback, allowing valuable insights to flow directly to our leaders, ensuring our project aligns with its community's evolving needs and aspirations.

Prioritizing Transparency and Inclusivity

Key decisions, their underpinnings, and ramifications will be consistently and clearly communicated. Our goal is to foster a space where community voices are heard and acknowledged. We will establish a clear process for community members to voice their opinions and concerns, ensuring that our community's diverse perspectives are incorporated into our decision-making process.

In addition to transparency, community engagement is a vital pillar of our governance philosophy. We encourage active participation from all members, welcoming diverse perspectives to enrich our decision-making processes. Our open forums and other collaborative initiatives will provide opportunities for community members to contribute ideas, express concerns, and shape the future direction of the

The Open-Source Leg Advisory Board

A cornerstone of our adapted BDFL model is the formation of a Governance Advisory Board. Comprising esteemed professors and directors from research groups that contributed during the project's foundational phase, this board aims to act as a guiding force, ensuring that we remain true to our original goals while navigating the complex landscape of open-source development. The board members will not only have an intrinsic connection to the project but will also bring diverse expertise to the table. This diversity will help ensure comprehensive and informed decision-making at every juncture. PI Rouse will assume the critical role of the Benevolent Dictator for Life (BDFL). While this position holds significant decision-making power, the collaborative synergy with the Governance Advisory Board ensures balanced and well-informed choices. They will collectively be responsible for ensuring that the project maintains its trajectory while adapting to new challenges and opportunities. To ensure alignment, synchronization, and effective communication, the board, along with the BDFL, will convene biannually. These meetings will be platforms for deliberating on project directions, addressing potential roadblocks, and seizing emerging opportunities. They'll also be opportunities to realign visions and address any discrepancies or concerns, keeping the journey cohesive.

Our Commitment

We understand that the success of our governance structure would heavily depend on our collective ability to balance authoritative decision-making with an inclusive, participatory approach. We believe that by building transparent, participatory mechanisms and fostering a culture of mutual respect, the challenges inherent to the BDFL model can be successfully mitigated, creating a governance structure that is robust, responsive, and resonant with the values and objectives of the Open-Source Leg ecosystem.