Responsive menu button


Hosted by Open Ireland Network, this event is designed to explore the use of Open Source Software in Government. Hear from local and global experts examine why and where open source is being used in Ireland and abroad to help accelerate the digital transformation of government services. Learn about how to adopt open methods for effective collaboration and how to assess the sustainability of open source projects.

This event does not require technical experience and the focus is on discussing the benefits rather than the technical details of open source. Whether you have a history of open source and are interested in hearing the latest trends, or are just curious to hear real world examples of how being more open has accelerated national and regional innovation agendas, please do join us for what promises to be a fascinating set of presentations.


1:30 pm – Welcome & Introduction – Clare Dillon, Host

1:35 pm – Panel: Open Source Software in Irish Government – Clare Dillon, Open Ireland Network; Gar Mac Criosta, HSE; Mihai Bilauca, DHLGH; Tim Willoughby, AGS; Tony Shannon, OGCIO

2:10 pm – What Sustainable Open Source Projects Look Like – Stephen Walli, Azure Office of the CTO, Microsoft

2:45 pm – GovStack: Accelerating the Digital Transformation of Government Services  Sherman Kong, Senior Advisor for GovTech at Digital Impact Alliance, UN Foundation

3:20 pm – International Collaborations with Open Source Software  – Danese Cooper, InnerSource Commons; Sayeed Choudhury, Johns Hopkins University

3:55 pm – Wrap up 

4:00pm – Event Close



Ms. Danese Cooper is the founder and chair of InnerSource Commons. Previously, she has worked with NearForm as VP Strategic Initiatives. Prior to joining NearForm, Ms. Cooper spent 4.5 years as Sr. Director and Head of Open Source Software at PayPal, Inc. She was the inaugural Chairperson of the Node.js Foundation. Ms. Cooper previously served as the CTO of Wikipedia, as Chief Open Source Evangelist for Sun and as Sr. Director of Open Source Strategies for Intel. She concentrates on creating healthy open source communities and has served on the Boards of the Drupal Association, the Open Source Initiative, the Open Hardware Association and has advised Mozilla and the Apache Software Foundation. She also runs a successful open source consultancy which counts Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, SETI Foundation, Harris Corporation and Numenta as clients. She has been known to knit through meetings.


Sayeed Choudhury is the Associate Dean for Research Data Management and Head of the Open Source Programs Office (OSPO) of Johns Hopkins University (JHU). I’m also a member of the Executive Committee of the Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES) at JHU. I’ve been the Principal Investigator for several grants from various funding agencies including the National Science Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Library of Congress, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Microsoft Research, and a Maryland based venture capital group. I am one of the administrators and researchers at JHU that is leading our efforts to develop open, digital infrastructure, applications, and services.


Clare Dillon is the Executive Director of InnerSource Commons, the world’s largest community of InnerSource practitioners. Clare has been involved with InnerSource Commons since early 2019, when she helped set up NearForm’s InnerSource practice. Before that, Clare was a member of the Microsoft Ireland Leadership Team, heading up their Developer Evangelism and Experience Group. In early 2021, Clare helped found the Open Ireland Network, a community for those interested in the open ecosystem in Ireland. Clare also works with the OSPO++ Network to support the establishment of University and Government Open Source Program Offices globally, that can collaborate to implement public policy and trustworthy public services. Clare frequently speaks at international conferences and corporate events on topics relating to the open collaboration, future of work, innovation trends and digital ethics.


Sherman Kong is most committed to achieve development impact through achieving a data-conscious culture and leveraging rights-protected digitally-enabled efficiency that jointly advance public systems and industries. He currently reinforces this belief at UNF-DIAL, working with its partners incl. incl. the UN system and agencies, multilateral bodies, EU and AU member states, and other development actors to make coordinated investments and informed cross-sectoral use of digital a reality. He currently leads as a focal point in overall governance of the GovStack initiative, a multi-agency partnership incl. Germany, Estonia and ITU to accelerate digital government strategies via expert-driven development of technical references and advocacy of scalable solutions.

Sherman previously acted as overall Coordinator of the Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance (MESA) at the Barcelona Institute of Global Health (a WHO Collaborating Center) with general management of strategy and overseeing development of informative syntheses on ongoing scientific activities and knowledge gaps within the malaria R&D ecosystem. This included cooperating with institutions, policymakers, funders and the WHO to collectively identify research priorities. From 2014 to 2017, he acted as an adviser to the Office of the President at Globe (the leading national telecom. of the Philippines) to develop and implement a portfolio of digital health innovations, with special focus on collaborating with ministerial and INGO stakeholders. He formerly specialized in information strategy and business intelligence in consultancy settings, inclusive of leading big-data system implementations in large-cap. corporations from pharmaceutical and CPGs, to telecom and financial services.

Sherman was awarded a Master’s in Health Economics and Policy from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, and a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto, both with dissertations centered around health innovation.


Gar Mac Críosta is the Chairperson for the Public Health Advisory Committee at Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPH). He is an IASA certified architect and spends much of his time trying to figure out what being a sociotechnologist is; so he can be one. He regularly engages in humane human experiments and is very certain that he spends most of his time being uncertain. Currently (since March 2020) he is the Product Lead for the COVID Tracker App in the Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland ( a COVID-19 pandemic response app. Gar has worked as a Digital Advisor to the CIO in the HSE since early 2019. Gar is a Certified Architect Professional (IASA CITAP), a Fellow of the Irish Computer Society, a LEGO Serious Play Practitioner (LSP) and in the process of becoming a Cynefin Practitioner.


Head of Digital Services, Office of Government Chief Information Officer/Department of Public Expenditure & Reform in Government of Ireland.
Education and experience as Medical Doctor/ Emergency Medicine/ Informatics between Ireland, UK & the US over 20 years. Involved in a range of change/digital programmes & projects at local/regional/national/international levels over the last 20 years, initially in healthcare, then local government, now government/public sector – current role within Irish Government leading on Digital Services. Interests in change, complex systems, societal & economic wellbeing, leadership, service improvement, information technology.


Stephen is a principal program manager in the Azure Office of the CTO at Microsoft. He has worked with open source software in the product space for almost 30 years. He has been a technical executive, a founder and consultant, a writer and author, a systems developer, a software construction geek, and a standards diplomat. He loves to build teams, and products that make customers ecstatic. He has worked in the IT industry since 1980 as both customer and vendor. He was a Distinguished Technologist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.


Tim is head of Digital Services and Innovation in An Garda Síochána and is the Chief Disruptor who is responsible for Innovation and new and future directions in technology and the Mobility Programme. Tim was formerly CTO of the LGMA, with over 20 years in a number of Senior Management and Technical / Engineering Roles in the Local Government Sector. He has been working in the Public service for almost 30 years. Tim has a Civil Engineering Degree from TCD and a Masters in Innovation from the University of Ulster.


Chief Information Office, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage – DHLGH, Ireland. As the most senior adviser to the Minister and Management Board on ICT and Digital Transformation, Dr. Bilauca is responsible for driving the Government digitization agenda for DHLGH. He is inherently directing the digital transformation programme across the agencies under the DHLGH’s remit and especially the Local Government sector by fostering effective partnerships for a coherent governance and strategic direction in line with the wider public service.

Dr. Bilauca has developed and initiated the implementation of the first Digital Strategy for Limerick city-region which has become the first European Lighthouse Smart City in Ireland. Mihai worked in various roles in the ICT Management for UPC Romania, and for Limerick City & County Council in senior roles or heading the Digital Strategy, ICT, Change Management, Customer Services, Urban Innovation and EU Programmes departments.
Mihai is involved in standardization work for Smart Cities & Communities with national and international standardization organisations (NSAI, ISO, CEN/CENELEC, ETSI).

In his spare time Mihai continues his academic research in smart cities, mathematical programming and optimization modelling methods and publishes in ACM and other leading computing science journals and conferences. Mihai received a Master of Science (M.Sc.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from University of Limerick, Ireland and the software engineering degree from “?tefan cel Mare” University of Suceava, Romania.

© 2024 Open Ireland Network