Founders, in alphabetical order

Alberto Barrionuevo


Alberto Barrionuevo is an IT enterpreneur that has worked during several decades on the fields of open standards and libre software. He leaded from Spain the campaign against the European Software Patents Directive in the name of FFII, an organization where he hold its presidency during 2008. Alberto is also founder at 2005 and coordinator of the Project "Estándares Abiertos" ("open standards" in Spanish) and was one of the leaders and initial promoters of the campaign at 2006 against the recognition by ISO of an alternative and closed format to OpenDocument. Currently he advises several governments in the Iberian American region and the European Institutions on open standards and libre software matters, and together with his company, OPENTIA, has delivered some important interoperability public norms.

Alexandra Combes

Stefan Gustavson

Benjamin Henrion

Pieter Hintjens


Pieter Hintjens is a software entrepreneur, software designer, writer, and campaigner with over 25 years' experience in the IT business. His specialty is the analysis and design of large-scale systems (both technical and social) through the mixture of top-down structural guidelines and bottom-up organic activity. He is the founder and director of iMatix Corporation, and the CEO of Wikidot Inc. He was the main author of the AMQP/0.8 industry standard messaging protocol, developed by JPMorganChase and iMatix Corporation, and the main designer of the OpenAMQ messaging system. He is the founder of the European Software Market Association and the European Patent Conference. He has a bachelors degree in Computer Science.

Jan Husar

Brian Kahin

Brian Kahin is Senior Fellow at the Computer & Communications Industry Association in Washington, DC. He is also Research Investigator and Adjunct Professor at the University of Michigan School of Information. Kahin was founding Director of the Information Infrastructure Project at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government as well as General Counsel for the Interactive Multimedia Association. He served as Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from 1997 to 2000. He has edited ten books on Internet-related policy, including Standards Policy for Information Infrastructure (with Janet Abbate, MIT Press 1995). While at OSTP, he commissioned the RAND/STPI report on Web standards, Scaffolding the New Web.

Bob Jolliffe

Michiel Leenaars

René Mages

René Mages is a board member of the FFII and president of FFII France. René has a degree in Agregation of Mathematics and is a long time activist against software patents, and advocate for free software and open standards. His personal WIKI.

Wladek Majewski

Tristan Nitot

Author of, co-founder of and Mozilla Europe.

Steve Pepper

Steve Pepper is an independent researcher, writer and lecturer who has worked with open standards for structured information for over two decades. He represented Norway on ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34, the ISO subcommittee for document description languages for 13 years, and convened the Topic Maps Working Group from its formation until 2007. He was the editor of the XML Topic Maps specification (XTM) in 2001 and has published numerous papers and presentations on Topic Maps-related subjects, including the well-known TAO of Topic Maps.

A frequent speaker at XML, Topic Maps and knowledge management events around the world, Steve was for many years the author and maintainer of the Whirlwind Guide to SGML and XML tools. He also co-authored (with Charles Goldfarb, the inventor of SGML, and Chet Ensign) the SGML Buyer's Guide (Prentice-Hall, 1998).

In 2000 Steve founded Ontopia, which became the world's premier provider of Topic Maps technology. His current research focus with Ontopedia is on subject-centric computing applications based on the Topic Maps standard. He also lectures at the University College of Oslo, writes for various publications, including the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences, maintains the community website TOPICMAPS.COM and chairs the annual Topic Maps Users Conference.

Nicolas Pettiaux

Nicolas Pettiaux, PhD in physics, physics and computing science teacher. Nicolas Pettiaux is a long time free software and open standards advocate who has help draft law proposals. He is passionate about the exchange of knowledge, and wants to work on all the limitations against such exchanges. Nicolas takes as much attention as possible threats to our liberties in a world that is more and more digital. Professionally, Nicolas has researched in theoretical and applied physics, in biomedical physics, and after several years as ICT manager in public administrations, he is now back to teaching and consulting.

Chris Puttick

Chris Puttick is an IS Management professional combining a degree in Management with a life-long interest in technology. He currently works as CIO for Oxford Archaeology ( Among his particular areas of professional interest are: IT as an investment, i.e. adding value and potential to organisations through the effective selection and implementation of technology; managing change, specifically the challenge of persuading people that technology and change can and should be a positive experience; the need to maximise future choices through ensuring the use and development of open standards and the careful selection of technologies. Chris is a full member of IMIS (, a founding member of Schoolforge UK (

André Rebentisch

Charles-H. Schulz


Charles-H. Schulz has been contributing to Free and Open Source Software since the beginning of the century and is a member of the OpenDocument Technical and Adoption Committees at the OASIS Consortium. He is a founding partner of Ars Aperta, a French consultancy firm delivering strategic insights and assistance in the fields of Open Standards and Free and Open Source Software. Charles-H. Schulz is presently the lead of the Native-Language Confederation of the project, coordinating the project and community development of worldwide. He lives in Paris.

Mark Taylor

Mark Taylor is the Founder and President of the Open Source Consortium, CEO of Sirius Corporation, and an authoritative campaigner, writer and speaker on all aspects of the Open Source phenomenon. He has been instrumental in some of the largest Open Source deployments in the UK, working with household names in both Private and Public sectors. Mark's advisory work with the Communities and Local Government department (formerly ODPM), e-Government Unit, Welsh Assembly, Scottish Executive, Becta, Conservative Party, Liberal Democrat Party, Socitm and others aims to help them understand Open Source and Open Standards, the implications of their adoption, and to accelerate their uptake in UK and European Central and Local Government.

Andy Updegrove

Andrew Updegrove is a co-founder and partner of the Boston law firm of Gesmer Updegrove LLP. Since 1988 he has represented, and in most cases also helped form, over 90 consortia, accredited standards development organizations and open source foundations. He has written and spoken in support of open standards and FOSS throughout the world, most recently advocating in favor of ODF. He has testified before the United States Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission regarding consortia, standard setting and intellectual property matters, and has filed pro bono “friend of the court” briefs with the Federal Circuit Court, Supreme Court, and Federal Trade Commission in leading standards litigation. In 2002, he launched, which hosts Standards Today, a bimonthly e-Journal of standards and open source news, ideas and analysis, the Standards Blog, and the Standards MetaLibrary, among other free resources. He has served as a member of the Boards of Directors of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Free Standards Group, and the Linux Foundation, where he serves as legal counsel and Director of Legal Standards Strategy.

Robert Weir

About Digistan

The Digital Standards Organization was founded by a group of open standards professionals in 2007 with the goal of promoting customer choice, vendor competition, and overall growth in the global digital economy through the understanding, development, and adoption of open digital standards.

Note that Digistan is set up as professional organization and has individuals, not businesses or organizations, as members. Members' affiliations are listed for identification only.

Initial funding

Digistan was launched thanks to a grant from the Information Program of Open Society Institute - Budapest, a Hungarian charitable foundation, and matching grants from OpenForum Europe and the European Software Market Association.