Community Building and Thought Leadership in Open Source | Royal O’Brien

Community Building and Thought Leadership in Open Source | Royal O’Brien

How thought leadership can build communities and products in open source development.

An interview with Royal O’Brien about nurturing communities to reach long term goals.


Can thought leadership help organize people towards a common goal? The answer is yes!

Our guest in this episode is Royal O’Brien, General Manager of Digital Media and Games at Open 3D Engine, an important facet of the Linux Foundation.

Open 3D Engine (O3DE) is an Apache 2.0-licensed multi-platform 3D engine. This engine enables developers and content creators to build AAA games, cinema-quality 3D worlds, and high-fidelity simulations. And, because it’s “open source,” creators can use the engine without fees or commercial obligations. Open source projects create base code and make that code available to everyone. This allows the audience to modify and innovate that code for their own projects, continually updating and adding to the base.

Motivating, coordinating, and moving people towards a common goal can be a challenge. Yet, organizing large groups of creative people without restricting or stifling them is the key to Royal’s success, and he’s managed to do it time and time again. Today, Royal shares the thought leadership that guides his path, shaping the questions he asks about his audience: Who will use this product? How will they use it? How will they change it? and, most importantly, What kind of impact will it make?

From those questions, he creates a “flywheel effect,” aligning short- and long-term goals, and focusing his attention on creating products that will move his organization into new financial markets. He even discusses how tools like Discord and Game Jams bring people together and unleash their creativity, allowing him to watch for direction and advancements in real-time as his engine is shaped by the community.

Royal’s advice about community-building can be applied to many communities and industries; anything that encourages creative individuals to work in concert towards a common goal. If that sounds like your org, don’t miss this episode!

Three Key Takeaways:
  • Thought leadership can be the key to ensuring that communication between creative, innovative individuals or teams is clear and productive.
  • When building a community, you can use thought leadership to increase inclusivity and make sure everyone’s voice is heard.
  • Once you’ve started a movement, you need to nurture it (both short- and long-term) in order for it to succeed.

Join the Organizational Thought Leadership Newsletter to learn more about expanding thought leadership within your organization! This monthly newsletter is full of practical information, advice, and ideas to help you reach your organization’s thought leadership goals.

And if you need help scaling organizational thought leadership, contact Thought Leadership Leverage!


Listen on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts!

Bill Sherman

Bill Sherman works with thought leaders to launch big ideas within well-known brands. He is the COO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Bill on Twitter

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