Introducing the expanded 2020-2021 Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee

This month, the Hyperledger technical community voted in the annual election for new Technical Steering Committee (TSC) members. Since the inception of Hyperledger, the number of projects, labs, members, and working groups within Hyperledger increased. The 2018-2019 TSC started the discussion of increasing the size of the TSC in order to bring representation for the full breadth of the community to the TSC. 

As a result, the 2020-2021 TSC expanded from 11 to 15 members. With this increase, seven new voices* were added to the TSC. The TSC is led by a chair and, new as of this year, a vice chair. These leaders, elected by the newly installed TSC, are Arnaud Le Hors, Senior Technical Staff Member, Blockchain & Web Open Technologies, IBM (chair), and Tracy Kuhrt, Senior Technology Architect, Accenture’s Blockchain and Multiparty Systems Group (vice chair).

As the new TSC year kicks off, we asked Arnaud and Tracy to weigh in on what’s to come as well as their views on the expanded committee and what drove them to take on their leader roles. Here’s what we learned:

Q) What are some of the challenges the TSC faces in the next year? Opportunities?

Arnaud: Over the first five years of Hyperledger we’ve made good progress in getting our house in order with well defined processes, consolidated governance documents, and a systematic way of managing issues and recording decisions. Yet, people, especially those new to Hyperledger, consistently report challenges in understanding what’s going on, what the different projects are about, how they relate to one another and where they are going. I think our biggest challenge remains finding a way to develop a better understanding of what’s going on by fostering greater exchange of pertinent information across projects so that opportunities for collaboration aren’t missed. As projects mature and development becomes less frantic, I think there is an opportunity for this to happen, which is key to building one global community.

Tracy: Arnaud discussed the challenges that we have related to understanding the different projects within the Hyperledger community. I see similar challenges with complementary projects that exist within the Linux Foundation (e.g., Open Governance Network Model, ToIP, Confidential Compute Consortium, AccordHQ). The same opportunity exists for us to exchange information and collaborate with these other communities so that we can ensure what we are building is useful in the greater ecosystem.

Q) Are there emerging technologies or challenges you see as opportunities for new projects?

Tracy: As a Lab Steward, I am among the first to see some of the interesting things that the community is thinking about and developing. We have seen a couple of our top-level projects (Ursa and Cactus) that came out of Hyperledger Labs, and I expect that we will see more in the future.

There are a number of labs specifically looking at different ways of adding privacy and confidentiality across the different blockchain platforms and at different layers in the stack. The amount of interest in this space is an indicator that we may see a project being brought forward on how enterprises can share data while maintaining privacy and confidentiality.

Q) Why did you want to take on a leadership role with the TSC?

Tracy: Prior to joining Accenture, I spent not quite two years as a Hyperledger Community Architect evangelizing the organization and all of its projects at both meetups and conferences around the world, supporting the community, and improving the collaboration tools. This experience allowed me to build relationships with many in the community and gain a deep understanding of the challenges that the technical community faces on a daily basis. When I joined Accenture, I wanted to continue to be involved with the Hyperledger community. I have been able to do that through my role as a Lab Steward, a member of the Hyperledger Speakers Bureau, a co-chair for the 2020 Hyperledger Global Forum program committee, and a member of the TSC.  As a member and vice chair of the TSC, I bring diversity and additional perspectives to the conversations, which in turn will make the community stronger.

Q) Why was it important to expand to TSC this year?

Arnaud: The number of Hyperledger projects has grown a lot since we started five years ago. Increasing the number of seats on the TSC gave us a chance to get a broader representation of the many different groups we now have. Looking at the seven new members that were elected to the TSC it is clear to me that we have indeed achieved that goal. The improved gender diversity with a greater number of female members we gained only makes that better.

Here is the full list of TSC members:

*New to the TSC for 2020-2021.

Find out more about their background here

The TSC meets weekly and the calls are open to all. See the schedule, agenda and more here.

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