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Cailean Osborne

DPhil Student

Cailean Osborne

DPhil Student


Cailean is a DPhil Candidate in Social Data Science, whose research interests concern the political economy of open source software (OSS) and the digital commons more broadly. His thesis examines why and how companies collaborate on the development of OSS, with a focus on collaboration in open source artificial intelligence (AI) developer communities, as well as the implications of commercial activity on the participation and practices of non-commercial actors. This research is funded by the Economic & Social Research Council. During the 2023-2024 academic year, he is visiting the OSS Data Analytics Lab at Peking University. Alongside his DPhil, Cailean is also a Researcher at the Linux Foundation, where he contributes to diverse research projects on OSS trends. Prior to his DPhil, Cailean worked as the International Policy Lead at the UK Government’s Centre for Data Ethics & Innovation and served as a UK Government Delegate at the Global Partnership on AI and the Council of Europe’s Ad Hoc Committee on AI. Previously, he studied at the University of Oxford, University of Edinburgh, and UC Santa Barbara.

Research Interests

Open source software; digital commons; political economy; computational social science; social network analysis; machine learning; technology policy; artificial intelligence

Positions at the OII

  • DPhil Student, September 2021 -
  • MSc Student, October 2017 - September 2019



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