Our open-source sponsorship & social impact program – better known as The Spice Program – was launched back in 2013. As we were regularly utilizing contributions of the open-source community, the original idea was to give something back. We also wanted to support learning opportunities for our people outside their project context and in technologies we aren’t working with. Since then, it has evolved into covering all sorts of volunteering work that bring social impact and where our people can use their professional skills for good.
Between January 2017 and December 2022, our people logged about 39 000 hours of Spice Hours, equivalent to 585 000 euros of paid-out volunteering bonuses. Unfortunately, some historical details were lost when we experimented with storing the hour markings in a custom Ethereum-based blockchain. Not the best tech choice we’ve ever made. On average, the reported hours per month are currently around 600.
How it works in practice
Our employees can work on open source and other social impact projects on their own time and get paid for it.
Use professional skills
We pay 15€/hour on top of their regular salary for employees’ free time contributions that use their professional skills.
Maintain a healthy balance
We have a 30 hours/person monthly limit on how much is supported. It protects employees from overloading themselves.
Share with the community
Any project goes, as long as the outcome is shared with an open-source license or in other ways which can be utilized freely by others. It can be a CC-licensed book about UX design or a coding lesson given in public schools. There have already been five music albums (as “Chilicorn Records”) released under a Creative Commons license. This is not just for developers. It applies to all our specialists.
This is not work
Futurice makes no IPR claims whatsoever regarding these contributions. In fact, we insist on employees taking all due credit for their efforts.
Some of our work
Spread the word
Tell the world about our approach. Tell your employer; ask them to do the same. Tell your friends. Show that this model exists and that it works and challenge others to follow our lead.
Similar programs have been adopted by other companies, like our Family Company, Columbia Road.