Authentic Engine helps open source and free software projects work through challenges related to sustainabilitygovernance, and participation.

Our mission is to help communities and organizations prosper by developing authentic and wise contributors, effective governance structures, inclusive participation pathways, and sustainable business models.

Our Founder

In 2015 Chrstie Koehler founded Authentic Engine after 15+ years building teams and creating technical products. As satisfying as working in tech was, Christie saw a better application for her unique combination of talent, education and experience: Teaching and coaching others how to build prosperous, resilient communities and organizations.

Areas of Expertise


We have 10+ years experience contributing to, building, and leading open source communities. We’ve worked with every kind of technology organization: startups, tiny non-profits, ad hoc groups, and well-established projects with corporate backing. We know good governance. And we know it’s not a one size fits all situation: Every community is unique and needs an approach to governance tailored for it according to its mission, history, demographics, and more.

Whether you’re part of a fledgling open source community or a long-established project, we can help you realize the governance that help you reach your goals with an effective use of resources.


Our work with free and open source software projects over the years has taught us that sustainability has become a major concern. Nearly all project leaders want a plan for making projects sustainable in the long-term and most of them struggle to develop and implement an appropriate one. We’re here to help.

Funding is a big factor in sustainability, but not the only one. Governance and participation, our other two areas of expertise are also vitally important.

We apply our broad experience working with free and open source software projects to help project leads develop long-term sustainability plans for their communities, including business model development when appropriate.


Because we’ve spent over a decade contributing to and leading open source communities, we know they thrive on participation and we know how to build for that participation.

We have an award-winning approach to building diverse and inclusive communities. We co-authored the Citizen Code of Conduct, which is now used by many events and projects. We’ve built hyper-local participatory communities with Stumptown Syndicate as well as global ones with Mozilla.

Whether you’re wanting to attract your first contributors, revitalize a long-standing project, make your project more welcoming and inclusive, or host an awesome developer event, we can help.

Want to know more?

Read what makes us unique to learn how our experience benefits our clients and what it’s like to work with us to learn how we deliver for our clients.

For details about my work history, take a look at Christie’s LinkedIn profile. And while you’re there, send me an invitation to connect!

Ready to talk?

Questions? Comments? Ready to see how we can help? We're here for you any time.

Upcoming Workshops

Coming soon!