A blog post from Software Freedom Conservancy.

Blog post by Deb Nicholson. Please email any comments on this entry to <deb@sfconservancy.org>.

We gave lots of talks in 2018! One of the most important things we do is to bring fresh perspective on software freedom and to educate people about the most important issues facing our ability to have ethical technology. Many are a similar message - effective advocacy means meeting people where they are, and much of our introductory material is dipped into repeatedly, so we're not suggesting that you buy a van and follow us around. (Not to mention that you'd eventually need to cross the Atlantic, which you can't do in a van last time we checked.) Anyway, here a few of the talks that represent the critical free software themes that Conservancy staff discussed all year.

  • Our Executive Director, Karen Sandler delivered her Linux Conf Australasia keynote on January 24th, "Hey, did you ever get the source code to that thing in your heart?"
  • "In 2012 at LCA, Karen gave her first full length keynote talking about her pacemaker defibrillator, her journey to seek the source code on that device and her newfound passion for software freedom as fundamental for all of our critical technology. Now, six years later, Karen evaluates her efforts over the intervening time and assesses the current outlook for software in our hearts and everywhere."
  • Karen keynoted PyGotham on Friday, Oct. 5 with a talk titled, "Software Freedom and Ethical Technology" which hits on the major themes that Karen touched on for keynote style introductory talks in 2018.
  • At events around the world, she spoke to conference goers about the Internet of Things, how dangerous it is to rely on proprietary code for so many things and tied this all to her personal struggle with her embedded (inside her body) heart monitor. She kicked off 2018, by giving a similar talk in January, to thousands of students at CUSEC, a completely student run conference in Canada.
  • Bradley Kuhn keynoted freenode #live on November 4th, where he discussed, "Interactive chat and the future of software freedom"
  • Bradley asks if we are really winning when open source projects are constantly requiring us to use proprietary software to participate? Realtime, interactive chat is integral to collaborative software development and we should always insist on free software solutions, like Freenode.
  • Brett Smith at LibrePlanet on March 24th, "A usability study of the GPL"
  • Brett brings his unique, interdisciplinary perspective to the topic of license usability. How can we make it easier and more appealing to participate in free software and use free software licenses? Brett shares data and suggestions in this talk on how we could improve our strategies and documentation.
  • Deb Nicholson, our new Director of Community Operations, keynoted Open Source Lisbon on September 27th.
  • This is a snippet from her talk, which was titled, "Free Software: Good for Business, Good For Society." She spoke about how the collaboration and transparency that are part of working with free software communities can help us be our best selves -- at work and in the world.

Interested in having someone from Conservancy speak at an event you're organizing this year? Drop us a note and we'll see if someone from our small staff can be part of your event.

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