Open Your World forum | Event details |

Open Your World forum | Event details

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The Open Your World Forum is scheduled for Thursday, May 27th, beginning at 8:45 a.m. EDT.  Bookmark this page for the latest information on the day's schedule, speakers, and presentation topics.  Be sure to register for the event if you haven't already done so.



8:45 a.m. - Welcome & introductions, Michael Tiemann

9:00 a.m. - Dr. David Upton, Chair of Operations Management, Oxford University

9:45 a.m. - Free and Open Technologies: A Policy Update from the European Union, Karsten Gerloff, President, Free Software Foundation Europe and Graham Taylor, Chief Executive of OpenForum Europe

10:30 a.m. - 15 MINUTE BREAK

10:45 a.m. - Matt Jadud, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Allegheny College

11:30 a.m. - Wikimedia: Strategic Planning the Open Source Way, Eugene Eric Kim, Cofounder & Principal, Blue Oxen Associates

12:15 p.m. - 15 MINUTE BREAK

12:30 p.m. - Q&A: Creative Commons and the Music Industry, Daniel James, director, 64 Studio Ltd.; Curt Smith, solo musician, singer and songwriter as well as co-founder of Tears for Fears; and musician Brad Sucks

1:15 p.m. - The Stimulus and Standards, Dr. John Halamka, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School and chair of the US Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel

2:00 p.m. - 15 MINUTE BREAK

2:15 p.m. - Transformation, the Open Source Way, Michael Tiemann, Vice President of Open Source Affairs at Red Hat and President of the Open Source Initiative

3:00 p.m. - Open Source License Compliance, Richard Fontana, Open Source Licensing and Patent Counsel, Red Hat, Inc.

3:45 p.m. - 15 MINUTE BREAK

4:00 p.m. - Open Source for America, Jeremy Allison, Linux Evangelist, Google, and Terri Molini, public/investor relations consultant with Initmarketing, the Open Source Marketing Agency

4:45 p.m. - The Open Source Way: Creating and nurturing communities of contributors, Karsten Wade, Sr. Community Architect, Red Hat, Inc.


Session abstracts and speaker bios

Free and Open Technologies: A Policy Update from the European Union

Abstract: Leading technology policy experts Graham Taylor of OpenForum Europe and Karsten Gerloff of Free Software Foundation Europe will explore recent developments and trends in free and open source software policy throughout the European public sector.  In this complex policy space of European institutions and member states, postures towards Free Software and Open Standards are fluid and constantly evolving. The session will highlight both current problems and key opportunities for leadership.

Presenters: Karsten Gerloff, President, Free Software Foundation Europe and Graham Taylor, Chief Executive of OpenForum Europe

Karsten Gerloff is a cultural scientist by training and a technologist out of passion. He gives Free Software a voice in the discussion about the rules for the information society. Karsten specialises in policy work with the United Nations and the European Union.

Graham Taylor is Chief Executive of OpenForum Europe, which is not-for-profit, independent of any organisation and was launched in March 2002 to accelerate, broaden and strengthen the use of Open Source Software in business and government. With some 30 years of experience in the ICT industry, prior to OFE Graham Taylor was a Director at ICL, most recently as Managing Director of the Smart Card business.  In parallel to OFE he also runs a consultancy business providing mentoring support to European software companies.


Session title & abstract TBD

Presenter: Matt Jadud, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Allegheny College

Matt is passionate about the design and development of usable languages for embedded control. To this end, he his carries out human-centered research regarding how beginners learn to program as well as technical explorations of parallel languages for tiny computers.

Most recently, he and his collaborators have launched, a rallying point for parallel programming on the popular Arduino platform. Matt keeps himself busy as a member of the faculty at Allegheny College as well as chasing around a now very mobile baby boy.


Wikimedia: Strategic Planning the Open Source Way

Abstract: How does a movement consisting of millions of people all over the world develop a five-year strategic plan? If you're Wikimedia, the only way is the Wiki Way. Eugene, who has been leading this process for the Wikimedia Foundation, will describe the motivations, the process, and the learnings from doing strategic planning in a totally open, collaborative way.

Presenter: Eugene Eric Kim, Principal, Blue Oxen Associates

Eugene is the cofounder and principal of Blue Oxen Associates, a consultancy focused on helping groups maximize their collaborative potential. He has developed collaborative strategies for a number of organizations, including NASA, Institute for International Education, and Socialtext. He's currently leading Wikimedia's open strategic planning process. He is also a thought leader in the collaborative tool space, focusing especially on wikis, digital identity, and usability. In addition to his work at Blue Oxen Associates, Eugene serves on the boards of the Leadership Learning Community, the Open Source Applications Foundation, and WiserEarth. He received his A.B. in History and Science from Harvard University.


Q&A: Creative Commons and the Music Industry

Presenters: Daniel James, director, 64 Studio Ltd.; Curt Smith, solo musician, singer and songwriter as well as co-founder of Tears for Fears; and musician Brad Sucks

Daniel James is the director of 64 Studio Ltd, a company developing custom GNU/Linux multimedia products for OEMs. He was the founder of the consortium, which promotes the use of GNU/Linux and Free Software in the professional audio field. Daniel is the author of Crafting Digital Media (Apress).

Curt Smith is a musician, singer and songwriter, who provided the lead vocals for some of the biggest hits ("Mad World," "Pale Shelter," "Everybody Wants to Rule The World," "Advice for the Young At Heart") of Tears for Fears, the group he co-founded with Roland Orzabal in 1981. TFF continues to tour worldwide, with Eastern U.S. and Asia/Pacific dates in the works for 2010, in addition to which Smith enjoys a flourishing solo career. He released "Halfway, pleased," his most recent album, under a Creative Commons license, which he is a vocal proponent of.

Brad Sucks isn't just a one-man band--he's a one-man music production. He writes, record, and produces his songs and releases them under Creative Commons licenses. He also participates in the open source community. (You may have heard his work as the default sound set in Pidgin.) Read more at


The Stimulus and Standards

Abstract: TBA

Presenter: John D. Halamka, MD, MS

John D. Halamka, MD, MS, is Chief Information Officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Chief Information Officer of Harvard Medical School, Chairman of the New England Healthcare Exchange Network (NEHEN), Chair of the US Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), co-Chair of the HIT Standards Committee,  and a practicing Emergency Physician.

As Chief Information Officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, he is responsible for all clinical, financial, administrative and academic information technology serving 3000 doctors, 14000 employees and two million patients. As Chief Information Officer of Harvard Medical School, he oversees all educational, research and administrative computing for 18000 faculty and 3000 students. As Chairman of NEHEN he oversees clinical and administrative data exchange in Massachusetts. As Chair of HITSP/co-Chair of the HIT Standards Committee he coordinates the process of electronic standards harmonization among stakeholders nationwide.


Session title & abstract TBA

Presenter: Michael Tiemann, Vice President, Open Source Affairs, Red Hat

Michael Tiemann is a true open source software pioneer. He made his first major open source contribution over a decade ago by writing the GNU C++ compiler, the first native-code C++ compiler and debugger. His early work led to the creation of leading open source technologies and the first open source business model.

In 1989, Tiemann's technical expertise and entrepreneurial spirit led him to co-found Cygnus Solutions, the first company to provide commercial support for open source software. During his ten years at Cygnus, Tiemann contributed in a number of roles from President to hacker, helping lead the company from fledgling start-up to an admired open source leader.

Tiemann serves on a number of boards, including the Open Source Initiative and the GNOME Foundation. Tiemann also provides financial support to organizations that further the goals of software and programmer freedom, including the Free Software Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.


Open Source License Compliance

Abstract: This session will provide an overview of free software/open
source licensing and discuss best practices in open source license
compliance for FLOSS community projects as well as for companies making use of open source.

Presenter: Richard Fontana, Open Source Licensing and Patent Counsel, Red Hat, Inc.

Richard Fontana has been Open Source Licensing and Patent Counsel at Red Hat since 2008. Before joining Red Hat, Fontana was Counsel at the Software Freedom Law Center, where he represented and advised the Free Software Foundation throughout the process of drafting the GNU General Public License, version 3 (GPLv3).


Open Source for America

Abstract: Jeremy Allison and Terri Molini of Open Source for America (OSFA) will discuss ways to effectively engage the US federal government. OSFA was created in an effort to centralize federal outreach for open source advocates and expand the understanding and use of open source in government. Learn how you can be a part of this important effort.

Presenters: Jeremy Allison & Terri Molini

Jeremy Allison is Linux Evangelist at Google. He is a co-founder and one of the lead developers on the Samba project. Allison has been a staunch supporter of open source, and famously quit Novell after it announced its patent pact with Microsoft. He writes a monthly column for the magazine Linux Format called "The Low Point, a view from the Valley".

Terri Molini is a public/investor relations consultant with Initmarketing, the Open Source Marketing Agency. During her nearly 13 year tenure with Sun Microsystems, she served as a public relations manager with a strong focus on developers and open source technologies. She co-founded the Open Source for America coalition, and is responsible for much of the development of the website's content and design.


The Open Source Way: Creating and nurturing communities of contributors

Abstract: Unable to talk with everyone in the world and repeat the information they have distilled from decades of open source experience at Red Hat, the community leadership team decided to write a handbook.

Lead writer Karsten Wade introduces "The Open Source Way: Creating and nurturing communities of contributors", showing how this community-written handbook is a source of how-to information far beyond just software.

Presenter: Karsten Wade, Sr. Community Architect, Red Hat, Inc.

Karsten is a 15 year IT industry veteran, a long time Fedora Project contributor, and general open source iconoclast. As a member of the industry leading community leadership team at Red Hat, Karsten has seen, done, and recovered from many open community mistakes. Through mistakes, learning; through learning, advancement. By teaching and learning with others, we improve the fabric of all open source communities.

He lives in Santa Cruz, CA, with his wife and two daughters on a small urban farm,




I just did a look down the final schedule and had a face-to-palm moment looking at the diversity of the speaker list. Fortunately, this gives us something else to improve for the next Open Your World Forum. And, as was a requirement fromRed Hat Chair of the Board (and former CEO) Matthew Szulik, I won't state a problem without providing some solutions.

We missed the opportunity for to do its part in supporting a diversity of voices in the free and open world discussions. In particular, a review of the presenter lists shows that it is 100% men and 92.3% men of primarily European ancestory. (For example, I'll skip my 1/8th Native American blood, I didn't grow up on a reservation, for all intents and purposes I'm a middle-class man of primarily Northern European stock.)

The main opportunity missed is not including more women's voices. It's not going to be hard for us next time to include men from different cultures, men are well represented in technology (88%) and open source (98%), despite being only 50% of the human population.

The numbers from a 2006 study show that 1.5% of open source contributors are women. When we look to see who practices the open source way in other categories - business, education, law, government, life - it will be interesting to see how many of them are women.

Thus it is natural that it is harder (a challenge) for us to find women voices to speak with us on, but it's not impossible, and it's just the sort of thing we should be doing through this home of the open source way.

Here are a few examples of where we can start for next time:

Look at the women who are speaking at other open conferences, such as next week's Open Source Bridge in Portland, OR and OSCON a month later. At Open Source Bridge, Leigh Honeywell is giving the Wed. morning keynote about the rise of hacker spaces, and there are several other speakers I can see in the sessions to talk with. Many of these may be new voices, but the promotion of new voices as leaders is a principle of the open source way, and one we can practice well on

Take a look at the Finding Ada project, which encouraged people to write about and appreciate the women in technology they know. It produced a nice list, and certainly additional searches for more Ada Lovelace Day entries should yield more.

Talk with the writers at the Geek Feminism Blog. Talk with other trade groups we are all part of. There are many groups interested in outreach to women.

How about if we set ourselves some goals? Such as, 50% of the speakers at future Open Your World Forum represent different cultures than a Euro/North American one, and 20% are women. That will give us numbers that are twice that of traditional technology alone, so a short-term goal worth striving for as a community. Next goal would be to seek a representation of humanity, which is amazingly diverse and at least 50% women.

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Thanks for raising this as a challenge for our next forum, Karsten! You've given some great suggestions already, and we hope that our next forum will represent more voices from the community.

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What is the FSFE doing against the UPLS?

It seems that the old good days of the anti-software patent movement are over in Europe.

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Registration confirmed, but no log in info? Where is the secret password? Thanks for your help!

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