Project of social benefit award
The Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to the project or team responsible for applying free software, or the ideas of the free software movement, in a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society in other aspects of life. Winners of the 2018 award will be announced at LibrePlanet 2019.
We look to recognize projects or teams that encourage people to cooperate in freedom to accomplish social tasks. A long-term commitment to one's project (or the potential for a long-term commitment) is crucial to this end.
This award stresses the use of free software in the service of humanity. We have deliberately chosen this broad criterion so that many different areas of activity can be considered. However, one area that is not included is that of free software itself. Projects with a primary goal of promoting or advancing free software are not eligible for this award (we honor individuals working on those projects with our annual Award for the Advancement of Free Software).
We will consider any project or team that uses free software or its philosophy to address a goal important to society. To qualify, a project must use free software, produce free documentation, or use the idea of free software as defined in the Free Software Definition. Projects that promote or depend on the use of non-free software are not eligible for this award. Commercial projects are not excluded, but commercial success is not our scale for judging projects.
The 2017 award was accepted by Public Lab, a community and non-profit organization with the goal of democratizing science to address environmental issues. Their community-created tools and techniques utilize free software and low-cost devices to enable people at any level of technical skill to investigate environmental concerns. The award was presented to co-founders Liz Barry and Jeff Warren.
Previous winners have included the Freedom of the Press Foundation, the Library Freedom Project, Reglue, GNOME Outreach Program for Women, OpenMRS, GNU Health, Tor, the Internet Archive, Creative Commons, Groklaw, the Sahana project, and Wikipedia.