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You are here: Home Blogs Community LibrePlanet 2018: Let's talk about Freedom. Embedded.

LibrePlanet 2018: Let's talk about Freedom. Embedded.

by Georgia Young Contributions Published on Sep 19, 2017 04:01 PM
Here at the Free Software Foundation, we've been planning for LibrePlanet 2018, and guess what? It's the tenth anniversary of this free software community conference, and it's happening March 24th-25th, 2018 in the Boston area!

The call for sessions is open now, until November 2nd, 2017. General registration and exhibitor and sponsor registration are also open. Pre-order a LibrePlanet 10th anniversary t-shirt when you register to attend!

Do you want to discuss or teach others about a topic relevant to the free software community? You've got until Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 at 10:00 EDT (14:00 UTC) to submit your session proposals.

LibrePlanet is an annual conference for free software enthusiasts and everyone who cares about the intersection of technology and social justice. For the past nine years, LibrePlanet has brought together free software developers, policy experts, activists, hackers, students, and people who are at the beginning of their free software journeys. LibrePlanet 2018 will feature programming for all ages and experience levels.

If you're new to the community or to the LibrePlanet conference, check out last year's conference site and session videos, including the opening keynote, a look at the 21st century techno-surveillance state by Kade Crockford of the Massachusetts chapter of the ACLU.

What kinds of sessions are we looking for?

Each year, LibrePlanet offers both technical talks and sessions examining the intersection of free software and activism, culture, and current events. Here are a few examples of talks or sessions you might propose:

  • An examination of how free software can aid in an aspect of life that is important to you, like education, medicine, social movements, or community organizing

  • A workshop (for beginners or experienced users) on how to use a free software program or free hardware project

  • A project sprint, where new and current contributors to a free software project can meet and work together on an aspect of the project

  • An introduction to free software licensing, copyleft, or a deep dive into a current legal issue

  • An update on your free software project

Check out talk recordings from LibrePlanet 2017 for more ideas.

LibrePlanet's 10th anniversary theme is "Freedom. Embedded." Embedded systems are everywhere, in cars, digital watches, traffic lights, and even within our bodies. Proprietary software is everywhere, its sinister aspects woven throughout the devices permeating our lives. We've come to expect that our phones monitor our activity and share that data with big companies, and that governments enforce digital restrictions management (DRM).

In a society reliant on embedded systems, how do we defend computer user freedom? How do we insist on copylefted code, protect ourselves against government and corporate surveillance, and move toward a freer world? For many people, digital freedom seems like a pipe dream. We change the narrative and make free software the norm, instead of walled gardens, denial of the right to repair, and DRM.

The FSF is committed to increasing participation by people belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented at free software conferences, including women, people of color, and transgender and nonbinary people. If you are comfortable sharing demographic information on the proposal form, please do. Your proposal will not be judged negatively should you choose to omit information about your identity.

The LibrePlanet conference also has a safe space policy, because we want everyone who attends to feel comfortable, cared for, and able to enjoy the conference without worrying about harassment. The policy applies to all conference sessions, so keep that in mind when you write your proposal.

We will hold IRC office hours in the #libreplanet channel on so you can ask questions about the call for sessions and get feedback on your proposal before you submit -- we will announce hours and dates for these feedback sessions soon. You may also contact us at any time between now and the submission deadline if you have questions about your submission.

LibrePlanet has thrived for a decade thanks to the interesting ideas and generous spirit found in the free software community. We hope you will want to be part of LibrePlanet 2018. Submit a proposal now!.

Gratis admission for FSF members

Members (and students with valid ID) attend LibrePlanet gratis. FSF Associate Membership starts at just $10/month and comes with many benefits.

Need help attending LibrePlanet?

The FSF is able to offer a limited amount of funding to bring conference participants to LibrePlanet from all around the world. You can apply for a scholarship through Thursday, November 30th, 2017 at 10:00 EST (15:00 UTC). Scholarship recipients will be notified by early January.

If you don't need a scholarship, you can help those with financial need attend LibrePlanet 2018 by making a contribution to the conference's scholarship fund now, or when you register for LibrePlanet.


LibrePlanet is supported by dozens of volunteers, without whom this community event would not happen -- and volunteers attend LibrePlanet gratis. Applications for most LibrePlanet volunteer opportunities will be available soon, but if you would like to help with advance outreach (spreading the word about LibrePlanet in online communities, your networks, and by posting flyers at schools and community spaces), please email

Free Software Award nominations

Each year at LibrePlanet, the FSF presents its annual Free Software Awards. Nominations for the awards are open through Sunday, November 5th, 2017 at 18:59 EST (23:59 UTC).

Promotional opportunities

LibrePlanet is a good place to spread the word about your organization to the free software community. You can sponsor LibrePlanet or have a table in our exhibit hall (or both!). Our exhibit hall is at the center of the LibrePlanet venue, and sponsors are highly visible at the conference and in our promotional materials. The FSF and LibrePlanet are heavily member-supported, and we appreciate the support of organizations that embrace free software. Apply to exhibit at LibrePlanet 2018 or email us at if you are interested in being a sponsor.

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