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Statement from FSF's new president, Geoffrey Knauth

by Geoff Knauth Contributions Published on Aug 05, 2020 01:43 PM

The FSF Board chose me at this moment as a servant leader to help the community focus on our shared dedication to protect and grow software that respects our freedoms. It is also important to protect and grow the diverse membership of the community. It is through our diversity of backgrounds and opinions that we have creativity, perspective, intellectual strength, and rigor.

It is the community that has selflessly built the impressive collection of free software the world now enjoys. The community must be given credit for this achievement. The free software movement may have started with Richard Stallman's passion and lifelong commitment, and we all are grateful to that spark of imagination that gave us high purpose. At the same time, we are all aware that this community has grown large over the years. That's a very good thing.

It requires renewed focus to achieve our goals. We must remember what unites us and why we came to free software in the first place. What inspired us in the past? What will keep us inspired, and what will inspire new generations of free software developers? We must be kind to each other and respect each other when our good faith arguments differ, in order to produce the best solutions together. I pledge to support honest dialog and emerging leaders in the quest to secure the future for free software for generations to come, and not to alter the tenets of the free software vision.

I have been an active supporter and contributor from the moment the GNU Manifesto appeared, and by accident of time and space, I was lucky to witness the birth of a movement truly great and wonderful. To be honest, at the time my first thought was, "What a noble idea, but one person cannot do all this." Then I saw how over time, many good people from literally every corner of the planet gave of themselves to make free software a reality. It is you who are important, it is you who joined the effort to help the world see the virtues of free software, the dedication of its thousands of contributors and volunteers, the high quality of free software used every day around the world, and its sheer endurance and ability to find itself in widespread use even by those who were once fierce opponents to free software. Take that to heart, let's keep it going. Tell it to your children, and let's make sure your children have the freedoms you have achieved, and more.

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