LibrePlanet 2014: Free Software, Free Society
Held on March 22 and 23, LibrePlanet 2014: Free Software, Free Society was our biggest conference yet. The annual conference of the FSF (this year produced in partnership with the Student Information Processing Board at MIT) was an inspiring weekend, where newcomers were introduced to the free software movement and everyone put their heads and their keyboards together to chart the path to free software ubiquity.
At LibrePlanet 2014: Free Software, Free Society:
- Wikimedia outgoing executive director Sue Gardner kicked off the conference with a call for the free software movement to become bigger and bolder than ever.
- Almost four hundred people, including fifty-four presenters, attended talks, workshops, panel discussions, and development sprints.
- We launched a new scholarship initiative, bringing fourteen scholarship recipients to LibrePlanet from around the world.
- NSA-revealer, journalist, and privacy hacker Jacob Appelbaum gave a remote keynote via videochat, using entirely free software and Tor to anonymize his location.
- Ten free software businesses and organizations strutted their stuff at LibrePlanet's first exhibit hall.
- Members of the free software community welcomed newcomers and renewed old friendships at a diverse array of social events. At the Saturday night mixer, Lulzbot raffled one of their Respects Your Freedom-certified Taz 3 3D printers.
- Software Freedom Conservancy executive director Karen Sandler called on free software projects to use their messaging to give people of all backgrounds a reason to participate.
- At peak, more than three hundred people participated online through our free software livestreaming system.
- FSF president Richard Stallman addressed the importance of free software on mobile devices, and SFLC director-counsel Eben Moglen issued a rallying cry to finish the fight against software patents.
- MIT student group SIPB co-organized the conference, reaffirming the free software movement's historic relationship with the university.
- The FSF presented the GNOME Outreach Program for Women with the Award for Projects of Social Benefit, and Matthew Garrett with the Award for the Advancement of Free Software for his work against Restricted Boot. For more information, read the Free Software Awards press release.
With the awesome community that was built and strengthened at LibrePlanet 2014, we can't wait to see what next year will bring. Remember that being an FSF member gets you gratis admission to the conference, and bragging rights for supporting the FSF's work year-round.