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You are here: Home Bulletins 2016 fall On the road with RMS

On the road with RMS

by Jeanne Rasata Contributions Published on Nov 02, 2016 01:59 PM

FSF founder and president Richard Stallman (RMS) is still not slowing down! He continues to champion free software and, since mid-May, has been to nineteen cities across eight countries on three continents to spread the free software movement's message.

He went to Valencia and Alicante, Spain, to raise awareness among political leaders and technical managers of the benefits of free software. As the guest of the Department of Transparency, Social Responsibility, Participation and Cooperation of the Valencian Government, he gave his speech, "Free Software in Governments," at the Polytechnical University and at the Advanted Polytechnical School.

At the invitation of the school of applied sciences (ENSA), he then headed to Morocco, where, at the colloquium, "Free Software in the Economic South," in Meknès, he spoke about the free software movement and, in Tangiers, about free software, digital development, and the relationship between cybersecurity and free software.

He then went to Villepinte, to be part of Viva Technology Paris, where he entreated startups and major players in digital innovation to opt for free software: "Free software respects users' freedom, and their privacy, because the users control what it does. If you want your software not to mistreat you, make sure it is free." At Pas Sage En Seine Hacker Space Festival, a hacker festival in Choisy-le-Roi, he discussed, "policies that have been proposed for freedom in computing, specifically to promote free software in the State and in education, and to limit systematic surveillance of the public, either by the State or by private entities."

At the Eleventh HOPE conference, in New York City, he explained the importance of having software that schools or the government make us run – to get an education, or to avail ourselves of services we have a claim to, or to exercise our rights, or to be heard – be free software.

In August, RMS spoke at the World Social Forum, in Montreal, and at Abstractions, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he reached out to an audience of software developers, and also, in September, at Symbiosis Gathering, in Oakdale, California, where he both gave a speech and was on the Technological Society Panel, and at Libre Learn Lab, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to speak about free software in schools.

RMS also gave stand-alone speeches, throughout the summer and fall, in Monza, Italy; Frankfurt, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Fresno, California; and Grenoble, France.

In June, RMS was honored by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), when it awarded him the prestigious ACM Software System Award, "for the development and leadership of GCC (GNU Compiler Collection), which has enabled extensive software and hardware innovation, and has been a linchpin of the free software movement." This comes twenty-five years after they awarded him the Grace Murray Hopper Award, "for pioneering work in the development of the extensible editor Emacs (Editing Macros)." Read the award committee's full announcement at

Later, in October, he was honored again, this time by the Pierre and Marie Curie University and the Paris-Sorbonne University, which, in a joint ceremony, in anticipation of their upcoming merger, recognized RMS's entire life's work by awarding him his sixteenth honorary doctorate.

Please write to with any photographs you would like us to share on RMS's blog, at, with recordings of his speeches for our audio-video archive, or to extend a speaking invitation to RMS. See for a list of his confirmed engagements.

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