Get on the (Hacker) Bus.

Get on the (Hacker) Bus.

I recently returned from the Thirteenth International Forum for Free Software (FISL) in Porto Alegre Brazil.  With an attendance of about 8,000 this year, it is the largest tech conference in South America and likely the largest free/open source conference in the world.  I was fortunate to have attended representing OSI and presented a keynote on free and open source software and its civic and social impact around the world, and a second session on Economic Development.

The Brazilian government – with great grassroots support – was a pioneer in the use of free software as an economic development strategy, and also to bridge the digital divide by lowering the barrier to access to technology.  Today the government’s involvement has shifted in some respects, and community leaders from a number of Latin American countries are debating in general the pros and cons of government partnership in their FOSS initiatives.

The “Hacker Bus” project – pictured above behind myself and colleague Paulo Mierelles from the University of Sao Paulo FLOSS Competency Center - really impressed.  Getting technology and “Hacktivism” out into undeserved areas makes for a fantastic program.
You can read more about the project on The Next Web  published during last year’s conference.

Brazil Video Short: Software Livre – Free Software Initiative

Last week I posted the transcript of Marcos Vinicius Ferreira Mazoni comments addressing the International Open ICT Summit at GOSCON on the sustained government initiative in Brazil to use free open source software and open standards.  Mazoni’s encouragement to increase the dialog between countries resonated with participants in Portland and those joining by video conference, representing a half dozen continents.

The original video is now available in Portuguese, with English subtitles and runs five minutes.

Brazil: Joint Development Defines Free Software & Standards

It’s Day One of GOSCON and we’re about to start our distributed discussion “Global Dialogue on the Impact of Open Source Software in Transforming Government”. Marcos Vinicius Ferreira Mazoni shared these comments on the sustained government initiative in Brazil to use open source and open standards – proprietary software not excluded.  Comments include his views the value of collaboration and knowledge- Continue reading