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.

DoD Releases Open Technology Development: Lessons Learned by the Military

It’s been about five years since the DoD-commissioned Open Technology Development Road Map was published, considered the definitive primer for smart government agencies and their personnel diving in to Open Source development, acquisition and operational policy-making.  The next anxiously-awaited (well, not anxious but very much looked-forward to) installment  – entitled “Open Technology Development: Lessons Learned and Best Practices for Military Software”  is now available in a PDF format.OTD_Lessons

You can down the new publication here: OTD-lessons-learned-military-FinalV1

If you’re interested in the 2006 Open Technology Road Map document, it’s still a great resource.  You can download it here: OTDRoadmap_v3_Final

If you’re interesting in watching the OTD’s author-on-point John Scott present the original OTD Road Map at GOSCON 2006, here’s the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/user/osuosl#p/u/24/QOEFSygla5s

If you’d like to read Karl Fogel’s gushing review of the doc for Civic Commons, it’s here: http://civiccommons.org/2011/05/dod-open-technology-guide/

Finally, you can visit the Mil-OSS community at http://mil-oss.org/

A document I am very pleased to be associated with; thanks John Scott for the opportunity and congratulations on hitting another one out of the park.

Enjoy! and share with a friend.

The Year of Open Government: Who’s Making it So?

goscon_notsite_300I’m going to GOSCON 2010 – the Government Open Source Conference – of course, and as conference chair I hope I’ll see you there too.

We’re back in Portland Oregon this fall.  Visit the web site for news, conference program, speaker line up, and registration.

So you ask me, what’s hot this year?  One thing for certain; following the Obama Administration’s Open Government Directive, state and local governments have turned to the Swiss Army knife of open technology tools to crack open up government data for the sake of transparency and to unleash innovation in some of the most unexpected ways.

We’re gathering an amazing group of city, state, county and federal leadership to sharing their stories and successes, expose and debate the challenges. Great break-out sessions on what government is doing, and most exciting, the growing civic engagement movements in government IT like Civic Commons and others.  Deep discussions in the hallways.  Interactive panels. Lively debates in the after hours of Portland’s great pubs and eateries.

We’re partnering with the Seattle non-profit  Knowledge As Power  and the OpenGovWest folks this year and hosting an Open Data Summit.

We’re launching a first ever IgniteGov event smack in the middle of GOSCON, to gather the public service/civic advocacy/transparency/community crowd for a fast-paced and fun exchange of ideas.

And much more.  Check out the web site, and help us spread the word.  Here’s the Digest version:

Event: The Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON 2010)
Web Site: http://goscon.org
Dates: October 26, Open Data Summit, October 27-28, GOSCON
Topics: Role of open source software and collaboration enabling leading Open Government and Transparency initiatives throughout the US. Open technology strategy, policy, acquisitions, operations, organizational readiness, exemplary projects and use case are covered in breakout sessions.  Executive Open Data Round table includes state, city and federal leadership. Open Data Summit on gathers government, civic, and technology interests to collaborate on standards issue.
Intended Audience: Pubic Sector CIOs, IT Directors, Infrastructure and Development Mangers, Contract Managers, Data Managers, Enterprise Architects, IT Policy Advisers, Public Information Officers, Public Administrators with responsibility for information technology strategy.  Internal gov2.0 evangelists will also benefit from the program.

Location: The Nines Hotel, 525 SW Morrison, Portland, Oregon 97204

Registration:    Government and non-profits, $195 until October 18, $250 thereafter, Corporate $295 until October 18, $375 thereafter (includes all sessions, exhibits, conference meals, and materials.

Conference Organizers: Oregon State University Open Source Lab osuosl.org

Open Source for America Unvieled at OSCON

osa logo

Not too long ago I attended TransparencyCamp in DC and led a discussion on how to work with government.  The session was intended for technologists and advocates. I was pleasantly

surprised to find one of the participants was a senate staffer.  After listening to much of the discussion she explained that she had worked on a bill that included a

role for open source software which eventually failed to move forward.  Her question to me:  why was that no one from the open source community stepped forward or offered to help answer questions.  Where were they?  Her question gave me pause.

Several moths later, the cavalry has arrived.  Along with the town crier, the

librarian, the community manager, the mayor and a cadre of plumbers.  The newly formed coalition is “Open Source for America”, and I’m pleased to have bee

n a par

t of its founding effort.  Read more at the association web site.

Public Health IT and Open Source Software | Focus at GOSCON 2008

I’m happy to report GOSCON this year is featuring more government open source projects and implementations that ever.  I’m especially excited about our Open Public Health IT track which covers the spectrum between local and international governments and vendors.  GOSCON is all about building the IT ecosystem and I’m pleased to say this will be an outstanding showcase innovative work done by agencies as thoughtful stewards of our tax dollars.  Enough said.  Here’s the press release in full for your perusal:

(okay – must add….  you can read the case study for the Health Atlas Ireland project on the epractice.eu web site).

Portland, Ore. – September 18, 2008 – Deb Bryant, Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON) director, announced today that the fourth annual 2008 conference will feature an Open Public Health IT track to explore both a strategic direction for open source in the public health sector as well as real-world applications that are in use today by agencies around the world.
For the first time, GOSCON is bringing together thought leaders in government, open source, and public health who will share their deep, practical experience in public health, enterprise architectures, standards, as Continue reading