I just returned from Matsue, Japan, also known famously as “Ruby City” after the programming language whose inventor lives there.
During my stay there I provided the keynote for a Shimane University-sponsored seminar on Open Source Software, Industry and Academic collaboration. It was an honor to represent some of the institutions and groups in Oregon, the successes and challenges we’ve faced in using, promoting, developing and supporting a full open eco-system in our somewhat unique state. Key to my message and encouragement to participants from all sectors of their region was this; if you want to demonstrate the value of open source to non-technical constituencies, identify and collaborate on a project with clear public benefit.
One of the panelists was Mr. Hatta from Japan’s Information-Technology Promotion Agency’s (IPA). He told me later he changed his presentation as I spoke, struck by the proposition of public benefit projects. I’ll ask for his presentation and share it here soon.
His wrap-up recommendation: create a public benefit project and the suggestion that project might be an Open Source Election system, apparently an idea with universal appeal/compelling need.
I’ll come back soon to sharing more about my travels to Matsue City, their impressive open source software initiative, the investment their government has made, and the outstanding collaboration between the university, industry and public sectors.
I’d also be remiss in my public benefit duties if I did not provide a final plug for the February 18th Open Source Digital Voting Foundation’s (OSDV.org) “TrustTheVote” intro in Portland, Oregon (see prior post for agenda). I’m looking forward to introducing them to my colleagues in Japan soon, and looking forward to hearing from Gregory Miller and John Sebes, the co-founders, even sooner.
TrustTheVote! intro in Portland, Oregon
Feb 18, 2009, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
CubeSpace, 622 SE Grand Ave, Portland