Brussels / 4 & 5 February 2023


Celebrating 25 years of Open Source

Past, Present, and Future

February 2023 marks the 25th Anniversary of Open Source. This is a huge milestone for the whole community to celebrate! In this session, we'll travel back in time to understand our rich journey so far, and look forward towards the future to reimagine a new world where openness and collaboration prevail. Come along and celebrate with us this very special moment!

The open source software label was coined at a strategy session held on February 3rd, 1998 in Palo Alto, California. That same month, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) was founded as a general educational and advocacy organization to raise awareness and adoption for the superiority of an open development process. One of the first tasks undertaken by OSI was to draft the Open Source Definition (OSD). To this day, the OSD is considered a gold standard of open-source licensing.

In this session, we'll cover the rich and interconnected history of the Free Software and Open Source movements, and demonstrate how, against all odds, open source has come to "win" the world. But have we really won? Open source has always faced an extraordinary uphill battle: from misinformation and FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) constantly being spread by the most powerful corporations, to issues around sustainability and inclusion.

We'll navigate this rich history of open source and dive right into its future, exploring the several challenges and opportunities ahead, including its key role on fostering collaboration and innovation in emerging areas such as ML/AI and cybersecurity. We'll share an interactive timeline during the presentation and throughout the year, inviting the audience and the community at-large to share their open source stories and dreams with each other.


Photo of Nick Vidal Nick Vidal