Brussels / 4 & 5 February 2023


Making the world a better place through Open Source

Focusing the unique power of Open Source Communities as force of social good in today's complex geopolitical landscape

In a world characterized by an increasingly complex geopolitical climate, war and with vital challenges like climate change begging for immediate and substantial action, the open source community has a unique role to play and has a vital chance to deliver solutions for these long standing issues at a pace and effectiveness that no single individual or public or private entity could.

In this session we will explore how contributors, maintainers, public and private sector are, should come together through the positive-sum game that open source is to impact not only the future of technology but drive impactful outcomes is some of the most pressing global social challenges.

If software is eating the world, then, by all metrics, Open Source is eating software. That means that collaborations and innovation that happen every day in the open source community don't only have a major impact on technology but, as every industry and nation states undergo the "digital transformation", have a unique potential to make a lasting impact in our daily lives and offer novel solutions to long standing issues like climate change, incurable illnesses, financial inclusion and food scarcity, as well as bridge historical geopolitical rifts to continue to deepen in an increasingly divided world.

This session will provide an overview of existing open source projects which are making already a huge impact on fundamental areas like Energy and Climate, Public Healthcare, Agricultural innovation and financial inclusion, as well as hone in on areas where open source collaboration can build bridges across historically divided, if not hostile, regions and states by putting forward a model for a positive sum-game that all actors in the open source community, from individuals to the private and public sector, can benefit from, while delivering immense collective value.

Developers and especially open source contributors have a unique power in their hands if we collectively are able to harness it towards higher and higher order challenges: this talk will be an open letter and call to action to everyone, with a particular focus on policy makers and governments around the world, to focus our efforts towards making the world a better place through open collaboration.


Photo of Gabriele Columbro Gabriele Columbro