How Open Source is Changing the World: my keynote speech at FOSSCON

To an audience of 100, I gave the keynote at FOSSCON, a one-day, open source conference held in Philadelphia for attendees from around the country this Saturday. (I also covered the event for here).

It was easily the most technical event at which I had a prominent speaker role — usually, I’m a side show to offer reporting background on a related issue. This time, I was closing out the event, which featured prominent open source leaders. But I wasn’t there to offer technical insight — which I don’t have — but instead meant to take reporting perspective and put it through the open source lens.

My title was “How Open Source is Changing the World,” and the argument was that open source software culture has shaped so many other changes happening in local tech communities — how technical recruiting gets done, why governments are pursuing open data, where tech businesses are locating.

I did an OK job at this.

Not inspired by self-deprecation but genuine self-awareness, I can say that it wasn’t one of my best performances offering perspective to an audience. It was fine, and I think I did have some interesting things to say but I didn’t have great clarity on this leap from software to a wider landscape. I put some time into the presentation but not enough. I think I’ll be able to offer a far tighter, clearer argument on this topic moving forward.

I’ll pull out some of what I said here shortly, but for now, I have my slides and a recording.

Find my slides below or here.

Listen to my talk on Soundcloud or download here.

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