Free software, free society

By APCNews     MONTEVIDEO, 08 December 2008

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the conference Free Software, Free Society conference on freedom in computing, development and culture, organized by the government of the Indian state Kerala. APC is involved!

The conference contributions cover a wide range of issues related to F(l)OSS (development, promotion, training), free information sharing, open source software and open formats policies, etc. See a list of all the contributions (select tracks in the left menu)

As one of the partners / supporters of the conference, APC is organizing three sessions:

1. FOSS and gender – Women in development of FOSS and decision-making around it, by Cheeky Cinco from APC Strategic Use Programme

The hacker culture’s heroes are R. Stalman and similar relatively macho figures, while women are hard to find among them. This fact may have important consequences for women developers’ perception of and involvement in the development of FOSS, which is alarming given that FOSS development often tends to be inspired by local community needs. Research conducted so far on the hacker culture vs. women has been focusing mainly on European & US groups and has been conducted by researches from those regions. APC will be contributing to the conference with a summary of what has been said and what has not in researches so far, bringing in perspective from other region.

2. Free software and the global south – South African experience with adoption of pro-foss policies. The contribution will be delivered by Aslam Raffee, a chairperson of South African government’s OSS working group.

3. Free software, free media and free culture – Growing global information commons. The speech will be delivered by Sunil Abraham, director of Policy at the newly established Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore.
This contribution is related to APC’s work in the are of promoting and researching global information commons.

The conference is an important FOSS event and many experts and important actors of the FOSS movement will be presenting.


Cheekay Cinco will be blogging on some of the conference highlights on the APC blog. Find out how you can watch the live video stream of the conference online.


A special thanks goes to the Dutch Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation, Hivos, who supported the travel of APC speakers.