Chris Nicol FLOSS Prize winners announced

BARCELONA, Spain, 06 Junio 2014

The suspense is over! Celebration of free and open source software initiatives kicks off in Barcelona.

An awards ceremony celebrating the two winners of the global APC Chris Nicol FLOSS Prize 2014 takes place today, 4 June 2014 at 19:30 pm local time in Barcelona.

The APC Chris Nicol FLOSS Prize recognises initiatives that make it easy for people to use free/libre and open source software (FLOSS). The Prize was established to honour Chris Nicol, a longtime FLOSS advocate and activist who for many years worked with APC and its Barcelona-based member organisation Pangea.

Open to nominations from any person or group anywhere in the world, the Prize consists of two separate awards for initiatives supporting use of FLOSS:

1. A global initiative will receive a cash prize of USD 4,000.
2. An APC member organisation or individual will receive a cash prize of USD 1,500.

A challenging evaluation process was carried out by our honourable jury: Nnenna Nwakanma, Pilar Saenz, Ragib Hasan and Wojtek Bogusz.

The winner of 2014 public global APC Chris Nicol FLOSS Prize for public recognition of innovative initiatives is Our Network LaLoLib
Our Network LaLoLib members receiving their award via online callOur Network LaLoLib members receiving their award via online call
Our Network LaLoLib is an initiative aimed at solving the problem of connectivity for inhabitants of La Vereda La Loma, Colombia, through the construction of a local mesh network designed to be open in all ways, from the software used in the network nodes to the servers and content, accompanied by training that will make it possible to scale up services to other communities.

APC congratulates Our Network LaLoLib for their outstanding work in improving access to and the popularity of free/libre and open source software, their engagement with the community, and their efforts to ensure peer learning and replication of their model.

Several prize nominees received honourable mentions for their contribution to the development and popularisation of free and open source software and the empowerment of communities through these technologies:

In particular, the jury wishes to highlight the Tails project, for breaking ground in the area of user privacy protection. As well, the Hexoquinasa project was found by the jury to be a very exciting and promising community-oriented initiative.

The winner of 2014 APC Member FLOSS Prize for an individual or organisation within the APC membership is the initiative InsightICT for the Differently Abled, SPACE Kerala

Insight is a FLOSS-based ICT centre for the differently abled in Trivandrum, Kerala, India. The programme has trained more than 1,000 people with visual disabilities in ICTs and has created a team of 25 visually challenged master trainers. Space Kerala representative receiving the prizeSpace Kerala representative receiving the prizeInsight has also made significant strides in disability empowerment through seminars, workshops, awareness campaigns and the establishment of ICT centres for people with disabilities and children with cognitive disabilities.

This model influenced many other organisations for people with disabilities, both within the state and outside, to adopt free software. Insight, which began as a pilot programme, has now been integrated into the social development agenda of the state of Kerala.

The initiative was highly appraised by the reviewers for its achievements both in terms of the number of disabled users it reached, but also for what it achieved in terms of policy changes in Kerala’s educational system.

Know more about the 2014 Chris Nicol FLOSS Prize winner! Our Network LaLoLib

The LaLoLib initiative involves the construction of a local mesh network to provide connectivity to the residents of La Vereda La Loma, a semi-urban community in a disputed border area of Colombia with a population of 22,000 and low levels of access to education, health care and social security. The network is intended to be open in all ways, from the software used in network nodes to the servers and content, and to provide services specifically targeted to the community, to address local needs.

Alongside the construction of the network, the initiative seeks to foster the empowerment of local youth and adults through training in two areas: one group will be trained to implement and administer the network, while another will learn to generate local content and document the process of building the network. This will allow the replication of the model in other communities as well as highlighting the importance of shared community effort.

Once again, APC would like to express its gratitude to the jury members of the 2014 APC Chris Nicol FLOSS Prize for their commitment and effort in taking on this important task, and to acknowledge all the people and organisations who sent their proposals. APC encourages them to continue in their efforts to include more people in the use of free/libre and open source software.

Shortlist of nominations

Following is a shortlist of nominations for the APC Chris Nicol FLOSS Prize 2014:

calibre e-book management

calibre is a free and open source e-book library management application, with a range of features including e-book conversion and syncing to e-book reader devices, among others. It provides us with freedom in this space, so that when you read e-books there is nobody trying to read your mind on the basis of your activity.


Debian (/ˈdɛbiən/) is a FLOSS OS for your computer. Its first release was almost exactly 20 years ago! It sets high standards of OS quality, security and freedom. It has been and is being used as a base for many other operating systems. In fact, we would say that almost the entire community of FLOSS developers emerged from Debian and its development.


F-Droid is a catalogue, a market of FLOSS apps for Android devices, which gives us the option not to confess to Big Brother which apps we are using. It is an important step towards freeing our phones and mobile devices so that they and the information we have on them really belong to us.

Free Software Foundation & GNU Project

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has been actively promoting the use of free software as its visionary founder, Richard M. Stallman, set out to do when he started the GNU project back in the 1980s. FSF makes the world-renowned free software licences called GPL (General Public License).


Gnome is desktop environment composed entirely of FLOSS. It is used on all major and smaller Linux distributions, and has had 15 years of continued development.

Hexoquiansa pilot project

The objective of the “Hexoquinasa pilot project”: is to deploy and test a support network and content distribution to improve the user experience and appropriation of Sugar (Azúcar) technology among the beneficiaries of the One Laptop Per Child project in Peru.

Piwik Analytics Platform

Piwik is open source web analytics platform. It helps web editors or managers understand their website’s visitors. It gives all of us who care an option not to share information about our web visitors with Big Brother in exchange for the privilege of seeing some statistics.


Tails’ motto is: “Privacy for anyone anywhere.” Is a live operating system that you can start on almost any computer from a DVD or USB stick. It is an invaluable tool for bloggers, whistle blowers, and everyone who needs to protect their privacy and anonymity.

Media contact
Flavia Fascendini
Barcelona, Spain

About the Chris Nicol FLOSS Prize

The APC Chris Nicol FLOSS Prize recognises initiatives that are making it easy for people to start using free/libre and open source software (FLOSS). The prize is awarded to a person or group doing extraordinary work to make FLOSS accessible to ordinary computer users.

About the Association For Progressive Communications

APC is an international network and non-profit organisation founded in 1990 that wants everyone to have access to a free and open internet to improve lives and create a more just world.

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