It Works in the Wild: Open Source + Business - Meet me at re:publica 2014!

Meet me in Berlin this May at re:publica!

I am thrilled to have been selected to make the case for Drupal and Open Source as tools for better business at this year’s re:publica conference in Berlin May 6th to May 9th, 2014. My session, “It Works in the Wild: Open Source + Business” has been accepted into the program. re:publica started in 2007 as a small blogger meet-up and has developed into an important digital-society event, attracting more than 5000 visitors from around the world each year. The conference takes a holistic approach to its subject matter, inviting inspiring speakers to cover everything from science to business, politics to art, and much more. I am excited to meet some of the diverse, smart crowd that will be presenting alongside me in Berlin. The program looks amazing. I know I’ll have a hard time choosing what else to see and hear.

One must see will be Mikko Hypponen from f-secure talking about (and crowdsourcing!) the #digitalfreedom manifesto. The issues he’ll be discussing, including freedom from digital surveillance by our own technology, the fundamental right to privacy and expression without fear of persecution, are ones very close to the hearts of many open source communities and practitioners. Furthermore, they are issues free and open source software can address and help solve.

I will cover some of the above and expand on it, making a case for open source similar to my session at the 2014 Drupal Camp London CxO day. The Four Freedoms that define Open Source – the freedom to use, study, modify, and distribute your software – are not just some kind of abstract, digital idealism. To Mikko’s points, transparency leads to accountability: If you can study all your source code, you know exactly what it is doing for or against you. If you can modify your source code, you can make sure it is doing exactly what you want it to. If you can share that source code, you can help others freedoms, too.

Beyond these concerns, I will present a “top five” list of benefits to organizations that come from open source at scale and its values like trust, transparency, and sharing:

  • faster time to market
  • faster speed of innovation
  • reduced cost of risk
  • improved quality, security, and accountability
  • best-of-breed, integrated solutions

In a nutshell: Open source and business are a great combination.

The conference looks like a great place for quirky, fun moments, too. Check out the 2013 closing ceremony mass-karaoke Bohemian Rhapsody. Since I can’t resist the combination of smart people, smart music, and a drink, look for me at the Jazz Bar :-)

Reach out to me on Twitter (@horncologne) if you’re going to be there! Follow me for impressions and insights live from the event (look for mentions of @republica and the hashtag #rp14) if you can’t make it yourself.

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