The 2 December Open Source Workshops were opened by Natalia Aristimuño, Director of Digital Services at DG DIGIT, and Pearse O'Donohue, Director of Future Networks at DG Connect. Ms Aristimuño spoke about the Interoperable Europe Act and the creation of an Interoperable Europe Board and the Interoperable Europe Community, noting that “for the digital transformation, we will rely on the free and open source software developers, business owners, researchers and policy experts and all of you in the free and open source software community to find the right path forward”.
Mr O'Donohue spoke about the general importance of free / open source software, saying “open source is instrumental for our digital autonomy. This is about providing the EU with a strong position in the global network. The EC is a fervent supporter of open source. We're trying to mainstream that into all policies”. SWForum also tweeted from him “Open source is now essential to our ecosystem, it is no longer just open source for the sake of being 'open source'”.
OSOR's workshop was greeted by a full room. Clare Dillon, Executive Director of InnerSource commented that some people hold on to a certain mindset for a very long time, but that incentives can be the trigger that causes them to rethink: “Some people are tied to an “only IP is good and patents equal innovation” mindset. We have to break that and motivation & incentives are crucial. We need bottom up & top down but also a sweetener around the middle!”
Jiří Marek, of Open Cities in Czech Republic spoke about the importance of skills: “For reuse, we need code review, security review, and also legal review so EUPL & GNU GPL licensed code works together. We promote the 're-use system management' for open business models, described in Made With Creative Commons, Chapter 1”.
Maria Dalhage, Swedish Agency for Digital Government (DIGG), spoke about the importance of data today in our lives and the role played by free / open source software in giving citizens a larger degree of control over how data affects them: “Data is needed for almost everything. If we don't share OSS with the data, only entities with big IT resources will be able to use the data”.
Monika Sowinska, Project Office at DG Informatics in charge of OSOR, highlighted the importance of article 4 of the Interoperable Europe Act on sharing and reuse of interoperability solutions between public sector bodies. She noted that this Act creates a collaboration structure and that there is a focus on setting up reliable processes. She added that the free / open source software community will play an important role and that registration on the Interoperable Europe Portal will be open to everyone, subject to approval from the Board, both companies and individuals, as long as they are in an EU member state.
Sachiko Muto, Senior Researcher at RISE and OSOR collaborator, welcomed the shift in focus which in 2007 was on open standards and today is on open source. She noted the importance of working on the implementation, stating that “It's not just the text, but a process and a structure. It's really important that we institutionalise this and move past the ad hoc or opportunistic way to working on these issues”.
All twelve workshops were recorded. These will hopefully be made available soon by either the European Commission or SWForum.
Many thanks to all those who came to speak with the OSOR team. We look forward to seeing OSOR users again soon.