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Program Speakers

Keynote speakers

[ a photo of Bdale Garbee ]

Bdale Garbee

Opening keynote (Day 2)

A contributor to the free software community since 1979, Bdale's background also includes many years of hardware design, Unix internals, and embedded systems work. He was an early participant in the Debian Project, helped port Debian GNU/Linux to five architectures, served as Debian Project leader, served as chairman of the Debian Technical Committee for nearly a decade, and remains active in the Debian community.

Altus Metrum, LLC, is a small business Bdale founded with Keith Packard that designs, builds, and sells completely free hardware and free software avionics solutions for use in high-powered model rockets.

For a decade, Bdale served as president of Software in the Public Interest. He served nearly as long on the board of directors of the Linux Foundation, representing individual affiliates and the developer community. Bdale currently serves on the boards of the FreedomBox Foundation, Linux Professional Institute, and Aleph Objects. He is also a member of the Evaluations Committee at the Software Freedom Conservancy, and continues to speak at GNU/Linux and free software conferences from time to time.

In 2008, Bdale became the first individual recipient of a Lutèce d'Or award from the Fédération Nationale de l'Industrie du Logiciel Libre in France.

Bdale engages in a wide variety of personal activities. In addition to high-powered model rocketry and home shop machining, he is widely known for his contributions to the amateur radio hobby, including packet radio, weak-signal communications, software-defined radio, and building amateur satellites.

Photo courtesy of Karen Garbee (copyright © CC BY-SA 4.0).

[ a photo of Tarek Loubani  ]

Tarek Loubani

Opening keynote (Day 1)

Tarek Loubani is an emergency physician who works in the London Health Sciences Center in Canada and Al Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip. He is also a fellow of the Shuttleworth Foundation, where he focuses on free medical devices. Loubani's work involves gaining self-sufficiency and local independence for medical systems such as Gaza's through the use of free techniques.

Photo courtesy of Tarek Loubani (copyright © 2017, CC BY-SA 4.0).

[ a photo of Micky Metts ]

Micky Metts

Closing keynote (Day 2)

Micky is a member of the Agaric Design Collective in Boston, a tech co-op in the “free software for community building” movement, using tools like VOIP, Drupal, and GNU/Linux. She is a liaison between the US Solidarity Economy Network (SEN) -- devoted to ongoing dialogue on building the network -- and the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC), the national grassroots organization of 4,000 US worker-owners “building power with national and international partners to advance an agenda for economic justice rooted in community-based, shared ownership.” Agaric’s five Web developers on three continents build applications online, offer international webinars, and host local meetings working with organizations such as Ujima Boston, Resource Generation, CommonGood, and the Greater Boston Chamber of Cooperatives, to raise awareness of cooperative business models and local opportunities.

As a member of the leadership committee, Micky works with technical activists to connect people with the information and tools they need to move from being a global network to being a global movement based on solidarity, the needs of a workers’ economy, free software tools that protect our freedoms, and tools for live-conferencing that are adapted so workforces can communicate in native languages from afar. Her four topic areas all converge in her presentations: community building, industry organizing, free software liberation, and cooperative development.

Micky is a member of Drupal, a community based on free software, and she writes about her experience as a contributing author in Ours to Hack and to Own. The book is known as the handbook for the Platform Cooperativism Movement, which was started at the New School in New York City by Trebor Scholz and Nathan Schneider. It is now among the top tech books of 2017 listed by Wired magazine. Micky lives in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Photo courtesy of Micky Metts (copyright © 2018, CC0 1.0).

[ a photo of Richard Stallman ]

Richard Stallman

Richard Stallman founded the free software movement in 1983 when he announced he would develop the GNU operating system, a Unix-like operating system meant to consist entirely of free software. He has been the GNU Project's leader ever since. In October 1985 he started the Free Software Foundation.

Since the mid-1990s, Richard Stallman, also known as RMS, has spent most of his time in political advocacy for free software, and spreading the ethical ideas of the movement, as well as campaigning against both software patents and dangerous extension of copyright laws. Before that, Stallman developed a number of widely used programs that are components of GNU, including the original Emacs, the GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU symbolic debugger (gdb), GNU Emacs, and various others.

Photo courtesy of (copyright © 2018, CC BY-SA 4.0).


[ a photo of Stefanía Acevedo ]

Stefanía Acevedo

Hackerspace Rancho Electrónico

Stefanía Acevedo is a philosopher who is interested in collaborative work and autonomist movements. She currently fundraises for the Hackerspace Rancho Electrónico, in Mexico City, as part of its financial committee. She is also a member of CoAA.TV, at which she assists with production-related tasks.

Photo courtesy of Stefanía Acevedo (copyright © 2018, CC BY-SA 4.0).

Micah Altman

DistrictBuilder: Free software for public mapping to revolutionize redistricting

Dr. Micah Altman is director of research and head/scientist for the Program on Information Science for the MIT Libraries, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Previously, he served as a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and at Harvard University as the associate director of the Harvard-MIT Data Center, archival director of the Henry A. Murray Archive, and senior research scientist in the Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences. He conducts work primarily in the fields of social science, information privacy, information science, research methods, and statistical computation, and on the dissemination, preservation, reliability and governance of scientific knowledge.

[ a photo of Isabella Bagueros ]

Isabela Bagueros

The Tor Project: State of the Onion and Australia's decryption law and free software

Isabela Bagueros is executive director of the Tor Project.

Photo courtesy of Isabela Bagueros (copyright © 2019, CC BY 4.0).

[ a photo of Shaun Carland ]

Shaun Carland

Free APIs: The next generation

Shaun Carland is an engineer and free software advocate based in Brooklyn, New York. He believes in the power of narratives, and is interested in finding effective ways of framing the importance of the free software movement, in order to forge alliances with developers and nondevelopers alike. He believes this can be done by talking about free software in different contexts, such as national security, freedom of speech, human rights, and global security. In rare moments when he's not coding, Shaun enjoys playing the piano, traveling the world, and listening to Radiohead while it rains.

Photo courtesy of Shaun Carland (copyright © 2018, CC BY-SA 4.0).

[ a photo of Kate Chapman ]

Kate Chapman


Kate Chapman is technologist, geographer and farmer. She has been involved in OpenStreetMap in a variety of ways since 2009; initially, she joined to simply map her own neighborhood. Kate serves as the chairperson of the OpenStreetMap Foundation. She was a co-founder of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) and served as the organization’s first executive director. Kate serves on the board of the Software Freedom Conservancy, and has mentored for Outreachy with three different organizations. Currently Kate works as a senior program manager at the Wikimedia Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Kate Chapman (copyright © 2016, CC BY 4.0).

Alex Claffey

The joy of bug reporting

Alex is an experienced developer of free software, commercial software, and embedded systems. He is glad to work to understand others' software contributions and to analyze and improve this software. He contributes to the software and IT of the wograld project.

Erik Edrosa

A survey of GNU Guile software

Erik Edrosa is a free software user and developer from Miami, Florida. He is a member of the GNU Guile community, where he maintains various free software projects.

Martha Esperilla

Hackerspace Rancho Electrónico

Martha Esperilla is active in the Hackerspace Rancho Electrónico, where she gives workshops on laptop maintenance and introductions to free software. She is part of the hackerspace's financial committee and helps fundraise for it. She is a member of CoAA.TV, where she performs documentation- and production-related tasks. She also collaborates in the Cooperativa Tecnológica Tierra Común, an economic project for the implementation of free software and digital security in human rights organizations.

[ a photo of Mary Kate Fain ]

Mary Kate Fain

Sparking change: What FLOSS can learn from successful social movements

Mary Kate Fain (M. K.) is a software engineer with a background in grassroots activism, focusing on animal liberation, feminism, and software freedom. In 2016, she cofounded Candlewaster Web Collective, a free software development agency based out of Philly. She currently serves on the board of Species Revolution, and is an experienced speaker on a diverse range of topics related to creating effective social justice movements. She is a writer and editor for Women's Way, and is currently writing a book on radical feminism. M. K. is a loving mother to a cat, a chicken, two rats, and about seventy-six houseplants.

Photo courtesy of PromptWorks, LLC (copyright © 2018, CC BY-SA 4.0).

Fischers Fritz

Copying files between computers

Fischers Fritz has been copying files between computers with free software for fifteen years.

[ a photo of Nathan Freitas ]

Nathan Freitas

The Tor Project: State of the Onion

Nathan Freitas is founder and director of the Guardian Project, and a core Tor contributor.

Photo courtesy of Nathan Freitas (copyright © 2018, CC BY 4.0).

[ a photo of Mike Gerwitz ]

Mike Gerwitz

Computational symbiosis: Methods that meld mind and machine

Mike Gerwitz is a free software hacker and activist with a focus on user privacy and security. He holds various volunteer roles within GNU, including software evaluation and administrative duties. He has twenty years of programming experience and his professional duties range from Web development to compiler construction. He does nearly all of his computing within the comfort of a terminal using exclusively free software. Mike spends most of his free time with his wife and two sons; he spends his remaining free time primarily on hacking, research, volunteer work, and activism.

Photo taken by Kori Feener and courtesy of the Free Software Foundation, Inc. (copyright © 2016, CC BY 4.0).

Shauna Gordon-McKeon

Governing the software commons

Shauna Gordon-McKeon is an independent writer, researcher and developer who specializes in technologies built by and for communities. She runs Galaxy Rise Consulting, a small business that provides software development, project management, and research services.

[ a photo of Bryan Jones ]

Bryan Jones

Library Freedom Institute: A new hope

Bryan Neil Jones is a librarian at Nashville Public Library. He is the recipient of the 2018 Tennessee Library Association Intellectual Freedom Award for his privacy and technology outreach.

Photo courtesy of Bryan Jones (copyright © 2018, CC BY-SA 4.0).

[ a photo of Marc Jones ]

Marc Jones

What do courts think the GPL means (so far)?

Marc Jones works primarily as in-house legal counsel for CivicActions, which provides professional services related to free software to nonprofit and government clients. He also works on the CivicActions infrastructure team, as a security and compliance officer, and provides consulting and training services to government procurement and legal teams. Prior to this, he worked for the State of Connecticut for seventeen years, eventually as the associate director of an IT department, and for five years at a boutique law firm that specializes in free software licensing. He provides pro bono legal counsel to several prominent free software nonprofits.

Photo courtesy of Marc Jones (copyright © 2015, CC BY 4.0).

[ a photo of Frank Karlitschek ]

Frank Karlitschek

Why I forked my own project and my own company

Frank Karlitschek started the ownCloud project in 2010, to return control over the storing and sharing of information to consumers. In 2016, he initiated the Nextcloud project to bring this idea to the next level. He has been involved with a variety of free software projects, including having been a board member for the KDE community. He has spoken at MIT, CERN, and at the ETH, and keynoted at LinuxCon, Latinoware, Akademy, FOSSASIA, openSUSE Conference, and many other conferences. Frank is the founder and CEO of Nextcloud GmbH, and is a fellow of Open Forum Europe.

Photo courtesy of Annette Exner (copyright © 2018, CC0 1.0).

[ a photo of Chase Kelley ]

Chase Kelley

Modern Emacs IDE

Chase Kelley has a background in aerospace engineering and currently works on flight-simulation software. He has primarily used Emacs for all his programming needs, and hopes to share how useful and fun it is to program using Emacs. In his free time, he consumes large amounts of science fiction, anime, and manga.

Photo courtesy of Chase Kelley (copyright © 2015, CC BY-SA 4.0).

Do Yoon Kim

GPL enforcement and customer benefits: Evidence from OpenWRT

Do Yoon Kim is a doctoral candidate in the strategy unit at the Harvard Business School.

[ a photo of Chris Lamb ]

Chris Lamb

Redis Labs and the tragedy of the Commons Clause

Chris Lamb is the current Debian Project leader, and a member of the board of directors for the Open Source Initiative. He is a freelance computer programmer, and the author of and/or contributor to countless free software projects. Chris is also on the core team of the Reproducible Builds project. In his spare time, he is a passionate classical musician with a focus on baroque music.

Photo courtesy of Chris Lamb (copyright © 2018, CC0 1.0).

Ladar Levison

Australia's decryption law and free software

Alison Macrina

The Tor Project: State of the Onion and Library Freedom Institute: A new hope

Alison Macrina is the founder and director of the Library Freedom Project. She is also a librarian, Internet activist, and a core contributor to the Tor Project. Alison is passionate about connecting surveillance to other issues of injustice, and works to demystify privacy and security topics for ordinary users.

Nick Mathewson

The Tor Project: State of the Onion

Nick is a cofounder of the Tor Project, and currently leads the team that maintains Tor.

[ a photo of Adam Monsen ]

Adam Monsen

Free software for safe and happy chickens

Adam Monsen is a Seattle native and a free software fanatic. He cofounded SeaGL (Seattle GNU/Linux Conference). At work, Adam is senior director of engineering for C-SATS R&D, helping surgeons provide the best possible care to their patients.

Photo courtesy of Adam Monsen (copyright © 2011, CC BY-SA 4.0).

[ a photo of Lori Nagel ]

Lori Nagel

The joy of bug reporting

Lori Nagel has worked on and off on the Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game free software project Wograld. She has also written a free culture Web cartoon and a free culture novel.

Photo courtesy of Lori Nagel (copyright © 2019, CC BY 2.0 or later).

[ a photo of Deborah Nicholson ]

Deborah Nicholson

Free Software/Utopia

Deb Nicholson is the director of community operations at the Software Freedom Conservancy, where she supports the work of its member organizations and facilitates collaboration with the wider free software community. After years of local organizing on free speech, marriage equality, government transparency, and access to the political process, she joined the free software movement in 2006. Since then she has served as the membership coordinator for the Free Software Foundation and as the community outreach director for the Open Invention Network, a shared defensive patent pool for free software. She’s also won the O’Reilly Open Source Award for her volunteer work with GNU MediaGoblin, a federated media-hosting service, and OpenHatch, free software's welcoming committee. She continues her work as a founding organizer of the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference, an annual event dedicated to surfacing new voices and welcoming new people to the free software community.

Photo courtesy of Steve Pomeroy copyright © 2019, CC BY-SA 4.0).

[ a photo of Sean O'Brien ]

Sean O’Brien

Teaching privacy and security via free software

Sean is a lecturer in law at Yale Law School with expertise in cybersecurity, privacy, and mobile device forensics. He is director of business development at Purism SPC, a company dedicated to digital privacy and security, and a mentor for the Mozilla Open Leaders program. Sean founded Yale Privacy Lab in 2017, and is an active member of MakeHaven, a local nonprofit makerspace, where he implements FreedomBox GNU/Linux servers.

Photo courtesy of Sean O'Brien (copyright © 2018, CC BY-SA 4.0).

[ a photo of Alexandre Oliva ]

Alexandre Oliva

Who's afraid of Spectre and Meltdown?

Free software evangelist. GNU speaker. Recipient of the FSF's 2016 Award for the Advancement of Free Software. FSF Latin America board member. LibrePlanet São Paulo activist. Maintainer of GNU Linux-libre, and co-maintainer of the GNU Compiler Collection, GNU Binutils and GNU Libc. GNU Tools engineer at Red Hat Brasil and AdaCore.

Photo taken by Kori Feener and courtesy of the Free Software Foundation, Inc. (copyright © 2017, CC BY 4.0).

Eric Olle

Trauma directors' toolbox: Free software for the visualization, analysis and improvement of trauma care

Eric Olle has been using R as a mathematical modeling/statistical software since 2003, and has used it in a range of different projects (involving antibody arrays, dendritic cell therapy or for early stage clinical trial, data analysis, etc.). He has worked in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries and in academia.

[ a photo of Andy Oram ]

Andrew Oram

Technical drivers of "cloud" centralization and megacorporate domination

Andy Oram is a writer and editor at O'Reilly Media. As editor, he brought to publication O'Reilly's Linux series, the ground-breaking book Peer-to-Peer, and the best-seller Beautiful Code. In print, his articles have appeared in The Economist, Communications of the ACM, Copyright World, the Journal of Information Technology & Politics, Vanguardia Dossier, and Internet Law and Business. He's presented talks at conferences including O'Reilly's Open Source Convention, FISL, FOSDEM, DebConf, and LibrePlanet. He participates in the Association for Computing Machinery's policy organization, USTPC. He also writes for various Web sites about health IT and about issues in computing and policy.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Oram (copyright © 2018, CC BY 4.0).

[ a photo of Edward Platt ]

Edward Platt

Large-scale collaboration with free software

Edward L. Platt creates technology for communities and communities for technology. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan School of Information, and the maintainer of the Seltzer CRM hackerspace management tool. Previously, he worked as a staff researcher at the MIT Center for Civic Media, and in Metro Detroit as a Web developer and civic technologist. He cofounded and served on the board for the i3Detroit hackerspace, and has worked at places including Apple, CERN, and Zimride (now Lyft).

Photo courtesy of Lorrie LeJeune (copyright © 2014, CC BY-SA 4.0).

[ a photo of Nathan Proctor ]

Nathan Proctor

Right to Repair and the DMCA

Nathan Proctor is the national campaign director for US PIRG's Right to Repair campaign, where he coordinates Right to Repair campaign efforts across the country with the Public Interest Network's affiliates. His fourteen-year advocacy career has included leading campaigns to close corporate tax loopholes and expand access to early education. He lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Photo courtesy of Caley McGuane (copyright © CC BY 2.0).

Ryan Prior

Security by and for free software

Ryan is a hacker, technical educator, writer, and free software activist. He joined Conjur, which was acquired by CyberArk in 2017, to create developer tools that enhance security. Since then, he has continued to deliver new technologies and media for Conjur users and developers. Previously, Ryan had research internships with Ecere Corporation and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he pursued better ways to help people understand and interact with computer-mediated systems like code and digital music.

[ a photo of Daniel Ramsayer ]

Daniel Ramsayer

Accessibility in front-end environments

Daniel Ramsayer is an accessibility and access advocate and programmer specializing in front-end environments. He is working on providing greater resources and giving more talks about the intersections between the fields of accessibility, education, and programming. He hails from Portlandia, Oregon.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Evans (copyright © 2018, CC0 1.0).

[ a photo of Srishti Sethi ]

Srishti Sethi

Sharing global opportunities for new developers in the Wikipedia community

Srishti Sethi is a Wikimedia Foundation developer advocate, supporting the organization's efforts to engage volunteer developers in Wikimedia software projects and to grow the technical community. She designs and implements programs for onboarding volunteers in Wikimedia technical spaces, produces and organizes technical documentation to instruct them on how to contribute to Wikimedia projects, defines and implements developer outreach strategies to help make the Wikimedia community more inclusive, and coordinates Wikimedia's participation in mentoring programs like Google Summer of Code and Outreachy. Prior to this, Srishti was a student researcher at the MIT Media Lab, contributing to the development of online learning platforms.

Photo courtesy of Srishti Sethi (copyright © 2017, CC BY 4.0).

Nishant Sharma

Building network equipment and a business with free software and liberated hardware

Nishant Sharma is a mechanical engineer by education, and has been making a living from free software since 2003. He has made some contribution to Debian Installer L10n, OpenStreetMap, and OpenWrt projects. In 2010, he started the free software company Unmukti Technology (pronounced Oon-mOokti and meaning "deliverance" in Sanskrit). Unmukti Technology builds network equipment using free software with liberated hardware, and provides services over them to small- and medium-sized businesses in India. It is currently in the process of building routers, access points, NAS, and home gateways for home users.

Photo courtesy of Abhas Abhinav (copyright © 2019, CC0 1.0).

[ a photo of Amanda Sopkin ]

Amanda Sopkin

The secret battle of encryption algorithms

Amanda Sopkin is a full-stack software engineer for the rentals team at Zillow, working to make the process of renting better for renters and property managers. In addition to working as a software engineer, she attends hackathons as a coach for Major League Hacking, to help students have a great experience at the events they attend. She has spoken about mathematics and software engineering at PyCon, DevSum Sweden, HackCon, SeaGL, and various hackathons around the country. Amanda holds a degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Photo courtesy of Amanda Sopkin (copyright © 2018, CC BY-SA 4.0).

Katheryn Sutter

Meta-rules for codes of conduct: Communicating about the commons

Katheryn Sutter, PhD, is a longtime GNU/Linux user and free software enthusiast with a background in democratic-discourse ethics.

[ a photo of Chris Thierauf ]

Chris Thierauf

Free software in the 3D-printing community

Chris Thierauf is a student of computer science at the Wentworth Institute of Technology. As a passionate tinkerer, he spends a lot of time writing code, playing with 3D printers, and using free software/hardware in his research.

Photo courtesy of Chris Thierauf (copyright © 2018, CC BY-SA 4.0).

[ a drawing of Todd Weaver ]

Todd Weaver

The future of computing and why you should care

Todd Weaver, digital rights activist and founder of Purism, SPC, is deeply devoted to solving the issues of convenience in products rooted in the values of free software.

Artwork courtesy of David Revoy (copyright © 2015, CC BY-ND 4.0 or later).

Christopher Webber

Large-scale collaboration with free software

[ a photo of Stephanie Whited ]

Stephanie Whited

The Tor Project: State of the Onion

Steph is communications director of the Tor Project.

Photo courtesy of S. Whited (copyright © 2017, CC BY 4.0).

Valerie Young

Large-scale collaboration with free software

Valerie is a free software developer and an organizer of cooperative projects. In the software space, she works at Bocoup, a software consultancy that specializes in standardization and testing. Related to this work, Valerie is a member of TC39, the technical committee that standardizes JavaScript. Before Bocoup, she worked on Reproducible Builds for the Debian project, and was the secretary of Software in the Public Interest, a fiscal sponsor for free software projects. Outside of software, Valerie is an elected member of the steering committee of Boston Democratic Socialists of America, a 1,600-person activist organization.

Amy Zhang

Large-scale collaboration with free software

Amy X. Zhang is a graduate student at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), focusing on human-computer interaction and social computing, and a 2018-19 Fellow at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center. She has interned at Microsoft Research and Google Research, received awards at ACM CHI and CSCW, and featured in stories by ABC News, BBC, and CBC. She has an MPhil in CS at University of Cambridge on a Gates Fellowship and a BS in CS at Rutgers. Her research is supported by a Google PhD Fellowship and an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

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