Fortunately, I was invited to give a talk @ Software Freedom Kosova 2012 (#SFK12) about why Free Software needs a lobby. SFK12 was organised by Free Libre Open Source Software Kosova (#FLOSSK) and the whole conference was an amazing experience. Late at night, Ariana and Behar picked me up at the airport, and I was promptly invited to come to the FLOSSK-office to meet the whole team. The mood there was very familiar and friendly and the team was supporting the speakers all the time. Thank you all for your great work! Special thanks to Mike @h4ck3rm1k3 Dupont for keeping calm the whole time while being head of this enjoyable but crazy family.
Nearly all attendees at SFK12 were young students, many of them teenagers, that were highly interested in Free Software, how to use it and how to get a job by coding for/in Free Software. It was enlightening to see how Free Software could be their future, as Free Software gives them the freedom to read, study, share & improve. By using Free Software, they are not bind to any major company that delivers proprietary software and does not offer jobs in this region of the world. Free Software, instead, is a chance for them to join international projects and teams while still being in Kosovo. It was also impressive to see how Free Software is connecting them. The spirit of collaboration and sharing of knowledge was all around. By pointing this out, I recommend you to have a look at the OpenLabs, a new hackerspace in Tirane, Albania. I met Redon @rskikuli Skikuli and Kamela @kamelakondili Kondili from OpenLabs at SFK12 and we spent hours of talking and sharing ideas. Both are highly motivated and I am sure there will be a lot to come. For next year, for example, they are already planning a Wikimedia Conference to boost the Albanian Wikipedia.
On the first day of the conference, I gave a FreeYourAndroid workshop. Unfortunately, the workshop had to be rescheduled, so we were missing some attendees. But in the end, we have been four and it was fun to show them how to liberate their phones.
Beforehand, I took the chance to give an introduction to the workshop and the idea about FreeYourAndroid to a bunch of people. Three of them instantly installed f-droid and were so excited about it, that they were promoting this Free Software App repository among other participants of the conference. What followed was a viral effect and every day people were coming to me and were asking about how to free their Android. Soon, I tried to organise another workshop but they were all without laptops, so I was giving indivual explanations to each person interested in liberating his phone. That means, I was using my laptop to show them how phone liberation works and where they can get help (including me).
The other day I gave my talk in front of a hundred students. I explained them why political work for Free Software is important, what FSFE is doing and how they can participate. It was a real pleasure to see so many interested people and please remember: “I would love to see a DFD event in Kosovo”!
I also brought some stickers with me that I spread after my talk. People liked them and it was pretty nice to see a lot of Plussys and icannotreadyourdocument stickers on the 2nd day of the conference on many laptops around : )
Overall, I hope that I will be able to come to #SFK13. If you have the possibility – do not miss to come, too!