Wow, what an honour: FSFE receives Theodor-Heuss-Medal

Last Saturday was a great day for FSFE. We received the Theodor Heuss Medal for our “extraordinary work for equitable participation in the information society”! This is a huge honour for FSFE, and it was great to be there, in front of an audience of hundreds of people, to accept this award.

(c) 2010 Daniel Laidig. CC-BY

The medal highlights a conviction that is at the core of FSFE: That in these days where technology is everywhere, freedom is not possible without Free Software; and that in turn, Free Software is the basis for a free society. We need to work, struggle and fight to gain and defend our freedom to be the masters of the technology we use, rather than its slaves.

The topic of this year’s award was “The social market economy in the times of globalisation”.  According to the foundation’s chairman, FSFE was chosen for the award because we “contribute to work out new rules for the social, political and legal framework” of the information society, and because we help to establish rules for “good global governance”.

I had the honour of representing FSFE there, together with people like Matthias Kirschner, Georg Greve and Bernhard Reiter. But the medal belongs to the hundreds of people who, with their work and their sharp minds, are the foundation of FSFE’s success. Thank you all! There were many German politicians in the audience, such as the former president Richard von Weizsäcker, the minister of justice Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and Gesine Schwan, a former candidate for the presidency.

Theodor Heuss, for whom the medal is named, was the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany (aka West Germany). The foundation is non-partisan, but based on Heuss’ liberal ideals.

The German TV channel Phoenix will broadcast an edited recording of Saturday’s ceremony today at ca. 17:00. There’s a live stream available, though unfortunately only in H.264 and Quicktime. The exact timing might change a bit, so check the page every now and then.

The handover ceremony
(c) 2010 Daniel Laidig. CC-BY