Some nice tips for FSFE local meetings organisers

FSFE is a very distributed organisation: most of its active members and contributors live all across European cities. Even if you look at the staff, they’re not that concentrated geographically: while the headquarters are in Berlin, the president of the organisation lives on the other side of Germany (way closer to Brussels and the Dutch border and actually not so far from Paris; Come on Karsten, visit us more often! ☻), our legal coordinator lives in Slovenia, etc.

Back to the point, organisation-wide, FSFE relies on a networks of lots and lots of people, who sometimes group themselves and meet regularly in a European city (Düsseldorf, Ljubljana, Munich, Vienna, Berlin, sometimes Paris, soon Brussels, etc.)

Organising such local group meetings can be hard, especially when the group is not well established yet. (Just to compare, the Berlin fellowship group has been active since 2005 and I suspect the Vienna group shortly after).

Fortunately, there are many ways in which others can help organise a local meeting to participate in FSFE’s campaigns, start new activities for Free Software, organise talks etc.

Lucile and Guido have started gathering some advice and pointers on a Wiki page: MeetingHowTo.

You will find there useful reminders, but also nice pointers:

  • Did you know FSFE had a limesurvey instance at your disposal?
  • If you need to introduce some basic tools we use within FSFE, Erik made some slides about that (ODP format).
  • You can add your events to the FellowshipEvents calendar.
  • In case you have doubts, never hesitate to ask somebody!
    • email: fellowship at
    • irc: #fsfe on
    • jabber:

2013 GA in Vienna, day #2

Yesterday was Day #2 of the FSFE GA in Vienna. After a short night of sleep, we again began the day around 10.00am. The German chapter of FSFE had their own official General Assembly earlier.

This second part of the GA was more focused on the usual, formal stuff. Review of annual reports (executive report, legal activities report, fellowship report… and soon a campaigning report) and Q&A about the reports.

We also planned out the focus for the next 6-8 months. One important detail for FSFE is that not much is going to be achieved on the side of public policy. With ongoing preparations and campaigning at the European Commission and at the European Parliament, everyone has the coming 2014 elections in mind. There isn’t much to do then for our public policy team. (Although that means it’s time for everybody else to get active on the Ask Your Candidates Campaigns.)

One important focus for 2014 is what we talked about on day #1, our strategy as a whole. Where is FSFE going, and more importantly, where should we go. Major organisational work within the organisation is expected. We’ll see more about that in the future.

We’ll have some minor constitutional changes, including typos (look for “enagagements” instead of engagements in the current copy!)

And last but not least, Karsten has been reconducted in another term as President (his 3rd mandate). Matthias Kirschner is now the Vice-President, as Henrik stepped down to pursue other challenges. Reinhard has been unanimously elected Financial Officer, for another mandate (how many does it make? 5?), because he’s excellent at doing it ☺

2013 GA in Vienna

Hello! I’m writing this currently sitting in Metalab, Vienna’s finest Hackerspace, featuring 3d printers, laser-cutting-graving machine, club mate, an authentic phone booth, and a lot of discussions ☺

Looking around me right now, I can spot 6 different nationalities:

  • Austrian
  • Estonian
  • Belarusian
  • Italian
  • Slovenian
  • German

It’s the first time of the day I’m taking a small break on my own, managed my email, and now writing this. [In the process of writing, Heiki and Andrew popped in].

This day, we met and started at 9:30. And we basically all day worked on the strategy of FSFE. Where are we going? What is our core mission? What do we want to achieve? It’s sometimes good to lay back and take a wider look at what’s going on. What difference are we making?

This process is ongoing of course, and will take time. But I’m confident that we have some of the most interesting melting pot of brains and cultures here to fix and handle the situation!

What do you think?

Blogging here: a new focus

I started blogging here in 2009 when I was an intern in Berlin with the Free Software Foundation Europe. The organisation had just initiated a major change back then: Georg, one of the founding members and first president, handed it over to Karsten. I’ve got to say that I joined during interesting times, and I enjoyed working in Berlin with Matthias and Claudia from the KDE association. I hope I’ve been able to share some of that interest with you readers when I was writing on this blog while an intern.

It’s been 3 years since I was an intern, but I’ve kept on writing here and on my personal blog. However it felt more cumbersome to maintain 2 different blogs (both in 2 languages) than anything else. Moreover the distinction between personal things and free software is difficult to make, as free software and the people who make, use, and defend it, are important parts of my life.


I started blogging at a new place: I will mostly blog over there, even for matters that are of interest to FSFE fellows and free software activists at large. I will send posts relevant for the free software & FSFE audience to the blogs planet (which I really recommend you read ☺ or if you’re too lazy you can get a good grasp of it each month in the newsletter)

So I’m giving a new focus to this blog. From now on, I will write here about things that are more internally focused on FSFE, and more focused on work, campaigns, and getting things done!

Let’s see how it goes.