Welcoming Maurice to the Core Team

The web page has not been updated yet, but the Core Team of FSFE welcomed a new member this week, Maurice Verheesen, alias mho!

I met Maurice for the first time in Berlin for the FSFE Coordinators Meeting, and I greatly enjoyed his company, and his input! Maurice cares about technology, and he cares about doing it right, and that implies Free Software ☺

On the way back home from Berlin, in the car, Maurice and I sat down with our laptops to work on a new version of the User Data Manifesto. We did some great work there, and had some great discussion on metadata, surveillance and software.

Maurice lives in the Netherlands, and has taken the lead to coordinate Dutch activities recently, hence joining the European Core Team. He already shared with us insights and reports on T-Dose, where the FSFE was present and where he gave a talk on PRISM.

It’s always good to see smart people joining one of the ultra-most important pieces of FSFE!

Welcome Maurice!

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? vote.fsfe.org
  • 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 fsfeurope.org
    • irc: #fsfe on irc.freenode.net
    • jabber: fellowship@conference.jabber.fsfe.org

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?