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Can PloneGov Still Save The World?

by Paul Adams last modified 2009-06-29 22:17

The 5th International Conference on Open Source Systems took place in Skövde, Sweden, from 3-6 June. During his keynote address, Brian Behlendorf, a founder of the not-for-profit Apache Software Foundation, talked about the social impact of Open Source development. Specific mention was given to PloneGov a collaborative software ecosystem, where government organizations, non-profits and the private sector work together to share the cost of enhanced capabilities.

The International Conference on Open Source Systems began in 2005 as a the world's only academic conference dedicated to research into Open Source development and communities. The goal of the conference is to provide an international forum where academics, industrialists and public sector researchers can come together to share research findings.

At this year's conference, Brian Behlendorf was one of two keynote speakers. Brian is a founder of the not-for-profit Apache Software Foundation as well as CollabNet, the primary corporate sponsor of Subversion development. Brian's keynote address was entitled "How Open Source Can Still Save The World".

In this address, Brian showed that whilst most of the world's major problems (disease control, natural disaster response, economic distress) are not fundamentally information technology-driven, there is a clear role for Open Source technology in address these issues.

Brian states: "the software [Open Source] allows for innovation in the hands of the users of that software, and any participant - we don't get bottlenecked on one vendor or gov agency to do our innovation for us.  We have the right to change, and the right to fork.  That's foundational."

During his address, Brian gave a mention to PloneGov as a successful example of community action in local government. PloneGov was noted for its unique "bottom up" approach to tackling transparency in public sector software usage. This was used in comparison with the Obama administration's top-down initiatives, such as

Brian Behlendorf