Over the weekend, I had the chance to be at FSCONS, for the second time. I participated in this ”Free Society Conference and Nordic Summit” in 2013 too. In this edition, I was not merely participating, but also had volunteered to help out organizing the event, along with tens of other enthusiastic volunteers.
As with the last edition in 2013, the talks were not just thought-provoking, but more than that – they move you to action. This is a trait I think that is true with any event that is driven by the sheer spirit of volunteerism, in contrast to even the grander and impeccably organised corporate events.
The theme of this conference was revolving around the idea of commons, friendship and sharing – of, and using technology. The notion of us narrowing down into individual caves, with our gadgets was rightly projected as a dystopia, and the event was an aspirational reach out to the utopia where we all share and build a peaceful society, using Free Software and Free Culture as the fabric.
Apart from these ‘philosophical’ talks, there were plenty of niche technical workshops and talks, that are inseparable from the Free Software community.
I believe that the humanity and politics of technology are far more fascinating and consequential, than its spiritless precision. So, you know which of the sessions seemed more appealing to me.
Apart from helping out primarily at the cafe, and listening to the numerous inspiring talks, I signed up for a ‘lightning’ talk (runs for 5-10 mins), which was overwhelmingly well received. In my talk, I decided to put forth my experiences of having been an active free software enthusiast in India, and spoke about the idea of Free Software being a ”mass movement” in India, contrasting it to the more geeky, alternate culture that it appears to be in Europe. This contrasting, I believe struck a chord with the gang, and I was admonished for not having signed up to deliver a full length talk – that could happen, some other time then.
Here are some event pictures.