I feel that I have to provide a public and official response regarding eLiberatica
Conference. I tried to delay this in the hope that some kind of miracle would happen; unfortunately, this is not the case. There is as very slight chance that we may be able to organize one for autumn; however, it is very slight and, at this point, my hopes are not very high.
The eLiberatica conferences: 2007
We could not secure finances to organize a high class and high quality conferences like the ones we used to have. I had partnered with Agora
for the first three conferences – they were generous with their finances; however, they were unable to sponsor the costs this year.
Some of you had asked me to organize a smaller scale one this time. I would like to thank everyone for their support and proposals; I am very enchanted and grateful for the interest out there. As I mentioned many times, eLiberatica is very costly and it is not enough to say “…come to our town, we have secured a space, we can party, let’s have eLiberatica here…”
If you wish to invite high-profile speakers from around the world, the cost of transportation, venue, etc have to be met. It costs tens of thousands of Euros to hold an eLiberatica conference.. Regardless of those who suggested that a FLOSS conference should be gratis, sponsors are still needed.
I also tried to enter into partnerships with a few other organizations, which meet our moral caliber and high standards; unfortunately, for whatever reasons (let’s blame the recession), they did not come through. I am quite disappointed; perhaps they will be able to assist at a later date.
Last but not least organizing the last three eLiberatica conferences took a huge toll on me, with lots of effort, in between working full-time. I took on this responsibility like a second full-time job, except that it was a volunteer commitment… It cost me time which I would have spent with my family and in general, enjoying life. I don’t know many people who would take on this type of responsibility; if I did I would donate the eLiberatica brand to them.
I still believe that the best value of this conference is the fact we stood independently; we never favored any one group. When I say that, I am referring to both Open Source and Free Software – which I see as a single movement (a response to this article
). I am also saying this comparing it to the other side named “closed source” – which I clearly understand its role in the economy. We are living in a complex world which is not perfect and never will be, but we can work toward making it better.
So one way or other, I think all of us are at loss because there will be no eLiberatica this year . . . No new stories, no disputes, no debates. Silence. Ah, there are some who would enjoy it for sure.
This being said, I hope the FLOSS community in Romania will continue to organize events and I hope they can make a stand. Not much is to be expected from the government, though, but I expect some from the local business people who must understand – in Romania the single opportunity is to go with Open Source and Free Software. With regard to the government, I hope that EU would push FLOSS harder at the union level.
Some advice for the IT people in Romania, especially the youngest: If you want a good future, you wish for independence, wanting to grow – learn Linux first; learn the free and open languages and standards, not the closed ones. If you want a better life, it is in your power to influence it.
I am confident that there will be better times, and we will once again have eLiberatica. The project is not dead at all but, like the Firebird, will come back to life.