[Linux-aus] Nadia Eghbal, Open Source Sustainability Researcher, is keynoting linux.conf.au 2017

Christopher Neugebauer (linux.conf.au 2017) chair at hobart.lca2017.org
Tue Oct 18 09:27:15 AEDT 2016

Does Open Source have a sustainable future? One of linux.conf.au
2017's four keynote speakers, Nadia Eghbal will help you find out!

linux.conf.au's focus in 2017 is The Future of Open Source, so we're
delighted to welcome Nadia, a noted researcher on sustainability in
Open Source. She'll be sharing her insights on the inherent tension
between keeping code free and better supporting the people who
maintain that code.

linux.conf.au 2017 is taking place in Hobart, Tasmania between Monday
16 January and tickets are now on sale. For more information, see

Previously working in venture capital, in January 2016, Nadia started
investigating Open Source as the "digital infrastructure" upon which
the tech industry is built.

Her initial reports painted a worrying view of the sustainability of
Open Source software: Many Open Source projects -- ones that form the
vital digital infrastructure that many big organisations in tech and
government rely upon -- aren't in very good shape. Much of Open Source
is not well-funded, and depends heavily on the contribution of free
time on the part of a small pool of maintainers.

She also highlighted that despite building their success on this
infrastructure, much of the leadership in the tech industry was
largely unaware of these issues.

This research culminated in _Roads and Bridges: The Unseen Labor
Behind Our Digital Infrastructure_, a 142-page report published by the
Ford Foundation, that highlights the scale of the problem:

""" Everybody relies on shared code to write software, including
Fortune 500 companies, government, major software companies and
startups. In a world driven by technology, we are putting increased
demand on those who maintain our digital infrastructure. Yet because
these communities are not highly visible, the rest of the world has
been slow to notice.

In the face of unprecedented demand, the costs of not supporting our
digital infrastructure are numerous. No individual company or
organisation is incentivised to address the public good problem alone.

More recently, Nadia has joined GitHub, focusing on finding ways that
GitHub can empower open source maintainers to create and nurture
thriving, healthy open source projects.

You can find this announcement on the web at
https://linux.conf.au/about/news/nadia-keynote/ and purchase tickets
at https://linux.conf.au/attend

== More from Nadia Eghbal ==

- How I Stumbled Upon The Internet's Biggest Blind Spot (
- Roads and Bridges: The Unseen Labor Behind Our Digital
Infrastructure  (

== About linux.conf.au 2017 ==

linux.conf.au is a community-driven conference about the Linux
operating system and the vibrant ecosystem of Free and Open Source
Software that has grown up around it. Run in a different Australian or
New Zealand city each year by local volunteers, LCA invites more than
500 people to learn from the people who shape the future of Open

In 2017, linux.conf.au is welcoming you to Hobart, Tasmania, on Monday
16 through to Friday 20 January. Tickets are now available -- see
https://linux.conf.au/attend for details. We thank our Emperor Penguin
Sponsors, IBM and Hewlett Packard Enterprise for their generous
contribution to the conference. For more information, please visit

--Christopher Neugebauer <chair at hobart.lca2017.org>

Conference Director - linux.conf.au - January 2017 - Hobart
Tickets on sale now! https://linux.conf.au/attend

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