Unfortunately, there will be no eLiberatica 2011

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, 20082009.Remember-eLiberatica-2007-2008-2009We 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.

6 comments Add yours
  1. “And don’t forget those people who always complained that a FLOSS conference should be for free… free entrance, but filter the sponsors.””Those people” you refer to fight for a FLOSS conference that is free of Microsoft’s influence, not for a freebie (free of charge) conference, like you are implying.I would definitely pay a reasonable price (in the 20-40 EUR range) for entry to a real FLOSS conference, one that stands up to and denounces Microsoft.Unfortunately, these days in this country even the organization that fancies itself the nationwide Linux user group has turned out to be a Microsoft-friendly entity (see their participation in two Microsoft-infected Linux-focused conferences).

  2. Well Dan, at least this year, eLiberatica will not bother you at all with these aspects. Tanks for the comment and clarification though.

  3. First part, the thanks.Thanks for all your work and all your effort all-trough these years. Thanks for making it happen so i can meet Monty, Zak, Brian and many others. Thanks for the concepts, the fine-tuned submitted papers selection, the after-parties.Second part, the un-epilogue (hopefully not a real one)eLiberatica was and maybe is, an ‘outlier’ (in respect to Gladwell’s book/concept) event due to a golden triangle of outliers, you, your contacts and Agora. You were in perfect time-sync with perfect contacts and everything was almost every time a 100% success. But conferences like this or with a lower aim, i’ve learned it the hard way all-around Europe cost from 400 EUR for a basic ticket ’till they skyrocket and crave for a ‘wtf’. And there is this popular saying, you can not make from shit a whip and make it bash.And yes, thanks again.

  4. Marius, thanks for the comments.

    You are one of the few that really understood the whole thing. I didn’t calculated how many hours I spent, but there are many (I will put here a link for the ones interested in this concept – Outliers). I am myself a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell. I’ll tell you a strange coincidence – I read The Tipping Point in the first month I started to think in organizing this conference. I was fascinated by it.

    Related to the triangle, I would add a new dimension – the emerging community we could create and "energize" it. We built synergy for a while, which is very hard to achieve.

    I’m a strong believer in the traditional "equilibrium" / "moderation" / "classic" concept – or how you wish to name it. We can have an event that can stay at a high level and in a decent price, as far as we don’t forget how we started, what was the goal, and keep it "decent" – meaning, stay away from the "always more".
    I would be extremely satisfied to have again an event like eLiberatica 2008 or even better, a smaller one but with that crazy enthusiast all of us felt in eLiberatica 2007… Looking at the pictures, I realize I still have to add there notes. I’m still feeling the "heat" of those days. It was gorgeous, what an atmosphere!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *