LPI in Brussels: European FOSS Insights and Innovations

LPI in Brussels: European FOSS Insights and Innovations

In February, I had the pleasure of representing Linux Professional Institute (LPI) at several high-level Open Tech events in Brussels. It was a week brimming with activity for enthusiasts and professionals alike in the open source community.

Photo: iStock.com/bloodua

Day 1: Protest, Government Policy, and Networking

On February 1st, the European Commission held an exclusive, on invitation only, workshop on Open Source Key Areas for Digital Autonomy. The event was held the same day as the farmers were protesting in the center of Brussels. On my way to the event, I was feeling like I was in the middle of a war movie scene with all these spike fences around and policemen armed to the teeth. Finally, with some logistical troubles and delays – for me and all other participants – I made it to one of the buildings of the European Commission where the event was organized.

Inside the venue, the discussions spanned a range of subjects: Cybersecurity, ICT system reliability, Software-Defined Vehicles (SDVs), Open Source for Data Spaces, and the intricacies of deploying open source projects within European public services. Panelists from leading open source entities such as the Open Source Initiative, Eclipse Foundation, Open Forum Europe, and the City of Paris shared their insights on these critical issues.

It was a day full of inspiring talks and networking with high level attendees. In particular, it was great to see a big number of European Commission staff members interested in learning more about open source technologies.

Day 2: Connecting with the “Crème de la Crème”

The second day of Brussels Open Tech Week – still with farmers protesting, albeit more calmly that day – saw OpenForum Europe hosting their annual event, the Open Source Policy Summit. The venue chosen for this exclusive gathering was the Royal Flemish Theatre, located in the heart of Brussels.

I had the opportunity to engage with members of the European Parliament, European Commission officials, UN delegates, and government representatives from across Europe. Industry experts from corporations including IBM, Red Hat, and Bosch were also present. Attendees exchanged success stories, sought insights, and explored inspirations for transformative ideas.

The summit unveiled an important initiative: the Open Source Ecosystem Enabler, a project by the ITU and UNDP, funded by the European Commission. At LPI, an organization with 25 years of experience at the forefront of developing international, vendor-neutral education programs, we are thrilled about this initiative and fully prepared to provide any necessary support, especially in the development of specialized training within the Global Knowledge Hub for Open Source.

The most positive aspect of this event, aside from its enriching content, was that it facilitated networking. I had the opportunity to meet people in person whom I had previous known only through seeing them on mailing lists, exchanging email with them, or following them on LinkedIn.I also met people I haven’t seen in a long time, such as Emiel Brok, a former LPI colleague working as SUSE Ambassador now, and Alexandre Zapolsky, the CEO of Linagora, an LPI long-term partner in France.

Day 3: FOSDEM: A Diverse Community of Open Source Enthusiasts

Last but not least, on Saturday, February 3rd, the Brussels Week ended with FOSDEM, an annual gathering of the open source European community held at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. It was a crowded event, full of interesting open source solutions, emerging technologies, and a packed agenda of devrooms. Definitively it’s a place to be and experience being part of a diverse and highly international community of open-source enthusiasts.

Looking ahead

Exhausted yet fulfilled, I departed Brussels with a mind buzzing with ideas for potential partnerships and collaboration opportunities. Looking forward, excited for all the new ways LPI can offer its unique standing and expertise to free and open source initiatives.

About Elzbieta Godlewska:

Elzbieta Godlewska is Global Partnership Development Representative at LPI. Since 2005, Elzbieta has been dedicated to promoting Open Source. She has worked on certification programs and career support for IT professionals for many years. Previously, as a Senior Manager in the EMEA region with CompTIA, and since 2011, with the Linux Professional Institute (LPI), a global certification standard, and career support organization for open-source professionals.

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