The most obvious people affected by all four of the freedoms that define free software are the programmers. They are the ones who will likely want to -- and are able to -- modify software running on their computers. But free software is a movement to advance and defend freedom for anyone and everyone using any computing device, not just programmers. In many countries now, given the ubiquity of tablets, phones, laptops and desktops, "anyone and everyone using any computing device" means nearly all citizens. But new technological innovations in these areas keep coming with new restrictions, frustrating and controlling users even while creating a perception of empowerment. The Free Software Foundation wants to gain the support and protect the interests of everyone, not just programmers. How do we reach people who have no intention of ever modifying a program, and how do we help them? This talk will present some ideas and then invite discussion about this topic or anything else related to the work of the Free Software Foundation.Bio
John started working with GNU Press and the Free Software Foundation in 2003 and then became the FSF's first Campaigns Manager, working on outreach efforts like Defective by Design, BadVista, and PlayOgg. In 2011, John became the Executive Director after four years as Manager of Operations.
He represents the FSF on a number of advisory boards, including for the Document Foundation and the GNU Project.
His background is mainly in the humanities, with an MFA in Writing and Poetics and a BA in Philosophy, but he has been spending too much time with computers and online communities since the days of the Commodore 64. He's become a dedicated GNU Emacs user after first trying it around 1996, and has contributed code to several of its extensions.
Prior to the FSF, John worked as a college debate team instructor for both Harvard and Michigan State University.