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For upcoming International Women’s Day it’s the perfect opportunity to highlight accomplishments of few of the amazing women in free software we’ll be featuring soon. Many women are doing exciting and important work that ties into our “Free the Future” theme, demonstrating how free software has the potential to unlock a better future for us all, and building projects that will help us get there.

With that said: we’re proud to be welcoming Public Lab co-founder Shannon Dosemagen as one of our keynote speakers. Protecting the planet — whatever that might mean to you — is of increasing concern in the year 2020, so Shannon was a perfect fit for this year’s lineup: we know that the philosophy of the four freedoms has something special and crucial to offer every social movement. Her work demonstrates how both scientists and ordinary people can apply ethics inspired by the free software philosophy. As an environmental health advocate and community science champion, Shannon has a lot to say about how “freeing the future” will help to ensure that we have a future at all.

Another activist will be kicking off conference on as part of our initial keynote panel, featuring talented young free software developers: Alyssa Rosenzweig, a college student who interned at the FSF in 2018. She is currently studying Applied Mathematics at the University of Toronto, while also working at Collabora and leading the Panfrost project to build a free graphics stack for Mali GPUs. Her commitment and contributions to the free software movement are vast already, and we can’t wait to hear what insights she’ll be offering at the conference.

Another activist who has long kept her eyes trained on the future is Micky Metts, a worker/owner of Agaric and last year’s speaker. Micky is a veteran of the free software movement and a perennial LibrePlanet speaker. Her work concentrates on the intersection of free software, platform cooperativism, technology networks, design justice, and cooperative development. Her talk, “Platform cooperativism, surveillance capitalism, predictive analysis, and you,” will concentrate on how this work is our best hope to protect our data from surveillance and the increasingly Orwellian future she addressed last year.

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