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#ECS21 – the campaign that did not happen

The economy of knowledge in the 21st century

Our economic and social development has always been based on the freedom to use, study, share and improve common knowledge and information. Since entering the digital era, the freedoms to access and use knowledge is strongly linked with the access to technology and software. Furthermore, access and use of our cultural heritage, economic development, as well as our social and political organisation, is increasingly based on technology and software. In the 21st century, access to software determines how we can participate in our society.

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This is the introduction text of a campaign I wanted to run for the upcoming General Elections in Spain, accompanied with some theory, how Free Software increases autonomy and helps to grow local economy. Following this background, in the very heart of the campaign there are some clear demands, a “Freedom Pact”, that should help to put theory into practice. Candidates that run for office can sign this Freedom Pact to show that they care and to promise to

  • promote the use of Free Software in all areas of public life, public administration, and public education
  • promote legislation to make Free Software the first choice in public procurement
  • promote policies in favour of Free Software and oppose policies that discriminate against it
  • ensure a legal requirement, that all software developed with public funds is released as Free Software, so other administrations, and the public, can benefit from it
  • promote the widest possible use of Open Standards in the public sector, as well as the publication and archiving of all public data and documents in formats based on Open Standards

The concept is in the family of other Ask Your Candidate campaigns like the European Free Software Pact or the Swiss FreedomVote.

01 eibarUnfortunately, the campaign never came alive and given that the elections will already happen in 4 weeks, the campaign will not get alive for the 2015 elections. However, I think the work that has been done is worth sharing and that is why I aset put a simple wp-page that includes the pact, the campaign texts and the translations we have done:

http://ecs21.3rik.cc

This way, I hope it inspires someone else in the wild to take it up and run a campaign, to share it, to talk about it or to simply do whatever you like. Everything public domain (CC0). The text is available in Spanish, Gallic, Catalan and English.

Finally, I especially like to thank Juan Antonio Zaratiegui Vallecillo for working on the multilanguage page that never went online, to Eukelade for the translations and for Asa Ritz for his contributions.

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Free Software, local economy and its political realization

Last week, I was invited to talk for the “Concurso Universitario de Software Libre (CUSL)” in Zaragoza, Spain. The objective of this “concurso” is to promote the use and development of Free Software by organising an annual contest among various universities inside Spain. My objective was to get to know the contest and to use this occasion to promote the idea of a Free Software campaign for this years national elections in Spain.

When it comes to Free Software, Spain is different than many countries in Europe.

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