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About LibrePlanet: Cultivating Community

LibrePlanet: Cultivating Community was held on May 4 & 5, 2024, at the Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA, USA, and online.

Google is attacking the free internet with its"WebEnvironment Integrity"proposal, companies areexcessively collecting our data to feed their LargeLanguage Models without even thinking to ask, andgovernments around the world are draftinglegislationthat threatens free software and our privacy. Now,a growing free software community is needed morethan ever to meet these challenges. AtLibrePlanet 2024, we discussed how to foster the free softwarecommunity, how to counter current threats to freesoftware, and face the challenges ahead.

LibrePlanet is the annual conference hosted by the FreeSoftware Foundation (FSF). LibrePlanet provides anopportunity for activists, hackers, law professionals,artists, educators, students, developers, policymakers,tinkerers, and anyone looking for technology thatrespects the user's freedom to come together in order todiscuss current issues in technology and ethics.Newcomers to these topics are always welcome. The conference featurestalks and workshops for all ages and experience levels.

The theme for LibrePlanet 2024 was"Cultivating Community."The focus was on further growing the free softwaremovement, mobilizing from the grassroots, and building astronger community in the process. We asked ourselves:How can we bea welcoming community that attracts newcomers as well as alasting home to all those wonderful people whobelong to it?As always, LibrePlanet featured talks related to freesoftware and fitting one of the following tracks:Licensing, security, community, social context, hardware,freedom ladder, free software documentation, free software ingovernment, education, or practice, workshops, or talks thatexplore the free software concept. Following our theme, we highlighted speakers whoshowed ways of effectively organizing community, increasingdiversity, facilitating the participation of volunteers, andencouraging users to contribute to their favorite projects.During the conference, attendees could learn about free software projectsthat invite newcomers to participate, communityplatforms that enable participation, and free softwarethat attracts new users.

Since theannouncement to develop the GNU operatingsystem forty years ago, the free software movement hasdeveloped an incredible amount of software that respectsthe user's freedom. Free software activists have provenagain and again that it's possible to participate in modernlife without surrendering your freedom to large techmonopolies. Now, it is time to bring this message tomore people. Together, let's grow and cultivate the freesoftware community.