[Advocacy] Open Schools Alliance : getting FLOSS onto the political agenda

Iain Roberts iain.roberts at opensourceconsortium.org
Fri Oct 20 14:35:26 BST 2006


Sorry I wasn't able to be at yesterday's meeting; congratulations to
Alain and Leslie for making it happen.

I know that a lot of people are keen to make a difference; we just need
to figure out how to do it.  How do we turn our good intentions and hard
efforts into a real change in the adoption of Free and Open Source
Software in the UK?

For a few months now, Leslie, myself and others have been developing an
umbrella campaigning group called the Open Schools Alliance.  We're
campaigning for more use of FLOSS and open standards in education,
initially via a particular issue (Becta's purchasing frameworks for
schools, which effectively exclude FLOSS even though Becta's own
research suggests Open Source can save schools lots of money).

We are planning activities in parliament, a campaign around it and to
use the issue as a hook to get politicians interested in the benefits of
Open Source Software : how FLOSS can further the causes *they* care
about, whether that's better schools, lower taxes, a stronger IT sector
or whatever.

If we really want to make a difference, I believe it's important that we
target our efforts on a small number of issues, even if they aren't
always the ones closest to our own hearts.  Fifty people campaigning on
one issue are far more likely to achieve something than campaigning on
fifty issues.

So I invite you to join us and help achieve something, even if (like me)
education isn't your number one area of interest.  We've got a good
organisation building up but, as always, need more activists.

To join our list, email antony.stone at opensourceconsortium.org, asking to
join the BSF.TF mailing list.  If you want to know more, please ask
Leslie or myself; I'll be around the OSC stand at LinuxWorld for most of
next Wednesday and Thursday.


Iain.


-- 
Iain Roberts
Chief Executive
The Open Source Consortium


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