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GNU and Free Software Speakers

We often get requests for speakers who can represent the GNU Project and/or the free software movement at a conference, event or panel discussion. You can use this page to find someone to speak on behalf of the GNU Project and/or the free software movement. Speakers are listed in alphabetical order by last name. If you would like to invite one of these speakers to an event, please contact the speaker directly via email.

This page ends with advice to people who would like to become speakers.

The Speakers

Frédéric Couchet <fcouchet@april.org>


Frédéric is the executive director of April. He is also the treasurer of the FSF France.


Frédéric can address the following topics:

  • Presentation of the history, concepts and stakes (social, juridical, economical, political...) of the Free Software.
  • Political and institutional fights around Free Software
  • Threats to Free Software : DRM, software patents, bundled sales/racketwares...
  • Free Software and hacktivism
  • Presentation, role and future of April
  • Presentation, role and future of the FSF France

Frédéric speaks French.

Loïc Dachary <loic@gnu.org>


Loïc first got involved in free software in 1987. He is now a senior developer who has contributed to many software projects. In January 2001 he initiated Savannah to improve the infrastructure of the GNU Project. Loïc also does volunteer work for free software organizations, mostly in Europe, to protect free software from legal threats and promote cooperation and freedom.


  • Development of free software
  • Free software and hacktivism
  • The infrastructure and dynamics of the GNU Project
  • Free software solutions for information retrieval

Loïc speaks French and English.

Nagarjuna G. <nagarjun@gnu.org.in>


Nagarjuna G. is one of the founding members of the FSF India and currently serving as its Chairperson. He holds a faculty position at Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR in Mumbai. He is an author and maintainer of the GNU project GNOWSYS, and leads the Gnowledge Lab in Mumbai. He holds M.Sc.(Biology), M.A. (Philosophy) from University of Delhi and Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur in the area of Philosophy of Science.


Nagarjuna G. is willing to deliver speeches about the following topics:

  • Introduction to Free Software Movement (Why Free Software?)
  • Roadblocks to Free Society
  • Why Free/Open Document Standards is Mandatory and not an Option
  • Free Knowledge, Free Software and Free Society
  • On the Fundamental Right to Read, Write and Execute
  • Free Software for Education

Nagarjuna prefers to give speeches in English, but if the situation demands, he can also manage in Hindi and Telugu.

Ricardo Galli <gallir@uib.es>


Ricardo Galli is an advocate of free software. He holds a PhD in Computer Science and he is a professor of the University of Balearic Islands. He has more than 40 scientific papers, some of them devoted to free software issues. He has been teaching Operating System subjects based exclusively on free software and GNU/Linux since 1993. He has released several Free Software programs (cpudyn, llaut, wp-cache, etc.). He research interests include Small Worlds graphs, the impact of free software on the regional economy and ethics applied to the use of software in research and high level education.


Ricardo Galli is willing to deliver speeches about the following topics:

  • Definition and ethical aspects of free software.
  • Economic impact of free software.
  • Free software and Informatic Profession.
  • Ethics, software, patents and copyright in the Information Society.
  • Free software as an opportunity to [technologically] peripheral regions.

Spanish, English and comfortable with Catalan speaking audiences.

Joshua Gay <jgay@gnu.org>


Joshua Gay was the editor of the book Free Software, Free Society. He is active in and familiar with a number of free software and free culture communities.


Joshua Gay can speak about:

  • How you can help: Strategies for communicating and organizing around free software ideals
  • Why software should be free
  • Introduction to the GPLv3 and free software licensing


Georg C. F. Greve <greve@gnu.org>


Georg C. F. Greve is a Physicist (German Diploma from the University of Hamburg) with experience in the areas of medical science, physical oceanography, biophysics and nanotechnology, although computer science has always been a focal point. Example activities are his authorship of the monthly GNU forum “Brave GNU World” and the program GNU Xlogmaster. He is also initiator and president of the FSF Europe.


Topics Georg Greve can speak about include

  • Visions for free software and the FSF
  • Background, concept and future of the FSF Europe
  • History, background and philosophy of free software and the GNU Project
  • "Copyright in the internet age": implications for copyright of the digital revolution.
  • Commercial, practical and sociological aspects of free software and the GNU Project
  • The Brave GNU World

Greve speaks English and German fluently, and can deliver speeches in either language.

Dr Peter Heath <pheath@hct.ac.ae>


Peter is the Program Chair for Bachelors & Masters IT programs at Abu Dhabi Men's College in the United Arab Emirates. Peter's first experience with GNU/Linux was a Caldera CD in 1999. This experience has given him a profound appreciation for the recent advances in auto-configuration of X-Windows. Peter has been a leading proponent of Free Software at ADMC since joining in 2004.


Peter can speak about the following

  • The Economics of Free Software
  • Free Software in the Technical College

Peter can deliver talks in English. He remembers half of the French he took in high school, and can order Lebanese food in Arabic.

Federico Heinz <fheinz@vialibre.org.ar>


Federico Heinz is a latin-american programmer and free software advocate living in Argentina. He is a co-founder of La Fundación Vía Libre , a non-profit organization that promotes the free flow of knowledge as a motor for social progress, and the use and development of free software as a powerful tool towards that goal. He has helped legislators such a Argentina's Ing. Dragan, Dr. Conde and Peru's Dr. Villanueva draft and defend legislation demanding the use of Free Software in all areas of public administration.


Federico can speak to audiences on a range of topics around Free Software, including:

  • general aspects of free software and the free software movement
  • Free software's role for poor and developing countries
  • Free software in the public administration
  • Free software as an enabler for sustainable development
  • Free software in education

Federico speaks fluent Spanish, English and German, and can deliver speeches in any of these languages.

Benjamin Mako Hill <mako@atdot.cc>


Benjamin Mako Hill is an author, technology and copyright researcher, activist, and consultant. He is currently working full time on research into the application of technologies and lessons learned in free software toward the production of other types of creative works a graduate student at the MIT Media Laboratory. He has been an leader, developer, and contributor to the free software community for more than a decade as part of the Debian and Ubuntu projects. He is the author of the Debian GNU/Linux Bible and the Official Ubuntu book.


Mako can speak about:

  • Introduction to free software priniciples and practice
  • Free software development methodology, project management techniques, and best practices
  • Issues around financing voluntary free software projects
  • Free software and free culture; Extending free software ideas to the world beyond software

A more complete list of talks that Hill has given is also available.


English. He also used to speak Amahric as well but is very out of practice.

Kefah T. Issa <kefah.issa@freesoft.jo>


Kefah Issa is a software programmer, he holds a BSc degree in electrical engineering from the University of Jordan. He is an activist and an advocate to free software in the Arab World, participating in many events. He got extensive experience in delivering commercial software solutions across a wide range of applications. Kefah wrote a document in Arabic, “Free Software Whitepaper”, introducing free software and detailing the various strategic reasons why it should be considered.


Kefah can speak about the following topics:

  • Definition and Ethical / Moral aspects of free software.
  • Economic and Social Impact of free software.
  • Strategy and helping decision makers on why should free software be adopted for Governments,Educational Organizations, and Businesses in general.

Kefah T. Issa speaks Arabic and English he can give talks in both.

Bradley M. Kuhn <speaker@ebb.org>


Bradley M. Kuhn is a supporter of the free software movement. He hacks on, teaches about and documents free software and advocates the importance of software freedom. Kuhn spent five years working for the Free Software Foundation, and served as its Executive Director for three of those. He has concluded his service as the Chief Technology Officer for the Software Freedom Law Center, a non-profit law firm that represents the FSF. He now serves as president of the Software Freedom Conservancy, and is on the board of directors for the FSF.

Mr. Kuhn holds a summa cum laude B.S. in Computer Science from Loyola College in Maryland, and an M.S. in Computer Science from University of Cincinnati. Before working full-time for the FSF, he worked as a free software consultant in the technology industry.


Mr. Kuhn can speak about:


Mr. Kuhn speaks English, and can also converse some in Spanish.

Matt Lee <mattl@gnu.org>


Matt Lee runs technology at Creative Commons. He was previously a campaigns manager at the Free Software Foundation.

In 2008, Matt wrote and produced the movie Happy Birthday to GNU with Stephen Fry for the 25th anniversary of the GNU Project, and thus should be considered somewhat of an expert on the history of the GNU Project.

He is the founder of the GNU FM and GNU social projects. He runs Libre.fm, a free culture music platform. Matt lives in Boston, MA.


Matt Lee can speak about:

  • How you can help: Strategies for communicating and organizing around free software ideals
  • Creating free software for the web: GNU network, GNU social and GNU FM.

Matt can deliver talks in English.

Jose E. Marchesi <jemarch@gnu.org>


Jose E. Marchesi is a long-term GNU hacker. In 1999, he founded GNU Spain, and he later assisted in the creation of GNU Italy and GNU Mexico. He maintains several GNU programs such as sed and GNU Recutils and is a member of the GNU Advisory Comittee.


Jose can address the following topics:

  • Free Software
  • The GNU Project

Jose gives speeches in Spanish.

Alexandre Oliva <lxoliva@fsfla.org>


Alex is one of the founding board members of FSF Latin America. Since early 1990s, he has been free software user, then volunteer developer, then evangelist and professional toolchain developer. He holds Computing Engineering (1995) and Master in Computer Sciences (1998) degrees from the University of Campinas, where he pursues a Doctorate degree in Computer Sciences.


  • Free software philosophy and the GNU project
  • Moral, economic and legal aspects of software freedom
  • GPLv2, GPLv3, and some other licenses
  • Copyright, patents, Digital Restrictions Management and other threats to your freedoms
  • Free software in Latin America

Alex is a native Brazilian Portuguese speaker and a fluent English speaker.

Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org>


Richard Stallman is the founder of the GNU Project, launched in 1984 to develop the free operating system, GNU.

Richard Stallman is the principal author of the GNU C Compiler, the GNU symbolic debugger (GDB), GNU Emacs, and various other GNU programs. Stallman currently serves as president of the Free Software Foundation.


Richard Stallman has prepared speeches on the following topics:

Dr. Stallman is also available for press interviews and panel discussions concerning all aspects of the GNU project and the Free Software Movement.


Dr. Stallman speaks English and French fluently, and can deliver speeches in either language. He can also speak in Spanish if he has sufficient time in a hispanic milieu to remember forgotten words before the speech.

John Sullivan <johns@gnu.org>


John Sullivan is currently the Executive Director of the Free Software Foundation, where he has worked since early 2003. He is active in and familiar with a number of free software and free culture communities. While he has received more formal training as a penniless poet than a programmer, he has authored and currently maintains a few free software packages in his off time, and does freelance web development using free software tools. He has a B.A. in Philosophy from Michigan State University and an M.F.A. in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University and is based in Boston, Massachusetts.


John Sullivan can speak about:

  • DRM issues and the FSF's Defective By Design campaign
  • Media format patents, proprietary licensing, and the FSF's PlayOgg.org campaign
  • Choosing free software over Microsoft Windows Vista, and the FSF's BadVista.org campaign
  • How you can help: Strategies for communicating and organizing around free software ideals
  • Why software should be free
  • Introduction to the GPLv3 and free software licensing
  • FSF/GNU high-priority free software projects

He is working on other languages but currently only speaks English well.

If you have been working for some time in the free software movement and you would like to become a speaker, here are some suggestions.


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