OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

GOSCON 2010 to bring together speakers, innovators on ‘The Year of Open Government’

09/28/2010

PORTLAND, Ore. – The 2010 edition of GOSCON – the Government Open Source Conference – will bring together perhaps the most wide-ranging program and prestigious list of speakers in the history of the 5-year-old event, including leaders from State and local government, NASA’s Ames Research Center, the Naval Postgraduate School, the U.S. Army Research Lab, industry thought leaders from Red Hat, Ingress, IBM and even the inventor of “wiki” web pages that led to the creation of the wildly popular Wikipedia.  

The premier global gathering on open source technology and solutions for public sector information technology professionals, GOSCON 2010 will be held Oct. 27-28, at The Nines hotel in Portland, Ore. Information on the program, location and registration is available at http://goscon.org/.

Designed for information technology executives and managers in national, state and local governments, GOSCON features in-depth sessions on open source implementation and best practices, as well as presentations from industry luminaries. Conference organizers say growing adaptation of open source software for government use is driving greater interest than ever in the event, which is produced by Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab

The hot topic this year is use of open source in supporting increasingly popular “open government,” “open data” and transparency efforts in state and local governments in such areas as San Francisco,  Washington, D.C., Vancouver, British Columbia, New York, Boston, California and Portland, Ore.

“The growth of open source approaches for a vast range of software and information technology needs is exciting, and it’s taking place at local, state, federal and international governmental offices,” said Deborah Bryant, conference director and herself a winner of a prestigious O’Reilly Open Source Award earlier this year at Portland’s Open Source Conference.

“Open source” refers to software whose programming code can be viewed, modified and changed by its users. In that way, users have the ability to improve the software, making it better for everyone and speeding the pace of technological improvements. Such software is typically available free of charge, but developers sometimes profit by selling products or services related to the software, such as technical support or “plug ins” that allow the software to perform additional tasks. Some of the more commonly recognized open source software include the Linux operation system and the Firefox web browser.

Those concepts were fairly new to the mainstream five years ago, but have since become embedded in the high-tech industry. Government agencies have been early quieter adopters of open source.  Sponsors for this year’s conference include Google, RedHat, DLT Solutions, HP, OpenPlans.org, the Portland Development Commission and the Open Source Lab.

Program highlights include:

·         Wiki inventor Ward Cunningham, who wowed GOSCON attendees in 2008 with an innovation presentation that brought audience members onstage to take part in an ambitious demonstration of his collaborate creative process. Cunningham will deliver the closing keynote address on Thursday at 2 p.m.

·         OpenPlans.org Director Nick Grossman will be joined by Washington D.C. CTO Bryan Sivak to discuss the new CivicCommons initiative to encourage local governments to share software code to reduce costs in providing services that are often very similar across jurisdictions, but which “massively duplicate” costs through creation of proprietary applications and platforms. That session is Thursday’s 9 a.m. keynote panel.

·         Paul Rothi, senior information systems manager for the City of Portland, will introduce participants to Portland’s innovative deployment of open source network and system monitoring – an effort that serves government offices and public schools. The session takes place at 3:15 on Wednesday.

·         David Riley, CONNECT initiative lead for the Federal Health Architecture Program, will talk about how more than 20 federal agencies banded together to create CONNECT, an open-source software solution using Nationwide Health Information Network standards and governance as a framework to connect providers, insurers, federal agencies, states and others involved in supporting health and healthcare. This is Wednesday’s 12:30 p.m. keynote lunch presentation.

New, up-and-coming open technology solutions from such start-ups as the Portland-based Puppet Labs are on the program, as well.

Registration for GOSCON is available at http://goscon.org/join-us.