#MeetOurSpeakers : John Sullivan, Executive director of the Free Software Foundation

We are very happy to announce that John Sullivan, Executive director of the Free Software Foundation, will speak at the opening plenary session of #OSSPARIS16 !


John will talk about Freedom Embedded: Devices that Respect Users and Communities

“GNU and Linux are now embedded in more kinds of hardware than ever, but nearly always only by requiring proprietary bits. The world’s most popular tablets and phones are based on a free core system loaded with nonfree software on top. How do we get the freedom we all want, and what is the market for that? The Free Software Foundation has a certification program called “Respects Your Freedom” (RYF) that awards a certification mark to hardware meeting a set of free software standards (fsf.org/ryf). Embedded and IoT devices are a major target for the future of this program.

RYF has already made significant gains, especially over the last few years, certifying USB wifi adapters, 3D printers, home wifi routers, and earlier generation laptops. Even bigger things are planned, and most involve the embedded world. Get updates on what’s in store, learn what it takes to get your product certified, hear about the impact of certification so far and the community that has formed around the program, and discuss possible improvements to the standards.”

About John :

John Sullivan has worked in several different positions at the Free Software Foundation since 2003, including Campaigns Manager and Manager of Operations. He became the Executive Director in 2011.

Since 2011, the FSF has grown by over 50% in staff size. John is deeply involved in every area of the Foundation’s work, including outreach and advocacy, licensing education and enforcement, technical development and infrastructure, and business operations.

His background is mainly in the humanities, with an MFA in Writing and Poetics from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, and a BA in Philosophy from Michigan State, but he has been spending too much time with computers and online communities since the days of the Commodore 64. He’s a dedicated GNU Emacs user, and has contributed code to several of its extensions.

Prior to the FSF, John worked as a college debate team instructor for both Harvard and Michigan State University.

John has been speaking regularly at free software events since 2004.