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28 November 2023

OpenForum Academy Symposium

Hosted by TU Berlin
Academic Partners
the event

The Social, Political and Economic Impact of Open Source

As of today there is no academic conference covering questions relating to the social, political and economic impact of Open Source. This hampers the linking of research agendas, growth of the research area, and the societal understanding of the value of the Open Source ecosystem as a whole. The OpenForum Academy Symposium (OFA) fills this space.

After a successful first, virtual edition in 2021, the OFA Symposium 2023 will bring together an interdisciplinary set of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers from around the world to Berlin, in order to explore the transformative power of Open Source Software and Hardware.

At the OFA Symposium, we will examine the social, political, and economic implications of open source. We will explore how open source is changing the way we work, communicate, and interact with each other, and how it is shaping the future of technology and society.

The Symposium will feature a diverse and group of speakers and participants, including researchers, policymakers, developers, and activists. We believe that the OFA Symposium will provide a unique and valuable opportunity for learning, collaboration, and networking.

We hope you will join us for this exciting event, and look forward to exploring the social, political, and economic impact of Open Source together.

The OFA Symposium 2023 will be hosted by TU Berlin

Challenges to the Research of Open Source

Researchers face challenges when studying open source software and hardware, including issues related to data access, ethics, and community engagement. This session will explore innovative research methods and strategies for addressing these challenges, and highlight the importance of open source research for understanding its impact on society.

Economic Impact of Open Source

Open source software and hardware are disrupting traditional business models and creating new opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship. We will discuss the economic benefits and challenges of open source, including its impact on job markets, intellectual property rights, and the development of emerging technologies and its potential to shape the future of the global economy.

Funding models for Open Source Contributors

There are different funding models available to support open source contributors, including, but not limited to corporate sponsorship, grants, and individual donations. We’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each model, and explore how to sustainably support open source communities as well as foster long-term sustainability in the open source ecosystem.

Future Software Liability Regulation and Open Source

Software liability regulation entails legal and ethical implications for open source software. We will examine the potential risks and benefits of liability regulation, and discuss how it may impact the development and adoption of open source software. The discussion will provide an insight into the evolving legal landscape surrounding open source software and its implications for the industry.

Open Chips Changing the Paradigm in Semiconductors

Open source hardware is already transforming parts of the semiconductor industry and creating new opportunities for innovation and collaboration. We will explore the challenges and opportunities presented by open source chips, including their potential to disrupt traditional supply chains and foster new models of hardware development.

Open Source and Geopolitics

Open source software and hardware have entered the geopolitical stage. We will explore the ways in which open source is changing the nature of technology development and innovation, and discuss the implications for national security, diplomacy, and economic competitiveness. Insights into the evolving role of open source in geopolitics and its impact on the global stage will be discussed.

Open Source as Digital Commons

Open source software and hardware can be seen as digital commons, enabling the sharing of resources, knowledge, and innovation. We will explore the challenges and opportunities presented by this paradigm, including issues related to governance, sustainability, and community management.

Open Source as Infrastructure

Open source software and hardware has become digital public infrastructure, enabling the creation of public goods and services that benefit society as a whole. We will examine the potential of open source to facilitate collaboration between government, industry, and civil society, and discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by this paradigm.

The Intersection of Open Source and Standardisation

Open Source Software and hardware and standardisation are complementary while they challenge each others. At the same time there are ways in which they can work together to drive innovation, interoperability, and adoption. This topic will be an opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by this intersection, and share best practices and case studies for leveraging open source to advance standardisation efforts and vice versa.

The OSPO as the New Institutional Collaboration Model

Open Source Programme Offices have emerged as a new model for institutional collaboration and innovation. This session will be an opportunity to explore the role of OSPOs in facilitating open source adoption and contribution within and across organisations, and discuss best practices for establishing and managing OSPOs. What are the latest trends and developments in OSPOs and how can this model drive collaboration, innovation, and value creation.

The Role of Open Source in the Emergence of AI

Open source software and hardware have the potential to contribute to the development of AI and shaping the future of this emerging field. We will explore the ways in which open source is can be a tool to democratise AI technology and its potential to drive innovation and create new opportunities for social and economic development. The latest trends in open source AI and its impact on the future of technology and society will be discussed.

The State of Diversity in Open Source

We will examine the state of diversity and inclusion in the open source community, including issues related to representation, participation, and access. We will explore the challenges and opportunities presented by this issue, and discuss strategies for promoting greater diversity and inclusion in the development of open source software and hardware.

Register for the event

    * Mandatory field

    Catharina Maracke
    Project Professor at Cyber Civilisation Research Center, Keio University
    Katharina Meyer
    Program & Research Manager Digital Infrastructure Fund
    Knut Blind
    Nicolo Zingales
    Professor at FGV Law School
    Sachiko Muto
    Sayeed Choudhury
    Director of Open Source Programs Office (OSPO) at Carnegie Mellon University
    Sivan Pätsch
    Research Director at OpenForum Europe
    Walter Britto Gaspar
    Researcher at FGV Law School
    More keynote speakers to be announced
    Andres Guadamuz
    Reader in Intellectual Property Law at University of Sussex
    To be announced

    To be announced

    Call for Papers

    The CfP is now open for the OpenForum Academy 2023 Symposium. Submission deadline is 12 June 2023. Questions can be directed to

    We seek submissions from academics, practitioners and researchers in Open Source Software and Open Source Hardware. If accepted, authors agree to send a full-text paper by 16 October.

    The journal Technology and Regulation is foreseeing a special issue on Open Source in the context of the OFA Symposium, preliminary to be published in spring 2024. All submissions aiming to be published in the special issue need to report original and previously unpublished research. Acceptance for publication is dependent on the outcome of the journal’s review process.

    Presentations are scheduled for 25 minutes with time for discussion together with other talks of the same thematic area.

    The organisers are able to cover travel costs for a select number of presenters.


    Call for Papers
    Important Dates
    12 June
    CfP Closes
    26 June
    Acceptance Notifications
    06 July
    Publication of Programme
    16 October
    Full Paper Submission
    06 November
    Camera-ready Paper
    28 November
    Basil Cousins Award

    In memory of late OFE co-founder Basil Cousins we are instituting the Basil Cousins Award, which will go to a young, promising academic researching the societal effects of open innovation and open technologies.

    The winner will be selected among the participants of the Symposium and will receive a prize of €5000. Join us in celebrating the legacy of Basil Cousins and the future of open innovation and open technologies!