This has been a pivotal year for Linux Foundation events. Our largest gatherings, which include Open Source Summit, Embedded Linux Conference, KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, Open Networking Summit, and Cloud Foundry Summit, attracted a combined 25,000 people from 4,500 different organizations globally. Attendance was up 25 percent over 2016.
Linux Foundation events are often the only time that developers, maintainers, and other pros who contribute to Linux and other critical open source projects — like AGL, Kubernetes and Hyperledger to name a few — get together in person. Face-to-face meetings are crucial because they speed collaboration, engagement and innovation, improving the sustainability of projects over time.
We do our best to make Linux Foundation events broadly available by hosting them in varying geographic locations across the Americas, Asia, and Europe, ensuring that technologists everywhere have the chance to attend. In addition, we provide live streams or video recaps when budgets permit to make technical content available to all. We believe everyone should have access to the rewarding open source careers our industry offers.
Over the past few years, one of our core objectives has been to work with projects and communities to promote diversity and inclusiveness in open source. We’re relentlessly focused on this not only because more diverse teams make smarter decisions and generate better business results, but because they create more productive open source projects. Most important, we think supporting diversity and inclusiveness in open source is simply the right thing to do.
While there’s still progress to be made, we’ve made remarkable headway at our events this year. Here are a few of our initiatives:
- The Linux Foundation was an early adopter of a rigorous Code of Conduct across all events. We not only have a Code of Conduct, we enforce it and make it easy to contact our staff at any time to report harassment or other threatening behavior.
- In 2017 we awarded 250 diversity scholarships to allow developers and other technologists from underrepresented groups to attend our events for free.
- In addition, we provided 50 need-based scholarships to help people of varying economic means come to Linux Foundation events.
- We offered $100,000 in travel assistance this year to help members of underrepresented groups attend our gatherings. We’re proud that one of The Linux Foundation’s fastest-growing projects, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, offered an additional $250,000 in funding to bring 125 attendees from diverse backgrounds to last week’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon in Austin, Texas.
- Linux Foundation events feature free child care and nursing rooms. The availability of high-quality childcare and other support makes travel to events possible for more working parents.
- Our Inclusive Speaker Orientation course, created in collaboration with the National Center for Women & Information Technology, is required of all Linux Foundation employees and strongly suggested for speakers at our events. So far 954 people have completed the training.
- We have a policy of no all-male panels or keynote line-ups at all of our events. In addition, we make a concerted effort to create a diverse speaking line-up through outreach.
- We provide quiet rooms at all Linux Foundation events to give attendees who may need a break from the noise and commotion of large gatherings a place to take a break.
- We make sure non-binary restrooms are designated at every event to help all attendees feel welcome.
- We ensure all conference venues are wheelchair accessible and provide details on medical equipment rental on event websites. We’re also happy to provide interpreters for the hearing impaired upon request.
- We provide communication stickers at all public events to support social interaction for people with a variety of disabilities and communication needs.
We’re always looking for ways to continuously improve the experience at are events, but are proud of these advances and the overwhelmingly positive reception they have earned from the open source community. Our commitment comes from our belief that diverse and inclusive communities are healthier and more productive, allowing them to take on the toughest technical challenges.
To those who participated in Linux Foundation events in 2017, thank you. We can’t wait to see you in the new year.