A pan-European DFD activity proposal

Heiki "Repentinus" Ojasild repentinus at fsfe.org
Fri Feb 3 15:18:39 UTC 2012


I proposed organizing a student essay competition on Free Software and
Open Standards topics.

The original letter to the DFD mailing list:
> I would like to propose organizing an essay competition for European
> high school students on Free Software and Open Standards issues. This
> would have several benefits: it would encourage people to think about
> Free Software and Open Standards; it would expose more young people to
> the issues of Free Software and Open Standards (I am of the opinion
> that educational institutions would rather advertise a student essay
> competition than distribute, say, FSFE leaflets); it would popularize
> Free Software; we would probably get new good texts to promote Open
> Standards and Free Software; if we announced the winners on the DFD
> using an Open Standard, we would celebrate it in a very suitable
> fashion and would further publicize the DFD.
> I am now going to propose some ideas that could be developed into
> topics if you agree it is a good idea.
> -> What am I going to do on the DFD to advance Open Standards and
> promote Free Software?/What would my ideal DFD experience be?
> -> What should be done to promote Open Standards?
> -> What am I going to do to ensure that my government will use open
> document formats?
> -> Open standards vs proprietary specifications
> Should you agree that such an activity would be nice, we would have to
> act pretty fast. If we wanted to announce the winners on the DFD, the
> deadline for sending essays would have to be the 14th of March at the
> latest and we would probably want to give people at least a month to
> think and write. We would probably have to have our volunteers contact
> the national ministries of education and media at least another week
> in advance. Which means, that should we agree to do this, we would
> have to have everything decided by the 7th of February.

Following deliberation on the df-coordination@, we have come to the
agreement that it would be better to organize a blog post competition
and we should stick to a small number of countries (like 3) this year
due tto time constraints. Thus, as I would be able to coordinate and
publicize this in Estonia, I am looking for volunteers who would be
willing to run it in two additional countries.

Furthermore, prize ideas would be welcome.
> I think that as we want to popularize Free Software and Open
> Standards, the prizes could be somehow related to the FSFE. The prizes
> should be decided based on whether we want to primarily appeal to
> students who already have an inclination for Free Software or students
> who do not. If we want to encourage people who have an affinity for
> Free Software to get active, then we could offer something from the
> FSFE shop, a FSFE Fellowship, or a Free Software book, etc... If we
> want to appeal to more students, we would probably have to offer
> monetary rewards or hardware. I am not sure which group we should
> target, thus prize ideas and suggestions would be welcome from other
> interlocutors.

Also, any offers to participate in a jury to grade the entries would
also be appreciated.

Heiki "Repentinus" Ojasild
<repentinus at fsfe.org>

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