A Number of well known experts will attend the event and address the main issues related to FOSS Opportunities & Communities, animate round tables and present workshops. (Last update: Jan 15, 2015)

 

Patrick Sinz
Managing director of Ethiqa SAS, Board member of the AFUL
Title(1): Making Open Source work in and for the Public Sector.
Abstract: Open Source solutions enable the public sector to get a control on its IT and provides long term sustainable solutions, it also provides a simple way to ensure that public spending benefits the private economy in a transparent and ethical way. But these benefits are not without challenges. The talk will touch inter-agency collaboration, FOSS driven public private collaborations, FOSS neutral tenders, and sustainable IT.
Title(2): FOSS as a motor for entrepreneurship and job creation.
Abstract: Open Source solutions enable the creation of innovative and nimble IT companies, but over and above this it enables any company to experiment, innovate and accelerate its development while reducing vendor lock-in and motivating internal teams. The talk will touch the issue of “making money with free” for IT centric companies, and how “the freedom of experimenting brought by FOSS solutions” unleashes benefits for all companies, and how to make it sustainable.
Bio: Patrick Sinz is the CTO of Apila SA, a product startup focusing on innovative Smart Cities Applications, and the Director of Incubation at Next Gen SAS focusing on innovative Open Source projects in the Public Sector, Smart City and Sustainable development. Patrick is a board member of the AFUL (association francophone des usagers de logiciels libres), Director of the Digital Freedom Foundation, and Founding member of Software y Cultura Libre in Bolivia, he also runs the Data Tuesday Barcelona Community event in Catalunya. From 1999 to 2004 Patrick worked for Hewlett Packard in various functions, first managing the Internet Startup Unit, the E-Service Unit and the E-Government Unit for the CEMEA region and later as the World Wide e-government Business development manager. Prior to that, he held a number of General Management, CTO and Sales management roles within medium and large corporations, and launched several start-ups in IT consulting and Internet service. Earlier he worked on Operating System related projects at the INRIA and the IRCAM. His current interests cover Open Source solutions for the Smart City and Mobility sector, and Open Source collaboration and business models for sustainable development. Patrick taught Operating System Design and Electronic Government at the University of Paris 8 from 1981 to 2004, and holds a DEA of Computer Science specialized in Artificial Intelligence from Paris 8.

 

Jan Wildeboer
EMEA Evangelist at Red Hat
Title: Open is default!
Abstract: Open is default! No matter if you call it Open Source, Open Innovation, Open Knowledge, Open Standards -The Open Source Way is becoming default everywhere. We have won. But that opens a can of worms. What the Next Big Thing, if such a thing exists at all? Jan Wildeboer, Red Hat’s EMEA Evangelist will share his provocative observations and invites you to join a journey from the past to today and beyond to find out if and how Open is needed. Be very afraid! ;-).
Bio: Jan Wildeboer works at Red Hat as the EMEA Evangelist. Travels across EMEA to talk, discuss and convince his audience that Open Source, Knowledge, Standards etc. are the better way to go. Ever since he found Linux in 1993, Jan WIldeboer has been a fierce fighter for more Open on every level. As a developer of Open Source projects, as a lobbyist and as an activist. But it’s not only software. He also runs a 3D printer at home, is a transnational immigration officer and a known speaker at various conferences and events.

 

Elizabeth K. Joseph,
Linux Systems Administrator, HP OpenStack Infrastructure team
Title: Building a Career in FOSS
Abstract: As a paid, full-time FOSS contributor working for one of the most well-known tech companies in the world, Elizabeth has built a career around contributing to FOSS. In this talk she will discuss this career, including social and volunteer involvement in projects and user groups and early jobs she had that focused on using FOSS. She will also focus on some of the benefits beyond careers, including how it's lead to opportunities to travel and collaborate with people around the world.
Bio: Elizabeth K. Joseph is a Linux Systems Administrator with HP working on the OpenStack Infrastructure team. She is also a long time contributor to Debian and Ubuntu, and currently holds a position on the Ubuntu Community Council and is the co-author of The Official Ubuntu Book, 8th edition. At home in San Francisco, California, she sits on the Board of Directors for Partimus, a non-profit putting Linux-based computers into schools.
Visit Elizabeth's Blog and Flickr page about FOSSC 2015 (Updated Feb 22, 2015). 
Visit Elizabeth's Blog and Flickr page about Tourist in Muscat, Oman 2015 (Updated Mar 1, 2015). 

 

Hassan Fida Al-Lawati
Director of e-Industry Development, Information Technology Authority
Title: National FOSS Initiative-Facts & Challenges.
Bio: Mr. Hassan Fida Al-Lawati has 16 years’ work experience with a qualification of MBA degree in Business Administration from University of Bedfordshire of (UK) since 2008.  His job career started after he got his bachelor degree in Marketing from Sultan Qaboos University in year 1998 when he joint the telecom sector through Oman Telecommunication Company (the 1st Telecom Company in Oman) where he worked in its Marketing Department for 3 years. After that, he continued his career in the business area of the petroleum sector by jointing Shell Oman Marketing Company in year 2001, where he worked for the Commercial Department for 3 and half years. At a later stage, he moved to the Retail side of Shell Oman Marketing to look after Shell’s convenience shops network chain which is known as (Shell Select Shops) for another 3 and half years as a Product Category Manager. In year 2008, he completed his MBA degree and joint Information Technology Authority to work till date in the Digital Society Development Division. He is currently managing several projects as e-Industry Development Director that contributes to connect the Omani manpower force and capabilities to ICT industry seeking to convert the Omani ICT industry from consuming to a producing stage in the long-run. Hassan with his 16 years work experience, he was able to combine a rich experience from  various sectors to include (Telecommunication, Petroleum Marketing, and Information Technology).

Flavia Marzano
Strategic Adviser for Local Public Administration on Open Government, e-Participation, Cloud Computing, Social networking and FOSS adoption and regulations, Lecturer at La Sapienza Rome University
Title: The role and opportunities of FOSS in Public Administrations
Abstract: Public Administrations (PAs), when acquiring software must assure: pluralism, competition, security, integration with software already in use, business continuity, interoperability, availability of source code (at least for inspection), software portability and reuse for other PAs, possibility to export data and documents in open formats.
Bio:MSc in computer science, Strategic Adviser for Local Public Administration especially on Open Government, eParticipation, Cloud Computing, Social networking and FOSS adoption and regulations. Member of the Italian Open Source committees; head of the FOSS Competence Center of the Province of Rome; evaluator and reviewer of IST European Projects; lecturer at La Sapienza Rome University (Technologies for Public Administrations); active in the definition of Italian eGoverment and eParticipation Action Plans and related call for projects and evaluations; member of the Scientific Committee of Master in Open Source Software Mangement (University of Pisa);  president of Stati Generali dell'Innovazione, member of the national experts committee in support to Italian Digital Agenda Agency.

 

Matthias Stürmer
Head of Research Center on Digital Sustainability at University of Bern, member of city parliament of Bern
Title: Digital sustainability of open source communities
Abstract: What is digital sustainability and what do open source communities have to do with it? The talk will introduce the concept of digital sustainability, discuss characteristics of digital resources that make them sustainable, and explain why and how communities of open source communities create digitally sustainable software. Examples of different community activities such as the LibreOffice project illustrate how collaboration works in various open source initiatives.
Bio: Dr. Matthias Stürmer born 1980, studied business administration and computer science at University of Bern until 2005 (lic.rer.pol) and finished his doctoral dissertation at the Chair of Strategic Management and Innovation at ETH Zürich in 2009 (Dr. sc. ETH Zürich). His research focused on open source communities and firm involvement, the title of his PhD thesis was "How Firms Make Friends: Communities in Private-Collective Innovation". During his studies, Matthias founded two Internet start-ups and was involved in various open source initiatives. After finishing his PhD he then worked at Liip AG, a Swiss software company creating agile Internet solutions based on open source technologies. In 2010 he joined EY (Ernst & Young) as Senior, later he was promoted to Manager. Among other topics Matthias Stürmer consulted global corporations and government authorities on social media governance, open source software, and open government data. He is member of the board of Swiss Open System User Group /ch/open, member of the board of Opendata.ch, secretary of the Swiss Parliamentarian Group for Digital Sustainability, and leader of the OSB Alliance Working Group Office Interoperability. Since 2011 he is member of the city parliament of Bern. In August 2013 Matthias started as post-doc at the University of Bern to focus on topics around digital sustainability. Among other projects he created the new lecture “Open data: data management and visualization” teaching open government data theory as well as tutoring the programming of open data apps by the students.

 

David Hurley
Joomla Community Manager
Title: Scaling Applications for Global Communities
Abstract: For the past 10 years, the Joomla! project has been a strong model and example of distributed leadership and community building in the open source landscape.  As a present board member of Open Source Matters (the project's organizational structure) and its past President, I've had a unique opportunity to witness first-hand the success and challenges of building one of the world's most popular open source communities.  In this presentation, I would like to share the lessons learned from our first 10 years, and provide critical insight to those working within open source projects that can assist in their success.
Bio: David Hurley is an open source advocate and travels most weeks of the year to speak around the world on topics of tech, PHP and open source software. He is the founder of Mautic, the free and open source marketing automation platform. He is also the Community Manager for Joomla - the second largest content management system in the world. He volunteers as a member of the production leadership team, the framework maintainers and others groups. David writes obsessively at http://dbhurley.com and is an active partner in several businesses.
Visit David's blog about FOSSC 2015 (Updated March 16, 2015). 

Wolfgang F. Finke
Business Management - Business Information Systems - eCollaboration - Educational Management
Title: National FOSS Strategy and the Supporting Role of Research Institutions
Abstract: Free and Open Source Software, FOSS, can - and will - play an important role in businesses and public organizations as part of standard IT/IS infrastructures. The reported amounts of savings which can be achieved through utilizing FOSS by national governments and by business are hotly debated and difficult to compare or verify. From a broader - national - perspective, there are significant advantages of utilizing FOSS as well. Unfortunately, FOSS – as other technologies as well – will not start to employ themselves and Oman FOSS Center of Excellence could be beneficial.
Bio: Prof. Dr. rer. pol. habil. Wolfgang F. Finke. Studies in Business Administration and Business Information systems at the University of Goettingen and the University of Paderborn/Germany. 1980 Ph.D. in the field of Business Information Systems at University of Paderborn/Germany. 
Visit Wolfgang's photo and web page and the report on European-Commission Joinup website (Updated March 16, 2015). 

 

Khalid Al Rahbi
Manager for Cloud Initiatives, 
Information Technology Authority
Title: G-Cloud
Abstract:
G-Cloud is a platform based on open source technologies that enables the Omani Government and other state authorities to locate their information systems to a central state-managed private cloud and to refrain from maintaining their own IT-infrastructures. The objective for implementing G-Cloud is to improve ministries’ business outcomes by consolidating their IT infrastructure, reducing the IT budget and increasing their agility as well as to provide government ICT services at lower costs.
Bio: Khalid Al Rahbi is a graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Glasgow Caledonian University (Scotland, UK), with over 13 years’ experience in IT as a developer, systems analyst, project manager and senior solution architect in both private and government sectors. Khalid is currently the Manager for Cloud Initiatives at ITA (Information Technology Authority) Oman, and is responsible for supervising and implementing nationwide IT Infrastructure projects including Government Cloud and e.Oman Portal. His vision is to serve his country by facilitating community access to user-friendly electronic services. Khalid’s leadership of the innovative G-Cloud project recently earned him international recognition at GITEX when it earned the Best Virtualization Solution Implementation Award in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. As an Omani, Khalid was proud to place Oman IT solutions in the forefront of the world stage.

Workshops

 

Feras Abou Shackra
Managing Director, LPI Middle East
Workshop title: Linux in education a case study: How to shift a school’s computer course from application to concept learning.
Abstract: 
Imagine the possibilities of your students having access to computers without any vendor locks. Students can make whatever modification they wish, providing unparalleled flexibility. The choice is theirs, and the possibilities are limitless.  It is like buying your kid a Lego toy instead of a toy car, and seeing them turning it into whatever they like. Today’s case study will share success stories on the implementation of a Linux curriculum within grades 10 and 11 as a practice to remove limits.
Bio: Feras Abou Shackra is a founding member and Managing Director of the LPI Middle East.  He is responsible for driving and executing the cross-company business, policy and strategy for Linux, open standards and open source.  Recent years have seen him in the movement from traditional technical and intellectual property approach, to one where business exploitation of open source, cloud and big data technologies for greater value is paramount, especially in vertical industries and emerging markets. Feras has established a network of academic and training partners around the Middle East, in pursue of accelerating knowledge transfer and capacity building. Feras was seen working with local and international authorities, where he has lead a UN capacity building initiative throughout 22 Arab countries. Feras is an executive member of the International Standards Organization and the International forum for the IT Service Management scheme. His experience covers all elements of IT management, with an emphasis on realizing sustainable change and maximizing business value. Feras has led many initiatives at the LPI, which have furthered Linux and Open Source awareness – adoption and localization of internationally recognized certifications, and development of the LPI resource in a form accessible to the Arab community.  

 

Fahad Amer Al-Saidi
FOSS Specialist, Information Technology Authority
Workshop title: Using Free Software in School
Bio: Fahad Al-Saidi is a GNU/Linux supporter in Arab community. He is the founder of itwadi.com which is one of the best websites specialized in Free software in Arabic. Fahad has translated and published hundreds articles about Open Source in Arabic. In 2012, Fahad wrote and published his first book “know Free & Open Source Software” in Arabic. He works in his free time to add Arabic support in FOSS software. Fahad is now working as project manager for National initiative to support Free Software in Information Technology Authority, Oman.

 

Ilja Livenson
Architect of the ITA G-Cloud Project.
Workshop title: Building Oman Government Cloud from Open-Source Components.
Abstract:  Description of the G-Cloud architecture covering briefly hardware and networking aspects and concentrating on the OpenStack integration aspects and usage of open-source configuration management tools for the operations. More in-depth explanation of how things are done, what components were involved and experience from that. If time allows - plan for this year and the role of open-source components there. Bio: Ilja Livenson is architect of the ITA G-Cloud project. He got his MSc in computer science at the University of Tartu, Estonia and has 10 years of professional experience with industry and academical projects. He worked on projects on data management issues at KTH PDC, developed medical health system in Estonia, helped to extend EGEE to the Baltics, worked on the peer-to-peer virtual-world platform. As a research at NICPB he is also involved in building a prototype for the PaaS service targeted at European public sector.

 

Ghalib Ali Al-Abri
CEO of Rafed Group
Workshop title: Using Free Software in School
Bio: Ghalib Ali Al-Abri has a bachelor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and is CEO of the Reed Group for more than 5 years. The company mission focuses on building and designing websites and online systems, using Open Source CMS software like Joomla and Wordpress. Moreover providing e-learning solutions and support using Moodle in addition to EDMS system such as OpenKM and Alfresco. He is very interested in localizing FOSS software to Arabic.

 

Mahmood AlHinaai
PKI System Engineer Executive, ITA
Workshop Title: FOSS Tools in Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Project.
Abstract: Introduction about PKI (General idea, Sign, ENC, Public/Private Key, CA,… etc).What is digital ENCRYPTION and SIGN? Symmetric and asymmetric ENCRYPTION methods, and differences between Public and Private Keys. PKI services provided by National Digital Certification Center (NDCC) in Oman for end-users. Listing some Open Source applications and give small description on how or what they are used for in Oman PKI project and talk about some advantages of using these Open Source applications.
Bio: PKI system engineer executive at Information Technology Authority – Oman. He is Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA). He graduated from Sultan Qaboos University holding Bachelor's degree, Electrical and Computer Engineering – Computer Systems and Networks, 2002 – 2008.

 

Suleiman Al Habsi
Instructor in Engineering Village
Workshop Title: Introduction to Raspberry PI Application
Abstract: Arduino is an open-source computer hardware and software company, project and user community that designs and manufactures kits for building digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and control the physical world. The project is based on a family of microcontroller board designs manufactured primarily by Smart Projects in Italy using various 8-bit Atmel AVR microcontrollers or 32-bit Atmel ARM processors. The workshop aims to introducing the Arduino board and its application as an open source project development tool.
Bio: Undergraduate pursuing Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Systems & Network Engineering at SQU. Peer tutor in the College of Engineering at SQU. Conducted several technical courses in applied electronics, PCB design, VB.net and Proteus VSM. Worked as the Lead of R&D department at Engineering Village for 2 years. Worked with the Microsystems Design Lab, The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) USA for 12 weeks. Leader of IT student society at SQU for 2010. Leader and project supervisor of IEEE-SQU for 2011.

 

Anood Al Muharbi
Instructor in Engineering Village
Workshop Title: Introduction to Raspberry PI Application
Abstract: The GPIO pins on a Raspberry Pi are a great way to interface physical devices like buttons and LEDs with GNU/Linux operating systems using an open source programing language (python). The workshop will be an introduction to how these applications can be used to connect projects to the real world.
Bio: Anood is Undergraduate pursuing Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science at SQU. Head of the Free & Open Source Society at SQU. Participated in and organized several FOSS events and lectures. An active member at Engineering Village working on developing Raspberry Pi technical training program and introducing it to the Omani society.

 

Amna Al-Munthari
Member of Free Open Source Students Society (FO3S)
Workshop Title: Blender Tools for Architecture Design.
Abstract: The workshop will reveal an architectural model simulated for one of the famous institutions in The Sultanate. It will be an opportunity to discover the most important tools harnessed to complete that project along with a practical training on how to use them. Architectural simulation in Blender focuses more on aesthetic side rather than scientific aspect.

 

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