February 1st, 2010 | Published in Google Open Source
The GNOME.Asia Summit 2009 was held at Quang Trung Software City in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam this past November. The event attracted more than 1,000 participants from 14 countries including Cambodia, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States. 79 speakers — 34 from outside of Vietnam — held 109 talks, presentations and panels, and the slides are available for download. The event was supported by 138 volunteers, nearly 100 of whom were women. The combined number of all participants was 1465, with 60% women attendees. The organizing committee is very proud that our conference was such a welcoming event for women in the Open Source community.
GNOME.Asia 2009 was the first community event of its kind in Vietnam. The engagement of large, multinational companies like our sponsor Google, as well as many local companies, reflects the increasing importance of Free and Open Source solutions for businesses in Asia. The event was exceptionally well-covered in the Vietnamese media; all major media outlets, including three TV stations, covered the event.
In addition to hacker space for GNOME core projects, the summit offered meet-up opportunities for related Free and Open Source projects. 255 people participated in our Linux course, which was organized in cooperation with Ubuntu Vietnam. A Saigon Mapping Party was organized by the OpenStreetMap Community together with local companies. OpenOffice and OpenSolaris were community partners. Local groups including Saigonlug, Java Vietnam, Vithon (Python), Mekong Open Source Club (MOSS), LXDE and BKIT supported the organization and set-up of the event. Education partners included Saigontech and the University of Pedagogy.
Looking Forward to the 2010 Summit
The work for GNOME.Asia 2010 is starting already. The call for a new location will be published in the upcoming weeks. A good potential spot is Taiwan, where there is interest and where the summit could be co-hosted with local events. Singapore could be a good location for a future event. Locally one of the major goals after the GNOME.Asia Summit is to use the momentum to foster development for the GNOME project, as well as Free and Open Source software in general. Our post-event goals include creating meeting and education labs that can function as hackerspaces for local groups to promote FOSS and GNOME. We hope that groups interested in helping coordinate GNOME.Asia will answer the call for location and volunteers when it is published, so keep an eye on our website for details.