We Want You to Speak at Open Source Bridge!

Now that our call for proposals is open, we wanted to follow up with more information about speaking at Open Source Bridge 2016.

Call For Proposals

The deadline for submitting your proposal is 11:59 PM PDT (UTC-7) on April 13th, 2016. Read on for more details.

Our Goal

Open Source Bridge’s purpose is to gather a diverse citizenry and inspire one another to make the world a better place through open source technology and open culture principles.

This makes Open Source Bridge stand out from other community-driven technology conferences. Instead of focusing on a single language, platform, or area of knowledge, we work to unite people across the spectrum of open technology and culture.

We are looking for people from all backgrounds and areas of experience to submit talk proposals. We’d love to hear about software, hardware, design, data, journalism, community, and more. Your starting point could be web development, project management, open hardware engineering, security, quality assurance, data visualization, user experience, or one of many other topics.

If you work or play in open source, we want to hear from you. Let us know how you are building your communities, small or large. All speaking experience levels are welcome.

We recommend checking out some of the talks from last year to get a feel for the event if you’ve never attended.

Conference Tracks

We’ve split the tracks into the following five areas in order to create a conference that promotes cross-pollination and provide space for detailed discussion:

  • Business: How do you contribute to open technology and culture projects while still putting food on the table and paying the bills? How do you run a business on open principles? Check out last year’s talks.
  • Practice: How did you get something to work? Show us how to write the script, configure the utility, debug the code. Share your best recipes. Check out last year’s talks.
  • Theory: We know that something works, but why? Show us the science behind the practice. Explain the components of a project and how they interact. Check out last year’s talks.
  • Culture: Give us your people recipes! What makes open technology and culture communities effective? Demonstrate how you motivate people to work together well. Check out last year’s talks.
  • Hacks: We want to know how you pulled it off. Show us your most ingenious hacks, kludges, work-arounds, and duct-tape jobs. It doesn’t have to be clever or elegant, it just has to work! Check out last year’s talks.

Don’t worry about selecting the perfect track. They are just rough guidelines, and we’ll check in if we have questions for you.

We Want to Help

We know submitting a proposal to a conference can be intimidating, especially for newer speakers. We want to help support you, so you feel comfortable submitting a talk. To that end, we’re putting together some office hours and resources to help. Stay tuned for a follow-up post soon with more information.

Update: you can now find the post here.

Public Proposals & Feedback Wanted

All proposals are public (except for fields marked private to organizers). We encourage everyone to read through the submitted ones, leave comments, and star the talks you would like to see at the conference. Your feedback is extremely useful to our content selection committee. If you’ve submitted a talk, publicize it and ask others to leave feedback.

Also, all proposals also have a unique identifier (like a course number) you can use to tag your blog posts or other online content with discussion and related materials. Later we’ll use this ID to connect the conference sessions with content from around the web.

Encourage Others to Submit

We’d love your help encouraging others to speak at Open Source Bridge. Know someone who you think is a great fit? Encourage them to submit a proposal or nominate them to keynote.

If you are part of a local community, this could be a great time to host a night where people work on proposals together. Let us know if there’s anything we can do to help.

Speaker Benefits

If you are selected to speak at Open Source Bridge, we will waive your attendance fee. We regret that we are not able to cover the cost of travel or lodging for speakers at this time. By not covering travel costs for our speakers, we are able to keep ticket prices low and make the conference accessible to the largest number of participants possible. However, if your proposal is accepted but you are unable to come due to travel costs, please let us know and we will do what we can to help out.

Speaking at Open Source Bridge is a fantastic way to participate in the conference. Start working on your proposal today and then submit it here.

Additionally, all those who submit a proposal but are not selected to speak will be able to register at the early bird registration price.

Acceptance Notifications

Proposal acceptances and wait-list notifications will be sent the first week of May.

Keynote Nominations

Now that our call for proposals is open, we’re working on selecting and inviting keynote speakers. We want to consider a broad range of potential speakers and find people that you’re interested in seeing, so we’re requesting nominations from the community.

Submit your nominations using this google form. We look forward to hearing from you!

Deadline for nominations is 11:59 PDT (UTC-7) on April 13th, 2016.

What we’re looking for

Please nominate people that you’d like to see speak at this year’s conference. Nominees do not need to have prior keynote experience, although they should have some prior speaking experience (at a conference, user group, unconference or other event). Some aspect of the nominee’s work should be in line with ‘open source citizenship’, the main theme of our conference. This can include a synthesis of topics commonly discussed at Open Source Bridge or new perspectives on contributing to or working with open source communities. To give you an idea of what we’d like to see, take a look at previous keynotes including those by Kronda Adair, Carina C. Zona, and Stephanie Morillo.

This year’s conference will have three keynote speaking slots, one on each morning Tuesday through Thursday. Keynote speakers receive a $500 honorarium.


If you have any questions, please send us an email. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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