Free Culture in an Expensive World

*
Accepted Session
Keynote
Beginner
Scheduled: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 from 9:00 – 9:45am in Sanctuary

Excerpt

Money is a common worry, inside the open source community and out, but we often feel uncomfortable discussing it. We’ll talk about why that is and how our social norms around money impact who participates in open source and how they do so. The heart of this talk will be a series of case studies based on interviews with community members covering various economic models for open source, including worker co-ops, grant-funded and academic projects, for-profit business models, crowdfunding campaigns, and all-volunteer projects. We’ll explore the sustainability of each model as well as how they deal with the social pressures outlined in the first part of the talk.

Description

Money is a common worry, inside the open source community and out, but we often feel uncomfortable talking about it. This session will address those reservations and push past them.

We’ll begin by placing this discussion of money in its psychological and cultural context. Why do we believe that paying people more might make them care less about their work? How does the ethos of “for the greater good” intersect with gender and other kinds of socialization? Who benefits from our taboos about money, and who is disadvantaged by them?

The heart of the talk will be a series of case studies based on research and interviews with project leaders and contributors. We’ll go over various economic models for open source, including worker co-ops, grant-funded and academic projects, for-profit business models, crowdfunding campaigns, and all-volunteer projects. We’ll explore benefits and disadvantages of each model, paying attention both to financial sustainability and to the way that projects deal with the psychological and cultural pressures outlined in the first part of the talk.

It’ll take a lot more than a single conference presentation to address these issues in a meaningful way, but hopefully this talk will spark some discussion on this critical topic.

Tags

money, sustainability, culture, psychology, case studies

Speaking experience

I have given talks at a number of open source and technology conferences, including Open Source Bridge (2014, 2015), LibrePlanet (2014, 2015, 2016), AlterConf (2014), PyCon (2014), the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (2014), and many others. Last year I gave my first keynote at SeaGL. Links to slides and video of some of these talks can be found here: http://shaunagm.net/talks/

Speaker

  • Shauna gordon mckeon

    Biography

    Shauna Gordon-McKeon is an independent researcher and developer who focuses on free technologies and communities. She runs a business, Galaxy Rise Consulting, providing web and mobile development and data science services to individuals and organizations. She can often be found using her skills as a writer, public speaker, and teacher to help free software and open science communities more accessible to newcomers.

    Sessions

      • Title: Free Culture in an Expensive World
      • Track: Business
      • Room: Sanctuary
      • Time: 9:009:45am
      • Excerpt:

        Money is a common worry, inside the open source community and out, but we often feel uncomfortable discussing it. We’ll talk about why that is and how our social norms around money impact who participates in open source and how they do so. The heart of this talk will be a series of case studies based on interviews with community members covering various economic models for open source, including worker co-ops, grant-funded and academic projects, for-profit business models, crowdfunding campaigns, and all-volunteer projects. We’ll explore the sustainability of each model as well as how they deal with the social pressures outlined in the first part of the talk.

      • Speakers: Shauna Gordon-McKeon

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