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EC Project to promote Free Software and Open Standards

International SELF Project Kick-off on July 10th in The Hague

Keywords: Open Content, Free Software, Open Source, Open Standards, Education, Information Society, Knowledge Platform

EC to invest in Free Software promotion and education

The European Commission is directing more and more money to promote the use of Free Software and Open Standards, which is a strategic objective within the IST (Information Society Technologies) Programme. The EC has signed a contract for this purpose with the SELF Consortium, a group of universities and free software advocates in seven countries, including Bulgaria, Argentina and India. The SELF project will be funded for the initial period (two years) with about 1 million euro.

A short intro on the SELF project

SELF is an international project that aims to provide a platform for the collaborative sharing and creation of open educational and training materials about Free Software and Open Standards. First of all, it will provide information, educational and training materials on Free Software and Open Standards presented in different languages and forms. Secondly, it will offer a platform for the evaluation, adaptation, creation and translation of these materials. The production process of such materials will be based on the organisational model of Wikipedia.

Why the SELF platform?

The SELF project starts from three key reasons: 1) Free Software and Open Standards are crucial to support the competitive position of the European software industry; 2) the real and long term technological change from private to free software can only come by investing in education and training; and 3) the production of educational and training materials on Free Software and Open Standards should be done collaboratively by all the parties involved.

Who is the SELF Consortium?

The SELF platform is initiated by an international consortium including three universities: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Spain), University of Gothenburg (Sweden) and Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (India). And four non-profit organisations active as Free Software advocates: Internet Society (Netherlands), Free Software Foundation Europe (in all European countries), Internet Society (Bulgaria) and Fundación Via Libre (Argentina).

Which are the target groups of the SELF project?

The SELF platform seeks to facilitate educational institutes, business, governmental organisations as well as non-profit organisations.

SELF conference program

The SELF project will be presented in more detail and international experts will present keynotes on related concepts such as Free Software, Open Standards, Open Content and Education.

Date + time: Monday 10th July 2006 9:30 – 17:30

Venue: City Council, Spui 68, The Hague, The Netherlands, entrance "dienst Openbare Bibliotheek" (public library). Next to train station “Den Haag Centraal Station”. Transport Instructions.

Contact: / Wouter Tebbens (w.tebbens [at]

Registration: The conference programme is free of charge, but it is compulsory to register before the 1st of July. Please register at the website: Limited seats available!


  9:30 - 10:00

Reception with coffee and tea

10:00 - 10:10

Welcome by Mr. Frits Huffnagel, Alderman International Affairs, City Marketing & ICT, Den Haag

10:10 - 10:20

Day opening by president Tom Kok

10:20 - 10:55

Presentation of the SELF project by Wouter Tebbens, SELF project leader

10:55 - 11:10

J.W. Broekema, programme manager OSOSS, “After Open Source Software and Open Standards there's Open Content”

11:15 - 12:15

Theme I: Strategic implications of Free Software in the Netherlands and in Europe

Keynote by Georg Greve, president of Free Software Foundation Europe

Panel discussion led by Bert Melief (ISOC, M&I) with Paul Klint (CWI), Rob Rapmund (Twijnstra Gudde), Rishab Ghosh (FLOSSworld), Jan Willem Broekema (OSOSS), Joep van Nieuwstadt (Exin)

12:15 - 13:00

Lunch break

13:00 - 14:00

Theme II: The Open Content Revolution

Keynote by Mathias Klang, lecturer at Göteborg University and project lead of Creative Commons Sweden.

Panel discussion led by Jonas Öberg, vice president of the Free Software Foundation Europe, with Kees Stuurman (University of Tilburg), Jo Lahaye (HollandOpen), Ton Roosendaal (Blender), Martijn Verver (VPRO)

14:00 - 15:00

Theme III: Free Software Curriculum Building

Keynote about the European Master programme on Free Software by David Megias, Open University Catalunya (UOC, Spain)

Panel discussion led by Dessi Pefeva ( with  Peter Sloep (, Frank Kresin (Waag Society), Marja Verstelle (University of Leiden), Michael van Wetering (KennisNet), Leo Besemer (ECDL), Tom Dousma (SURF)

15:00 - 15:20

Break with coffee and tea

15:20 - 16:20

Theme IV: Semantic web, knowledge platforms, collaborative authoring

Keynote on the development of the SELF platform by Nagarjuna G., Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (India)

Panel discussion led by Michiel Leenaars ( with Frank Benneker (UvA), Rob Peters (Zenc, UvA, HollandOpen), Gabriel Hopmans (Morpheus),  Jeen Broekstra (TUE)

16:20 - 16:45

Conclusions of the day by Tom Kok

16:45 - 17:00

Official start of the SELF project by Mystery Guest - with Champagne!

17:00 - 18:00

drinks to celebrate

More information about the project, its partners and the speakers can be found at the project website: and at

This day is organised with the help of the following parties.

Internet Society Netherlands

Gemeente Den Haag

Programma OSOSS

European Union

This project is funded with 978.000 euro by the European Commission, 

Information Society Technologies.

Contract Nº 34595, project name SELF, Science, Education and Learning in Freedom.

European Commission - Information Society