Exploring practical solutions to ensure long term sustainability of open source software

Workshop within the framework of the Open Source Workshops for Computing and Sustainability event

Albert Borschette Conference Center, Brussels: 02 December 2022

Workshop time: 14:30-16:00 CET | Room 0C


Workshop Description

With increasing use of open source software, its long-term sustainability is essential to our digital universe.  What is sustainability? Do we need to ensure ALL open source software, or only a crucial subset? What should we do to sustain this subset?

Over the last 5 years the EC’s OSPO team have met and debated this issue with many open source practitioners. Via programmes/projects such as EU-FOSSA 2, ISA2 and FOSSEPS, it became clear that directly supporting certain vulnerable software communities could significantly enhance overall sustainability. These are the smaller software communities, typically with one or two maintainers, and some slightly larger communities with stable software that needs regular maintenance.  Essentially, we need to support the little guys, and the maintainers. Without this support, their software is much more likely to end up in a critical state of health (in software ICU). The recent European Commission Funding Mechanism study examined financial and non-financial support to these two target groups.

Can we create practical solutions to sustain our open source ecosystem?




Chrysanthi GIORTSOU

Chrysanthi Giortsou (DG Head of Unit, B3)

Chrysanthi is the deputy head of the Reusable Solutions Unit in the Directorate-General for Informatics (DIGIT) of the European Commission. Part of the portfolio she manages includes the Open Source Strategy for the European Commission as well as the FOSSEPS project which aims at managing and protecting open source as a collective, shared and valuable European asset.

Chrysanthi holds a M.Sc. degree in Computer Science from the University of Crete – Greece. She joined the European Commission in 2006 and has been involved since then in a wide range of IT projects both for the Commission as well as for the Member States

Assisted by

Gijs Hillenius

Gijs Hillenius (DIGIT)

IT project officer at the European Commission’s open source programme office (EC OSPO) since late 2020. During 2019 and 2020 Gijs was closely involved in the revamping of the Commission open source software strategy (C(2020/7149), which created the OSPO. Subsequently he was involved in the Commission Decision on the open source licensing and reuse of Commission software (2021/C 495 1/01); and in the creation and subsequent running of - the code development platform for open source software projects for which European Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies hold the intellectual property rights. Starting in 2007 and until 2020 he reported for the Commission open source observatory (, now part of Joinup). 






Fiona Krakenbürger (Sovereign fund)

Fiona Krakenbürger is the Co-Founder of the Sovereign Tech Fund, a new initiative dedicated to supporting the Open Source Ecosystem and Open Source Infrastructure. Fiona previously worked as a Senior Program Manager at the Open Technology Fund in Washington D.C. supporting Internet Freedom Technology worldwide and as Principal Program Manager at the Prototype Fund in Germany. She currently serves as Committee Member of the RIPE NCC Community Projects Fund and engages in Diversity efforts in tech communities.  



Jarek Potiuk

Jarek Potiuk (PMC member of Apache Airflow)

Independent Open-Source Contributor and Advisor, Committer and PMC member of Apache Airflow, Member of the Apache Software Foundation
Jarek is an Engineer with a broad experience in many subjects – Open-Source, Cloud, Mobile, Robotics, AI, Backend, and Developer Experience, but he also had a lot of non-engineering experience – running a company, being CTO, organising big, international community events, technical sales support, PR and marketing advisory but also looking at the legal aspect of licensing and building open-source communities are all under his belt.
With experience in very small and very big companies and everything in between, Jarek found his place in the Open-Source world, where his internal individual-contributor drive can be used to the uttermost potential.




Matthieu Faure (Adullact)

Matthieu FAURE is Open Source project manager at ADULLACT, a French non-profit of local governments. He is the creator of Asqatasun (formerly EvalAccess and Tanaguru), the open source web accessibility analyser, reputed for its reliability. Matthieu is also a volunteer instructor at Les Glenans sailing school. 



Paolo Vecchi

Paolo Vecchi (Ministry of the Economy - Luxembourg)

Paolo has been working with and has been a promoter of Open Source software for the past 20 years. More recently he has been working with European partners to deliver Open Source based Cloud platforms, he is an advisor to the Ministry of the Economy in matters related to Open Source and Digital Sovereignty and he volunteers as a director at The Document Foundation (LibreOffice). 




Stéfane Fermigier (CNLL/APELL)

Stefane Fermigier is a French tech entrepreneur and open source advocate. He is the founder and CEO of Abilian, a company which develops enterprise information management solutions based on open source software. Previously, he founded Nuxeo in 2000. A graduate of ENS Paris, he holds a PhD in mathematics from the University of Paris. He's also the co-founder of several organisations dedicated to developing the open source ecosystem and digital sovereignty in France and Europe, including: 

- EUCLIDIA (2021) 
- APELL (2020) 
- CNLL (2010), the French National Council of Free / Open Source Companies. 



Stefan Zosel

Stefan Zosel (Capgemini - Global Public Sector)

Stefan (German, 46yrs) brings 20+ years of experience in IT, Cloud and Open Source. After studying computer science he was co-founder of an OSS company in 1997. Later he joined SUSE Linux and took part at different OSS communities like LiVE, Lisog and FSLC to drive OSS adoption in the market. Now he is responsible for Sovereign Cloud Transformation at Capgemini Public Sector and spokesman to the OSS community.