Call for Papers

When will FOSS Backstage be taking place?

FOSS Backstage 2021 will take place in the second week of February 2021 – the exact date will be announced soon.

Who can take part in the CfP?

Anyone and everyone (with an internet connection) and a good idea can take part in the CfP.

Do I need to have a FOSS Backstage account to be able to submit a proposal for the CfP?

Yes. The account allows you to register yourself as a speaker and submit a proposal for the Call for Papers over your profile. You can edit your proposal at any time – even after submission – and manage your information. Account registration and setup is free and only takes a few minutes. Just head this way:

Step-by-step: How does registration work?

Click here, fill out the form and submit it. The registration system will send you an email with a one time login link. Click the link and log in. Complete your profile and set a password so you can edit your profile later, submit another proposal or edit one you already submitted. 

What does the Call for Participation (CfP) form look like and what information do I have to enter?

You need the following:

  • Title
  • Description
  • choose a track
    • Asychronous Collaboration
    • Developer Relations
    • Open Source Program Office
    • Open Source Evangelism
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Mentoring
    • Governance
    • Legal/Compliance
    • Sustainability/Funding
  • choose a format
    • Talk
    • Panel Discussion
    • Workshop
    • Fishbowl Discussion
    • Ask me Anything
    • Lightning Talk
  • choose an experience level the audience of your session should have.
    • beginner
    • intermediate
    • advanced
  • let us know in which timezone you are. We will use this information to try and alighn your speaking slot to a sensible time for you.

optional you can:

  • name a co-speaker. please note: your co-speaker has to be registered, so you can link his or her account to your talk.
  • fill out the comment field with additional questions or requirements your have to conduct your talk. 
Will my information in the Call for Participation (CfP) form be made visible to the public?

No. We retrieve information from the form so as to assess and categorize your proposal. Should your proposal be accepted, we will then publish the submission. However, only information relevant to the visitors will be made public. Your contact details and similar information will not be published.

In which languages can I submit my proposal?

The conference language will be English, so please submit your proposal in that language.

How many proposals can I submit during the CfP?

You can submit as many proposals as you like but usually we will only accept one of them. 

Can I still edit my proposal in the CfP form?

Yes. The CfP form can be edited and saved up until October 25th, 2020. Following the expiration of the deadline, your submission will be final and you should only make changes to it in consultation with the program team. (We are able to see when and by whom a submission was edited in our system.)

How long is a session?

A standard talk will be 20 minutes long, with time added to that for a Q&A. Lightning Talks have a duration of 5 minutes.

We don't have fixed durations for the other formats. Please propose a length for your workshop in the comment field at the bottom of the CfP form.

My session is not published. Did you get it?

As long as you can access your session from the dashboard whilst logged in, it is saved and submitted correctly. You don't need to do anything else. 

Your session will be published once we have accepted it for the conference program. But no worries, we'll inform you via email before we'll publish it.

How do I know if my session has been selected?

After all talks are rated, we will inform you about the status of your submission starting Mid-November via email. So please make sure to check your inbox and possibly even spam folder.

When does the content of my session need to be ready?

On the day your session will take place. We'd appreciate getting your finished presentation 2 days before your talk though.

Only your short session description will be published online. We’d suggest making this short description informative and well formulated when submitting, in order to get us and the conference participants interested in your session. Also, make it short but sweet!

Which session formats can be selected?

The FOSS Backstage features different formats. You can select between the following in the CfP form:

  • Talk
  • Panel Discussion
  • Workshop
  • Fishbowl Discussion
  • Ask me Anything
  • Lightning Talk


How do I transfer my ticket to another person?

If you want to sell your ticket or gift it to someone then use the link provided in your confirmation e-mail that was sent to you right after your ticket purchase. Please note that transfers can only be done until February 10th 2020. If the ticket to be transferred is not a gift, then it is up to you and the new recipient to work out your own payment method. 
If you have any further questions, simply send a short e-mail to:

I need a receipt of my ticket purchase.

The ticket shop will automatically issue an receipt upon purchase. If you have any issues please get in touch via

Please note: Payment by invoice/bank transfer is only possible for Business Tickets.

What do I need to prove eligibility for discounted/reduced tickets?

Pupils, students, people on social welfare, retirees and people with disabilities are eligible for these tickets. Please note that you might have to present corresponding documentation of eligibility (student ID or other form of documentation that is valid in February 2021). 

Will there be a discount for groups of students?

Yes! For groups of 10+ students please request instructions via

I’m neither a student nor unemployed but I’m also not earning enough to afford a ticket.

In this case there are three other options for you to attend for free:

  • Become a speaker. Our Call for Participation runs until October 25th, 23:59 CET. It gives you the chance to submit a talk, a workshop or a discussion panel and thus apply to be part of the FOSS Backstage 2021 program.
  • Support us as a session moderator. Interested in helping us moderate sessions on the livestream during the event? Please get in touch:
  • Apply for a diversity & inclusivity Ticket. Find out more about our diversity and inclusivity efforts here
What are the benefits of buying a Business Ticket?

Business Tickets grant access to all sessions of FOSS Backstage, including digital networking events. Business Ticket Pass holders get exclusive content directly into their inboxes every morning on each conference day, plus a full event report at the end of the conference.

Furthermore, buying a Business Tickets supports us in making the event possible and allows us to offer more affordable tickets for people who might otherwise not be able to afford them.

Please note: Payment by invoice is only possible for Business Tickets.

Can I pay via bank transfer?

Payment via bank transfer/by invoice is only possible for Business Tickets. Please note: Payment by bank transfer is only possible until 7 days prior to the event.

I already bought a ticket. As a speaker, will I get a refund?

No, unfortunately not.

Tickets are not refundable in general. You can resell your ticket or gift it to someone. For more information see the corresponding ticket FAQ.

Can I share or transfer a ticket?
  • Sharing: A ticket cannot be shared. 
  • Transferring: You may transfer your ticket once to another person using the link in your ticket email. The deadline for this action is February 10th 2020.