Send in your ideas: Call for Participation open now!

a close-up of a microphone

We are proud to start the Call for Participation of FOSS Backstage 2021 today.

FOSS Backstage is an open platform and we thrive on your contributions. Together with our dedicated program committee we want to shape a program that truly is “by the community for the community”. Therefore we are looking forward to your input:

We are interested in talks on Open Source project leadership best practices, community management, Open Source project metrics, Open Source strategy for enterprise, adopting Open Source collaboration in corporations (Inner Source), and legal matters when dealing with Open Source.

Here’s a list of our conference tracks/topics and some ideas which avenues your session could explore:

  • Asynchronous Collaboration
    How can people, who are scattered around the world work together on projects best? How do you best take decisions in distributed teams? What are the lessons learnt from isolating during COVID-19? And how can enterprises profit from knowledge that has been accumulated over years in the FOSS community?

  • Open Source Evangelism
    It’s all about spreading the word: Why is it important to convince people, businesses, cities or even states to use and develop Free and Open Source Software? How is it best achieved? What are the benefits of adopting FOSS?

  • Mentoring
    Mentoring is key to create successful and sustainable projects. It’s about how to bring in new people, have a welcoming atmosphere, empower them and keep them engaged.

  • Governance
    It boils down to: How to manage your project and community? What roles and responsibilities are there? How do you assign them? What are the project’s rules and policies? What can other people, projects or enterprises learn from those?

  • Diversity & Inclusivity
    Creating an environment where people are valued, respected, accepted and encouraged to fully participate is important for any community. How is this being done in the FOSS community, and how can this be improved?

  • Legal/Compliance
    There are countless legal matters to look out for in Open Source: Which licence to choose for new projects? How to comply with licensing obligations? And what about trademarks?

  • Sustainability/Funding
    How can I sustain my FOSS project? What Open Source business models are there? Which one works best for my project? How can I build a successful Open Source Business?

  • Developer Relations
    All about developer management: experience, marketing, community, content, code. From the definition of the term developer relations over current topics on how travel restrictions change the jobs of developer advocates - discussions and work groups are a good way to shed light on this track.

  • Open Source Program Office (OSPO)
    OSPOs are at the intersection of enterprises and organisations with the Open Source ecosystem: How to best grow and maintain your open source communities and allies? How to manage your relationship to those stakeholders?

Related topics not explicitly listed above are of course welcome as well. We do not, however, accept product presentations or company marketing pitches. If you are seeking to market your company at FOSS Backstage, we’ll be delighted to send you our sponsoring prospectus and discuss all the great benefits that it entails. Please reach out to Nina at to learn more.

How to submit a session

If you are new to #FOSSBack: Please register a speaker account here. In case you have already taken part in the Call for Participation of FOSS Backstage in 2018 or 2020, please login here to submit a session idea.

Once you have done that, go to “Dashboard” -> “Add Content” -> “Session”. Please submit each proposal as a separate session.

Dates & Procedures

The Call for Participation closes on October, 25th (23:59 CET). All submissions will be reviewed blindly which means that the program committee is unable to see the submitter. Only the talk and the describing abstract is rated in order to reduce unconscious bias.

After all talks are rated, we will inform you about the status of your submission starting Mid-November.


We are looking for talks, discussions, workshops, lightning talks, etc on all topics governance, collaboration, legal and economics within the scope of FOSS. The CfP closes on October, 25th (23:59 CET). You can take part here.

Your submissions will go through a blind review by our program committee. We will inform you about the status of your session starting Mid-November.

In case you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Paul or Alexander at


Photo: cc-by 2.0 Ernest Duffoo