Pia Waugh: linux.conf.au 2017 Keynote Presenter

How are the principles of Open Source shaping the future of government and society? Open Government Ninja, Pia Waugh will explain!

25 October 2016

How are the principles of Open Source shaping the future of government and society? linux.conf.au 2017 is proud to welcome one of Australia’s great shapers of open government and open data, Pia Waugh as a keynote presenter.

linux.conf.au 2017 is being held from Monday 16 January until Friday 20 January 2017. Pia is one of four keynotes speakers, joining Open Source strategist Robert M "@r0ml" Lefkowitz and sustainability researcher Nadia Eghbal. Tickets are now on sale: for more details, see /attend

Pia Waugh has been no stranger to linux.conf.au since the beginning of the conference. Indeed, ten years ago you could find Pia on stage as one of the co-organisers of linux.conf.au 2007 in Sydney. We’re delighted to welcome her back to main stage at linux.conf.au, where she’ll be sharing experience of how the approaches and culture of open source are shaping government and society at large.

In her keynote, Choose Your Own Adventure, Please!, Pia argues that whilst society is seeing a shift – characterised by Open Source and Open Government – from central to distributed co-operation, and from closed to open systems, many of our assumptions, laws and social rules are based on centricity, scarcity and closed as both the default and desired state.

She continues: “We have come to a fascinating fork in our collective road where we can choose to either maintain a world that relies upon outdated models of scarcity that rely upon inequality, or we can explore new models of surplus and opportunity to see where we go next, together.”

Pia has a long history as a one of the early leaders of the Australian Open Source community: she was a board member of Software Freedom International and OLPC Australia. She was instrumental in the early years of linux.conf.au’s parent organisation, Linux Australia, as President and then Vice President, transforming the organisation into a peak body for the Linux and Open Source community in Australia.

Not long after her stint helping run linux.conf.au, Pia turned her attention to openness in government: first as an ICT Policy advisor to Senator Kate Lundy, where she was involved in the Gov 2.0 agenda and the internationally-recognised Public Sphere initiative for co-developing government policy with the public. She later joined the public sector, building the Australian Government’s Open Data agenda, including rebooting data.gov.au, improving public access to government data, and helping government agencies improve the culture and practices around open data.

Pia’s unique position in both government and the Open Source community led to her founding the non-profit and community-run GovHack initiative: an annual hackathon that encourages the public to develop Open Source software projects around government datasets.

Pia was also involved in the early stages of the Australian Digital Transformation Office, helping to establish a vision and direction for the office, but returned to the open data agenda before leaving work a year ago to have her first child.

Whilst studying on maternity leave, Pia developed an interest in the role of regulators in society. Pia returned to work in September at AUSTRAC, the Australian financial intelligence agency where she will be working on international projects, open data and new approaches to regulation, continuing her interest and vision to establish "government as an API".

Pia blogs semi-regularly at http://pipka.org and is found on Twitter at @piawaugh.

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