Open Strategic Autonomy: Public and Private Sector Perspectives

Event Details
March 23, 2022 (All day)

The increased attention on digital autonomy stems from concerns regarding user-control of IT infrastructures, services and products that our economy depends on. In a soon-to-be-published paper by OpenForum Europe, we outline how these concerns are nothing new to people following the open technology space. Put simply, open technologies, in particular open source and open standards, give the user and developer the control that at a societal level delivers digital autonomy.

At this event, the speakers and panelists will look at how open technologies can deliver digital autonomy from different perspectives, such as that of the public sector, vendors of open technologies and the citizens and consumers that engage with the products or services.

Seen from these different perspectives, particular advantages of open tech emerge. They offer control and autonomy for the user, without limiting an openness to commerce, competition and innovation. They lower barriers for SMEs to enter the market and compete at different levels of the technology stack. They bring transparency, accountability and security to the end user.

That said, there are policy challenges facing both the IT departments of public and private organizations, as well as the policy-making arms of national governments. Culture change, strengthening know-how and capacity, as well as outdated IT procurement laws are currently hindrances, albeit surmountable, to realize autonomy, innovation and economic growth with open technologies.


16:00 - 16:15 - Welcome and Presentation of OFE's Policy Paper 

Sivan Pätsch, OpenForum Europe

16:15 - 16:30- First Opening Statement

Pearse O’Donohue, Director for “Future Networks”, DG Connect, European Commission

Panel 1

16:30 - 17:15 - Panel 1: The Private Sector & Open Strategic Autonomy.

Conceptually, what is the link between digital autonomy and open technologies? In this panel, the speakers will present their views on the role of open technologies in delivering digitization at scale, while reconciling the need for autonomy and without building barriers to competition and innovation.

  • Marco-Alexander Breit, German Ministry of Economics and Energy
  • Deborah Bryant, Red Hat
  • Mike Linksvayer, GitHub
  • Vittorio Bertola, Open-Xchange
  • Sivan Pätsch, OpenForum Europe

Panel 2

17:15 - 17:30 - Second Opening Statement

Thomas Gageik, Director for “Digital Business Solutions”, DG Informatics, European Commission

17:30 - 18:15 - Panel 2: The Public Sector & Open Strategic Autonomy.

From a European perspective, several policy developments indicate that there is increased appreciation of the role open technologies, and in particular open source, can play to solve some of the most pressing challenges. The recently adopted Berlin Declaration is now being implemented, and there are efforts underway to strengthen the European Interoperability Framework, to name two such developments. At the same time, large public investments are being leveraged to deliver the digital transformation. In this panel, speakers will discuss the opportunities and challenges to use open source as a model and tool to achieve the digital goals collectively set out by the EU member states and the European Commission.

  • Maximilian Strotmann, European Commission
  • Johan Linåker, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden
  • Bastien Guerry, Free Software unit Etalab (DINUM), France
  • Clare Dillon,

Opening Speakers



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