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Our view on Toxicity and Inclusion

6. April 2021

Free Software and Open Source never was “just a technology thing”, it’s a cultural shift; that’s why the movement also has a role model function

When I first got exposed to F/OSS, the world was mostly powered by proprietary software and I didn’t have access to the ‘source’ of the technology that powered my computer. I had no clue how a compiler worked, how a kernel was created or how a photo got rendered onto my screen. Then my good friend Lukas showed up with a bunch of SUSE Linux CDs, and the journey down the rabbit hole began. Countless nights of experimenting, reading manuals, building ‘Linux from Scratch’ and posting on Usenet evolved into being part of one of the leading F/OSS services providers in Switzerland.

Attending conferences, meetups, events, trainings, being involved in non-profit organizations like CH Open, TDF as well as working on a small Linux distribution have all been very rewarding experiences. I made countless friends from all over the world, who showed me new tricks and opened my horizon to new ideas. Through conversations, I also learned to see the world through their eyes. It became clear to me, that F/OSS is not just a technology thing: the movement is about bringing people together, removing barriers and making IT more useful for society.

At Adfinis we try to create an environment where people interested in working on F/OSS find a place where inclusion is one of the main pillars. No matter your gender, age, cultural background, sexual-orientation, political or religious orientation: we welcome you at Adfinis!

Inclusiveness is common sense, and we believe it should be something every organization should not only strive for, but actually fight for. There is no place for toxicity, mobbing and exclusion.

Whilst we are not involved in the current FSF discussions, we urge the board of FSF to find a solution to the severe impact their actions have had on the global free software and open source community.

With Leadership comes responsibility. If leaders do not fully embrace inclusion, they damage their cause and weaken their organization. We therefore ask FSF to take a clear stand on being an inclusive and friendly organization and to live up to its own role model function.

Written by Nicolas Christener, CEO & CTO at Adfinis