This page is part of a series of interviews with FSFE supporters and friends to help give a face to our community. Get an overview about our interviews on the testimonials page
"Hi, I am Olga Gkotsopoulou, LSTS Research associate in Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Since the beginning of my university studies in 2008, I have been volunteering and working in Greece and abroad, serving a diverse spectrum of causes, always promoting human rights and digital freedoms."
Short Interview with Olga (2019)
FSFE: What made you interested in the FSFE and motivated to become a supporter?
Olga: Working with topics of data protection, I started searching for technological alternatives which are friendly towards users' rights and thus, I started participating in the activities of the Greek Free/Open Source Software Society-Open Technologies Alliance (GFOSS), learning more and more about the history of the movement and the contribution of Free Software projects and their communities to digital rights. Soon I became familiar with the exceptional campaigning, policy and legal work of the FSFE. When I saw the call for trainees, I thought to myself that there cannot be a better opportunity to learn about the policy and legal work around Free Software in Europe and I applied with the hope to be selected.
What tasks did you have or what work did you do as an intern for FSFE?
I interned with FSFE in 2016-2017. I helped with the composition of the position paper for the European Commission's public consultation on Horizon 2020 interim evaluation, all its communication and call for action processes. I contributed to the preparation and submission of Freedom of Information requests to European institutions.I participated in the preparation of long and short-term campaigns, such as the Public Money Public Code campaign, and the I love Free Software Day. Moreover, I had the opportunity to engage in day-to-day activities vital for an NGO, taking care of the shipping of FSFE's merchandise and promotional material all over the world, assisting with the release of monthly newsletters, weekly news items and other communication activities, as well as conducting legal and policy reviews, creating and maintaining wiki pages on various topics, being involved in the translation of info material and the moderation of mailing lists and the OTRS ticket system. A big part of my traineeship was also devoted to the preparations of the Legal and Licensing Workshop 2017, the biggest legal event in the field. Last but not least, I acquired some technical and designing skills, using various software programs.
And what is the most fun part about engaging for FSFE?
Even though every activity had its own appeal, the tasks I liked the most were the “out-of-the-office” activities, building ties with the community. Some highlights: the gobo projector light show, spending a night at the Berlin streets, projecting thought provoking statements on walls; sending to the German parliament flowers and letters for the IloveFS day; preparing and organising booths; participating in the biggest Free Software and technology-related conferences in Europe, eg the QtCon and the first FSFE Summit ever, the FOSDEM in Brussels, the 33c3 in Hamburg and the LinuxCon in Berlin, but also other smaller events, talks and lectures, such as occasionally the Berlin FSFE group meetings. I even helped with the organisation of such events myself, for instance I led the organisation of the first ever visit of the FSFE's staff to Athens.
What is your favourite FSFE campaign at the moment?
In one sentence: What is the biggest benefit of Free Software?
What is your favourite Free Software?