What makes an open source project flourish? We want to encourage more discourse about the non-coding aspects of successful open source projects.

The conference

The two day conference is dedicated to everything related to FOSS governance and open collaboration. The fourth edition of FOSS Backstage will consist of one fully virtual day followed by one in person day taking place here in Berlin. The in person day in Berlin will be live streamed for those attending virtually, and virtual attendees will be able to ask speakers questions.

Two days of FOSS Backstage: Both days are online, only day two is on-site

FOSS Backstage provides a space to discuss a broad spectrum of issues related to community management, vendor neutrality and leading projects without discretionary power. Conference topics will include open source project leadership best practices, community management, open source project metrics, open source strategy for enterprise, adopting open source collaboration in corporations, legal matters when dealing with open source and many more.

With a focus on decentralised decision making and open collaboration FOSS Backstage will be a great place for: developers, architects, sysadmins, community leaders, students and anyone interested in building and managing communities within the open source space, to get together and exchange ideas.

Health & Safety

We want to bring people together, but especially in the current situation we want to do this in a way that is as safe and as inclusive as possible.

Therefore, we want to inform you about the current rules and regulations that are in place now, as well as the additional safety measures we are taking at FOSS Backstage with regards to COVID19. Please note that these regulations might be adapted as the pandemic situation changes.

Our Founders

Stefan Rudnitzki

Head of Technology at idealo internet GmbH co-organizer of MongoDB usergroup Berlin and Async Cat Herding meetup Berlin

Isabel Drost-Fromm

Open Source Strategist at Europace AG, Member and former Director of the Apache Software Foundation, founder and PMC member of Apache Mahout

The Organizers

Alexander Brateanu

Paul Berschick

Program Committee​

All submissions to our call for papers get reviewed by our program committee in a blind review process. See which experts are on the committee here:

Sharan Foga

Sharan Foga has over 20 years in the IT industry working on the delivery and implementation of IT projects. She is currently based in Stockholm, Sweden and works for Instaclustr as Director Community and Developer Relations. Sharan has been involved with the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) since 2008 and has presented at several conferences about ‘The Apache Way’ of engaging and empowering communities. She enjoys working actively with projects on open source community management. She is VP Apache Kibble and a PMC Member several Apache projects including Apache Community Development, Apache OFBiz and Apache Training (Incubating). Sharan is an ASF Member and earlier this year was elected to serve on the ASF Board of Directors.

Myrle Krantz

Myrle is a software architect with 20 years of experience developing APIs and scalable systems in Java and C++. She’s exuberant about open source and passionate about making software that solves important problems facing humanity.

Sander van der Waal

As Waag’s research director, Sander van der Waal is responsible for its research agenda, working in close collaboration with the four heads of the research groups and leads of the 8 constituent labs. His focus is on ensuring Waag’s research contributes to lasting positive change locally in Amsterdam, nationally in The Netherlands, and on the European level, in line with Waag’s principles of openness, fairness and inclusivity. He maintains and develops a strong network of research partners and represents Waag on stage in debates, events and webinars.

Lydia Pintscher

Lydia Pintscher studied computer science at the University of Karlsruhe. She is the vice president of KDE e.V., the non-profit supporting one of the largest free software communities. She is also the product manager of Wikidata, Wikimedia’s knowledge base. She is the editor of Open Advice, a book for getting people started in all areas of free software.

Tobias Gesellchen

Tobias Gesellchen works as a software developer at Europace AG. Beside Java and JavaScript he focuses on DevOps cultural and engineering wise, with strong expertise in Docker. In his spare time he maintains a Docker client for the JVM.

Josh Devins

Over the course of 20 years of industry experience, Josh has spent time in various roles and companies in both North America and Europe. He maintains a broad base of experience and knowledge, combined with various areas of depth such as team leadership, data science, distributed systems, software engineering and agile development practices. Josh likes working on effective data-driven products as much as building strong teams and organisations. Josh believes that Open Source plays a crucial role in today’s economy and technology landscape and is eager to participate in the conversation of how Open Source evolves.

Eriol Fox

Eriol has been working as a designer for 10+ years working in for-profits and then NGO’s and open-source software organisations, working on complex problems like sustainable food systems, peace-building and crisis response technology. Eriol now works at Simply Secure on design, research, open-source and technology projects.

Stefan Rudnitzki

Stefan Rudnitzki works as Head of Technology at idealo internet GmbH. He has over 10 years experience working as software developer, project lead and team lead in different working environments. From waterfall to agile working methods up to holacracy he experienced the different challenges and benefits in the area of free and open source software. Additionally he is an organizer of the MongoDB user group and Async Cat Herding meetup in Berlin. Furthermore he is the co-founder of the FOSS Backstage conference.

Isabel Drost-Fromm

Isabel Drost-Fromm is Open Source Strategist at Europace AG Germany. She’s a member of the Apache Software Foundation, co-founder of Apache Mahout and mentored several incubating projects. Isabel is interested in all things FOSS, search and text mining with a decent machine learning background. True to the nature of people living in Berlin she loves having friends fly in for a brief visit – as a result she co-founded and is still one of the creative heads behind Berlin Buzzwords, a tech conference on all things search, scale and storage.

Become A Partner

Gain exposure for your brand and show your support for the free and open source community

Join us as a partner of FOSS Backstage 2022 and enjoy the many benefits a sponsorship has to offer: 

Networking with peers, raise brand awareness, recruit new team members, get to know about the latest trends, developments and talking points in the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) world and support FOSS communities.

If you are interested in becoming our sponsor, media or event partner, please reach out to Paul at – we’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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