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Open Source as Sustainable Digital Infrastructure

21 November 2022


November 21, 2022
10:00 - 14:00 CET

As part of the Internet Days in Stockholm, Sweden, OpenForum Europe, together with the Swedish Public Sector Network Open Source and Data, are organising a track on Cybersecurity Security, sustainability and Digital Sovereignty. Open source software is a critical and extensive part of our common digital infrastructure. It presents both opportunities and risks. Opportunities such as enhanced interoperability of infrastructure and services within and across borders, as well as reducing dependencies and lock-in to individual vendors and system solutions. The risks stem from sustainability issues and include the fact that many open source applications are maintained by volunteers and there is a general under-investment in maintenance. This in a rapidly changing geopolitical and digital environment, where vulnerabilities, introduced knowingly or unknowingly, are increasingly at risk of being exploited by malicious third parties with potentially major consequences.

As the public sector intends to reuse more of each other’s digital infrastructure, there is a growing need to ensure that what we do is secure. Therefore, this thematic track aims to show the extent of open source software in our own and shared digital infrastructure, and its importance for our digital sovereignty and cybersecurity. 

In January 2023, Sweden will take over the Presidency of the Council of the EU. Already today, we can see some challenges and areas that will be important to address in the public sector in the coming years.

This track will look at these questions from an international perspective and the work being done globally within, for example, the US government in collaboration with the technology industry, the cross-sector collaboration taking place in the private sector, and the transatlantic work between North American and European countries that is beginning to take shape. This will be followed by a panel taking a European perspective. Finally, we will delve deeper into how Sweden can lead and contribute to the development of a sustainable digital infrastructure with open software as a central building block.

This is a virtual event. OFE runs this track within the conference “the Internet Days”, organised by the The Swedish Internet Foundation. Unlike OFE’s event, participation is not free of charge.

Keynote Speaker

Brian Behlendorf

General Manager Open Source Software Security Foundation

Brian is General Manager of the OpenSSF. He has dedicated his career to connecting and empowering the Free Software and Open Source community to solve hard technology problems and have a positive societal impact. Throughout his career, he has worn many different hats – as a startup company founder, as an advisor to the U.S. government, as a board member at various non-profits and consortia, as a YGL and employee of the World Economic Forum, and as an investor.




10:00 - 10:15
Keynote: Brian Behlendorf, OpenSSF
10:15 - 11:10
The World: What is currently happening?

Open Source Software makes up a major and critical component in our global digital infrastructure. As with physical infrastructure, it needs maintenance to stay secure and robust. However, in contrast to our roads and bridges, maintenance is often dependent on voluntary resources and short-term business incentives. Vulnerabilities and supply chain attacks can cause serious harm and impact both on business and society at large. In this first hour, we will get an introduction to how interconnected our common digital infrastructure really is, its dependency on Open Source Software, how real the risks are, and what is being done to mitigate them.

  • Trey Herr, Atlantic Council
  • Eugenia Lostri, Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Frank Nagle, Harvard Business School
  • Georg Kunz, Ericsson

Moderator: Stewart Scott, Atlantic Council

11:10 - 12:00
Europe: Where are Europe’s voices on these questions?

Just as on the international scene, Open Source Software plays a pivotal part in our European digital infrastructure. Beyond engineering, economics and innovation, increased political attention is given to OSS solutions as an enabler for interoperability and technological independence. Digital autonomy is a much-discussed topic in Europe. During this hour, the speakers will highlight the possibilities Open Source alternatives bring European countries to stay independent and be able to choose secure technology based on their own needs. We will get a closer introduction to the topic of digital sovereignty, how it relates to the security of our infrastructure, what is being done in Europe, and the road ahead.

  • Adriana Groh, Sovereign Tech Fund
  • Mikael Barbero, Eclipse Foundation
  • Daniel Melin, Skatteverket

Moderator:  Sachiko Muto, RISE/OFE

12:00 - 13:00
Lunch Break
13:00 - 14:00
Sweden: What should Sweden do?

[This session will be in Swedish]

The dependency on Open Source Software is as real in Sweden as it is on the European and global levels. But how aware are we about its importance, and the value it can provide, as well as the approaches needed to mitigate risks? These are critical questions, and considering Sweden taking over the EU presidency in spring of 2023, Sweden has a chance to lead. How can Sweden build on the strategic Open Source focus already laid out by the French and Czech presidencies? How can we leverage and contribute to the initiatives already in place on the European and global levels? In the third and final hour, we will hear a panel discuss and explore these topics in light of what we’ve heard in the previous two hours.

  • Magnus Enzell, Ministry for Infrastructure
  • Jimmy Ahlberg, Ericsson
  • Maria Dahlhage, Agency for Digital Government

Moderator: Astor Nummelin Carlberg, OFE

This is a virtual event. OFE runs this track within the conference “the Internet Days”, organised by the The Swedish Internet Foundation. Unlike OFE’s event, participation is not free of charge. Reach out to us for more information!