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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
7 months ago
<html newsdate="2022-01-21">
<version>1</version>
<head>
<title>20 Years FSFE: Interviewing past interns</title>
</head>
<body>
<h1>20 Years FSFE: Interviewing past interns</h1>
<p>
In the final publication about 20 Years FSFE, we want to thank
everyone who has worked for the organisation in an internship
position. We contacted eight former interns and asked them about
their time at the FSFE and their current involvement with Free
Software.
</p>
<figure>
<img
src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/medium/96209609ac28be2d5d2674978abf95a7.png"
alt="Picture with 8 people"/>
</figure>
<p>
These interviews are only a glimpse of the many people who have
helped shaping the FSFE with their contributions in an internship
position. <a href="/about/jobs/internship">An internship in the
FSFE</a> can be an intensive yet enriching experience. It
familiarises people with the use of Free Software and it helps them
networking with the Free Software community. We have asked eight of
our former interns about their time at the FSFE and how they are
doing today: Diego, George, Lucile, Lyudmila, Martin, Matti, Polina,
Stian.
</p>
<p><strong>Diego</strong> Naranjo is the head of policy in the European Digital Rights (EDRi) organisation.</p>
<p><strong>George</strong> Brooke-Smith focuses on Risk Management in the KPMG company.</p>
<p><strong>Lucile</strong> Falgueyrac is a Parliamentary assistant in the European Parliament.</p>
<p><strong>Lyudmila</strong> Vaseva is a software developer at ctrl.alt.coop eG.</p>
<p><strong>Martin</strong> Husovec is an assistant professor and academic specialising in IP law at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).</p>
<p><strong>Matti</strong> Lammi is a System Specialist at ETLA Economic Research.</p>
<p><strong>Polina</strong> Malaja is a Policy Director in the CENTR organisation.</p>
<p><strong>Stian</strong> Rødven-Eide is a Doctoral researcher in computational linguistics at the University of Gothenburg.</p>
<h3>Looking back, what did the FSFE inters learn during their internship?</h3>
<div class="icon-grid one-per-row">
<ul>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/9f59304f932c08f20ee336768a3fea07.jpg" alt="picture of Diego" />
<div>
<h3>Diego</h3>
<p>
From this internship I gained more insight into how the
Free Software community organises, how to organise
campaigns and workshops, and how to deal with <strong>legal
issues</strong> related to Free Software.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/3fa6479f6bebcd2aaf6b57f275b6dbd4.jpg" alt="picture of George" />
<div>
<h3>George</h3>
<p>
It was more about who the Free Software community was for
me. I got to know a great group of people from all over
the world. I won&#39;t forget that. Doing an internship
at the FSFE makes you more competent to <strong>tackle IT
collaboratively</strong>. And moreover the four software freedoms
(use, study, improve, and share) can be applied in all
walks of business. In this way, I have felt it was
fundamentally helpful.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/medium/bd1a209e71a478f378f288f905967e22.jpg" alt="picture of Lucile" />
<div>
<h3>Lucile</h3>
<p>
During my internship I learned much about how Free
Software is made and used. I came for the policy and
political relevance to resist mass surveillance, and
learned much about technology and infrastructure. I
learned a lot about <strong>campaigning</strong> and
<strong>community organising</strong> during my
internship at the FSFE.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/e9a472131c10fc6d9f2861183a8bc45a.jpg" alt="picture of Lyudmila" />
<div>
<h3>Lyudmila</h3>
<p>
My first conscious contact with Free Software was some 14
years ago. It was my second semester at uni and a friend
wouldn&#39;t stop bugging me to install Ubuntu on my
laptop, because it was, you know, &quot;<strong>cool for
political reasons</strong>&quot;. At the end, we spent an evening
with the institute&#39;s Linux user group since back in
the day stuff mostly didn&#39;t just work and the <strong>sound
and wireless cards needed some extra persuasion</strong>. I
eventually stopped booting up the windows entirely and up
to this day cannot begin to fathom how one does software
development or network stuff on a windows machine.
(Although I&#39;ve heard, that&#39;s bettered in recent
years.)
</p>
<p>
With time, I grew more aware about political issues
surrounding software and computers, about privacy,
security, re-usability and community. I then gradually
started <strong>advocating</strong> for the usage of Free Software myself
(because it was cool for political reasons), and was
hence delighted when the opportunity presented itself to
intern with the FSFE for a while. There, I got to know
some wonderful people and had the chance to do important
political work with like-minded folks.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/a0e9b68b04171db44fb634724994fedb.png" alt="picture of Martin" />
<div>
<h3>Martin</h3>
<p>
My internship at FSFE was a very pleasant experience. I
just came out of law school, hungry for some technology
law experience in Germany. And I landed in Berlin in
2011. What could go wrong? Intellectually, what stuck
with me the most was how differently Free Software
activists thought about the world of legal rules. For a
fresh graduate of law, rules were set by someone else.
TRIPS Agreement was an unchangeable fact. The
<strong>vocabulary</strong> was not a choice. Not for
these activists. Throughout my internship, I better
understood why and how <strong>concepts and labels drive
political outcomes.</strong> I learned to appreciate what
civil society does for legal change and how much work and
discipline this requires.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/medium/f63e765c965b15487f72409fda2b7434.jpg" alt="picture of Matti" />
<div>
<h3>Matti</h3>
<p>
To my surprise, the FSFE had much fewer staff members at
the Berlin office than I had expected. Yet, they have
done a lot for software freedom over the years. This
shows what <strong>dedication</strong> can achieve. A
good lesson for all of us.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/medium/2c7f2bf216ddd487ad4e8509f85111f4.png" alt="picture of Polina" />
<div>
<h3>Polina</h3>
<p>
Free Software is so much more than a software licence or
publicly available source code. It is a <strong>social
movement</strong> and a community that strives for more
equal and just society. After completing my internship at
the FSFE, I continued my path in the FSFE as an employee,
leading its both legal and policy areas. My time in the
FSFE contributed immensely for my <strong>professional
and personal growth</strong>, setting my course on the
topics and areas I am involved in my current professional
environment outside of the FSFE i.e. EU digital policies
and regulation.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/c7189e890dc5a12a2880bbc4832ebd84.jpg" alt="picture of Stian" />
<div>
<h3>Stian</h3>
<p>
My first and main task as an intern for the FSFE was to
organise FSCONS. After my internship ended, I continued
being involved with the conference for <strong>eight more
years. </strong> The principles of Free Software
resonates with a lot of modern philosophy and can be
applied to almost anything. This has guided my life and
my personal philosophy since, especially the idea that
with cooperation and sharing, everyone will be better
off, than with competition and secrecy.
</p>
<p>
Following my internship, I started a Free Software
cooperative along with like minded friends, offering
consultancy and support for organisations that wish to
transition from proprietary software. While I like to
think that we did manage to achieve some good during the
four years the cooperative existed, we probably learned
more than anything about the many obstacles that remain
for Free Software to become ubiquitous. It became clear
that <strong>we need to promote Free Software on many
fronts, politically and practically</strong>, and how
vital organisations like the FSFE are to this.
</p>
</div>
</li>
</ul>
</div>
<h3 id="are-former-interns-still-active-in-software-freedom-">Are former interns still active in software freedom?</h3>
<div class="icon-grid one-per-row">
<ul>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/9f59304f932c08f20ee336768a3fea07.jpg" alt="picture of Diego" />
<div>
<h3>Diego</h3>
<p>
Free software is an every day topic for EDRi. On a
practical level, we use as much Free Software as we can
(operative systems, server applications, apps on our
phones…). Furthermore, <strong>we advocate for Free
Software</strong> whenever a European legislative file we follow
involves the use of software. We referred to the
public money, public code campaign in several occasions
and that framing is still an important part for EDRi’s
framing our technology and the role of public
infrastructures.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/3fa6479f6bebcd2aaf6b57f275b6dbd4.jpg" alt="picture of George" />
<div>
<h3>George</h3>
<p>
My involvement is to <strong>donate</strong> now and
then, and to raise the issue with friends and family. I
haven&#39;t done much volunteering since the internship.
I&#39;d have to get good permission from my employer to
do that. (So fingers crossed).
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/medium/bd1a209e71a478f378f288f905967e22.jpg" alt="picture of Lucile" />
<div>
<h3>Lucile</h3>
<p>
<strong>I use</strong> Free Software personally but not
professionally. I do get a Free Software link when we
discuss bigger political questions about privacy or
strategic independence - I know that without independent
technology and infrastructures it is impossible to reach.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/e9a472131c10fc6d9f2861183a8bc45a.jpg" alt="picture of Lyudmila" />
<div>
<h3>Lyudmila</h3>
<p>
Since I&#39;m a software developer, Free Software is an
important part of my day-to-day work — any
developer&#39;s job would look quite differently and be a
great deal more tedious if we weren&#39;t able to
<strong>rely on the myriad of FLOSS libraries</strong>,
tools and frameworks out there.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/a0e9b68b04171db44fb634724994fedb.png" alt="picture of Martin" />
<div>
<h3>Martin</h3>
<p>
Since I teach and research intellectual property and
technology law, one could say I remain somewhat involved
in the Free Software issues. I do not think of myself as
a hard-core expert on Free Software licensing, but I
continue to <strong>research</strong> many issues of the digital ecosystem
that are relevant to the FSFE’s mission. I still benefit
from the broader technological outlook that I was
introduced to at the FSFE.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/medium/f63e765c965b15487f72409fda2b7434.jpg" alt="picture of Matti" />
<div>
<h3>Matti</h3>
<p>
When choosing software, we lean towards Free Software
solutions by default. Often, we end up choosing a free
solution unless specifically requested otherwise by the
upper management or business needs.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/medium/2c7f2bf216ddd487ad4e8509f85111f4.png" alt="picture of Polina" />
<div>
<h3>Polina</h3>
<p>
After my time in the FSFE, I still strongly stand for the
values of Free Software, continuing as a
<strong>volunteer</strong> in the FSFE CARE Team, the
European Core Team and the General Assembly.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/c7189e890dc5a12a2880bbc4832ebd84.jpg" alt="picture of Stian" />
<div>
<h3>Stian</h3>
<p>
At my department at the University of Gothenburg, we
<strong>publish all code, and most data, under a free
licence</strong>. Researchers in our field are usually
quite knowledgeable about Free Software, as we need to
know exactly what a program does to the data and be able
to share and improve it in order to reproduce and further
the research.
</p>
<p>
Outside of work, my volunteering efforts are these days
limited to the democratic e-mail association Fripost.org.
It started out as a project of our local FSFE chapter ten
years ago, but has since evolved into its own
organisation. In addition to running an e-mail service
for our members, we have had many outreach programs and
community events centred around Free Software.
</p>
</div>
</li>
</ul>
</div>
<h3 id="what-do-former-fsfe-interns-wish-for-the-future-of-the-fsfe-">What do former FSFE interns wish for the future of the FSFE?</h3>
<div class="icon-grid one-per-row">
<ul>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/9f59304f932c08f20ee336768a3fea07.jpg" alt="picture of Diego" />
<div>
<h3>Diego</h3>
<p>
I would love two things. First, I would love the FSFE
to go beyond software and <strong>embrace issues
related to hardware</strong>, infrastructure and
generally digital sovereignty. We need a European
federation that takes a holistic approach to how
technology should be a tool for fundamental rights, and
focusing only on software leaves out many of the
fundamental questions we’re facing today such as the
power of Big Tech, surveillance capitalism, mass
surveillance, surveillance-based advertising and
planned obsolescence of our devices.
</p>
<p>
Second, I would love the FSFE to become even more
involved in EU policies. For example, the FSFE has been
involved in issues related to artificial intelligence
where the FSFE expertise has been very valuable. We
need more of this knowledge-sharing between the FSFE
and EDRi and make more connections between Brussels and
FSFE chapters.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/3fa6479f6bebcd2aaf6b57f275b6dbd4.jpg" alt="picture of George" />
<div>
<h3>George</h3>
<p>
The FSFE is inclusive and puts the learning perspective
at the heart of its mission. So I hope it thrives for
many years to come, inspiring people like it inspired me.
<strong>GNUtopia here we come!</strong>
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/medium/bd1a209e71a478f378f288f905967e22.jpg" alt="picture of Lucile" />
<div>
<h3>Lucile</h3>
<p>
Continue linking tech, policy and ethics, and outreaching
to people who are not IT professionals.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/e9a472131c10fc6d9f2861183a8bc45a.jpg" alt="picture of Lyudmila" />
<div>
<h3>Lyudmila</h3>
<p>
I wish the FSFE to keep up the good work, keep spreading
the word of the advantages of Free Software, and <strong>keep
pushing for more just regulations</strong> on political level such
as the Public Money? Public Code! campaign.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/a0e9b68b04171db44fb634724994fedb.png" alt="picture of Martin" />
<div>
<h3>Martin</h3>
<p>
I wish the FSFE many bright young people who will be
attracted to its vision. On many levels, <strong>we are
currently designing our digital future</strong>. Having
the FSFE’s voice when building its infrastructure, will
be critical.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/medium/f63e765c965b15487f72409fda2b7434.jpg" alt="picture of Matti" />
<div>
<h3>Matti</h3>
<p>
<strong>Keep advocating</strong> for software freedom especially at EU
level and public sector. Institutional changes can and
must be achieved.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/medium/2c7f2bf216ddd487ad4e8509f85111f4.png" alt="picture of Polina" />
<div>
<h3>Polina</h3>
<p>
I wish the FSFE to continue to be the voice of Free
Software users in Europe and beyond. Free Software stands
on the shoulders of all the great people being part of a
social movement that should not forget about its heroes.
</p>
<p>
I wish the FSFE to be strongly rooted in its beginnings
but at the same time to not be afraid of change and
developments of a fast-paced digital society. Free
Software has become a critical part of both business and
end-user experience in every day life. It is no longer an
“alternative” solution but a standard empowering our
society today.
</p>
<p>
However, have we achieved a more just society as a result
of more wide-spread adoption of Free Software? <strong>
Is this the end-goal of the movement to retain the status
quo and not to bother about wider ethical issues?
</strong>Or should we as citizens and contributors of the
movement that rose out of a need for more freedom strive
for a better and more sustainable future, where Free
Software is just a part of a puzzle? I think we should be
asking ourselves these questions and seek answers that
may help us in bridging the gaps between Free Software
and how the ‘four freedoms’ can support fundamental
rights. As a civil society actor, I hope the FSFE will be
in the lead here for many years to come, including on the
side of potential regulatory change in Europe.
</p>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<img class="img-circle" src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/c7189e890dc5a12a2880bbc4832ebd84.jpg" alt="picture of Stian" />
<div>
<h3>Stian</h3>
<p>
I wish for the FSFE to finally cease operations. That
is, to say “<strong>Our work here is done. All software
is now free. Let’s go celebrate!”</strong>
</p>
</div>
</li>
</ul>
</div>
<h3>Thank you!</h3>
<p>
Thanks Diego, George, Lucile, Lyudmila, Martin, Matti, Polina,
Stian, and all FSFE interns during these 20 years. Everyone who
uses and develops Free Software, everyone who researches and
advocates for Free-Software-related issues, everyone who donates
and volunteers in the FSFE, is irreplaceable and takes software
freedom a step further.
</p>
<h3 id="related-articles">Related articles</h3>
<p>
With this article we conclude the celebrations for the twenty years
since the founding of the FSFE in 2001. 20 years FSFE was an
opportunity to thank everyone who has helped the organisation since
the beginning. You might also be interested in the interviews with
the <a href="/news/2021/news-20210204-01.html">founder
of the organisation, Georg Greve</a>, the former <a href="/news/2021/news-20210204-01.html">Financial
Officer Reinhard Müller</a>, the <a href="/news/2021/news-20210420-01.html">founder
of the FSF Latin America Fernanda Weiden</a>, or the <a href="/news/2021/news-20210625-01.html">creator
of the Free Your Android campaign Torsten Grote</a>.
</p>
</body>
<tags>
<tag key="front-page"/>
<tag key="fsfe20">20 Years FSFE</tag>
<tag key="internship">Internship</tag>
<tag key="interview">Interview</tag>
</tags>
<discussion href="https://community.fsfe.org/t/792"/>
<image url="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/medium/96209609ac28be2d5d2674978abf95a7.png" alt="Picture with 8 people"/>
</html>