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<html newsdate="2010-04-28">
<title>FSFE founder Georg Greve awarded German Cross of Merit</title>
<h1>FSFE founder Georg Greve awarded German Cross of Merit</h1>
<p>Berlin 28. April 2010. Georg Greve, founding
president of the Free Software Foundation Europe, has received the Cross
of Merit on ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany (Verdienstkreuz am
Bande). Georg received this high award from the German President for his
work on Free Software and Open Standards.</p>
<p>"FSFE is very proud to have a 'knight' among its team," says FSFE's
president Karsten Gerloff. "Georg's tremendous dedication to freedom in
technology has been a driving force for Free Software in Europe and
around the world. He has put Free Software on the political agenda, and
has created the structures to harness the community's energy towards our
common goals. His hard work over more than a decade has brought enormous
progress for Free Software."</p>
<p> With FSFE, Georg worked hard to create the understanding of Free
Software as a cultural technique. He gave Free Software a <a
href="/activities/policy.html">voice at the United
Nations</a>, including the "World Intellectual Property Organization"
(WIPO) and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). With
FSFE's Freedom Task Force, he was the architect for a centre of
expertise on legal aspects of Free Software, and drove the concept of <a
maintainability</a> for Free Software projects. He <a
the community resistance against Microsoft's OOXML format, and worked on
some of the first EU-funded projects for Free Software. Under Georg's
leadership, FSFE was also a key player in averting the threat of
software patents in Europe. </p>
<p>"I'm deeply grateful for the official recognition that Free Software
and Open Standards receive with this award", says Georg Greve. "Around
2000, I decided to dedicate myself fully to this cause out of a sense of
necessity: I felt that I had glimpsed how software shapes our society.
But I also saw that society had not yet understood how much it is shaped
by software. It is my hope that this award will help to make people
aware of these questions, and bring support for the work of FSFE, which
is more important than ever."</p>
<h2>About Georg Greve</h2>
<p>Born on 10 March 1973 on the German island of Heligoland, Georg Greve
has a classic scientific background as a physicist. He gained his
interdisciplinary diploma in the field of nanotechnology at the computer
science faculty of the University of Hamburg.</p>
<p> He has been developing software since he was 12 years old. Besides a
first publication of a program in a professional journal in 1991, coding
partly paid for his studies when he managed the software development to
evaluate SQUID-sensor data in the biomagnetometic laboratory in the
University hospital of Eppendorf (UKE) in Hamburg, Germany. </p>
<p> In 1993 he came in contact with Free Software and GNU/Linux. In
1998, Georg Greve became the European speaker for the GNU project. At this
time, he also started writing the "Brave GNU World," a monthly column on
Free Software published in the German Linux-Magazin and other magazines
worldwide, as well as online in up to 10 languages. </p>
<p>In early 2001, together with a group of dedicated people he
initiated the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), the first Free
Software Foundation outside the United States of America and the largest
transnational Free Software Foundation so far. Building and coordinating
FSFE as a European non-governmental organisation was the focus of his
work for most of the past decade.</p>
<p> Having led FSFE for eight years, Georg Greve is now CEO of Kolab
Systems, a Free Software business providing services around the Kolab
Groupware Solution. He continues to be active amongst FSFE members and
European core team. Happily married, he lives with his wife Ava in
Küsnacht near Zürich.</p>
<p>(See also Georg Greve's <a
href="/about/people/greve/">profile</a> on FSFE's website, a
<a href="">detailed
interview with him</a>, and his <a
href="">personal statement</a> about
having been decorated with the Cross of Merit.) </p>
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