APELL Conference 2024 Berlin

Engage in Open Source Policy Discourse: Past, Present, and Future

Date: Tuesday 4th of June, 2024
Place: Palisa (Address: Palisadenstr. 48, 10243 Berlin)


This one day conference brings together European open source business leaders in a time of increased demand and expectations on our industry. Governments and other customers are looking to open technologies to deliver a digital transformation that both secures autonomy and competitiveness. For the European open source industry to deliver, however, capacity-building is needed.

Following the success of the last APELL conference in Helsinki, the APELL Conference 2024 aims to further shape the future of the open source industry in Europe and provide crucial political impetus, especially in the run-up to the upcoming European Parliament elections.

The conference will provide a unique platform for in-depth discussions, the exchange of ideas, and the development of common strategies to strengthen the European open source industry. Through a series of workshops, participants will have the opportunity to develop concrete proposals and intensify networking between the individual European member associations.

This event is an excellent opportunity to network with like-minded people, expand your knowledge and actively participate in shaping the future of the open source industry in Europe.


Peter Ganten, CEO, Univention & President, APELL

Peter Ganten is co-founder and has been Chairman of the Board of the Open Source Business Alliance since 2011. In his main job, he is Managing Director of Univention GmbH, an international manufacturer of an open source platform for identity management, application integration and end user portals, which he founded in 2002. Peter Ganten is one of the leading idea generators and drivers for a new generation of information technology that can be co-designed and controlled by developers, operators and user organizations.
In addition to his activities for Univention and the OSB Alliance, he is a member, consultant and expert in various other committees such as APELL, the European umbrella organization of open source industry associations, and the “Digital Sovereignty” focus group of the German government’s Digital Summit.

Geraldine de Bastion, Founder at Global Innovation Gathering

Geraldine is a political scientist with many years of experience working with net activists, governments, start-ups, and NGOs around the world. Her focus: digitalization, innovation, and human rights. Geraldine is co-founder and managing director of the digital transformation consultancy Konnektiv – with several major German political and civil institutions among their clients. She founded the Global Innovation Gathering, is a long-time member of the curatorial team of re:publica, Europe’s largest conference on the internet and society, and often delivers public talks at TedX and other thought leadership conferences.

Manuel Hoffmann, Postdoctoral Researcher at Harvard University

Manuel Hoffmann is a postdoctoral scholar at Harvard’s Laboratory for Innovation Science, which operates under the Digital, Data, and Design Institute at Harvard Business School. He also maintains an affiliation with Stanford University. His research spans diverse interests, including open source software, artificial intelligence, and digital technology. Hoffmann is actively involved in significant projects such as examining generative AI and labor competition in the context of distributed work, as well as exploring the value of open source software.

Kurt Garloff, CTO, Sovereign Cloud Stack

While working on Physics as student and researcher in Dortmund, Wuppertal and Eindhoven, Kurt started to work with and on Linux, with first patches to the SCSI layer in the mid 90s. He has spent his post-university life in Open Source, as kernel engineer, leader of SUSE Labs (kernel, compiler, X11, security), and engineering and business leadership at SUSE. Since 2011 he has been working on Open Source cloud software, at Deutsche Telekom, as Freelancer, at T-Systems (as chief architect for the OTC) and also has been serving on the Open Infra Foundation’s board. Since 2019 he has been pushing the Sovereign Cloud Stack idea which resulted in a publically funded project that he now technically leads.

Felix Kronlage-Dammers, PO IaaS, Sovereign Cloud Stack

Felix has been building (open source) IT Infrastructure since the late 90s – during high school he helped build and run an ISP specialized in providing UUCP over ssh. Between then and now felix has always been active in various open source development communities (from DarwinPorts, OpenDarwin to OpenBSD and nowadays the Sovereign Cloud Stack). His interests range from monitoring and observability over infrastructure-as-code to building and scaling communities and companies. A technician at heart he enjoys enabling others to do awesome stuff. He is part of the extended board of the OSBA and describes himself as an unix/open source nerd.


Conference in the Palisa top floor
08:30Check-in & Morning coffee
09:30Opening Conference: Peter Ganten, President APELL
09:45Workshops 1+2
11:20Coffee break
11:30Workshops 3+4
14:00Opening Forum Peter Ganten, President APELL
14:15Keynote Geraldine de Bastion
14:45Keynote Manuel Hoffmann
15:15Kurt Garloff & Felix Kronlage-Dammers: Sovereign Cloud Stack: Joining forces to build open standards and free software together
15:45Panel Engage in Open Source Policy Discourse: Past, Present, and Future
17:00Social Event
preliminary schedule, subject to change


Each workshop group will be led by APELL member representatives, who will act as rapporteurs. The topics of the workshops are interlinked, and findings are meant to be synthesised in a final conference report.

Workshop 1: Charting Actionable Steps: APELL’s Policy Agenda for the Future
This workshop is dedicated to outlining actionable measures and policy initiatives that APELL can undertake to influence the agenda of the new EU Administration and Parliament. The session will begin with the presentation of a draft APELL position paper, outlining key objectives and policy proposals for the upcoming legislative period. Participants will then engage in collaborative discussions to refine these proposals and identify concrete action items, including timelines, responsible parties, and collaboration strategies. By the end of the workshop, attendees will have contributed to the development of a comprehensive roadmap for APELL’s policy advocacy efforts in the new legislative cycle.

Workshop 2: Showcasing Success: Communicating the Impact of Open Source Initiatives
This workshop aims to highlight and communicate the successes of open-source initiatives, both within Europe and internationally, to a wider audience. Participants will have the opportunity to share and discuss compelling case studies, success stories, and whitepapers that demonstrate the tangible benefits of open-source technologies across various sectors. The workshop will explore effective strategies for communicating these successes to policymakers, industry stakeholders, and the general public, with a focus on avoiding overt product promotion and emphasizing the broader societal and economic impacts. Attendees will be encouraged to bring 2-3 success stories from their own experiences to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration.

Workshop 3: Building Capacity for Action: Leveraging Resources for EU Open Source Initiatives
This workshop aims to address the challenges and opportunities in building capacity within the open-source community to effectively engage with industry and government stakeholders. Participants will explore strategies for presenting the value of open-source initiatives to industry and policymakers, as well as methods for identifying and mobilizing individuals with the necessary skills and expertise. Additionally, the workshop will examine existing activities and resources within the community and discuss ways to optimize their utilization for advancing open-source objectives at the European level. Special attention will be given to the potential of the Sovereign Cloud Stack and how its broader adoption can contribute to the EU’s digital sovereignty goals.

Workshop 4: Mapping the Future of APELL: Financing, Organizational and Structural Perspectives
This workshop aims to chart the course for the future of APELL from an organizational and structural standpoint.


Engage in Open Source Policy Discourse: Past, Present, and Future

Become a sponsor!

We invite your organisation to support the APELL Conference 2024. APELL, Association Professionnelle Européenne du Logiciel Libre, is Europe’s Open Source Business Association, and it plays a crucial role in representing and advocating for the open source business community in Europe.

Building up APELL: Your backing is instrumental for APELL’s mission to ensure that European Open Source businesses have a significant voice in shaping EU digital policies.

Sponsorship: A contribution of €1,000 directly funds the event, but more importantly APELL’s advocacy efforts.

Collaboration & Insight: Engage with industry leaders and contribute to a collective vision for a sustainable and open digital Europe.

Join Us: Your support is not just a sponsorship; it’s an investment in a sustainable, open digital future for Europe. APELL is committed to creating an inclusive digital market based on open standards and technologies, and your contribution is vital to this mission.

Conference location

Palisa. One of the most attractive venues in Berlin. A few minutes from Alexanderplatz. On the top floor of an industrial monument, in the company of a restaurant, a theatre, and offices.

Social Event

You can visit the Computerspielemuseum next door! A journey back in time to fun-filled childhood and youth and forward into the virtual-real world of the future can begin. More than 300 exhibits, rare originals, playable classics, interactive game objects and art productions bring to life the world of the playing human in the 21ˢᵗ century.

The number of participants is limited.

To reserve your place at the event, please RSVP here.

The registration will end on Tuesday 31st of May or when the event is full.