December 1, 2020

GNOME Builds Community

At GNOME, we’re celebrating the ways we are building the future of software and community by looking back at our 2020 accomplishments and forward to our 2021 plans. These accomplishments and plans are made possible by the support we receive from donations and our Friends of GNOME. Learn more about how you can get involved.

We know the year we are leaving behind was difficult for many people, but throughout 2020 we’ve tried to provide a place where people could find belonging and even fun. We had a blast at all of our online events, we listened to many of you share your knowledge with us, and we connected with everyone during the social activities. Building these awesome events has given our 2020 more joy, and we hope they did the same for you.

GUADEC 2020 kicked off our year of online events in July. It was the biggest event on the GNOME calendar and with more than 600 people participating online, it became our largest GUADEC yet. We had 37 speakers and a variety of social events such as a museum tour, a tea party, and cocktail and cooking classes where people could socialize with each other.

The GNOME Africa community hosted GNOME Onboard Africa Virtual. This was first event of it’s kind and helped contributors across Africa learn about GNOME and find ways to get involved. It also helped build awareness about open source and GNOME in Africa. GNOME Onboard Africa took place from the 18 – 25 of September with 135 attendees coming from Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Egypt, and South Africa.

In November we organized two more conferences, Linux App Summit (LAS) and GNOME.ASIA. We held LAS in collaboration with KDE and 310 attendees joined us for three days of talks, workshops, and social events. During the dedicated Birds of a Feather sessions many people where able to come together to discuss ideas.

Out final event of the year was GNOME.ASIA, which provides an opportunity for the Asian GNOME community to meet up, learn together, and share projects. We had 200 attendees and 20 speakers. GNOME.Asia included social events organized by the community, representing a range of interests and passions people have outside of GNOME.

Events weren’t all we did in 2020! Along with Endless, we launched the Inaugural GNOME Community Engagement Challenge in the Spring of 2020. This challenge was designed to encourage individuals and teams to connect coders to the free and open source software (FOSS) community and keep them involved for years to come.

The goal of the Challenge is to help address some of the current shortcomings of FOSS, including raising awareness and building the skills required to contribute; increasing the number of people (youth and adults) who are trained in coding; and increasing diversity among GNOME contributors.

The first two phases of the Challenge have been beyond our expectations. We received 149 proposals from 38 countries, which included both well developed programs and brand new projects. The creativity and dedication represented in the Phase One Winners is inspiring. Among the exceptional twenty Phase One projects, we have: a FOSS friendly computer refurbishing program powered by students; a streamlined method for creative contributions to projects; a business analytics platform; and an accessibility tool for people with motor disabilities.

We’ll be announcing the Phase Two winners with a live event on December 2.

The Challenge will continue into 2021, announcing the winners with another event in Spring. We’re planning events in Europe, Asia, and Africa. We’re bringing GNOME to places we’ve never been before through projects like the Challenge and events like GNOME Onboard Africa. While these initiatives are largely funded by sponsors, they are organized by an excited community and Foundation staff. Thanks to the donations and support we receive, we are able to spend our time focused on the needs of the GNOME community and providing spaces for everyone within FOSS to come together to celebrate everything we can do.