State of the Map
A short history of SotM2020
In 2019 Bernelle Verster (indiebio), an experienced FLOSS community manager and conference organiser put a lot of effort into formulating a detailed bid for Cape Town. She also managed to rally a passionate local African team of volunteers around her. And would you believe that, South Africa won the vote! The first SotM in Africa!
Fast forward to March 2020. Teams and committees already in an efficient routine of regular meetings and organising tasks via GitHub issues with the conference date becoming more and more emergent. The news of COVID-19 first lurking, then hitting the entire planet hard. South Africans like to repeat words for emphasis: “Hard hard”.
With the consequences at that point being not quite clear, alternative paths were mapped out. But eventually President Ramaphosa issued travel restrictions and a state of emergency on March 15. A very strict lockdown following soon. What to do? Postpone to a later date in 2020 with uncertainty? Cancel entirely? No, an online conference it’s going to be!
A new situation to all, we tried to uphold old traditions. We also tried to introduce things that can contribute to a communal atmosphere, hence the distance. One of it being theself-organised sessions. We thank our sponsors that stayed with us and help us organise this conference under free software principles. We wish you a wonderful time.
Your organising team.