Speaker Interview: Jono Bacon

Ladies and gentlemen, Jono Bacon. In FOSS circles, that's pretty much all the introduction you need. Currently the community development leader at XPRIZE, Jono gives a talk on Solving Humanity's Grand Challenges on SCALE 13x Sunday at 1:30. The SCALE Team caught up with Jono to see what we can expect in his presentation.

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: Sure. My name is Jono and I have been coming to SCALE now for around eight years. I am passionate about building strong and empowered communities. I spent nearly eight years as the Ubuntu Community Manager at Canonical and then moved to XPRIZE to lead community development there. I wrote The Art of Community, Dealing With Disrespect and a few other books, founded the Community Leadership Summit and Community Leadership Forum, co-founded the Bad Voltage and LugRadio podcasts, and have contributed to a bunch of Open Source projects over the years including GNOME, KDE, Jokosher, Ubuntu Accomplishments, and others.

Q: You're giving a talk on Solving Humanity's Grand Challenges. Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: Well, I moved to XPRIZE last year to build a community around the mission of solving humanity's major challenges in the world (e.g. hunger, energy, space travel, education etc) with technology. XPRIZE incentivizes the development of this technology with large competitions (such as the $15 million Global Learning XPRIZE) but only so many people can actually dedicate the time and resources to participate in these competitions.

My role at XPRIZE is to build an environment in which *everyone* can play a part in solving these major world problems, and Open Source and Free Culture is playing a key role in forming this community. I want to create a community in which everyone can make a very practical difference to making a better planet, thus connecting skills and talent to real problems, and driving forward solutions, very much in the spirit of Open Source.

I will be talking about this work, the progress made so far, but importantly, asking for input and guidance from the audience for where we move forward too. I think it should be a fun and interesting session.

Q: Is this your first visit to SCALE? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: I am a bit of a SCALE veteran now. I have been coming for around eight years and have only missed two in that time (due to travel and having a baby). SCALE is hands down the best community-led conference in the world. I love the organizers, even Larry ( :-) ), I love the approach, and the content and spirit of the event is tremendous. SCALE is not really just about the content and the conference, it is the community and vibe behind it that make it so special. That was evident the first year I went and evident the last time I came to it too.

Q: You are part of the Bad Voltage: Live event on the Friday evening at SCALE. What is that all about?

A: Bad Voltage is a podcast I do with some friends, Stuart Langridge, Bryan Lunduke, and Jeremy Garcia. It takes a fun and loose look at Open Source, Linux, and technology, complete with interviews and reviews. Years back Stuart Langridge and I did a show called LugRadio and we started doing live shows; it was a blast! So, we are doing a live show of Bad Voltage at SCALE on the Friday evening at 9pm. It will also be taped and released.

This won't just be four guys sat rambling to an audience. It will involve loads of audience participation, plenty of surprises (some of which are going to be a blast to see), and we will be giving away a System76 Galago UltraPro laptop and other giveaways too. Be sure to get along to the show: it will be a great way to wrap up the Friday and have a lot of fun.

Be there in La Jolla at 9pm on Friday.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A: Just a big thank-you to the entire SCALE team for putting on such an awesome show, letting me speak again, and welcoming the madness that will be the live Bad Voltage show to the Friday evening. You all rock.

[SCALE Team interview by Larry "Nothing But Love for Jono" Cafiero]