From Open Software to Open Culture

Opportunities and challenges of open source to support the United Nations mandate

Side Event at General Assembly High Level Week to Explore Potential of Open Source Technologies for the United Nations

By definition, open source development is collaborative, inclusive and revolutionary—and open software has become ubiquitous. Whenever we are online, we are benefiting from open software. It powers the cloud, and is in supercomputers, blockchain, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. The United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT), the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology, and the Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA) are co-organizing the following virtual side event during the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly

From Open Software to Open Culture

Opportunities and challenges of open source to support the United Nations mandate

Thursday 23 September, 9 to 10:30 a.m. (EST)

Showcasing concrete examples of new modes of co-creation and innovation based on the open source culture, the objective of this event is to explore the potential of open source technologies in the work of the UN, particularly to help exemplify and develop new ideas on how open source can be used for co-creating solutions to global challenges.

The panel discussion will provide a forum for UN personnel, experts, and practitioners to discuss and share ideas on how to increase understanding and awareness of the opportunities and challenges presented by open source. The event also aims to begin a dialogue between the UN and external entities on how to support collaborative platforms that inform policy and decision making, including building the needed capacity within the Organization.

If you plan to attend this event, kindly RSVP



  • Mr. Salem Avan, Director Policy, Strategy and Governance Division, OICT

Keynote speakers


  • Ms. Natalia Aristimuno Perez, Director of Digital Services at the European Commission DIGIT
  • Ms. Lucy Harris, Secretariat co-lead, Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA) 
  • Mr. Shimon Shore, Chief, Open Source Programme, Israel Ministry of Science & Technology
  • Mrs. Paola Pisano, Former Minister for Technological Innovation, Researcher and Lecturer University of Torino
  • Mr. Sayeed Choudhury, Associate Dean for Research, Johns Hopkins University
  • Mrs. Mala Kumar, Director of Tech for Social Good, GitHub

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