OFFDEM, the OFFline Developer European Meeting

An intersectional festival about collective practices & free technologies production.
Why OFFDEM? | Activities | Directions


OFFDEM comes back in 2021! Meet us in Brussels, (first weekend of) February 6-7, 2021.

OFFDEM — H2O (Water!)

Discuss: https://ps.zoethical.org/t/offdem-the-offline-developer-european-meeting/2861

Open For Freedom, Desire, Emancipation, Meaning

Context Change

Already last year les petites singularités were arguing for smaller gatherings that would stigmergically[1] connect globally. While the global situation has pushed further digital concentration in the greedy hands of corporation, we stand behind this principle, and propose OFFDEM, a smaller gathering that is not affected by the impossibility to organize large gatherings.

The current crisis only increased the takeover of our lives by corporate online tools that create an addiction and format our interactions to their criteria. This brings us to acknowledge the pertinence of pursuing our dissenting line of conduct.

Howard Rheingold at anti-war protest, 2003

Free software tools bind with communities and actual life issues, they do not serve to replace existing human relations but to strengthen people’s agency and help organize the information they produce. We do not accept that our social relations be replaced by tools defined according to corporate agendas.

Online Absence

Before the gathering, we expect online preparation on our forum in the #offdem conference. As last year, two groups will be active to bring the gathering to fruition: the @offdem group forming the organizing team, and the @offdem.supporters group to cheer us up! You may join both groups according to your intended level of engagement.

This year’s topics are:

We will publish results of the working groups as they come, during and after the gathering. During the event, there will be no stream, no chat.

Further work will be accomplished online between OFFDEM and the Summer’s THX gathering where we’ll be finalizing a publication.

Safety Measures

Confident with the grassroots experience dealing with health issues and safety, OFFDEM will support safe spaces for an enjoyable gathering. With time grassroots organizations have developed the capacity of self-organizing health and safety measures, for example when facing different risks associated to HIV contamination or drug abuse, by organizing within the most concerned groups.

Picture of a support group at forbidden 2020-2021's NYE Rave Party, gathering 2500 people to celebrate

Mandatory Registration

Given the context of “global pandemy” and the accompanying safetyrepressive security measures taken by States everywhere, we need to know in advance who’sif you’re coming so we can track the event capacity and avoid having to deal with too much affluence.

Mandatory registration is also useful to prepare yourself to the event—see Hygiene and Health section below. As a first step we encourage you to join the @offdem.supporters group so you can keep in touch with the organization. As at OFFDEM, everyone is a user, team members will get priority in case we must select attendees. Your active participation will be taken into account towards figuring out the attendees list in case of overflow.

Travel Conditions

Due to current conditions we’re expecting mostly local attendance. If you’re coming from abroad, ensure you can make it. Keep in touch with our team for any travel restriction we can help you with.

Hygiene and Health

If you intend to come we count on your responsibility to minimize the risks for yourself and others. We recommend taking extra care of your and your close ones’ health prior to the gathering, and when you return. There’s no total risk avoidance, but using your brains and practicing good hygiene should be enough to prevent further contamination.


  1. Stigmergy is a principle that acknowledges for the inspiring capacity of the traces that persists behind people and after actions emulating responses in the form of new ideas and further actions. ↩︎

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Original Proposal from 2020

As we’re preparing for the OFFDEM 2021, I’m moving the original proposal as a response for the sake of history.


OFFDEM, the Off Festival of FOSDEM

An intersectional festival about collective practices & free technologies production.
Why OFFDEM? | Activities | Directions

Conceived as the Off festival of FOSDEM, OFFDEM aims to attract producers and users of free technologies (free software, open source hardware) at the margin of FOSDEM, which is the world’s largest gathering of free software and open-source developers. OFFDEM is set to happen, like FOSDEM, on the first week-end of February, in Brussels, at a location close to the traditional FOSDEM venue.

Open For Freedom Desire Emancipation Meaning

This conference is to imagine and prepare the OFFDEM.

For the record, from December 26th, 2020…

I had a dream last night about OFFDEM. I thought it should follow the years:

Festival Year Name Oxygen Compound
OFFDEM 2020 0x00 O0 – nothing
OFFDEM 2021 0x01 CO (Carbon Monoxyde)[1] H2O (Water)
OFFDEM 2022 0x02 O2 (Oxygen)
OFFDEM 2023 0x03 O3 (Ozone)
OFFDEM 2024 0x04 O4 (Tetraoxygen – unstable)

Sorry, I did not dream further in time :slight_smile:


  1. It is not because the powers that be want to suffocate us that we should submit to their injunction. On the contrary, we prefer getting oxygen where it is, and where it matters. ↩︎

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