Flourish 2008; Chicago, April 4 - 5

Just found out tonight about another technology event in the Midwest -- it's called Flourish 2008 and will be held in Chicago on April 4 - 5.

They've got a pretty interesting line-up of speakers, including Bruce Perens and Ben Collins-Sussman, and it sounds like there will be between 100 and 500 people at the event. It's free, fun, and focused on FLOSS (Free/Libre/Open Source Software).

One page of the website gives some history of the event. Here's an excerpt:

What happens when you put Microsoft and a penguin together? Would you believe Flourish got its roots from this odd couple pairing? It's true!

In the Fall of 2006, the University of Illinois at Chicago Linux Users Group (UIC-LUG) were distributing GNU/Linux CDs outside the Microsoft Internship Information Session on campus. Many students accepted our CDs and many more got a good laugh from our mascot, a UIC-LUG member dressed in a full body Tux the Penguin costume.

After the information session had started, a man walking by commented, wondering why Microsoft would arrange to have a person dressed as a Penguin outside their information session. The student dressed as Tux explained to the man that we were not from Microsoft and that we were there to spread awareness of GNU/Linux and FLOSS software. The man then asked us a very good question, “Does Linux bring jobs to UIC?” In response to the man's question, the UIC-LUG decided to organize a conference to explore if FLOSS trully provides jobs and opportunities for growth. As a result, our annual Flourish conference was born.

I've sent out a 'roadtrip request' email to a number of tech enthusiasts I know, soliciting the company of those available and interested in participating in Flourish 2008. With a bit of luck, at least one other person will want to make the trek down to the Windy City for this tech community gathering.



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