I travelled to Spain last month to meet with government and university leaders and speak about bringing a new Rule of Law to the internet. Invited by the Galician Department of Technology and the University of La Coruna Department of Economics, Business and Cybersecurity, I spoke before energetic audiences of technologists, students, faculty and other concerned internet users drawn to our cross-industry effort to make the digital world safer.
It was a great thrill to be there. First, any opportunity to spread the CleanApps message to governments and academia is worth seizing. We need more people to join the movement for clean apps, and government and university communities are especially drawn to new ideas and are in positions to boost pioneering approaches to improve society. Second, the problem of free software downloads – “descarga gratis” in Spanish – extends well beyond North America. While CleanApps.org is truly global, many of our current members and partners are based in the United States.
Finally, and on a personal note, this trip had significant sentimental value. I lived with a Spanish family in Northwest Spain more than 30 years ago, so returning to the area and speaking as an evangelist for our global mission was rich with both professional and personal meaning. I had the opportunity to spent time with some of my Spanish “brothers and sisters,” which was wonderful.
My talks received press attention, including a full-page spread and interview on the cover page of a regional newspaper there. You can find it above in the original Spanish (you’ll need to use a translation program if you don’t read Spanish).
A big thank you to the many folks in Spain who made my trip possible, especially Professor J. Andres Faíña, Dean Anxo Calvo, and other faculty leaders and students at the University of La Coruna; Attorney Jose Padin and banker Ramon Iglesia; and the amazing staff at the City of Culture and the Galician Department of Technology in Santiago de Compostela.
What a great opportunity to share and learn from such thoughtful people in such a great country. I look forward to finding more creative ways for CleanApps.org to work with my hosts – and other leaders in Spain and Europe – to help create a safer internet.