Proposal for OOoCon
Section 1 – Mandatory Information
Location (country, city)
Latvia lies between Estonia to the north, Russia and Belarus to the east, the Baltic Sea to the west and Lithuania to the south. It is the ʻcentralʼ Baltic country in both size, business activity, communications and geographical location.
Riga is emerging as a top congress and conference city in Europe thanks to its strategic location, its rich and exiting culture, its unspoiled nature and its easy access by air from around Europe and around the globe.
Latvia has a long history of technological innovation with highlights including the Minox spy camera and one of Europe's largest pre-war telephone networks. Today, Latvia continues this tradition with original scientific research and by hosting a number of companies that use open source software in embedded and professional solutions. Latvia has an astonishing transition, going from s Soviet republic to a member of the EU and the NATO alliance.
Special visa or entry requirements (e.g. vaccinations)
Visa depend on where you come from. Nationals of:
the Czech Republic
the United Kingdom
the United States of America
do not require a visa to enter Latvia.
Nationals of all other countries need a visa.
No vaccinations are needed
Conference venue(s) (e.g. university campus, municipal buildings)
The Reval Hotel Latvia offers the largest conference and events centre in both Latvia and the Baltic States, and is one of the largest conference facilities in Northern Europe. The hotel has hosted numerous Open Source events including Sun Microsystems conferences, Java events.
Conference facilities (e.g. WiFi, video streaming/recording)
Conference center highlights:
- Free wireless Internet throughout the hotel
- 15 conference rooms with seating capacity of up to 2500
- Over 2000 m2 total conference space
- Largest meeting room with meeting space of 962 m2, seating capacity of 1100, theater style
- High quality catering during your breaks
- Professional conference services and follow-up
Accommodation (especially any low cost hostels etc)
Riga offers accommodation for every taste and budget. Most hotels have been built or fully renovated during the last 3-5 years and are conveniently located within walking distance to the Old Town, conference venues, and tourist attractions. Please refer to these sites for more information:
External transport links (nearest airport(s))
- Riga International Airport (20 minutes from city centre, with shuttle): Direct flights from 60+ destinations with Schengen zone ease of access
- Linked to Star Alliance, flights from around 850 destinations in more than 150 countries
- Sea port with ferry service from Scandinavia and Germany
- Convenient train and bus connections from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus
Internal transport links (within city)
Riga is very compact city with key destinations and attractions within walking distance.
It features an extensive network of inexpensive bus, tram and train lines plus taxi service.
Team Lead (main contact person)
Mr. Evijs Taube, Sun Microsystems
Ms. Madara Greiziņa-Kuzmina, Open Technology Association of Latvia (LATA)
Ms. Santa Rutka, IBM
Mr. Michael Dexter, Linux
Ms. Inga Mičule
Mr. Juris Pētersons, Jazz Communications
Ms. Linda Vītola, Jazz Communications
Local events that are taking place in parallel (or immediately before/after)
No known conflicts
Section 2 – Proposal
In 400 words or less, answer this question:
Why should the Community award OOoCon 2009/2010 to your team?
The opportunity to organize OOoCon2009 in Riga is an opportunity to broaden ODF and OpenOffice.org popularity and recognition in Latvia, Eastern Europe and around the globe.
- Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in Latvia is currently:
- In limited use by government
- Not widely adopted by education institutions and enterprises
- Facing resistance to change from a user base that is accustomed to pirated solutions, making for a ripe environment for raising OpenOffice.org and FOSS awareness people got used to existing usually pirated solutions
- LATA would drive promotions OO.o and FOSS through OooCon2009, boosting:
- Recognition of OO.o and FOSS by those who are unfamiliar with it
- Adoption of OO.o and FOSS by those who have heard about it
- Promotion and distribution of OO.o and FOSS by those who have tried it
- Contribution to the OO.o and FOSS community and projects by regional experts
This year offers a special opportunity to promote open source in Latvia and the region as we face our most difficult economic crisis since regaining our independence. Our public and private sector institutions face unprecedented budgetary challenges and would benefit greatly from adopting open source software, especially under the free-download/enterprise support model offered by Sun.
As a venue, Riga offers and unparalleled combination: truly original and preserved architecture and a wealth of experiences within walking distance. Riga's Old town and beautiful city centre is compact, romantic and full of fun opportunities.
- A unique, economical environment for small to mid-sized conferences
- Central access to the Baltic market of 7.5 million people
- A Norhtern crossroads where East-West truly meets
- Attractive prices for goods and services
- Attractive cafés, bars gourmet restaurants
- The hottest night life in Northern Europe
Our Riga OOoCon 2009 team have already laid the groundwork for this event: the LATA conference 2008 was a major success with nearly 300 attendees and 16 speakers from around the world. We also organized Software Freedom Day 2008 in partnership with the Sun/MySQL team during their world wide developers conference in Riga, during which the team was able to benefit from Riga's wide selection of culinary options, entertainment and health services.
Let OOoCon 2009 in Riga serve as a strong base for the future growth of OO.o and FOSS recognition and adoption in Latvia, Baltics and all of Eastern Europe!