Building a Hacker Culture: Uruguay's Laptops and Broadband for All

Geek Lifestyle
Location: D138
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What does it take to build a hacker culture? This talk will cover activities in creating a hacker society in Uruguay. The small south american country has engaged in the massive task of raising a generation of hackers. Every school child gets an XO laptop and every landline comes with DSL. The talk will look at both the top down government efforts and bottom up participatory efforts. Hackers groups, software development collectives, hacker spaces, coworking offices, conferences and unconferences. While most of the world is trying to replicate silicon valley, Uruguay’s working at building something quite different.

This talk will look at the way in which a hacker culture is being built from scratch. The conflicts between top down government efforts and a grassroots community driven approach.

In the context of Latin America, the politics of free software is seen to be more important than it’s technical merits. Of particular interest is the way in which the community is struggling to move from advocates of free software, users of the technology, to creators.

Photo of Rabble Evan Henshaw-Plath

Rabble Evan Henshaw-Plath

Rabble is the founder of Cubox SA, a rails development shop in Montevideo, Uruguay. He has extensive experience doing ruby on rails development and generally causing a ruckus. He was the architect for and Yahoo! Fire Eagle location broker platform.

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Casper Bodewitz
07/15/2011 8:47am PDT


As I’m a regular visitor to Argentina and have been contemplating starting a game company there, I’m curious whether there is any collaboration with Argentina in this initiative.

Looking forward to the talk to see if I should maybe shift my focus on Uruguay as a possible country to build a business.

Cheers, Casper