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Main Organizer


Experiment day organizers

Mark Shuttleworth

Founder , Ubuntu Project ( UK)

Mark  Shuttleworth

I’m founder of the Ubuntu Project, a popular Linux-based operating system that is freely available worldwide for desktops and servers. Ubuntu aims to be beautiful, easy to use and precision engineered for consumers and large-scale enterprise deployments alike. It’s used by an amazing number of people, from folks who just want a PC that works for the web, to heavy industry, massive cloud computing environments, national police forces, banks and schools in the Amazon.

I lead design and product strategy at Canonical Ltd, the company behind Ubuntu. Canonical provides support on a commercial basis for the free Ubuntu operating system. It also builds many of the unique elements of Ubuntu for desktop, cloud and server deployments. I had the responsibility of the office of CEO of Canonical from 2004-2010, after which Jane Silber assumed the reins and responsibility for the broader operations of the company while I’ve focused on our products.

I’m passionate about the triple thrusts of cadence, design and quality in open source. I believe that free software can become the de facto standard way the world builds and experiences all software, and if we want that to happen we need to embrace all three ideas widely across the free software ecosystem. Right now, I’m focused on design, championing the idea of design-driven development and find ways to bring design thinking into the open source process. We don’t just want to design Ubuntu, we want to inspire the whole free software ecosystem to produce software which feels “brilliantly and beautifully designed”. Most of my own design energy goes into Unity, the unique interface that Canonical built for netbooks with Ubuntu.

A long time ago, I studied finance and information technology at the University of Cape Town, and went on to found Thawte, a company specialising in digital certificates and cryptography. VeriSign bought Thawte in 1999, and and I went on to found HBD, an investment company, and The Shuttleworth Foundation, which funds innovative thinkers to bring about change in society. I moved to London in 2001, and began preparing for the First African in Space mission, training in Star City, Russia, and Khazakstan. In April 2002 I flew in space, as a cosmonaut member of the crew of Soyuz mission TM34 to the International Space Station.

Today I live on the lovely Isle of Man, along with 12 ducks, the equally lovely Claire, and occasionally the neighbour’s sheep.