Last week I met James Gosling, today I met the Mayor of Paris‘ 11th district.
Everybody has their own political opinions and views on social policy and the workplace. I have mine too. I‘m passionate about Java, I like sharing my knowledge and creating networks, and of course making some money… but in a respectful way. I‘m a self-employed entrepreneur, working co-operatively with an organisation called Port Parallele. In French we‘d called it a co-operative, the emphasis on co-operation.
Port Parallele had a special event today at which their networks of entrepreneurs, partners and government officials participated. I met George Sarre (for non-Parisians that might not ring a bell, he’s the Mayor of the 11th district of Paris), Christian Sautter (in charge of economic development and finance in the Mayor’s office), Daniel Brunel (vice-president, regional economic affairs), Francine Bavay (vice-president regional social affairs)… They were there because Port Parallele is leading the way with an alternative model for business and employment creation in the IT industry. In all of the speeches, everyone talked about the positive innovations that this co-operative business model brings to the workplace.
After all the speeches, we met and chatted with some of the government officials. Each entrepreneur set up a booth to showcase his/her area of expertise. Mine was set up to display my work, my book, training and university courses and the Paris JUG. During our discussions, one of the most surprising aspects they discovered was the broad exposure Java has through JUGs around the world, except in France. So I explained them the concept of a JUG.
Within European governments there is a competition between capital cities to promote new technologies (eg. in Paris you have free wireless network in all the parks, schools and municipal buildings). Even if he is not a technical guy, the Mayor understood what it means for a city to host a JUG : Java is used in many universities, companies, institutions, open source projects in Paris. The Java market represents a tremendous amount of resources, and there is no Java User Group in Paris…
Right at the top of the Paris JUG potential sponsors list is the City of Paris. JUGs bring and spread new Java technologies and the City is an active player in this market, and appears to be a welcoming one. This looks like a great opportunity for David and I to exploit for our JUG.