Just looking at the notes and pictures from IWEEE 2013 Canarias... I regret so much not being able to be there!!! This was the first IWEEE I missed and I do hope this was also the last one. I do believe Health and Knowledge go hand-in-hand and what makes this relationship work is Freedom. Unlimited freedom to have access to health (and everything) and to freedom to know (everything). This freedom equals humanity. The more we know everything and the more we have access to everything the more we will care about our fellow beings, human or not, organic or not.
I have been extremely fortunate to participate in projects linking free software and education (http://goo.gl/mgWZy) and, of course, free software and health (starting when I met my good friend +Luis Falcon when I invited him to Latinoware 2009). My life commitment with free software allowed me a high-level position within the Brazilian government I occupied for almost a year, until August, 2012. I did believe I could hack the system from inside. Now I am more and more a believer in my previous conviction that some institutions will just die inside their ever growing shells.
Although I left the government because of a very specific fact (http://goo.gl/DUJeD), today I am a firmer believer we can perform our best outside of established institutions.
Health, knowledge and freedom altogether are too much important to be in the hands of institutions such as governments.
In Brazil, the Ministry of Planning issued a normative instruction saying all federal agencies must use free software whenever there is a free software solution for a given problem. There are plenty of free software solutions for education and healthcare and yet, if you pay a visit for almost all of the public health and education facilities in Brazil you will see how few are actually using them. This normative instruction and several other initiatives -- regarding free software -- by the Brazilian government are just a smoke screen, a way of saying things are being done. They are not. People with very good intentions are being intentionally squandered. This very good people are not actually aware of this.
Before leaving the government I worked on having federal agencies talking to each other, sharing what they were doing, fostering a culture of full disclosure. Actually, my last act as a government official was participating in a quite bit ministerial technology sharing event I helped organizing. Pressures against this kind of practice were huge and this event just happened because of very good people embracing the fact that as public employees they are public servants.
We are all public servants after all. I really don't know what I am going to be after I die. I do know I love my wife and daughters, my nephews and nieces, my friends. Whoever survives me deserves my best. I will always make my best to better this world.
I regret so much not being with you in the beautiful Canary Islands! I am sure, however, our minds were and will be always in sync!