Nikos Roussos

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hsgr

[you can read this story in greek, published on linux inside magazine: pdf]

A few months ago Athens Hackerspace (HSGR) opened its doors for the Open-Source, Open-Hardware, Open-Content Communities. Hackerspace is not a new term, but it's not many years ago that become a standard way of these Open communities to create a physical meeting space. Just check the official hackerspace site. You'll see many spaces across Europe and USA.

The first seed for HSGR planted at Zurich about a year ago. We were there for a few days with Ebal and Pierros for an Open-Source Conference. We were standing in the middle of the central train station and we had to split in 15 minutes since we had different flights to catch up. These 15 minutes were some of the most creative minutes of my life. I can't even recall how the conversation started, but ended with the conclusion that we don't want just to work on our projects isolated on our desks. We constantly share ideas on the things we work, why not do this more often and in personal? Why not create a space especially for this process? For people to gather and work, people who having already join the Open Culture, are willing to share their work, share their source code, exchange ideas.

The first step was to organize some events (we called them hackfests), mostly because we wanted to find out if more people shared the same dream. There was always a chance we were three lunatics. Fortunately more lunatics happened to be out there. While waiting at Zurich Airport lounge, about an hour later from the initial brainstorming conversation, I registered the hackfest.gr domain and published a website. Later the same night, Pierros was doing pretty much the same with hackerspace.gr domain name, while Ebal had gathered together a document full of ideas and todo things for both the events and the space. In less than 24h we have launched what we were dreaming for many years and happen to discuss at a train station between a weiss bier and a curry wurst.

One month later the first hackfest took place with 30 people participating. People showed so much interest on the idea of a physical space, that five joyful hackfests later we started searching for a place to host our hackerspace.

Today HSGR, after so much effort by so many people, is a place full of energy. A 120sq.m. place dedicated to creative hacking. 22 members currently, who operate the space on a daily basis and financially support it. Many events have already been hosted on space and projects have been incubated during these few months.

Athens Hackerspace is open (almost 24/7) for all Open communities, for every each one of us, to fill it with ideas and projects. It may be too soon to tell, but HSGR could be the most important thing and the most important asset for the Greek Open-Source community.

UPDATE: See the video

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