Among those tapped to deliver keynotes at this year’s fourth annual Red Hat Summit are some traditional choices, those who will likely tout the business benefits of using open source technologies, speakers like John Halamka, the CIO of Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Center, and Jim Whitehurst, the president and CEO of Red Hat Inc.
But also included are some colorful choices, like keynote speaker Joel Cohen, a writer and the associate producer of The Simpsons, who will discuss how the business values of open source have fueled creativity and innovation for the series, now in its seemingly unstoppable 20th season. In a recent interview, Cohen admitted that he knows little about open source technology — let alone Red Hat — but according to the PR firm the Lavin agency, his speech really addresses how to stay innovative in pressure cooker-type competitive business environments. The title of Cohen’s address is “The Business Tao of Homer: Lessons in Creativity and Innovation from The Simpsons.”
Given the focus of some of the later sessions — from tracks on middleware and beyond the operating system to granular sessions on decoding code and open source in virtual environments — this keynote may set the tone and give some perspective on why attendees use open source in the first place: Flexibility, openness, and fresh ideas are always the building blocks of business.