Searching for Matt Damon

2:13 pm freesoftware

I’m hoping I have some well connected readers out there…

As the co-ordinator of the Humanitarian FOSS track this year at the Open World Forum, some issues are coming up over and over as areas where free software is making a difference: providing infrastructure for microfinancing, linking donors with local community doers more efficiently for projects like providing villages with a reliable water supply, and simply making knowledge available in areas with little or no education system.

Reliable water supply is a prerequisite for education, entrepreneurship and technological advancement. And yet, a billion of our fellow world citizens have no clean water. Others have to walk hours every day to get water from a source miles away. is working to solve this problem sustainably by working with local communities to get funding and guarantee ongoing maintenance of local water supplies. The project concentrates on building relationships with local communities rather than making one-off donations which will leave nothing behind when the money runs out. As such, I think it fits very well with the theme of the Humanitarian FOSS track.

The project has a celebrity co-founder and spokesperson, Matt Damon. Hearing him speak about his passion and commitment to the project is amazing.

I would love to speak to Mr. Damon about where fits into the Humanitarian FOSS world, and I would love to see him present as a keynote speaker at the conference – it would bring the project to the attention of the French public, and hopefully would help forge relationships between this bold initiative and other important open source projects in the space. And it would be great for the conference, whose goal is to help make the future world a better place through technology.

Unfortunately, celebrities tend to be hard to contact directly – for obvious reasons. So, Lazyweb, I must call on thee to help me out. If anyone out there can help make a link between myself and Mr. Damon, I would be most grateful. Anyone out there able to help me out? Drop me a line at dneary at please!


5 Responses

  1. Bob Bobson Says:

    Please explain to me what on earth Matt Damon either knows or has to do with water issues.

    Why would you want him to speak about FOSS and water issues?

    He doesn’t know anything about it! What he does know would have just been passed to him as notes!

    He’s no more qualified to talk about water or FOSS than any random person on the street if you gave them notes.

    He’s an actor for god’s sake!

    How about you get an eminent scientists, technologist or a leader to speak for you?

    You wouldn’t ask a fucking car mechanic to talk about water for you, so why an actor?

  2. Bastien Says:

    You’d need to find somebody with an IMDB pro account. I’m sure a journalist in a movie magazine could help.

  3. Corey Burger Says:

    I would suggest you contact your local Rotary clubs. They often have contacts and even if they aren’t, are great groups to partner with

    (Full disclosure: I am the PR/Membership Co-chair for the Rotary Club of Oak Bay in Canada)

  4. Dave Neary Says:

    @Bob: Thank you for your insight. I will remember in the future that if I am best known for one thing I should make absolutely no effort to learn about other things, and leave it to people more qualified.

    In case the irony was lost on you: This is a cause that he has been interested in and passionate about for years. I am sure he is a lot more knowledgable on the issue than either of us.

    Inviting celebrities to speak on a subject serves several purposes: it allows the celebrity to raise the profile of an issue important to him; it allows the conference (and thus the wider context of the goals it’s trying to communicate) to get more coverage and attention; and it allows links to be made between the various charities operating in the domain. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

    Thanks for your cynicism!


  5. Adam Williamson Says:

    “Unfortunately, celebrities tend to be hard to contact directly – for obvious reasons.”

    Indeed, but they tend to have agents and publicists who _are_ easily contactable. A quick search for “matt damon” “agent” gave as result #1, and it seems likely to be vaguely accurate as a later result talks about a merger between Endeavor and William Morris, and notes that Damon is/was a client of Endeavor. Further Googling suggests the Endeavor address is still valid, post-merger.