<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=705633339897683&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Upstream preview: Welcome to Upstream 2024

Caitlin Bixby
by Caitlin Bixby
on June 3, 2024

Don't miss the latest from Tidelift

Upstream is this week on Wednesday (June 5!), and wow, our schedule is shaping up brilliantly. For the rest of this week, we’ll be giving you a sneak preview into some of the talks and the speakers giving them via posts like these. RSVP now!


Last year at Upstream, we talked about the accidental “open source software supply chain,” a term coined to help others understand the breadth of open source, but with it came a problematic one-to-one comparison of open source and other supply chains.

And clearly, open source maintainers weren't given the memo that they are part of this "supply chain." One poignant example:  the viral blog post “I am not a supplier” by Thomas Depierre.

What our discussions last year showed was that open source isn’t one-size-fits-all, and it’s not meant to be compartmentalized in a phrase—it’s vast, it’s complex, and with that comes problems, some of which have existed from the start. 

At this year’s Upstream, Tidelift co-founder and Upstream host, Luis Villa, will be welcoming attendees with an introduction to the Upstream 2024 theme: unusual ideas to solve the usual problems. Problems such as the rising consumption of open source that put stress on an already fatigued system—a system that sees big enterprise users relying heavily on open source projects created and maintained by unpaid volunteers. 

Open source’s popularity has made it an even more tempting target for those who seek to exploit it, and highly visible vulnerability incidents like the recent xz utils backdoor hack have only added to the pressure. In the Upstream welcome, Luis will preview the day’s talks, including ones that illuminate these usual problems, like the panel “life after the xz utils backdoor hack,” where we’ll hear maintainer and industry perspectives on the xz utils incident and what it means for the future of open source.

However, it’s important to note that solutions play a big role in this day, too. When faced with a massively complex issue with its history of failing solutions, it’s hard not to tap out and turn to cynicism. In spite of this, in his opening talk, Luis provides an optimistic take that aims to circumvent the cynics and highlights how we’re already tackling the heavily nested problems of open source with innovative and thoughtful solutions. This year’s Upstream is exciting because it’s asking its speakers and attendees to embrace the challenge of finding different solutions to everyday problems, and we hope to see you there.

Register now for our one-day, free virtual event, Upstream, on Wednesday, June 5th. 

New call-to-action