2019 has been an exciting year for us, with the expansion of the Foundation‘s staff and efforts. We had three wildly successful conferences, several hackfests, and newcomer events to help people make their first contributions to GNOME. We sponsored three amazing Outreachy interns, and mentored nine additional students through Google Summer of Code. There were numerous technical successes, including updates to GTK, new releases of the desktop environment, and infrastructure improvements. We introduced an Inclusion and Diversity team in order to make the GNOME community a more welcoming place. We were excited to announce the GNOME Coding Education Challenge. We had speakers and booths at conferences in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.
This year has not been without challenges, most notably how August brought with it allegations of patent infringement from Rothschild Imaging, Ltd. Rather than settling or backing down, we are taking this fight as far as we have to in order to say that patent trolls have no place in free software. This effort is something we'll be carrying forward into the coming year.
Looking ahead to 2020, we already have a lot going on in addition to our patent case. There's kicking off the GNOME Coding Education Challenge in order to expand the tools we have available to learn and teach. We will be seriously expanding our accessibility efforts, and are currently planning an accessibility audit and making plans for updates to the Orca screen reader. We've already started planning GUADEC 2020, which will bring us to our first North American GUADEC in Zacatecas, Mexico. We have a GNOME.Asia in the works. There will be more hackfests and newcomer events, intern and mentorship opportunities, and constant efforts to work on, for, and with the community. We'll do all of this while upholding the standards of technical excellence you have come to expect from the GNOME project, building software for people of every country with every level of ability.