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At the invitation of IDRC and in partnership with PRIDE Africa, Aspiration directed the first-ever “Good to Great FOSS: Open Source Software Development in Africa” convening in Nairobi from October 24-26. The workshop provided a collaborative venue for discussion on Open Source software development in a developing country context, and was attended by a diverse group of open source projects and practitioners. The workshop goal was to facilitate an open assessment on how ‘Open Source’ approaches do (and do not) improve the impact of software initiatives in a developing country context. Also discussed and documented were reflections on the most successful approaches and strategy to implementing Open Source.
The main objectives of this workshop were:
- To provide an opportunity for reflection and learning about how to develop successful Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) initiatives in Africa;
- To promote collaboration and understanding of what it takes to have a successful FOSS project;
- To document community processes and tool sets of featured projects, profiling best practices required to apply FOSS expertise to add value to various technology driven IDRC-funded projects;
- To provide knowledge on business process in the context of FOSS projects.
An event wiki was maintained to store session notes and project profiles.
Following from the event, Aspiration will be authoring a paper that details community processes and tool sets of featured projects from the event; a profile of best practices, required resources and processes in the developing country context; as well as points of disagreement on the subject of how to develop an Open Source project in the African context; and finally, recommendations for focus areas in future support and collaboration.
Despite the use of informal and occasionally salty language, Craigslist Foundation was kind enough to post a podcast of Aspiration Executive Director Allen Gunn’s recent presentation at the 2007 San Francisco Boot Camp.
Using the soap box as his publishing platform, gunner opined on a range of nonprofit tech challenges, best practices and pathologies before heading off to babysit his nephew and niece.
Thanks to Craigslist Foundation for creating a venue in which people passionate about nonprofit technology were able to come discuss and share knowledge while strengthening the network of nonprofit practice!
The Mott Foundation invited Aspiration to design and facilitate a series of convenings to engage Mott grantees on how the foundation’s web site could better serve their needs.
Grantees in Flint, Michigan, San Francisco, California, and Washington, DC were invited to review the current slate of online services, and offer feedback on both the value of those offerings and their ability to take advantage of the same.
Sun invited Aspiration to design and facilitate an event that brought together senior Sun executives and technologists with Sun Foundation staff to discuss how Sun could play a role in addressing the digital divide on a global level.
The day-long meeting was an extremely interactive opportunity for participants to cast long-term visions and to weigh in on what was viable and advisable in applying Sun technologies to assist those living and working in under-served and offline parts of the world.
San Ng is transitioning from the Aspiration Board Room to Aspiration headquarters. San joins Aspiration as Director of Programs and Operations after serving as Program Director for ICT for Governance, Law and Civil Society at The Asia Foundation. Welcome San!
Heather Carpenter, Aspiration’s outgoing Assistant Director, is moving south to San Diego. Heather will be a PhD student in Nonprofit Leadership at the University of San Diego and Executive Director of the Jenna Druck Foundation. Heather has done a FANTASTIC job getting Aspiration’s operations into top-flight shape, and we’ll miss her passion for nonprofit excellence. Thanks and best wishes to Heather!
San has more than 13 years of non-profit experience in ICT in international development. Prior to joining Aspiration, she was the Program Director for ICT for Governance, Law and Civil Society at The Asia Foundation, a non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to the development of a peaceful, prosperous, and open Asia-Pacific region.
YouthNoise invited Aspiration to design and facilitate a series of Youth Summits in cities across the U.S. The goal of each Summit in the series was to engage youth in cause-based local activism by extending the YouthNoise’s “MyCauseIs” program to offline contexts. The ultimate purpose of the process was to grow the connection between youth-driven ground action and the benefits of online networking, resource building, community organizing and project management.