Aspiration is led by a team of committed individuals who are passionate about improving nonprofit technology for social change, and we benefit from the expertise of an active and involved board of directors.
Executive Director Allen Gunn
Gunner works to help NGOs, activists, foundations and software developers make more effective use of technology for social change. He has worked in numerous technology environments from NGO to Silicon Valley start-up to college faculty to large corporation, serving in senior management, engineering, teaching and volunteer roles. He is an experienced facilitator with a passion for designing collaborative open learning processes, and is an active facilitator, contributor, advisor, and/or partner in a number of organizations and projects, including Digital Freedom Fund, OpenReferral, OpenStreetMap US, Electronic Frontier Foundation, The Tor Project, Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network, Open Architecture Collaborative, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, Simply Secure, and Mozilla. He is a board member of The Ruckus Society, Global Exchange, Forward Change, and Peer 2 Peer University, serves on the Project Leadership Committee for the Reproducible Builds Project, and also serves in formal advisory roles with Houdini Project, Pursuance Project, Ranking Digital Rights, The Center for Tech Cultivation, SAFETAG, Electronic Frontier Foundation Security Education Companion, CorpWatch, LocalizED, Social Movement Technologies, The Engine Room, The Everett Program, United for Iran, and The Rosetta Foundation. He is a former board member of Idealware and US Treks/Internet Treks.
The common thread that connects all facets of Gunner's work is a focus on open approaches to capacity building and knowledge sharing in social change efforts. Aspiration prioritizes work that supports and contributes to open communities of practice who create technology and content that benefit nonprofit and foundation efforts. Over the past twelve years, the organization has designed and facilitated almost 500 extremely open learning and knowledge sharing events, in over 40 countries across the globe, predicated on a philosophy of active participation that puts each participant “in control of their own destiny”, in contrast to approaches that place audiences in passive listening roles. Aspiration publishes all licensed work products, including software tools, books, papers and training materials, under open licenses; for published documents and media, the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike, and for software the GNU General Public License whenever possible.
Assistant Director Joshua Black
Josh oversees communications, fundraising, and operations at Aspiration. He is especially passionate about Aspiration's Manifesto, having worked in a performing arts nonprofit where he saw firsthand many of the technology challenges and hurdles that nonprofits face.
Originally from Salt Lake City, Josh received a degree in vocal music performance from the University of Oklahoma before moving to Kansas City, Missouri, where he worked for the Kansas City Symphony for three years. In the intervening years, he has worked in the financial services industry while continuing to pick up gigs as a singer. He is thrilled to be back in the nonprofit world and proud to be a member of the Aspiration team.
Program Manager Evelyn Arellano
Evelyn leads Aspiration's Core Skills Capacity Building program focused on building online communications strategy and technology leadership throughout the state of California. Her primary focus is facilitating collaborative learning workshops and training curricula for nonprofit staff and community organizers. She is passionate about creating accessible and inclusive technology learning opportunities with those working in environmental, racial, and social justice movements.
Originally from Los Angeles, Evelyn graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with degrees in Sociology and Latin American and Latina/o Studies. Having volunteered and worked with nonprofits over the years, she has seen first-hand the valuable work that nonprofits and grassroots organizations contribute to our communities. With several years of experience working as an educator, community organizer, and coordinator of youth leadership programs, Evelyn is dedicated to building technological capacity and skills through collaborative and inclusive models. Evelyn is excited to be part of Aspiration's team and is motivated by our mission to break down technological barriers and empower organizations and their movements.
Operations Administrator Chanaye Thomas
Chanaye leads operations at Aspiration and our San Francisco Nonprofit Technology Center. Originally from Los Angeles, she has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for most of 12 years and has a decade of diverse and international experience in the fields of communications, media, and photojournalism. She has extensive experience working with nonprofits addressing social, racial, and environmental justice in several countries.
Chanaye holds a BA in Global Communications and a BS in Environmental Science and Social Justice from the American University of Paris, France and has been awarded scholarships for her past independent photojournalism. Prior to joining our team Chanaye ran a digital communications consultancy while based in Berlin, where she supported clients addressing social and environmental challenges. She is dedicated to her activism in all her work and arts and inspired by the intersection of technology and social justice.