Aspiration in the News

Projects at Work on Aspiration's Managing Nonprofit Technology Projects event in DC

While in Washington, DC for Managing Nonprofit Technology Projects - DC, Aspiration Executive Director Allen Gunn spoke to Kathleen Ryan O'Connor from Projects at Work for her article The Status of Nonprofit Projects.

Dell Backs Open Source Operating System

Allen Gunn is quoted in this article about the Linux Operating System--Ubuntu.

Daniel Zarchy writes, "The phrase “humanity toward others” does not usually inspire images of computer code.However, Ubuntu, the most popular version of the Linux operating system, may provide just that: humanity toward others, without the hefty price tag."


Computer World on Linux in Africa

Computer World has a brief article in this month's issue about Linux in Africa.  Aspiration's Co-Director Allen Gunn notes in the  article that, ""People in some of the least connected areas are doing some of the most interesting work." Colleagues of ours in Europe and Africa are quoted as well. Check it out.  We love getting press.

We are indeed seeing lots of innovation coming from various countries in Africa in regard to open source and NGOs in particular:  Schoolnet Namibia, the growing eRider Network in Africa, Ungana Africa's work, the newly established Ubuntu Foundation, and Linux Chix Africa who are lively and wonderful.  There are also a number of good reports, most recently one from, comparing proprietary and open source software in telecentres and community technology centres in Africa.  Tectonic provides up-to-date information on Linux in Africa.

Penguin Days Featured on "Mad Penguin"

Mad Penguin is featuring a series of interviews with Aspiration co-directors Allen Gunn and Katrin Verclas about Penguin Days and the Aspiration strategy and methodology of building an ecology of developers and users of software for nonprofit and social change organizations.

Reporter Christian Einfeldt writes: "If you thought that free open source software is a natural tool for non-profits, you were half right. The potential is there, but as this series of Mad Penguin™ interviews with the co-directors of the non-profit group called Aspiration Tech will show, we're really only about half way there in the journey to complete Tux's domination of the non-profit sector (and then the rest of the world). There's still a whole lot of teaching and learning that's gotta be done as the non-profit and free open source communities get to know each other better. And teaching is what Aspiration Tech is all about. In this series of two articles, Mad Penguin™ talks with the two co-directors of Aspiration Tech, Katrin Verclas, and Allen Gunn, aka “Gunner,” about the apparently mysteriously weak presence of free open source software in the non-profit sector (at least in North America) and what Aspiration Tech is doing about it."

Activists Think Mobile

News: Activists Think Mobile

Submitted by Mike Grenville on Fri, 24 Jun 2005 22:31,

Two technology NGOs are convening a strategy meeting of global activists and technology experts using mobile phones in political campaigns, human rights efforts and field organizing

The organisers of the "MobileActive" convergence, to be held in Toronto, Canada on September 22-24th, are Two US-based technology NGOs - Green Media Toolshed and Aspiration.

Katrin Verclas, Co-Director, Aspiration and one of the organisers of the event said that "There are unique characteristics of mobile phone communications. For campaign organizers, there are technical hurdles and questions about using the tool for one-to-many message delivery. For communicators, there are challenges to crafting messages that work in a sms, text message or voice appeals. In spite of these challenges, a growing body of evidence suggests that under some conditions, mobile phones are a powerful new tool in the hands of civil society organizations, organisers, and activists."

Chronicle of Philanthropy on Penguin Days 05

Just in time for Penguin Day San Francisco/Bay Area on April 12, the Chronicle of Philanthropy is reporting on the goals of Penguin Days. It can be found here (paid subsciption required.)

Nicole Wallance, senior staff reporter at the Chronicle, writes: "A series of events this spring will bring together charity technology employees, consultants, and software developers to discuss the potential -- and the challenges -- of developing open-source software.

"We want to demystify open-source software for nonprofit organizations," says Katrin Verclas, co-director of Aspiration, an Amherst, Mass., nonprofit group that seeks to create a software landscape in which charities have access to good-quality, low-cost tools that help them do their work."


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