Aspiration Publishes a Pair of Papers

As anyone familiar with our work knows, Aspiration is passionate about delivering high-quality technology events to a broad range of social change communities and sectors. But we're usually so busy designing and facilitating the agendas that we rarely enjoy the opportunity to step back and reflect on either our methodology or the specific learnings and outcomes from the events themselves.

Thanks to the generous support of some of our favorite funders, we've taken the time to publish two papers about our work and learnings in the field of nonprofit/nongovernmental technology gatherings.

Creating Participatory Events: Aspiration has organized and facilitated over 60 interactive and collaborative events focused on technology for social change. These convenings have shared a common, participant-driven agenda format and philosophy that focus on maximizing collaboration and peer sharing. Shuttleworth Foundation has generously underwritten the authoring of a paper documenting this approach to the creation of participatory events. The paper is divided into conceptual and practical sections; general guidelines and how-to’s for participatory events are presented, followed by a case study based on the Open Education Track at the 2007 iSummit in Dubrovnik. We invite you to have a read, and to share your reflections, reactions, and critique!

Good to Great FOSS: Learnings from Africa details learning outcomes from the Good to Great FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya in October 2007. Several of the Open Source projects funded by International Development Research Centre (IDRC) were invited to come together in a workshop to talk and learn about what constitutes good practice in developing an Open Source project in Africa. This paper documents the state of open source software development in Africa from the perspective of the projects that participated in Good to Great FOSS. In addition, the paper includes an overview of best practices for open source development in the African context as detailed by event participants, as well as a summary of recommendations made at the event on how to better support and propagate open source efforts in Africa.