The Dev Summit is people first, tech later

Our 16th annual Nonprofit Software Development Summit in Oakland, California will be taking place on November 6-8.

This three-day gathering is designed for everyone from passionate grassroots activists to radical software developers. It brings together participants from around the world to collaborate, share knowledge, build relationships, and collectively envision the future of free and open technology to support social justice efforts and movement building.

So, what makes the Dev Summit different and how do we do it?

Dev Summit centers people and building collective power

Dev Summit 2018 session

Too many technology events fetishize tech and completely fail to center people and their real needs and experiences. Dev Summit is a "tech-themed" event that actually centers people and focuses less on tech and more on movement strategy and building collective power.

The Dev Summit community has been coming together for the better part of two decades to discuss how tech can accountably and sustainably serve social and racial justice efforts. New folks are always welcome, and our goal is to empower those who are early in their learning journeys and who don't necessarily self-identify as "techies".

The Dev Summit strives to avoid hyping tech, and instead focuses on conveying practical and essential processes for utilizing digital tools in sustainable ways. The event is designed to provide participants with best practices and insights they can apply in their day-to-day work. Conversations address the challenges, trade-offs, and opportunities we individually and collectively face in leveraging technology in our social justice and community work.

We believe technology plays an ever-increasing role in all aspects of activism and social change efforts, but too often tech is presented as a catch-all solution or a magic ingredient when in fact the reality is more complex. Technology can be a tremendous asset in organizing, campaigning, mobilization, and other efforts, but it also creates new vulnerabilities and often perpetuates power dynamics that run counter to the values of those using the tech. And increased dependence on tech correlates with increased vulnerability to surveillance and tracking.

You will not see any presentations, panels, or keynotes at the Dev Summit. The focus is on participant-driven dialogue and collaboration, and a primary objective is to enable participants to build and strengthen relationships where they can share knowledge and find support for many years to come.

A space where you are encouraged to co-create the agenda

The Dev Summit agenda is a diverse collection of discussions and interactive sessions that are developed in collaboration with confirmed participants. We employ an interactive and participatory approach to convenings, and work to specifically address the outcomes that will be most useful and relevant to everyone who attends.

Check out the conversations and discussions you are likely to find taking place at the Dev Summit this year.

You can also check out the 2018 agenda and session notes which were co-created and gathered with participants.

We encourage you to bring your stories, ideas, questions, and knowledge to share. If there is a session or discussion you would like to help facilitate or if you have an idea for the agenda, let us know.

Let us help you get there

We invite community organizers, students, technologists, open source software developers, nonprofit staff, and fellow capacity builders to join us in this highly interactive and empowering event.

If you want to participate, but need support getting there, please reach out and let us know. We would love to have you there and want to find a way to make it work. We have sliding scale registration, registration scholarships, and limited travel stipends for those who need them. Please reach out to discuss options.

Come connect, learn, and celebrate with us at this unique and interactive gathering!

Check out how you can get involved and spread the word!

Register today and save your spot at opening circle.