Past Events

Penguin Day Lowell

Event Date(s): 
June 22, 2007

Penguin Day Lowell went down on June 22, 2007 in Lowell, Massachusetts. Check out the Penguin Day Lowell Agenda and the Penguin Day web site. Penguin Day Lowell was co-organized by Organizers Collaborative, Aspiration, and NOSI.

iSummit Open Education Track

Event Date(s): 
June 15, 2007 to June 17, 2007

iCommons and The Shuttleworth Foundation invited Aspiration to co-design and lead facilitation of the Open Education Track at the 2007 iSummit. The track was designed as a loosely integrated collection of sessions with a common focus on how to bring the commons model and philosophy into education. Sessions used participatory, interactive methods to support a shared conversation and convergence amongst people with a passion for open education. The sessions provided a space to showcase emerging open education initiatives and to explore ways to better create, share and evolve open educational materials. Nonprofit Roadmap Summit

Event Date(s): 
June 4, 2007 to June 5, 2007 Foundation invited Aspiration to design and facilitate a summit meeting of developers and users of the Nonprofit Template.

The goals of this convening were to:

  • Take measure of both the successes and outstanding issues with the Nonprofit Template
  • Share perspectives on needs and priorities of the nonprofit community
  • Collectively cast a vision for the future of's nonprofit offerings, and
  • Translate that vision into actionable initiatives, milestones, and roles rendered in the form of a product "roadmap".

New and experienced implementors, developers, users, administrators, and consultants were encouraged to attend and lend their perspective to the proceedings.

Wiki Data Sharing Summit

Event Date(s): 
June 1, 2007

Aspiration convened a number of open data platforms to discuss how such technologies could better interoperate. Purple Wiki, Wagn, Wiser Earth, Craigslist Foundation, Radical Designs AMP, and Social Source Commons shared their respective data models and information architectures, and brainstormed use cases for the how the various platforms might share data.

Aspiration Runs Joomla! Core Team Summit and Joomla! Day USA West at Google

Event Date(s): 
May 8, 2007 to May 13, 2007

Aspiration was delighted to collaborate with Google in co-organizing two events focused on the Joomla! open source content management system.

Aspiration facilitated the Joomla! Core Team Summit, which took place May 8-11 and brought together 20 Joomla! Core Team members. The core team is distributed across the globe, and this was the first in-person meeting in over a year. The agenda combined visioning and team-building sessions with working group meetings to move the project forward on a range of fronts, all aimed at delivering Joomla! Version 1.5. The team enjoyed the righteous hospitality of Google, and lots of extracurricular fun was had by all.

Following the Core Team Summit, Joomla! Day USA West brought over 100 users, developers and service providers from across the western US together to share knowledge, meet other Joomla! community members, and collaborate in the Joomlasphere. The convergence followed the Aspiration event format, meaning that the community determined what was discussed, powerpoints were an endangered species, and nary a panel was seated. Joomla! Core Team members stood by to answer questions, offer insights and explain the exciting new Joomla! Version 1.5.

Aspiration thanks Google and Joomla! for inviting us to help out at such great events!

Penguin Day Austin

Event Date(s): 
April 28, 2007

Penguin Day Austin took place on April 28, 2007 in Austin, TX. Details of what went down are at Also see the wiki and agenda for the event.

Penguin Day Austin was co-organized by Aspiration, EFF-Austin, Polycot, and Gmeta.

Penguin Day DC

Event Date(s): 
April 7, 2007

Penguin Day took place in Washington, DC, right after the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC). As at every Penguin Day, we explored the potential and the role of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in nonprofit organizations, in sessions designed to answer questions and curiosities!

Penguin Day DC took place Saturday, April 7th at Josephine Butler Parks Center

You can see the Penguin Day DC Agenda.

Penguin Day DC was organized by Aspiration, PICnet and NOSI.

What in the world is a Penguin Day?

Are you passionate or curious about the reality, the potential and the role of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in nonprofit organizations? Do you want to learn about latest free and open web publishing tools and technologies? Would you like to meet other like-minded and passionate participants, including developers, activists, and nonprofit "techies"?

Penguin Day DC will bring together nonprofit technology staff with free and open source software (FOSS) developers for a day of learning and conversation.

We'll explore and explain open source for nonprofits, frankly address the challenges of developing open source tools for nonprofits, and celebrate strengths and successes of open source in the nonprofit sector. Leading open source innovators in the nonprofit sector will share their stories and knowledge, and focus on answering your questions!

If you are curious about open source software for your nonprofit organization, Penguin Days are for you!

Register at

Who is organizing Penguin Day in DC?

Penguin Day DC is made possible with the help of Aspiration, PICnet and NOSI, local partners and YOU!

What will I take away from Penguin Day?

Penguin Day features a packed agenda of interactive workshops, round tables, and "SpeedGeeks." Topics include:

  • Introduction to Free and Open Source Software for Nonprofits
  • Local resources and who’s-who in the Free/Open Source community
  • Helping techies and non-techies communicate
  • Overview of Free and Open Source desktop applications
  • e-Advocacy platforms
  • Making sense of Free and Open Source Content Management Systems
  • Healthy and Sustainable Free and Open Source Communities
  • How Users Can Influence FOSS Development
  • Business Models for FOSS developers and providers
  • Content Management System (CMS) Crash Courses -- Plone, Joomla, and Drupal
  • Creative Commons and Open Content
  • SpeedGeeking (a lively tour of projects and tools)

What Are Others Saying About Penguin Days?

"I had a wonderful time at Penguin Day. It was one of the best IT related conferences I've been to. I'm definitely in a position to help my current and future non-profits with MUCH needed tools. I thank y'all on their behalf. Keep up the good work and positive energy." - Steve Garrison,

"Penguin Day was great - I had an excellent day - made new friends, put a lot of faces to email addresses, had a whole load of fun - and got introduced to some new applications and distributions! Thanks again to everyone who organised the day, ran sessions etc - it made my 4,500 mile trip worthwhile!" - Ian, from London, UK

"Penguin Days are a fantastic opportunity to get together with a wide variety of people and understand more about the issues that surround open source. Unlike a lot of conference/gatherings, the emphasis in these is on meeting people and making connections that you carry out of them room. And that works." - Marnie from San Francisco

"Now on to Penguin Day… Wow. For my part I was impressed by the international scope of the audience, folks from Great Britain, Canada, Kenya, Turkey, Ghana, Chicago and all points in between. The energy was great and the range of topics on the agenda meant there was something for everyone….suffice it to say Penguin Day set the mark against which all other events will be measured in my mind." - John from Chicago


Since 2004, Penguin Days have been held in Philadelphia, Portland, Oregon; London, England; Toronto, Canada, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Texas and Seattle.

Hundreds of nonprofit staff, programmers, and activists have attended Penguin Days. Penguin Days feature humorous "SpeedGeeking" sessions (playfully modeled after speed-dating) to bring programmers and organizations together to learn more about each other and free and open source software.

The Penguin is the symbol adopted in the early days of Linux as the mascot of this growing software movement.

To register for an upcoming Penguin Day, go to

About Aspiration: Aspiration, connects nonprofit organizations with software solutions that help them better carry out their work. We want nonprofit organizations to obtain and use the best software to maximize their effectiveness and impact so that they, in turn, can change the world. We identify what is available and what is missing in NGO software arena, and foster relationships, delivery systems, and sustainability strategies between NGOs around the world.

About PICnet: PICnet, empowers the missions of non-profits through the use of unique open source software solutions. PICnet moves beyond the nuts and bolts of technology, rising to find new and effective ways to assist organizations in meeting their goals.

About NOSI: NOSI was formed with three goals: to facilitate and encourage the use of free and open source software in the nonprofit sector, to bring nonprofit organizations together with free and open source developers and projects in ways that both can benefit, and to promote the understanding of the ways in which the fundamental values of each are similar.

FLOSS Usability Sprint IV

Event Date(s): 
March 9, 2007 to March 11, 2007

Aspiration and Blue Oxen Associates co-hosted the fourth FLOSS Usability Sprint March 9-11, 2007. Once again, Google graciously hosted the event at their headquarters in Mountain View. Project participants included Firefox, Drupal, WiserEarth, and Aspiration's own Social Source Commons.

Event proceedings were tracked on the FLOSS Usability Wiki.

2007 Nonprofit Software Development Summit

Event Date(s): 
February 21, 2007 to February 23, 2007

The 2007 Nonprofit Software Development Summit was a first-of-its-kind convening to bring together the range of developers, technologists, managers, eRiders, integrators, users and other practitioners who self-identify under the umbrella of roles around “developing nonprofit software”. The event provided an opportunity both to gather as a community and to take stock of the field, while building connections and capacity.

The Summit was hosted in Oakland, California, from February 21st to 23rd, 2007. Additional code sprints and collaborations were scheduled on the day following the event.

The 2007 Nonprofit Software Development Summit was supported in part by the generosity of TechSoup and Google, as well as anonymous donors.

See the Event Schedule and Agenda, the Agenda Overview, event background, and press release.

Please have a look at the Event Wiki.

And feel free to join the Event Mailing List to participate in discussions about the Summit!

Goals of the Summit

The Summit will had as its primary goals the following:

  • To convene and strengthen connections between the networks of stakeholders in the nonprofit software spectrum, providing a fun and creative environment for celebrating successes and leadership in the field.
  • To share skills and knowledge in a highly collaborative, peer-to-peer fashion.
  • To map and discuss what is available and what is missing across the nonprofit software landscape in specific software “verticals”, and to posit solutions for addressing the gaps.
  • To offer a point of entry for software developers interested in offering their skills to nonprofit sector.

The agenda will take a concrete and hands-on approach to topics and challenges, focusing on transferring skills and process knowledge in interactive and fun ways. Panels and slideware will be in short supply, supplanted by participant-driven collaborations and small-group formats.

Event partners working with Aspiration to design the agenda and sessions included Blue Oxen Associates, Brattleboro Technology Collective, (Warsaw, Poland), Chicago Technology Cooperative, CivicSpace, CiviCRM, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, DemocracyInAction, DotOrganize, Drupal, Floatleft, Fund for the City of New York, Grameen Foundation,, Humaninet, Idealware, Leland Design, Nonprofit Open Source Initiative (NOSI), ONE/Northwest, Openflows Community Technology Lab, The Open Planning Project, OpenID, PICnet, Project Zero,, Radical Designs, Foundation, Sulá Batsú (San Jose, Costa Rica), and Ujima Consultants.

Aspiration Co-Organizes Asia Source II

Event Date(s): 
January 22, 2007 to January 30, 2007

Aspiration traveled to Indonesia to oversee the agenda and facilitation at Asia Source II: Free and Open Source Technologies for NGOs (Non Government Organisations) and SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). The event took place in Sukabumi, near Jakarta. The Asia Source II blog provided detailed accounts of camp life.

Aspiration partnered with fellow event organizers International Open Source Network, Tactical Technology Collective, InWEnt, ICT Watch, and Yayasan AirPutih. The event was targeted at those practitioners actively working with the NGO or SME sectors in South Asia and South East Asia, with focus on service and advocacy NGOs, educational organisations, NGO resource centres, community centres, health information organisations, SMEs and SME support agencies. Over 100 sessions were scheduled, including learning tracks on:

  • Open Publishing and Broadcasting: Communication Strategies and Writing Effectively, Graphic Design, Web Tools (Content Management Systems, Blogs, Wikis) and Audio/Video Production and Streaming
  • Alternative Hardware and Access: Refurbished Hardware, Thin Clients, Hardware Hacking, Wireless Solutions and Community Radio
  • FOSS Implementation and Migration: Moving an NGO or SME from proprietary software to FOSS. Participatory Design and Planning, Evaluating FOSS, End-User Training and Support Techniques, Dealing with Desktops, Proxy Server, Firewall, Mail Server and Groupware
  • Information Management: Mapping Information Sources and Requirements. Best practices for Creating Specifications, Information Architecture and User Interface Design

As with all Aspiration-facilitated events, Asia Source II was built around a participant-driven agenda, peer-to-peer knowledge and skill sharing, and capacity building through strengthened social networks.

Session proceedings were chronicled on a local wiki. Asia Source II is the latest in Source Events series, which has included Summer Source, Africa Source I and II, and Asia Source I.


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