Aspiration News

March 2010 CCPF eAdvocacy Trainings - Agenda

The follow is the planned agenda for Aspiration's March 2010 CCPF eAdvocacy Trainings in Los Angeles.

The agenda will be updated based on feedback and requests from registered participants.

MNTP DC Accommodations

The following are hotels located reasonably close to the event venue, which is located at 1816 12th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009

High Impact eAdvocacy and Social Media

This training teaches essential processes and strategies for getting the most out of various online channels. These processes include:

Open Translation Tools

Aspiration is a leading advocate for Open Translation, a nascent field of practice emerging at the crossroads of three dynamic movements of the information and internet eras: Open Content, Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS), and Open/Peer Production.

Join Us for the January Edition of Aspiration's Social Media Sewing Circle!

Event Date(s): 
January 8, 2010

If you are interested in being more effective with your use of social media in 2010, this event is a great way to start off the year with momentum.

The seminar is entitled "Building Your Own Social Media Dashboard", and will be held on

Friday, January 8th from 2pm to 3:30pm

The goal of the workshop is to help nonprofit staff learn both about social media as well as how they can track the impact and reach of their messaging.

This hands-on, learner-driven event will allow participants to set up their own "listening dashboard" where they can track the impact of their online communication efforts (web, Facebook, Twitter, and more), while also tracking issues pertinent to their organization, all with a single free online tool. Participants will use the NetVibes platform to create their dashboards.

The workshop is designed for those starting out in social media as well as those who have established a social media presence but don't know how to start assessing the reach of their messages and the online activity around their programmatic issue areas.

Because the workshop will be participant-driven, we'll encourage discussion amongst the group, so bring your stories, questions and frustrations and we'll see if we can sift out some answers and solutions.

The seminar will take place at the

San Francisco Nonprofit Technology Center
1370 Mission St, 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
See Map

This is a free and open event, but space is limited, so please RSVP to seminars@aspirationtech.org.

Aspiration's Collaborative eAdvocacy Capacity Building Events

In addition to our eAdvocacy and Social Media trainings and mentoring program, we use our unique Aspiration facilitation methodology to enable collaborative peer-driven learning.

Aspiration is also available for speaking engagements, webinars, and offering sessions at larger events.

Aspiration's Collaborative eAdvocacy Capacity Building Events

In addition to our eAdvocacy and Social Media trainings and mentoring program, we use our unique Aspiration facilitation methodology to enable collaborative peer-driven learning.

Recent capacity building events have included:

Feel free to contact us to discuss how we might creative a collaborative learning event for your organization or network!

What Should a Web Site Cost?

Aspiration was giddy happy to be invited to present the latest, greatest version of our "What Should A Web Site Cost" slideware on TechSoup's December Webinar.

2009 Nonprofit Software Development Summit

Event Date(s): 
November 18, 2009 to November 20, 2009

The 2009 Nonprofit Software Development Summit was the third annual convening of people and organizations developing software tools, web applications and other technology to support social justice causes. Bringing together a diverse range of users, developers, technologists, managers, eRiders, integrators and other practitioners who self-identify under the umbrella of “developing nonprofit software”, the 2009 DevSummit provided an opportunity both to gather as a community and to take stock of the field, while building connections and capacity.

You can check out the Agenda and session notes on the event wiki. Also, check out event pictures and tweets from the event.

The event targeted a range of audiences, including users who know what they still need developed, developers writing code to support nonprofit needs, integrators deploying tools for nonprofit and social justice organizations, and individuals who just care about seeing better technology developed to address the broad range of issues we face as a global community.

Feel free to join the Event Mailing List to participate in discussions about nonprofit software development.

Twitter hashtags: #devsummit, #aspirationtech

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Goals of the Dev Summit

The Dev Summit had as its primary goals the following:

  • To convene and strengthen connections between the networks of stakeholders in the nonprofit software ecosystem, 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.

Participant-Driven Agenda!

The agenda took 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 were in short supply as with any Aspiration event, supplanted by participant-driven collaborations and small-group formats.

And as with all Aspiration events, the agenda was extremely participant-driven, developed in collaboration with participants and session facilitators in the time leading up to and during the Summit.

We thank everyone who helped to make this and past Nonprofit Software Development Summits a huge success, and we look forward to hosting the next!

Aspiration Co-Organizes and Facilitates Asia Source III

Event Date(s): 
November 7, 2009 to November 12, 2009

Aspiration traveled to the Philippines to co-organize Asia Source 3 (AS3). The event was a six-day hands-on workshop aimed at building the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) technical skills of those working with NGOs in South and South East Asia. It took place at Silang, Cavite, Philippines from November 7th to 12th, 2009.

The event was co-organized in partnership with The International Open Source Network (IOSN) ASEAN+3, Centre for Internet and Society, and Tactical Technology Collective, with support from Mozilla Foundation, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, InWEnt Capacity Building International, ASEAN Foundation, and Open Society Institute Information Program.

AS3 was the third event of the Asia Source camp series. Asia Source I was held in Bangalore, India in 2005 and Asia Source II in Sukabumi, Indonesia in 2007. The 6-day collaborative event was held on the lush greens and in the quiet cool environs of the Yen Center, home to the Headquarters and Regional Center for Asia of the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), and located in Silang, a landlocked municipality south of Metro Manila, within the historic Province of Cavite.

In the tradition of previous camps, Asia Source 3 brought in participants from across Asia, who shared the common goal of pursuing FOSS advocacy and its promotion and use among non-profit organizations, small-to-medium enterprises and youth networks. The primary objective of the event was to act as a focal point in increasing the practical uptake of F/OSS desktop and tools amongst the voluntary sector in South and South East Asia.

Aspiration Facilitates Plone Video Sprint

Event Date(s): 
October 31, 2009 to November 3, 2009

Aspiration was delighted to partner with EngageMedia and Plone4Artists to run the Plone Video Sprint at this year's Plone Conference in Budapest, Hungary. The 4-day sprint convened about 20 developers to collaborate on open video technologies on the Plone Content Management System (CMS).

Aspiration led the facilitation to help the group focus on priorities. Those include building a shared road map for video on Plone, working on key technical needs such as large file handling, transcoding and BitTorrent support, improving support for FOSS video codecs, publishing and viewing content with mobile devices, bug fixing existing video related Plone collective products and improving documentation.

The Plone Video Sprint was supported by the generosity of the Open Society Institute.

As Engage Media points points out, online video has exploded in recent years, being a major source of the “web 2.0” boom. YouTube, YAHOO Video and other video sharing spaces have been celebrated for making major advances in facilitating citizen media. Despite their success, however, there are many limitations to these proprietary platforms, such as YouTube’s limit on video size, its frequent censorship, the difficulty in downloading videos, the low quality of the flash video employed, and terms of use that allow YouTube to do nearly anything with posted video content.

The ability to host and manage your own content using free, libre and open source (FLOSS) tools is essential for independent media organizations and non-profits.

The aims for the sprint are the following:

  • Increased communication and collaboration between Python, Zope and Plone developers working in the area of open video technologies.
  • Direct improvement of key video technologies and the video feature set available in the Plone CMS so as to increase uptake and improve those sites already implementing Plone video technologies.
  • Improved the ease of use, install and set up of Plumi via technical and documentation enhancements, opening it up to a broader set of users and contributors.
  • Increased skill set among sprint participants regarding how to implement and develop with the Plumi CMS and for video technologies more generally in the Plone CMS.
  • Increase the community of developers working on Plone and video and their effectiveness.

The organizers hope to follow up related work from around the FLOSS video scene – such as Transmission.cc network, Plone4Artists, the recent Open Video Conference in NYC, the annual set of FOMS conferences, and the free documentation work of FLOSSManuals.

An additional aim was to contribute to constructing online spaces where independent media networks can flourish in an open, accessible and transparent way. EngageMedia will continue work on Plumi, their Plone-based video CMS, as a FLOSS tool for local communities and activists to use as a democratic online video sharing space.

Aspiration Co-Designs and Directs 'Innovation on the Lake' in Italy

Event Date(s): 
October 23, 2009 to October 25, 2009

Aspiration was honored and delighted to co-organize Innovation on the Lake, in partnership with Common Ground. The event brought together a group of 15 Ashoka Fellows along with experienced practitioners in social media and technological innovation for an interactive weekend on Lake Como. The three-day gathering was generously supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and took place at their Bellagio Center in Northern Italy.

The goal of the event was to help Ashoka grantees explore how they might apply social media strategies and tactics to support their respective projects in Africa, Asia, India, South America and the US, working on issues including human trafficking, climate change, rural development, government corruption, micro-lending and homelessness. The focus was on generating ideas and solutions to the specific problems that each of the attending Fellows work on and how their social change work can be accelerated with the use of innovative communications technologies. Each participant was invited to consider innovative ways in which to design and introduce network production models (aka "crowdsourcing") into their programmatic work.

A team of experienced social media practitioners facilitated sessions on a range of topics. The team gave generously of their time and passions in service to the Fellows, and included:

The agenda was collaboratively designed by the participants and facilitators using Aspiration’s participatory event methodology.

Bellagio was a beautiful event venue, and meetings there have generated important social policy ideas for 60 years. Rockefeller generously provided the resources necessary to convene a productive and transformative event.

Ashoka is an international network of social innovators. Fellows are vetted through an exhaustive process designed to validate the scalability of their innovations. Each of the Fellows in attendance had been nominated by Ashoka as either already using interactive media tools as the platform for their social innovation, or eager to explore the potential of these tools for their work.

Aspiration thanks Rosanne Haggerty at Common Ground for inviting us into such a fruitful and collaborative project, and we hope to create similar events in the future.

ZeroDivide Fall 2009 eAdvocacy Trainings - Materials

The following are the materials which were used during the ZeroDivide Fall 2009 eAdvocacy Trainings in San Francisco and Los Angeles

Note that not all materials were used in each training, but the full set is included for the learning benefit of the participants.

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p>These materials are distributed under a Creative Commons license, and we encourage re-use, modification, and re-distribution in any situation where they may be useful.

William Lester Joins Aspiration's Board

Aspiration is delighted to announce that William (Bill) Lester has joined our Board of Directors, effective immediately. Welcome Bill!

Aspiration Facilitates Regenstrief Institute Annual Conference on Open Health Methodologies

Event Date(s): 
September 23, 2009 to September 25, 2009

Aspiration was grateful to be invited to facilitate the Eleventh Biennial Regenstrief Conference in French Lick, Indiana.

The event focused on Open Health Methodologies, and invited participants to challenge the old paradigms in health methodologies, and to create the tools and and processes to engage in open collaboration.

Regenstrief Institute is also home to one of Aspiration's favorite open source software projects OpenMRS. The project is a fountain of open source best practices, and the platform itself is making a profound difference in healthcare in Africa and around the globe.

The agenda was collaboratively designed by Aspiration and the Regenstrief organizers, and proceedings were captured on the event wiki.

We are inspired by all the great work and vision that Regenstrief Institute is investing in open health methodologies, and we look forward to future collaborations.

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