Aspiration News

Weaponized Social in SF | 2015

Event Date(s): 
May 16, 2015 to May 17, 2015

In February 2015, we brought together people in New York City to engage in conversations and workshops about social interactions and conflict resolution in online spaces.

Referred to as Weaponized Social, this event aimed to rethink the social scripts (i.e., learned patterns of interaction) that shape the online realm.

2015 Humanitarian Technology Festival

Event Date(s): 
May 9, 2015 to May 10, 2015

Our Humanitarian Technology Festival took place on May 9 and 10, 2015 at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, MA. This two-day gathering brought people together who are passionate about leveraging technology and media for humanitarian aid and disaster response.

The event was designed to support dialogue for field practitioners, media makers and storytellers, technology developers, information security practitioners, and everyone in between.

California Listening Tour: Notes from Los Angeles

The first California Listening Tour of the year is a wrap. It was great returning to Los Angeles (quick shout-out to my hometown, Korea Town) to get insights on how nonprofit organizations want to leverage technology for their front line community work.

Reporting Back from Weaponized Social in NYC

A group of fifteen participants gathered in New York City on February 13 and 14 to discuss the idea of Weaponized Social: the notion that social harms resulting from digital interactions can become dangerously amplified online by the network effect.

Circumvention Technology Festival in Valencia, Spain | 2015

Event Date(s): 
March 1, 2015 to March 6, 2015

We helped organize the Circumvention Technology Festival in Valencia, Spain in March 2015. Spanning a week of workshops, hackathons, and social gatherings, the #CTFestival brought together participants from around the globe to connect, share resources, and collaborate on efforts to fight censorship and surveillance.

Thank you to all who participated.

2015 Nonprofit Software Development Summit

Event Date(s): 
November 18, 2015 to November 20, 2015

Our 12th annual Nonprofit Software Development Summit took place on November 18th - 20th, 2015 at Preservation Park in Oakland, California.

Thank you to all who participated.

Weaponized Social in NYC | 2015

Event Date(s): 
February 13, 2015 to February 14, 2015

Weaponized Social took place on February 13th and 14th in New York City. It was a first of its kind for Aspiration.

A big love bomb of thanks to all who participated.

Weaponized Social: Rethinking Online Scripts

In the Aspiration ethos, using tools comes second to cultivating and understanding the ecosystem where the tool would live and grow. In practice, this means creating organizational processes, positive feedback loops, conventions, etc., so that when technology is implemented, it is overlayed on existing modes of healthy and sustainable interaction. This year, we began exploring one of the broader and more nebulous ecosystems as it relates to the technology of the internet: the 'social scripts' that mediate online interactions.

Reporting back from "Follow the Money" in Berlin

This past week, I joined Gunner to facilitate the Transparency and Accountability Initiative's "Using Technology to Follow the Money" workshop in Berlin. We met over a hundred activists, journalists, technologists, and funders who traveled from all over the world to have dialogues about how to better use financial data to make social change.

What does it mean to “Follow the Money”, and how can financial data lead to social change?

Back on the California Highway in 2015

From February 16th to 20th, we are heading on the road to meet with friends and allies off California's Highway 5. We hope to listen and learn about the technology needs of grassroots social justice organizations in order to inspire our trainings and capacity building efforts for the year.

Welcoming our two new team members

Willow and JC

Our office reached capacity this winter by welcoming two new members to the team: JC Sanchez and Willow Brugh. We are fortunate to have them on board to expand our program work in California and abroad.

JC, our new Technology Capacity Builder, interned with Aspiration in 2013 as a student of the Everett Program at UC Santa Cruz. His serendipitous return will allow him to continue the work he started two years ago. Conversing over coffee in downtown Oakland, he explains:

    When I was first at Aspiration as an intern, I was made the unofficial translator. For example, I was given the job of translating the Publishing Matrix. So hopefully, that is going to carry over.

Tales of Telecommuting: What was the first week like?

This is me, Willow

This January, Aspiration embarked on a telecommuting adventure by hiring a team member stationed on the East Coast. That remote person is me! I’m Willow Brugh, your friendly new Community Leadership Strategist, brought on board to continue work with the digital response community, social justice affects on complex systems, and to document processes (sometimes with stick figures!).

Ah, that first-day feeling. The slight nerves from infinite possibilities and having no idea what is going on. Being surrounded by new people, new sounds...

Using Technology to Follow the Money | 2015

Event Date(s): 
January 20, 2015 to January 21, 2015

Thank you to all who participated. You can check out the results and vision moving forward in the TA Bridge blog.

We co-organized a unique “Follow the Money” workshop with the Transparency and Accountability Initiative (TAI) on January 20-21 in Berlin as part of the TABridge program.

Come to our holiday party!

Come celebrate the holidays with us at our home in the S.F. Mission district. We will be in the company of our awesome office mates from The Ruckus Society, Upwell, and Open WhisperSystems. We would love to see you there!

Making the 2014 Aspiration t-shirt

In November, we excitedly debuted our latest Aspiration t-shirt at the Nonprofit Software Development Summit. This time around, we stepped away from our musical homages to honor places that we have been given the opportunity to work in.

Here's what emerged from a sea of drawing boards:

Our 2014 t-shirt design Dirk and Lena at Dev Summit

ArtSpark's coming to #NpDev!

We are looking forward to learning from ArtSpark at our Nonprofit Software Development Summit in Oakland next week, an organization working at the intersection of art and technology. In Aspiration land, we're huge fans of helping folks practice their passions in sustainable ways. So before we dive into #npdev, we want to introduce you to a group we've been collaborating with from California to New Mexico since 2010.

Student capacity builders coming to NpDev Summit!

We're excited to have folks from UC Santa Cruz's Everett Program bringing love and fresh perspectives to our Nonprofit Software Development Summit in Oakland this month.

The Tactics of Collaboration

Authored by Steve Wright. Published Nov. 4, 2014.
View original on Stanford Social Innovation Review

The Tactics of Collaboration
Moving beyond platitude and exploring how to operationalize collaboration.

FabRiders Data Strategies for Activist Campaigns | 2014

Event Date(s): 
November 21, 2014

Is your social justice campaign ‘data-ready’? Almost everything connected to social justice is a data project in one form or another. This workshop facilitated by Dirk Slater of FabRiders offered practical knowledge about utilizing data in a variety of campaigning contexts. Participants gained a better understanding of how to get data, how to turn it into useful evidence, and how to make it accessible and interactive.

Tech Fest Unites Nonprofits From Around the World in Richmond

Authored by Chanelle Ignant. Published Oct. 15, 2014.
View original article on Richmond Pulse.

Tech Fest Unites Nonprofits From Around the World in Richmond

At the California Nonprofit Technology Festival, or simply Tech Fest, hosted at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Richmond, there were no power point presentations or keynote speakers.


Subscribe to Aspiration News