Aspiration News

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.

Meet Allen Gunn, facilitator of the TAI Global Gathering

Authored by Elizabeth Moses. Published Sep 30, 2014.
View original article at The Access Initiative.

Meet Allen Gunn, facilitator of the TAI Global Gathering

CA Tech Fest comes to Richmond: Supporting Health Equity with Technology

Authored by Sean Pyles. Published Sept. 24, 2014.
View original article on Radio Free Richmond.

CA Tech Fest comes to Richmond: Supporting Health Equity with Technology

CA Technology Festival Community Call | 2014

Event Date(s): 
September 23, 2014

The CA Tech Fest Community Call took place on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 11:00 am PT.

We hosted an informal community call to help participants get a better picture of what would be going down in Richmond on September 25th & 26th.

Twenty tactics for creating engaging online content

(note: this is a repost from the Social Source Commons blog.)

Do you ever find yourself asking "What's the point of it all?" when creating content for the vast universe of the web? Don't let your content fizzle out. Instead, consider using engagement asks to get your audience involved in the work you're writing about.

What you (actually) get out of CA Tech Fest

Looking for an event where you can connect with cool people and share your passions in social justice? I mean really connect—beyond the post-PowerPoint small talk and hasty business card transactions.

Check out our California Nonprofit Technology Festival in Richmond this month. It's a space where collaboration, tech skill-building, and critical dialogue is supported and encouraged, while passive participation (e.g. lecture) is checked at the door.

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