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Aspiration Paper -- Good to Great FOSS: Learnings from Africa

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) invited Aspiration to design and facilitate an event focused on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) development in Africa.

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gunner rants and raves about nonprofit technology at Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp

Despite the use of informal and occasionally salty language, Craigslist Foundation was kind enough to post a podcast of Aspiration Executive Director Allen Gunn's recent presentation at the 2007 San Francisco Boot Camp.

Using the soap box as his publishing platform, gunner opined on a range of nonprofit tech challenges, best practices and pathologies before heading off to babysit his nephew and niece.

Thanks to Craigslist Foundation for creating a venue in which people passionate about nonprofit technology were able to come discuss and share knowledge while strengthening the network of nonprofit practice!

Aspiration welcomes San Ng as Director of Programs and Operations

San Ng is transitioning from the Aspiration Board Room to Aspiration headquarters. San joins Aspiration as Director of Programs and Operations after serving as Program Director for ICT for Governance, Law and Civil Society at The Asia Foundation. Welcome San!

Aspiration's eAdvocacy Jamboree 2007

Event Date(s): 
July 17, 2007 to July 20, 2007

Aspiration hosted our annual eAdvocacy shindig, which we lovingly named the "eAdvocacy Jamboree", from July 17-20 at Preservation Park in Oakland. The main event ran July 18-20, with a pre-day of eAdvocacy trainings on July 17 for those wanting to ramp up their eAdvocacy skills.

Check out the agenda and notes from sessions.

Electric Embers also hosted their third annual Most Excellent AdvocacyDev Veggie-Friendly BBQ Shindig, continuing to raise the bar for NPTech hospitality!

The final agenda is online. We continued to expand the format this year, and offered several interleaved tracks:

  • Training Fest: A full day of in-depth trainings was offered on Tuesday the 17th, before the main Jamboree, on a range of topics including eAdvocacy 101, Web 2.0 Tools and Tactics, eAdvocacy Best Practices, Strategic Blogging, Intro and Advanced sessions on Democracy in Action, CiviCRM, Non-Profit Soapbox, Drupal, and Joomla.
  • Interactive Track: participants were able to workshop their current campaigns with facilitators and other participants, participate in peer web site reviews, brainstorm new campaign ideas, and engage in skillshares on any topic they wanted to discuss. Spectators were few and far between!
  • Strategy Track - Tools, Tactics and Best Practices: eOrganizers and eAdvocacy practitioners from a broad base of causes and sectors discussed what they've got in their toolboxes and the tactics and strategies they're currently employing. Sessions considered the challenges of messaging and maintaining supporter bases across campaigns. A particular focus was on developing best practices in eCampaiging process and engagement models. Participants also related how they're using emerging web 2.0 and other technologies to augment their eAdvocacy efforts. User/Developer sessions allowed stakeholders across the eAdvocacy landscape to discuss how we can all work together more effectively.
  • Developer Track - Open Source eAdvocacy Platforms: Where are we, what's new, and how will it all interoperate? We continued the dialog from past AdvocacyDev convergences and looked for more opportunities to write tools that make life easier for campaigners and organizers. Latest releases of all relevant platforms were demo'd and compared, and participants were invited to drink from the fountain of cool technology Koolaid.
  • eAdvocacy Capacity Track - Addressing the Challenge: The most consistently vexing problem in the eAdvocacy space is how to develop more capacity. Campaigns and causes go wanting for able staff and consultants who could help them craft and execute appropriate online campaigns and strategies. This track mapped what's already being done in terms of training and documentation, while opening up the floor for discussion on how better to scale eAdvocacy communities of practice and pool various documentation resources.

As always, participant input dramatically shaped what happened at the event.

Event partners who worked with Aspiration to design the agenda and sessions included Blue Oxen Associates, Caltha.pl (Warsaw, Poland), Change.org, CiviCRM, CivicSpace, DemocracyInAction, Drupal, Joomla!, MobileVoter, New Organizing Institute, Non-Profit Soapbox/PICnet, Protest.net, and Radical Designs.

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!

NOSI Salon at the SF Nonprofit Technology Center

The Nonprofit Open Source Initiative (NOSI) is gearing up for a new phase of activity, and they are hosting a series of salons to hear what nonprofit users are thinking about open source software and its role in the nonprofit sector. In what ways is the connection working? How is it not? What kinds of new ideas and resources are needed? They're also looking to start conversations on how to get nonprofits involved in the open source community. How does NOSI foster open source development in the nonprofit sector? How do they educate nonprofit technology staff and consultants on the ethos of open source software, not just its practical applications?

Michelle Murrain of NOSI and Allen Gunn of Aspiration will co-host the salon, and anyone interested in open source for nonprofits is invited to bring your ideas and passions for open source. Snacks and beverages will be provided. We'll be meeting at The San Francisco Nonprofit Technology Center located at 1370 Mission St. 4th Floor, in San Francisco, from 5:30-7:00 pm on December 11th. Please come by, and lend us your ideas, and tell us what you think NOSI should be tackling in the next year.

And if you can't come to the Salon, check out the newly updated NOSI website and leave comments!

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