Making Waves

Event Date(s): 
July 23, 2007 to July 24, 2007

Surdna Foundation invited Aspiration to design and facilitate a 2-day event focused on the future of public radio. The goal of the gathering was to offer practical guidance and to suggest new ideas for leaders in the field of community radio. A central question of the event was “what new technological developments now permit us to do radio differently, and make radio viable in previously unviable places?" Participants considered the role of the internet in future community radio strategies, and also discussed policy and advocacy opportunities.

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, (Warsaw, Poland),, CiviCRM, CivicSpace, DemocracyInAction, Drupal, Joomla!, MobileVoter, New Organizing Institute, Non-Profit Soapbox/PICnet,, and Radical Designs.

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.

Agenda - eAdvocacy Jamboree

Aspiration's eAdvocacy Jamboree will bring online campaigners and organizers together with developers of eAdvocacy tools and platforms for a fast-paced and far-reaching peer-to-peer skillsharing event. The participant-driven agenda will feature rich dialog and creative learning sessions. 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.