SF Nonprofit Technology Center Hosts Housewarming Party!

Over 100 friends of the SF Nonprofit Technology Center made merry and mingled in our new collaborative space!

The celebration introduced the new community workspace established for the benefit of individuals and organizations passionate about creating better technology for meeting nonprofit needs.

The Center is home to 8 organizations working in the realm of nonprofit technology:
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Look for announcements about upcoming events and trainings at the Center, and please drop by and visit us at 1370 Mission St. 4th Floor, San Francisco, California (Between 9th and 10th streets)

Open Curriculum Convergence

Event Date(s): 
June 12, 2006 to June 13, 2006

Aspiration provided facilitation at this convening of open curriculum practitioners. The goal of the gathering was to discuss better approaches to peer production and collaborative development in the open curriculum space. This initial meeting allowed participants to share perspectives why they care about open curriculum, to map out what’s working and what’s not, posit visions and plans for open curriculum efforts, and zoom in on common ideas.

California eAdvocacy Training Road Show

Event Date(s): 
May 16, 2006 to May 19, 2006

Aspiration took its open eAdvocacy curriculum on the road to nonprofits all over California for a week of trainings in Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. The one-day “Email For Advocacy and Community Organizing: Basics, Essentials, and Best Practices” training covers email campaigns, how to write effective email campaign messages, tracking open rates and responses, how to manage and sustain email lists, as well as best practices for privacy, security, and avoiding “spammer” status. The trainings were designed to enable grassroots nonprofits to learn effective process and tactics in using email in their campaigns and strategic work. The training materials have been prepared by Aspiration in partnership with Radical Designs and ScoutSeven, and funded by the Community Technology Foundation of California. All materials are being distributed under Creative Commons license.

LiveWire Summit

Event Date(s): 
April 20, 2006 to April 21, 2006

This two-day meeting, convened in partnership with SourceWatch , brought together a broad range of strategists, organizers and implementors working in online strategy and advocacy. Participants included staff and allies from SourceWatch, True Majority, Radical Designs, Democracy in Action, CitizenSpeak, Scout Seven, Greenpeace, Ruckus Society, SEIU, and others who met to discuss how to better get online activism tools into the hands of local activists. A range of capacity building concepts were brainstormed and discussed, from documentation to mentoring to turnkey services.

Shuttleworth Foundation Kusasa Project Sprint

Event Date(s): 
April 11, 2006 to April 13, 2006

Aspiration designed the agenda and facilitated this convening of educators and technologists meeting to discuss new approaches to teaching analytical skills through computer programming in the South African educational context. The goal was to consider how to develop a self taught, peer mentored program, which can be effectively evaluated without expert supervision, and to provide tools for analysis that will be general useful across the range of disciplines being taught at any given age. A range of leading thinkers, including Alan Kay, Guido Van Rossum, and Mark Shuttleworth, and a range of practitioners in computer software instruction met for 2 days to collaboratively advise the Foundation on project scope and direction.

Penguin Day Seattle

Event Date(s): 
March 25, 2006

Penguin Day Seattle took place on March 25th in downtown Seattle. Almost 90 participants joined in the festivities, which included a rich agenda. News Forge provided some excellent coverage and Deborah Elizabeth Finn offered a wonderful blog entry as well. Penguin Day Seattle pictures are posted on Flickr. The mischief makers over at PICnet also perpetrated a little pre-PD mischief. To stay informed about Penguin Day’s, join the mailing list at We’re in the planning stages for inaugural Penguin Days in Boston and Washington DC, and well as the second PD San Francisco.

Innovation Funders Network Summit

Event Date(s): 
January 30, 2006 to January 31, 2006

The Innovation Funders Network 2006 Summit took place in San Francisco on January 30th & 31st. Aspiration was honored and delighted to direct the agenda and oversee event facilitation.

The event convened funders, invited affiliate organizations and thought leaders from around the world at Wharton West in San Francisco to explore the role of innovation and networks in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Over 100 participants, coming from a range of perspectives and experiences, discussed challenges and opportunities across the fast-changing landscape of innovation funding.

Over the past decade, the emergence of the internet, cellular phones and other innovations in Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) has brought about profound social and economic change. We are now living in a networked society. These networks provide new ways to collaborate, express ourselves politically and culturally, address social and economic issues, and build local and global communities. The event addressed a range of topics, including:

  • the use of ICTs in recent humanitarian relief efforts, online advocacy, community Internet, telecentres and community technology centers.
  • innovative uses of networks to deliver social and humanitarian services, advocate policy positions, communicate with constituents and the media, build collaborations and raise funds.
  • How do we ensure access? How do we equitably distribute benefits enabled by these networks? How do we foster innovation communities within the social sectors? How do we scale these innovations across issue areas and geographic regions?
  • different funding models including traditional and corporate philanthropy, social venture, peer to peer investing, online fundraising, microfinance. We will explore the use of these networks to foster collaboration amongst funders.

See the Innovation Funders Network site for complete details.

Africa Source II

Event Date(s): 
January 8, 2006 to January 15, 2006

Aspiration managed the facilitation of Africa Source II, an eight-day hands-on workshop aimed at building the technical skills of those working with and within NGOs on the African continent. The event took place on Kalangala Island on Victoria Lake, working with our favorite collaborators and event organizers, Tactical Technology Collective, and in partnership with local organizations including Wougnet and Linux Solutions.

Aspiration Executive Director Allen Gunn was interviewed about Africa Source II by Tectonic and News Forge. Photos from the event can be viewed with the Flickr tag africasource2.

Africa Source II focused on how technology, in particular Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) can be integrated into the project work of NGO’s. Over a hundred thirty NGO Support Professionals and NGO Staff working at the local level across the region were present at this meeting. Together with a handful of field leaders from Africa, Europe, North America and Asia, they explored how technology can best serve the non-profit sector in Africa both in terms of access and content. Proceedings from the event can be found on the event wiki. Leaders Forum at WSIS

Event Date(s): 
November 15, 2005 to November 18, 2005

The Telecentre Leaders Forum (see video) brought together those working in telecentres, running telecentre networks, and doing telecentre research, and provided a venue for people from across the globe with a passion for grassroots technology to connect, share stories and swap practical ideas. Aspiration led facilitation across four days of collaborative workshops, following an agenda co-designed with and their partner network.

Penguin Day San Antonio

Event Date(s): 
November 5, 2005

For this event Aspiration went to Texas to partner with SalsaNet, Ployglot Consulting, and Urban 15 in facilitating discussion on the most inexpensive, flexible technologies to support Texas Nonprofits efforts, how Open Source solutions can be more secure, how to get support for Open Source solutions, and how to find the best Open Source applications.