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July 26 2012


Digital Bites -- #Net2Fail

I got so used to thinking about failures as opportunities, that it is even difficult for me to recall any. Obviously, they do feel like failures when they happen. There is no way of immediately tricking your heart and mind into treating whatever you did not expect or hoped for as, at the end of the day, “the best”. But then, after the initial wave of disappointment, you start rationalizing, you move on, and you can’t believe that what started so badly could have taught you so much.

Although a lot has been said about what good can come from failures in theory, examples are the only good way to examine this statement. And the July edition of our neo-newsletter Digital Bites brings some famous ones to your attention. One of them comes from Steven’s Flower, the NetSquared Local Organizer from Manchester. Steven’s advice is to... be easy on yourself (if you don’t succeed at first).

Want to know why and more? Put your headphones on (there is an interview to listen to!), click through, and let us know what you think. Also: share your own #net2fail story on this blog if you feel like it. We will surely enjoy reading it. It is always easier to learn from your own failures,but it surely is easier to enjoy the ones of others!

April 13 2012


From Toronto? Enter The Youth Agents of Change Contest!

The Youth Agents of Change Program is an initiative of the Centre for Social Innovation and ING Direct to provide space and support to young people aged 19-29 with a promising social venture. Applications are due by May 4, 2012. A team of CSI and ING Direct staff will work alongside former Agents of Change to select the winners.

Young people aged 19-29 who reside in the Greater Toronto Area are eligible to apply. You must have a social venture of some kind, at any stage of development from conception to delivery.

Apply And Win

Youth Agents of Change winners will receive:

  •     60 hours of free monthly desk space and three hours of free monthly meeting space at the Centre for Social Innovation Annex (720 Bathurst Street at Bloor)
  •     Access to the ING Direct Network Orange Space (221 Yonge Street at Dundas)
  •     Tailored programming and mentorship to accelerate your social venture
  •     Connections to experts, professionals and resources across the social mission sector
  •     Participation in Toronto’s most dynamic community of change agents



Check out the competition’s website for more information about the program and how to apply!

February 28 2012


Online Community Organizing Take 2: Interview With Sylwia Presley From Global Voices

Today’s post in the February Net2 series is inspired and informed by a conversation I had with Sylwia Presley [reads “Sylvia” in English] . Sylwia is a social media practitioner and consultant who has worked on many projects that involved online community organizing. The thing we focused on when talking though was her engagement in Global Voices -- an international community of bloggers who report on blogs and citizen media from around the world. Sylwia works as an author at Global Voices and as editor of Polish Global Voices Lingua site . We have chosen Global Voices, because it is the most vivid and sustainable community that Sylwia has been working with. We hope that looking at her lessons learned will prove valuable for the Net2 audience.

Global Voices Online

Global Voices Online is an international, volunteer-led project that collects, summarizes, and gives context to some of the best self-published content found on blogs, podcasts, photo sharing sites, and videoblogs from around the world, with an emphasis on countries outside of Europe and North America. Global Voices is formed by a multilingual community of bloggers who collaborate on a range of projects including a translation project -- Lingua. Lingua is about making stories from the Global Voices in English website available in other languages.

The main collaboration tool for the community is a mailing list. Every country, and every region has its own editors, as well as a team of volunteers who contribute to the blog be it by writing or translating the content. What makes them a community are the shared values outlined in the Global Voices Manifesto, a document drafted collectively by participants of the Global Voices 2004 conference and many other bloggers around the world.

To Build a Community

First of the things to keep in mind when approaching the topic of “online community organizing” is, that it is always difficult to manage volunteers, which is the case in this series There are three main ways in which an online community comes to life. The first two are associated with a prestige that is either given or comes when a critical mass of content momentum is reached. The third one is “a spark” that motivates people -- a particular passion or interest that will make people both contribute and come back. That latter is the Global Voices case.

To Keep a Community

Respecting and managing people’s emotions an expectations plays a very big role in the community building process. If it is the personal values, if it is the “difficult to grasp” feeling of being safe, and comfortable, you have to be particularly careful. You can’t play with or manipulate people -- social media drive transparent communication, and it is very difficult to hide your agenda. And the downside is that once you make people uncomfortable, they leave. Once you abuse people’s trust it is difficult if not impossible to regain it, which is why Global Voices is based on mutual trust and focused on an actual work for the cause.

To Be Able To Let Go

Managing people’s emotions is a tricky and hard to handle task, and it it fails, it might not be your fault. So: be easy on yourself. There is little you can predict -- it might be the over engineering, it might be the topic not being interesting enough, it might be the relevance of a project or idea for the local community -- in which case it might be even better if it fails sooner than later. It might be for lots of different reasons that your community project won’t work. But with community work, you need to be ready for that: some things catch on, and some don’t.



  •     Talking to Sylwia was a pleasure, if you’d like to share it, please feel free to contact her using her Twitter handle, follow her blog, or leave a comment here.
  •     Also: If you’d like to read more, and/or get involved in any of the projects that Global Voices is currently working on -- visit the site. The contact tab would be the best if you are looking for assistance.


February 10 2012


TechSoup Webinar: You Have the Footage, Now What?


This webinar to happen on Feb 16 is the third one in the TechSoup Digital Storytelling series. It will provide you with great tips for shooting your video, and will be run by Aaron Bramley.  You'll learn how to edit and distribute your video.  We'll show you:


  • Recommendations for editing software
  • The basics of creating a more professional video
  • How to upload, tag and describe your video in order to get it seen. 

Aaron Bramley is the Co-founder and Director of Communication/Education for Lights. Camera. Help. In this role, he's responsible conceptualizing the organization’s vision and working to see it through. He focuses on communication, collaboration, nonprofits, video, social media and the bleeding edge technology behind these things. He learns, he teaches, he shares and he works to make the world, or at least a small part of it, a better place. @aaronMSB 

Be sure to check out the TS Digs page for more information:  http://www.tsdigs.org





February 09 2012


ACTA -- European Protests + Poland's Update


Two weeks ago, after the first hactivists’ attacks hit the Polish government website and the first protests spread through the country, I blogged about how Polish people opposed the ACTA bill. I’d love to provide you with an update now, since I am happy to say -- things are happening.


On 3 February 2012, Poland announced it halted the ratification process as it "had made insufficient consultations before signing the agreement in late January, and it was necessary to ensure it was entirely safe for Polish citizens." Last Saturday a meeting with the Ombudsman re ACTA in the historical venue of the Gdańsk Shipyard took place. At the same time, a weekend “improvised” congress for the ACTA opponents started in Warsaw -- it was organized by the Polish NGO community at the Polytechnics University. Polish Minister for Digitalization, Michał Boni who has recently become a very busy man, was present at both of these meetings, as well as at the third, most important one, that took place yesterday, in the chancellery of the Polish Prime Minister, Daniel Tusk. The latter meeting took 7 hours, and was video streamed as well as live-tweeted and commented in the real time (#debataACTA). The meeting hosted by the Polish MP was the closest we got to a public consultation that were so far overlooked in the entire ACTA process timeline. Some, especially the participants of the last weekend congress, who officially chose not to attend the meeting, are not satisfied though. 


The primary demand of the protesters is for the prime minister to rescind ACTA, which is an action permissible by the law, they would also like to see ACTA being voted for in the general referendum. The Prime Minister on the other hand, declares that the signature will not be removed. However, the parliament voting over ACTA (in place to ratify -- or not -- the bill) will be on hold until the doubts surrounding this bill-to-be would not be cleared out.


Everyone seems to be surprised: the Polish prime minister has never seen such a quick, mass and well-organized resistance movement against any of the previous controversial political steps he took. “The people” united in the anti-ACTA movement (that could be easily called the Polish  occupy/indignants movement supporters) on the other hand, feel unexpectedly empowered -- their voices have been heard. 


Nevertheless, to hear one another and acknowledge the existence of another point of view is not enough. The yesterday’s seven hours debate showed very clearly that even though we pretend to listen, there is no real communication involved. I am very much looking forward to the further developments, as the general European protests against ACTA are coming up this weekend. What I hope for is for Poland as well as other 22 European Union countries to unsign the document, and for the remaining members Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Netherlands and Slovakia to block their internal signing procedures after completion of their respective domestic procedures. I hope that European Union will not sign ACTA in its current form. I hope for the real public consultations to take place, and to become an obligatory (and logical!) step on a way to ratify this and every bill.  


Stay tuned!


February 03 2012


Google Privacy Policy And What It Means For The Nptech World

Last week Google announced their new privacy policy to the world. The changes in the way that Google combines and uses information one shares with its services is effective in less than a month, on March the 1st. There is a few absolutely basic facts that every Internet user (be it a Google ID user or not) should be aware of in the context of the change, and I will try to brief them here. I would love to learn and understand how exactly non-profit organizations will be affected by the new policy -- I understand that this is a very complex issue, and it is still hard to distill how this situation will be different and unique for the civil sector in particular. It doesn’t make the questions any less important or urging for an answer though. The new Google Privacy Policy run about 10,000 words, and I strongly recommend the read.

Starting March 1st any information that Google engines tracked so far, and used for customizing a specific tool of your use (e.g. you must have noted the search results being differently positioned based on how you used the engine before) will be now available almost across the entire spectrum of Google products: “If you're signed in, we may combine information you've provided from one service with information from other services (...). In short, we'll treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience.”-- Google's director of privacy, product and engineering, Alma Whitten wrote in a blog post. 


Intuitive Experience vs. Privacy Violation


Whitten’s creativity goes further and can be very specific: “Google will be able to provide reminders that you’re going to be late for a meeting based on your location, your calendar and an understanding of what traffic is like that day” -- she wrote. The policy will obviously apply to mobile Internet use, particularly in case of any Android phones, and e.g. a new Kindle Fire. Because you have to sign in to your Google account to do anything except for browse the Web and make phone calls, Google will be able to track practically anything you do on your phone using Google services. 

For many life might become simpler with all the data as well as big data being processed and customized for them by Google -- there is an upside of the change that will add to a Google user experience. However, the levels of your somewhat enthusiastic attitude towards the changes differ according to how much you are willing to share with Google, and how strongly you are inclined to believe in their “don’t be evil” motto. Google pointed out that cookies and 'identifiers' will not be tagged to sensitive categories, such as those based on race, religion, sexual orientation or health. Google has done a great job explaining the change through articles, blog posts and various following the announcement.


Coming This March -- Steady?


The policy will come to life starting March 1. If you already are a Google ID user you can’t really opt -out. Google can only integrate your information if you are signed in. For example, if you’re signed in to your Gmail account on one tab, and then decide to look up a clip on YouTube on another tab without signing out of your e-mail, the data will be integrated. If you sign out or look up a YouTube clip on a different browser, the data won’t be integrated. 

Another thing, that I would strongly encourage you to do is to take a closer look at your Google privacy settings. As the policy itself advices you can:

  • Review and control certain types of information tied to your Google Account by using Google Dashboard.
  • View and edit your ads preferences, such as which categories might interest you, using the Ads Preferences Manager. 
  • Use Google editor to see and adjust how your Google Profile appears to particular individuals.
  • Control who you share information with.
  • Take information out of many of Google services.


In the end, last but not least, you can always pull out your data from the Google Services. To learn more about liberating your data check out the Data Liberation Front manual


What Does It Mean For NGOs?

For these who have been observing Google development, and their struggle to monopolize the Internet, the policy change shouldn’t come as a surprise. Nevertheless, it does come as a statement, and should be re-thought by these who wish to be informed Internet users. Apart from asking ourselves questions about how to navigate through the Google changes, we should also take time to decide what should be a stand of a non-profit organization we represent -- work or collaborate with. How will the organizations stakeholders be affected by us using Google tools? How to avoid Google when working on a cloud? Is there a way back?


For these who fear the changes there are always, admitteddly less user-friendly but privacy sensitive, open source collaboration tools and platforms such as Etherpads, Zoho (commercial solutions) andalternative social media tools like Diaspora or Identica. In addition, in the shadow of the policy change Microsoft sensed an opportunity to fish for new clients, and claims their products are safer and treat your data with more respect. To see how subtly Microsoft wants to convince you to leave Google for them check this, ironically, youtube video


What Is Next?

It is probably too early to know how Google privacy policy will drive the change in how we use the Internet, and probably the majority of the users will stay with Google nevertheless.

What will you do? Will this change affect you? Were you heavily  relying on Google product.

Share your thoughts, emotions and questions in the comments or poke us via our social media channels.



Learn More:

January 23 2012


2012 Look Ahead. SOPA and ACTA Are a Big Deal


This post opens a January mini blog post series devoted to 2012 social tech trends. Even though old divisions (when it comes to time, as well as geography) are of less and less appliance in the modern (tech) world, 2012 already seems to be critical for various tech-driven decisions of global importance. 

In a series of posts this week, we will be exploring the near future of web design, as well as the mobile trends; we will also call out a few #protips for going greener technology-wise. 

This post was supposed to be, only and as much as, an invitation for staying tuned to our Net2 channels, and taking part in discussions around emerging nptech trends. However, the recent SOPA and ACTA developments brought yet another thing to our attention. 

Both regulations address the intellectual property issues, and are considered a threat to the freedom in the Internet (freedom of access, and freedom of speech). I will not go into the details of SOPA and ACTA here. Instead, I would like to look at the social response to the proposed regulations. For these interested, I provide additional links to reliable information sources on the topic on the bottom of the post.


The Power Of Feedback

Last week in the US was marked with a series of websites blackouts -- a widely spread digital protest joined by many local and international and local domains. By blacking out the Internet US citizens 2.0 provided their authorities with a feedback of a strength and reach never seen before.

On the same week that the Internet went black in the US, the Polish government announced that on January the 26th it will sign the international ACTA agreement. For the past three years ACTA has been negotiated in secret by 39 countries, some of them (including the US) already signed the regulation. Civil society, developing countries, as well as the Internet users has been excluded from the conversation, as they were in the case of SOPA.

Hactivism -- Tweet by Tweet

In response to the Polish government declaration, an online community of hackers via their Twitter profile (AnonymousWiki) called to action: “POLAND NEEDS A REVOLUTION. Government signing on the 26th!”. By 2:00 AM many government and public institutions’ sites got blocked and blacked out. The protest included a popular prime minister’s daughter blog on fashion and make up. Instead of the usual lipstick & hairstyle photos the site would reveal a note: “Tell Your Dad He Won’t Win With Us. Stop ACTA” ("Powiedz Tacie, że z nami nie wygra. STOP ACTA") -- check out the print screen image on the right.

Anonynmous called hacktivists to put the protests on hold until the Minster of Administration and Digitization, Michał Boni, speaks to the prime minister. Due to the protests the meeting has been scheduled for today (Monday, Jan the 23rd). It is very likely that the rapid online response to the threat of signing ACTA without any serious social consultations will block the process for the time being. 


A Big Deal

I wanted to write about SOPA and ACTA protests in the context of the 2012 Look Ahead, because it speaks to a very important global trend. It has been said during the Arab Spring, that Social Media gave Arab people the voice, and empowered them to act. It seems to me that SOPA and ACTA are a somewhat similar case. As the opponents of the acts claim, governments and corporations have been systematically limiting people’s freedom, and despite numerous protests have often remained unpunished. The last month has shown that citizens 2.0 have tools and motivation to feedback government actions, and to fight back at these they find oppressive.

It Is Not a Zero-Sum Game

The question of methods, as applicable to radical activists’ and (h)activists’ initiatives, constitute a problem here: how should we fight back, and what will be considered crossing the line? Does the immorality of one side justify the attacks of the other? And finally: what does the democratic potential of the Internet really translate into?

These questions are the ones to ask now, and during the following months. I won’t say that 2012 will bring all the answers, but will definitely force us into taking a stand.


By bringing up the challenges of transparency and democracy we kicked off the 2012 blog series from the very top -- meta level -- of the tech pyramid.  Tech driven reality has many layers, and we will be diving right into them during the next couple of days. Tomorrow, we will look at  the 2012 trends in web design. Stay with us! Important trends we are missing in our little 2012 Look Ahead Series? Share yours -- we will welcome all your adds.


Learn More




January 20 2012


When Building a Community -- They Way We Do It

I have been recently sharing with you the way in which NetWtorek (NetSquared Local Warsaw) promotes the meetings online. I described the timeline of promotional tasks to show, that even if they overlap or are ongoing, there is a certain order to them. In this post I would like to look more closely at what we think should deserve your special attention when you are aiming for organizing your community both online and offline.

So far these are a few of our lessons learned, and we welcome all of your comments!


No-Shows Shouldn’t Put You Off

As it usually happens with the events created online (e.g., Facebook events) -- not everyone who signed up for your event online will show up. Some people who didn’t sign up, on the other hand, will attend the meeting. Don’t take the online attendees list too seriously -- offline and online are complementary, but not quite the same.

Social Media Never Sleeps

Once you decide to promote your event via social media (which is usually the case when it comes to NetWtorek) you sign up for an open ongoing discussion and constant feedback. Monitoring your social media (a blog post -- and good ones will always allow commenting-- is a social media too) is a never-ending task. Get ready to respond, to admit you didn’t know, and to make mistakes. 

Sharing Should Come Easy

Be careful about how much you reveal via your online channels and if your community is fine with it. It might be ok torecord or stream a presentation, but maybe it would keep people from openly discussing sensitive topics afterwards. Internet data privacy issue is a sensitive one -- it might be about participants names and surnames, but also about their personal. opinions. Make sure you make your community feel comfortable both offline and online.

Be Flex

Pay attention to who is showing up at your events, define the general audience, but be ready to flex depending on the topic. Match the audience with the channels -- a part of the NetWtorek community is formed by social activists and programmers heavily interested in open source. They don’t use Twitter or Facebook, and it is hardly possible to ask them to sign up for things online. This is why use the previously described alternative social networks such as Diaspora and Identica.

Build Trust

Understand your community needs and values, and ask questions before you commit to something on their behalf. Once, we invited a speaker to talk about law and the Internet, and gave a positive answer to an NGO willing to record the meeting without a previous consultation. At the beginning of the meeting we learned that the speaker doesn’t agree to put the video on the Internet. She wasn’t very happy that we assumed otherwise. Nor were the NGO members who came to the meeting especially with the purpose of grabbing it on the camera.

It Is Difficult

And what if our posts and comments are left unanswered? What if no one “likes” us? It can be hard, but building a community takes time and lots of patience. We have been stubbornly organizing meetups for 10 people, recording meetings, and reaching out to new groups of people It finally worked. A community is a vivid and organic organism though and many things are beyond our control. A community has no owner, it comes and goes -- be ready for that when you start thinking about building one. 

January 19 2012


TechSoup Webinar: Making the Most of Your Microsoft Donation


Do you want to know more about the broad range of software Microsoft donates to nonprofits and libraries through TechSoup? Join our webinar Making the Most of your Microsoft Software Donation on January 26, 2012, at 11am Pacific time to find out more.
During the hour, we will be speaking to Gretchen Deo from Microsoft, as well as Brian Calvert and Julie Navejas from TechSoup, about the benefits and details of the Microsoft software donation program.

Discussion topics will include:
•Types of software available
•Nonprofit resources offered through Microsoft
•Benefits automatically included with Microsoft software donations
Whether you’ve already received a Microsoft donation or are contemplating your first, this webinar will help you make the most of your Microsoft software donation. This webinar is suited for all nonprofits and public libraries in the United States that are interested in requesting a Microsoft donation.




January 17 2012


Looking back at 2011 -- Egyptian revolution. Video interview with Heba Gamal.

It has been almost a year since the revolution in Egypt started. It is a great time to look back at what happened and, especially in the context of the net2 blog, ask questions about the role that technology played in it. A lot has been written and said about the role of social media in the past year’s protests, and this is why here on Net2, we‘d like to bring a unique voice to the discussion.

Heba Gamal, a Senior TechSoup Global Network Partner manager, is Egyptian and has been closely monitoring events that took place in her homeland in 2011 and during the last days. Apart from her personal relationship with Egypt and the revolution Heba also has a social activist past, and a passion for new technologies and web 2.0 in particular.

Watch this short video and listen to what Heba has to say. Want to ask Heba a question? Have any other thoughts about how social media help inform social actions and inspire democratization processes? Let us know in the comments!



Meet a Star -- an Interview with Wendy Brewer (Open Green Map)


Open Green Map first appeared on this blog as a NetSquared Featured N2Y3 project, and has never lost touch with us. They have been regularly contributing to the Net2 blog, they have also won our last Invitational -- Net2AllStar. We are honoured to be witnessing social change exemplified by our star. We are also proud to say that we played a part in the OGM big success.

Read this interview with the OGM founder -- Wendy Brewer to learn more about how the project (initially known as Green Map) has grown and expanded throughout the years, as well as how a vivid Open Street Map Community was build. If you haven’t watched the Open Street Map winning video, find it on the bottom of the post.

Wendy -- thank you for answering all these questions in such an interesting and elaborate way.  Dear community -- enjoy the read!


Q: First of all, congrats on the prize! I would like to ask you why did you decide to participate in the challenge?

We enjoyed taking part in N2N3 back in 2008 and it certainly accelerated our trajectory. When the Net2 Invitational offered this unique showcase, we were excited to share our progress, especially with the potential of reaching new audiences and accomplishing more in 2012. 

Q: One questions about the video -- it is obviously a great and winning one, but is there anything that you would do differently (or repeat) the next time you tell your story via film medium? How did you find the entire experience?

The breezy spirit of the Invitational made the video quick and easy to complete. I could have added the definition - a locally-made map that uses Green Map Icons to highlight nature, culture and sustainable living resources. I could have shared some exciting plans and raised the quality of the video, as well. 

It’s a great feeling to take Open Green Map to the next level along with being a Net2 All Star.

Q: How did this all start? When and how the idea of creating Open Green Map came to your mind, and why did you decide to give it a go?

The concept of a shared mapmaking platform came up on March 25, 1995, literally on Day One of the global Green Map movement. I was with the O2 Global eco-designers network and we had plugged in a modem for the very first time to consider how we could use this new medium as a vehicle for social change. I had already created NYC’s original Green Maps and knew a locally-led sustainability mapmaking movement could be connected via a universal  iconography. The Internet transformed the concept’s potential and we all pitched in, full of creative energy fueled by our love of home and planet. 

I registered the domain (and got my first email address!), then began developing the network of empowered local leaders, the globally designed iconography, adaptable framework and tools. The process of involving diverse communities in making Green Maps got underway - the outcomes included beautifully designed printed folding maps, web maps, murals, tours, performances, events, books and businesses. We collected and shared the experiences of the map teams, which are led by diverse city agencies and established NPOs, grassroots and youth groups, universities and social entrepreneurs. The Green Map movement started to snowball, and by Year 2000, we had topped the 100 project milestone, promoted dozens of map debuts and received nonprofit status. 

Developing the database-driven shared mapping resource took a back seat until there was an easy and familiar tool for the users of the maps, flexible open source content management tools, and a critical mass of Green Map teams who were, by then, clamouring for a social mapping platform. Merging local knowledge, Green Map Icons, Google Map and Drupal became our goal. Discovery, design, development ensued in 2006. 

First, we needed to firm up our structure, so we rebuilt GreenMap.org as a content managed registration, presentation and tool center. Then, we updated our icons for the third time - this is the set you see on Open Green Maps. Then, our team dug in with our network’s wishlist, a handful of crowdseeds and foundation grants and a burgeoning array of new location-based and collaborative apps to learn from.

We were really fortunate to meet Thomas Turnbull, who became our lead developer out of the blue. Risa Ishikawa and Akiko Rokube were involved from the design – user experience angle and Carlos Martinez worked on the social side of the equation. There’s actually a huge list of people who were involved from ‘06-09 as we moved toward the launch - many of these folks worked for little or no pay to make it happen. Many are still advising us or creating maps as we work with Openflows on the platform’s ongoing development.  

Q: Who forms the Open Green Map Community?

Mapmakers wanted a quick, low cost way to share their findings online. The community varies greatly, so we considered the needs of the City of Cape Town’s sustainability division gearing up to host the FIFA World Cup Games, a volunteer network in small town Romania, Harlem’s green faith network, and many others. Like Baltimore Green Map, many create both printed and interactive editions to reach different sectors in the community. 

We now have about 250 Green Maps on the platform. You can sort the maps by the maker, and get a sense of who is behind them. We’ve linked their profile alongside each map (under the Info tab), and all the Open Green Maps are crosslinked on a list and on a map as well

Really, our community includes the local teams of Green Mapmakers, everyone who uses the maps, and each of the 19,000+ sites on the platform to date. Your recognition is sure to significantly expand each of these stakeholder groups!

Q: It is not only about “green”, is it? Green Map provides information on cultural and social events sites too. How did you expand your initial vision?

Back in 1995 when Green Map System got started, the focus was on cities. Copenhagen, Kyoto, Montreal, Buenos Aires, Adelaide and of course, NYC were among the first. Cities mix everything together, so environment, culture and sustainable living were in the iconography at the heart of the movement from the git-go. The social aspect became stronger in 1998, influenced by participants at a conference in Havana on the ethics and culture of sustainable development. Rural and youth sensibilities were reflected in the Green Map Icon update of 1999. 

The iconography is a trend barometer, evolving with our understanding of sustainability, and informed by the locally designed icons that several Green Map teams have added to print maps. We’re starting to work toward adding a theme mapping component to Open Green Map. As it’s such a popular gateway, additional icons signifying the local food movement will be the first created, with climate justice, social innovation, ecotourism, energy and other themes on the list.

You can explore Open Green Map’s sites by the icon with your mobile and quickly compare their attributes. Or, from the desktop, open any site, tap its title and then Connections tab to compare related sites, near and far.

Q: How is it to work with an international audience in 60 countries?

The synergy of working together is really rather magical, as we all share so many feelings about our common future and inspire one another. Someday, it would be amazing to bring us all together to see what we can do. We had a taste of this back in 2002 at the first Global Gathering at the Bellagio Center, with 22 of us from 14 countries. We’ve had numerous regional and national gatherings, but our idea of setting up a Green Map Lab for a month or so and working together with waves of Mapmakers on a variety of much-needed tools and processes is a distant dream. 

Actually, we’d love to open up the Open Green Map tools more broadly and work with many different developers, innovators and supporters. We want to make the platform’s data interoperable so it can be utilized with different GIS tools, edited offline and shared in open and mobile collaborations, and more. 

The really important thing about these maps is how they bring overwhelming global crises down to the local level where the individual can do something about them. I always felt that way and recently read this, underscoring the urgency of our mission:

“The less people know about important complex issues such as the economy, energy consumption and the environment, the more they want to avoid becoming well-informed, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association. And the more urgent the issue, the more people want to remain unaware, according to a paper published online in APA’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.”    

Q: How are you promoting the tool?

Entering competitions is a great way to get the word out. Green Map System has been recognized by 23 international and regional competitions and there are many local Green Map project awards as well. It’s part of exhibits and presentations, from 140edu to Crisis Mappers international, as well as workshops worldwide.

There are upwards of 5 million copies of 500 different printed Green Maps spreading the word, attracting new Green Mapmakers and map users all the time. The Open Green Maps are great promotion, whether embedded in other websites or explored on the mobile app.

Oh yes, there’s Twitter, Facebook, Youtube - we’ve created a number of short videos to promote OGM and help people participate and add site suggestions, multimedia, comments and ratings. 

One of our 2012 promotion goals is about reaching each mapped site’s patrons and encouraging them to enhance the listing with their own viewpoints, images and impact assessments. This could be done with a widget for the site’s own website or with QR codes, etc. Perhaps a reader of this blog will want to pitch in?

Q: How is the mobile use of your app expected to grow and change over time, and how does it affect the traditional web approach?

Having a mobile website that’s more agile will help us go a long way toward reaching audiences in diverse communities. We’d love to see that happen!

Data collection can already be done by tapping GreenMap.org on the go, but it’s very basic - we want to make this more robust as all the features of our mobile website and iPhone app are improved. As part of exploring ways to make the tool more open, we want to make the data more widely available, while providing a financial base for the continued growth of Green Map System. We also have some offshoot concepts we’d like to explore as they will accelerate meaningful, measurable sustainable and social actions.

Q: What features and enhancements are you currently working on?

As described throughout, we’re open to exploring new directions, partnerships, issues and monetizing models. We're looking for people who have ideas and are interested in helping chart a strategic path so we can support more local leaders and help more communities make progress toward a more resilient, healthier and culturally rich future. 

Q: Excuse my nosiness, but... What will you do with the 500 USD that you have been granted as the Net2 All Star?

Your $500 will fund the planning, promotion and event - a roundtable on Open Green Map going more open and interoperable. 




NetTuesday. The How To.

post by: Ruxandra Popa - Net2 Local Organizer in Bucharest and Cluj Napoca (Romania), PR Manager - TechSoup Romania  

To netsquare?

net2 Romania logo

If “netsquare” were a verb, this is how to (based on our experience in Romania).
Today’s episode: NetTuesday*.

*A NetTuesday is an informal gathering between civil society and IT people, organised by volunteers throughout the world. It is a 0 budget event that gets people talking about IT for social change, while they befriend each other."

People of NetTuseday

You want your NetTuesday event to be awesome from its first edition, so some preparations are in order:

  • Start fishing for people. You’ll need a bunch of technology-oriented people that want to save the world while getting more social, and a group of activists that fancy being in the same room with IT brains. How do you get these folks?  We shamelessly used others’ events to get to these 2 crowds.

Interesting advice – with NGOs being 90% women and IT being 90% men, consider sending a lady to the IT community events, and a handsome man to the civil society gatherings. It works…

  • Find a nice place to host it. The challenge here is to be able to maintain the ‘0 budget’ philosophy of the NetTuesday events. It has to be cozy and we recommend beer on the menu, but at the same time provide some intimacy and have low volume non-irritating music, if any.
  • Brainstorm for some hot discussion topics. Do some research on what’s currently trending in the technology for social change discussion. Ask your target group about its needs, but make sure you’re not boring people to death with your questions.
  • Master the tool: meetup.com is the perfect helper in setting up the meetings and providing user-friendly feedback on the events. I cannot stress enough how cool and idiot-proof this tool is.

Now that you’re all set up, start organizing these people’s Tuesdays:

  • Find a knowledgeable and friendly speaker to deliver content on the topic of choice. Use his/her presentation to start the group discussion. Powerpoints usually kill all the fun, so you would want somebody that feels comfortable with a lighter style presentation. The speaker can also attract people to the event for the networking opportunity, so make sure all the participants crave for his/her business cards and handshakes.
  • Be the ultimate matchmaker. Getting people from 2 very different worlds together is probably the best thing that you can accomplish as a NetTuesday organiser. If you are a good host, you will set up an environment that helps them develop relationships that go beyond your meetings. This is how a civil society member can find a long-term IT volunteer, or an IT guy marry a gorgeous civil society representative. Everybody wins.
  • Don’t stop. Even if you have 11 people cancelling their presence at the last moment (one of which is the speaker himself), and you end up with 4 participants and have to step up and deliver the talk yourself. It is important to have continuity and make NetTuesdays a part of the groups’ monthly schedule.

And some advice for the bold organizers:


  • Don’t be afraid to get into trouble. The success of a NetTuesday event is, much like a wedding, measured in terms of how much craziness happens. So don’t be scared of any outrageous happening. It would only turn out to be that memorable episode that you use as a conversation starter when you meet cool people.

For example, we had a special guest at one of the NetTuesdays in Romania, one that we remotely help organise. A great opportunity came up - a very controversial blogger, anti-system fighter from Russia was visiting the country and we all agreed he would be amazing, as we wanted to do something on flash mobs for quite some time. The guy delivered and then some more, and the talk was absolutely harmless (aimed at revealing the best tools to help set up a flash mob, not actually overthrowing the power).

Funny enough, he was on a list of activists to watch and TechSoup Ro and its director were later featured on a super-conspiracy-theory blog that is used for discrediting people and actions that might endanger the status quo. To cut a long story short, we were very surprised to find out that we are responsible for a number of outrageous epic events, such as the Arab Spring. A bit frightening but it became a good conversation starter. I think we all deserve some beers, right?

  • Speaking of beer, I might have mentioned it before, but its presence can be instrumental in the success of the event (depending on the culture of your country), so it needs a special paragraph. People here are much more friendly over a beer, and absolutely lovable after the second one. Make sure they are ordering the right stuff and people will network at your event. Next thing you know- they’ll be asking you “What’s happening with NetTuesdays? It feels like it’s been over a month since our last beer together!”
  • Bake a cake or something. I am quite sure that the ingredient behind the success of our NetTuesday events is homemade-stuff-with-lots-of-chocolate. I bake cookies for every event, and, leaving joke aside, it is my way of showing people I care. The cake doesn’t even have to taste good, as long as it shows you took the time to do something for your nice guests. Whatever you decide to do to surprise them, make sure your evening ends without human casualties.

I hope I convinced you to start netsquareding and that you’ll have as much fun as we do in getting people together at your events. You will very soon see the outcome of your effort: NGOs that have a stronger online presence, programmers that feel good about their work, creative new tools that come out of random beer talks, and friends that help each other while producing an important change in the community.

January 16 2012


Promoting Events Via Social Media -- The Way We Do It


Do you promote your events online? If so: do you do it intuitively or do you follow a certain pattern? 

I have recently realized that the NetSquared Local Warsaw (NetWtorek) group has our own way of doing things, and I would like to walk you through it. As in happens with community work, especially in the social media age, there is no one way of doing things. Iit is difficult to go by the book -- you always have to be flexible enough to meet your audience needs. However, I hope this local Polish example can be a good starting point for a longer discussion on how to promote NetSquared Local events.

Once I wrote it down I started to wonder -- Did I get it right? Did I forget about anything? How would it vary if applied to a different sort of event? There is no better way of checking that, than talking to someone about it, possibly a someone with a similar experience. In this case I decided to turn to you, dear NetSquared community.


This post is the first in a two-part series. This one focuses more on the to-dos, and the timeline of it, in the other one I will try to focus on good and bad practises, and call out a few case studies.


This is how it flows:


  • The first thing to do is to discuss the topic/ idea within a group. We do it online via our e-mail list. Once that is done, we usually write a short promo and put it on a Google Doc (or other cloud service), so that we can all edit the text in real time.
  • When the content is ready I publish it on our (Netwtorek.pl) blog. It is our main point of reference content-wise, and we publish promos as well as summary posts or videos there. 
  • The first social media we hit after publishing the post is Facebook. We usually post the promo on the NetWtorek wall, and then cross-post using various profiles including our personal ones. We also create a Facebook event, and invite friends to come. 
  • Because not everyone is on Facebook (its scope especially doesn’t cover the NetWtorek audience that chooses not to use the social network), we hit Diaspora, an alternative open sourced social network.
  • If we say Facebook, we usually say Twitter too. And so we customize/personalize the message, and post it on Identica.  Identica is a social microblogging service similar to Twitter, built on open source tools and open standards. We do not want to exclude people from my event by limiting ourselves to the mainstream channels only!
  • Once we are done with promoting the event via NetWtorek channels, we usually re-tailor the message and put on all of our personal social media profiles. We also encourage the key players in the field to share the information with their own personalized audiences.
  • We don’t turn our back on slightly more mainstream media. By slightly more traditional I mean important online portals like, in this case, ngo.pl -- the biggest Polish ngo portal. We would usually also try some luck with a few tech focused online magazines.
  • We always try to document the event, so that we can share it with those who didn’t make it to the meeting. If we don’t use the online streaming, and the live chats during the meeting (which we usually don’t), we do film it. If the speaker agrees.
  • Once the event “happened” we prepare the follow-up blog post where we include the video too. Then we go through a similar procedure that applies to promoting the event “before” to the “afterwards” phase. We try to always thank everyone that was involved in making the entire thing happened.




This is our way of doing it -- what’s yours? Have you ever written it down as a process or do you “just do it”? Share your thoughts in the comments, we would so much want to learn from you (and so would the others). Also: stay tuned for the second part to come. If you don’t have anything to add here (be it in a form of a post or a social media message), maybe the next post will inspire you.


January 11 2012


Get Your Conference Schedule Up For 2012!

January is a month of quickly-dissolved resolutions and unrealistic plans. How about yours then? Have you already started making travel plans and scrolled down the lists of (un)conferences you’d like to attend? As a Communications Specialist for the TechSoup Global European office and the Community Driven Innovation team memeber I am looking for fun travel opportunities (that link with the learning and networking ones). Give me a hand! 

Europe. Unsynchronized

From my European point of view, it is difficult to make plans regarding conferences, unconferences and camps now, simply because they are rarely planned and announced by January -- they rather roll out through the year. In this regard it seems that tech-related gatherings, and especially the community driven ones, are a bit like technology itself: they emerge out of nowhere, they change dynamically, and you need to be very flexible to keep up with them.

Travelling abroad for conferences broadens your horizons in a lot of ways – you learn because you meet new people, because of the topical discussions, and presentations, but the entire social and cultural context adds to it as well. Still, to fill one’s calendar with travelling for events seems like a lot of hard work. 

Then there also is a problem of no specifically European focused sites that would aggregate the variety of local, regional and international events in this part of the world. Plus, a European conference could take place in Oslo, Bucharest or Paris – sometimes you never know it is even going to happen if the event is not internationally promoted, and if it is – where to search for information? 


Tech Events

To add to the list of obstacles that one faces when looking for the field’s relevant events is – what are interested in? Are you looking into the tech focused section exemplified by?


  • Le Web (France) -- the event that puts forward innovate start ups and stars that attend it
  • SIME (originally takes place in Sweden, but this year will spread to Austria and Spain) – a conference that spreads knowledge about the Internet and digital opportunities
  • or Thinking Digital (in the UK) – according to The Guardian a calendar 'must' for the digital and creative sector that showcases some of the world's most innovative ideas, technologies and people 


That is great. However, if you work in the intersection of social change and technology you should thinking beyond just tech and  keeping in mind  more-specific topics and themes that speak to your passions.  


Youth and Tech

The first category would be meetups referring to youth and technology – obviously only if you really want to be up to date. My events list includes:


  • Berlin Web Week (in Germany) – “the biggest and coolest of the digital scene in Europe”
  • WebFest (in Serbia)  -- The largest regional (Balkans) festival mixing the digital and music
  • and Technology Academy (in Finland) – attention: you are eligible only if you were born between ’93-’96!


E-literacy and Civil Society 2.0

Then what about the basics such as e-literacy events, and the ones that focus on civil society 2.0? If you are interested in those you should check out:



... Have you heard of or planned to attend any others? 


Social Innovation and Social Media

On top of that, there are also all sorts of social hackathons that shouldn’t fall off the radar:



Oh, and don’t even get me started on tech for democracy and transparency camps and conferences such as:


Now, this is just for starters. 



So – what about you? Have you filled in your calendar? What have you heard and read about? Are your friends anyhow linked to the above mentioned (or completely different, but relevant) events? Let’s use the power of crowdsourcing to brainstorm about 2012 together! We (as the entire net2 team) will be tweeting about our conference plans for 2012. If you want to join ur twitter conversation give #GoingAnywhere a go!



December 20 2011


Net2 Featured Projects 2011: Expert Patient 2.0

The first project to appear in our “reflections on 2011” blog series is Expert Patient 2.0, a project submitted to the NetSquared Project Gallery in June 2011. To better understand the idea behind the project, and learn more what happened since it was submitted to the Project Gallery I talked to Dr. Manuel Serrano Gill, an M.D/Ph.D from Spain who is a president of the Education Health and Society Foundation -- a non-profit national institution, based in the Murcia Community in Spain.

If you have any questions to the interviewee or myself, please do not hesitate to ask. Also: feel free to reach out to Dr. Serrano or to the NetSquared team if you would like to support the Expert Patient Project or collaborate on it.


Where It All Starts

Expert Patient is based on exploring how illness management practices are embedded into people’s everyday life, and encourage patients who are currently undergoing a treatment, or successfully finished it to share their experience with others. The overall aim of the project is to empower the patients who suffer from obesity or diabetes by enabling them to act as active participants of the treatment process. Expert Patient 2.0 wants to take the offline therapy meetings to another level -- we can talk and exchange best practises quicker and more effectively in the new 2.0 reality. This is where technology comes into play.



The goal of Expert Patient 2.0 is to translate Dr. Serrano’s expertise into a successful online illness management system. The project would be located on an interactive platform and would involve webinars, video testimonials, articles, forums and online meetups. Even though Dr. Serrano’s project originates from Murcia, Spain it already has an international dimension, as similar activities are taking place in Russia. The project’s aim is to be come truly global (reach-wise), and very local.


What Happened since?

Since Dr. Serrano submitted his project to the NetSquared Project Gallery, he has spoken about the concept at many conferences including one on new horizons of medical care in Novosybirsk, Russia, and has been actively looking for collaborators. 

Leave a comment below or contact the Net2 team -- we will connect you with the Expert Patient 2.0 team!


Coming soon are the blog posts about other great projects and ideas that were submitted to the Net2 Project Gallery in 2011. Want to know which ones? Stay tuned!



Net2AllStars Community Voting Closed Yesterday -- Check Out The Potential Winners!

During the last two days you have had an opportunity to pick up the winner(s) of the Net2AllStars Invitational. We have only had few submissions this time so you can kick back and catch up with them all n just a few minutes Who entered the Invitational? I am glad you ask. They are all terrific projects!

Open Green Map

  • The first submitted video tells us a story about how Open Green Map Project has grown and developed since its first appearance on the NetSquared platform. Throughout this time, the Open Green Map team have learned “that technology demands constant upgrading and flexibility,” but they have so much more to say. If you haven’t  watched the video --  go for it -- it is only 90 seconds long!

Agricultural Marketing Information Services in Cameroon


  • The next video comes from the Ex-Extraordinaries, now known as Sparked.com. It is funny how much the final product can differ from the original idea -- the project has re-branded and undergone a technology re-focus since it made its first appearance on NetSquared. “Iterate!” is Sparked.com’s main advice -- but if you want to hear it all, there is nothing easier.


  • Last but not least -- Ushahidi, whom I probably do not have to introduce. Since early 2008 they have grown from an ad-hoc group of volunteers to a focused organization that is widely known and respected. Want to know what they have learned since their beginnings? Listen to Eric Krisman telling it all!

We will announce the winning project(s) tomorrow. Remember, there are no losers. And the winners...It was all up to you!

December 07 2011


What Did We Hack? Random Hacks Of Kindness Warsaw


The very first Polish edition of Random Hacks of Kindness Warsaw took place this weekend. started on Saturday, December the 3rd with ideas pitching. During the entire weekend teams were formed, community driven ideas developed and technical solutions created. The hackathon  finished on Sunday with 8 presentations of tech for social change projects and prize announcements. 

A diverse cooperative of Polish NGOs, Fundacja TechSoup and others, with a help from the Polish start-up community localized the Random Hacks of Kindness brand guidelines, and  invited the social organizations activists, and programmers to participate. Organizing and promoting the event was as tricky as it is to talk people into doing something completely new, without clearly defined agenda and a vague “for social change” purpose. For many attendees, it was not only the formula that seemed foreign. The types of people that we invited to take part in the event have never worked with one another before. And by one another I specifically mean technically skilled people and NGO workers, and activists.

Around 100 hundred people visited and contributed to the event, 60 of them (half of them being hackers ) stayed up for the entire weekend working on 8 great projects, 5 of which received a special recognition and the following prizes:


  • The first project among the recognized was a platform for people suffering from cancer and their loved ones. The project’s name is Drzewo życia (Tree of life) and was inspired by an idea that came from Alivia Foundation. The project uses the time banking pattern to ensure that the ill ones can get volunteer support from on daily basis. This project has received a special award from a DDB interactive advertaising agency. DDB will run a campaign promoting the developed solution.
  • "Where’s that bike path?!", a project which received both the virtual data base and the security audit prize, is a portal campaigning for a better bike path infrastructure in Warsaw as well as improvement of cyclists' safety on the roads. The idea of the portal consists of a user generated content project, where cyclists can add their routes and comment on existing paths/roads traffic in order to facilitate, and raise cycling awareness. An interesting side note here (especially for the US audience) is that in Poland bike paths are typically on sidewalks.
  • Another awarded solution was an advertising portal for animals’ adoptions (Polish only). The winners will be granted a membership in the Polish hackerspace -- a community-operated physical places, where people can meet and work on their projects.
  • The special prize from the jury went to the Klimat bez sadzy (Polish only) application which aggregated information about the level of air pollution in Warsaw. 
  • Finally, a team of engineers that decided to deal with displaying financial disclosures of polish parliamentary envoys received create of beer from the organizers for staying up all night coding.


Other ideas concerned a portal for young (h)activists (Polish only), a co-learning platform Wantbetter.net, and an app for making food ordering in co-operatives easier


What did we hack? We hacked people’s habits, their prejudices, we hacked the usual conference model. But we had a good reason for it. We hacked for good.

Learn more:




December 01 2011


Social Hacking in Poland -- Case Study

You may have read about how Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) will be spreading to different world locations in the upcoming days of early December. In this post I would like to shine a little light on how the idea of organizing Random Hacks of Kindndess Warsaw (to happen this weekend) came to life. This initiative constitutes a very interesting, geo-specific example of how a community of practice can develop and grow organically.  Read about how open initiatives and collaborative projects take social change far beyond what have been planned and how inclusive participatory models can be!

There Was Something In The Air That Time

In early October, Polish Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, specifically the team responsible for the Watch Docs Human Rights Film Festival, came to meet me and other organizers of the Warsaw NetSquared Local (NetWtorek -- the site is in Polish only) to talk about the possibility of organizing a Social Innovation Camp during the Festival, in early December 2011. Because the festival team was looking for technical support, among other things, the NetWtorek team pointed them to BRAMA. BRAMA is a Mobile Technologies Laboratory at the Warsaw Polytechnics University. It serves as a meeting point for the Warsaw community of Linux programmers, and is run and managed by one of the founders of the Polish Free and Open Source Foundation (website in Polish only).

Interestingly, BRAMA was already involved in conversations with a few people from the very dynamic Warsaw Startups community, and thinking about organizing the Warsaw edition (the very first one!) of the Random Hacks of Kindness event on December 3 and 4. On top of that, Centrum Cyfrowe (a think-and-do tank whose mission is to build a digital society in Poland) planned an Open Data Day -- a meetup dedicated to writing applications, liberating data, creating visualizations and publishing analyses using open public data -- for the very same time.

Two Heads Are Better Than One. What About Seven?

We all wanted to do something around technology for social change. So we reckoned it is better to do it together.  

After realizing how big the Polish nptech potential really is, an open initiative of Warsaw NGOs and friends has decided to do more than just organize the event. The group contains of various Polish organizations:

Our first step was to launch an online platform dedicated to all Social Hacking Initiatives in Poland -- sohack.pl. SocHack is an aggregation platform, branded with its own, independent brand dedicated to gather information on all social hackathons in Poland. The landing site displays banners or clickable images of upcoming events, and takes you to the specific event’s subpage. Creating such a page for your event comes easy -- you are more than invited to use the technology tools donated by CiviCRM Polska, and the graphic design, as well as a layout concept that came from Fundacja TechSoup. Our site is (y)our site.

Let’s say you want to run a hackathon dedicated to social issues and you need an online space for your event -- we have a free tool in place that will help you do that! Do you have questions of how to navigate through the site, add and modify content? We have people passionate about tech for change that are willing to help -- just give us a shout!

Random Hacks of Kindness Warsaw

For the time being, the site (and specifically the /rhok2011 subpage) is the main online space dedicated to the Random Hacks of Kindness and the Open Data Day events to happen on Dec 3 and 4 at Warsaw Polytechnics University.  Open Data Day will act as one of the RHoK projects -- everyone who feels passionate about pulling out the Polish monuments data, clearing it, and pushing it back to Wikipedia, can join the group. However, there we have more projects already in the line.

The November NetWtorek meetup was dedicated to the topic of hackathons, and the social impact they could have. We have also organized two additional meetings: one for the NGO/ social activists participants, and the other for technologists who expressed their interest in participating in the event. We have worked together on the formulating the problems and ideas in an actionable way, and working out the structure for potential projects. I personally feel very passionate about guerrilla gardening and biking project (mapping bike lanes and peaceful city parts). We also heard from people willing to build a learning barter platform, and some who’d like to prove links between physics inspired theories and the social logic of why people act kind (it might not be as random as you think!).

Everything Is Still To Happen

Interested in how will it all turn out and what Polish people define as the most appealing social and tech driven initiatives? Learn more!

Follow the #rhokwarsaw hashtag, and check out the SocHack Facebook Fanpage.

Also: stay tuned to the Netsquared blog, we will be sharing more and introducing the winners after the weekend!



TechSoup Webinar: Training an Invisible Audience -- Delivering Effective Webinars

Interested in delivering webinars, but don't know where to start?  Join our webinar, Training an Invisible Audience: Delivering Effective Webinars, on Thursday, December 8 at 11am Pacific time.

During this one-hour event, you will hear from TechSoup webinar program manager Kyla Hunt and independent library consultant, author, and trainer Stephanie Gerding on the basics of providing effective webinars.

Some questions addressed will be:


  • How is online training different from face-to-face or in-person training?
  • What planning is involved in designing and delivering a webinar?
  • How do you encourage audience participation and interaction?
  • What are the differences between webinar platforms?


Training an Invisible Audience: Delivering Effective Webinars is suited for public libraries and nonprofits interested in providing webinars for their communities.






October 07 2011


Apply or nominate for the Antonio Pizzigati Prize!

Through October 31, 2011 you can apply or nominate  for the Antonio Pizzigati Prize. The challenge annually awards open source software developers. The 10,000 USD prize is founded by The Florence and Frances Family Fund of Tides Foundation and honors the brief life Tony Pizzigati, an early advocate of open source computing.

“And The Prize Goes To...”

The Pizzigati Prize challenge seeks to recognize developers who are making a two-faceted contribution to social change. First, they have an important practical impact: their software helps nonprofits both become more effective on a daily basis and build their capacity to better inform and mobilize their constituents. In addition, public interest software developers play a broader role. The ideals of public interest computing, as they have evolved inside the open source movement, promote collaboration and sharing.

Applicants will be evaluated by an advisory panel that includes past winners of the Prize on a range of criteria. The winner is expected to have:

  • Developed an elegant open source software product that serves a critical need in the broader U.S.-based nonprofit community
  • Evolved a plan to scale the product through wide distribution of the code
  • Exemplified the values of public interest computing
  • Demonstrated vision and inspired innovation in the field of public interest computing


All completed application materials for the 2012 prize competition including

  • an application
  • nomination form, as well as
  • a link pointing to the the relevant software

must be sent in one email to pizzigatiprize@tides.org no later than by 5pm EST, October 31, 2011.  The Tides Foundation, as host of the prize process, will name the next annual Pizzigati Prize winner at the Nonprofit Technology Network's  2012 Nonprofit Technology Conference in April 2012.


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