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October 05 2011


In The Fields – Community Driven Innovation Hits The Road in Poland

Did you know that TechSoup Global has its European Headquaters in Warsaw, Poland? The office known under the name of Fundacja TechSoup plays both the role of the European hub, and an independent Polish nonprofit. Billy Bicket and Laney Strange are currently visiting Fundacja TechSoup’s Office in Poland. In an effort to understand the local reality and therefore be able to develop new programs and projects that would be actually community driven, the CDI team went to interview NGOs in the Polish countryside.

Who Did We Talk To?

On our one-day trip we visited 3 different local NGOs:

  • W.A.R.K.A. Association, which is based in the city of Warka, one of the oldest cities in the Mazovia region. It is an NGO that supports the local social activities and encourages initiatives coming from Warka and surroundings. W.A.R.K.A. partners with many social actors: organizations, as well as informal groups or individuals.
  • Association for the Development of the Kozietuły Village from Kozietuły. The Association was created in order to reopen a local grammar school that had been closed by the local government. The educational offering is the Association’s main focus, although they currently apply for funding that would help them go beyond their primary program.
  • The Association for The Future of Our Children from Izabelin Górki. The last NGO that we visited doesn’t even have an office. We were hosted by the organization’s board president – Ewelina Jarecka in her house in the village of Izabelin Górki. The Future Of Our Children is an organization that focuses on helping kids with physical and mental disabilities and was created by the parents of kids in need.

What Did We Learn?

Small NGOs see the value of using technology, but new tools are usually not the first thing they can afford to focus on. The organizations we visited are understaffed and generally underresourced; they learn technology and apply for online grants with the help of friends, or friends of friends. People working in a small NGO share responsibilities, so that each member or employee has to be prepared to cover everything from fundraising to event’s logistics. In such environment any form of ICT support  is always appreciated. Although most organizations are familiar with the product donations available through Polish Technologie Non-profit Donation’s Program, sometimes what they need is not only the resource but the know-how. They would like to learn how to use technology to help them gain information, raise money, communicate better as well as spread the word about what they are doing. The three organizations we talked to would definitely appreciate support coming in a form of expert’s advice or a help from volunteer(s).

The Next Steps

The local CDI representatives (Alicja Peszkowska and Anna Kuliberda) with the support of the entire team will be working on developing smart solutions for how to re-distribute the knowledge and the ICT know-how between the ICT specialist, social activists, bigger and smaller NGOs. Yesterday’s study trip was exploratory in terms of understanding the factors that any further actions will need to address. We also hoped that we developed a relationship with our further allies and beneficiaries.

Stay tuned for the update on our work and projects, and further news concerning Polish NPtech. We will be examining the landscape very carefully to make sure that our projects don’t get lost in translation!

July 02 2011


The Next NetSquared Platform: Introducing the Beta

A few weeks ago, we told you a little about a beta launch that’s been brewing here at NetSquared HQ with the help of NetSquared community members from around the world. The brewing is done---for now!---and I’m writing today to let you in on the beta release for the next-gen NetSquared Platform. It’s live and ready for your reactions.

As always, NetSquared is focused on the intersection of technology and social change. The beta is new and different, though, focusing on providing an easy way to surface, organize and accelerate social-change projects around the globe.  
Our project-centric approach to the platform has been inspired by more than 5 years of community-driven programming, including annual conferences, web-based challenges, NetSquared Local events, and ongoing input from this whole amazing community. The beta platform brings it all together in a way we hope is easy, engaging, and productive.
Ready to see it in action? I’m just dying to know what you think. Please take moment to test it out, tell us what works and what doesn’t, and give us your raw, honest feedback.

Remember, the site is in beta. We fully expect bugs, issues, complications, and other fun things. We want to hear about all of it, so please let us know about anything you do or don’t like.
Please feel free to leave a comment on this page or email me directly with any questions. Thanks as always for your perspective and honesty. We’re looking forward to making the next round even better.


March 15 2011


Dream Job Alert: CDI is hiring a Community Architect.

This job is an opportunity to translate your ideas and best practices for increasing civic participation and engagement into programs that currently reach more than 100,000 organizations in over 35 countries around the globe. The ideal candidate is a  creative web veteran who brings a range of inter-disciplinary skills to developing, launching and managing community-driven activities at NetSquared.org and other CDI initiatives.

If you’re committed to harnessing the potential of the web to strengthen communities around the world,
focused on providing end-users with great experiences, and thrive in fast-moving entrepreneurial environments, we want to hear from you.

Find the full job description here. Interested candidates, please send billyb AT billybicket.com a compelling story (with links!) that illustrates how your work has created value for end-users, local communities and the organizations you’ve served.

Location: Telecommuting accommodations could be made for an employee who does not reside near TechSoup Global’s headquarters in San Francisco, but this employee would need to be available during the regular working hours of that office (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. PT) and, on occasion, other TSG offices located in different time zones.

Tags: cdi jobs

January 11 2011


Intro to Community-Driven Innovation at TechSoup Global

Hello NetSquared!

As a (fairly) new, lurking member of the NetSquared community, I wanted to introduce myself to everyone. I work for TechSoup Global, right alongside NetSquared’s very own Amy Sample Ward, Claire Sale, and Billy Bicket. I’ve been here since September and wanted to finally jump in here on the blog. This is an amazing community, and I’m so excited to be a small part of it!
As it happens, NetSquared falls under the umbrella of the Community-Driven Innovation team, a group at TSG committed to bridging the gap between the social/tech activist (like you guys) and the nonprofit (like all our friends over on TechSoup.org).
I’ll have more to share about our programs and plans in the coming weeks, but, true to our name, we’re all about listening to our community and driving programs based on your feedback, needs, wants, and fantasies. So I hope to learn more about you all while I tell you a bit more about me!
Here’s where you can find me:

I’m so glad to be aboard and look forwarding to getting to know NetSquared better! Feel free to reach out to me at any of the above entry points. I'd love to hear from you!
Laney Strange


June 02 2010


Job: Product Manager, Community-Driven Innovation Program

Want to help develop innovative services for changemakers around the world? We're looking for you.

There's a new position in a new program at TechSoupGlobal: we're looking for a Product Manager to oversee product development, program design and Operations for the Community-Driven Innovation program. The day-to-day focus is on developing modular features, products and services that surface the resource needs of people and organizations work for social-benefit around the world. The net-impact of the role will drive contributions to social-benefit organizations from volunteers; technology companies; funders and anyone else interested in contributing their time, technology and funds to entrepreneurial projects.

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