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Aspiration was grateful to be invited to facilitate the Eleventh Biennial Regenstrief Conference in French Lick, Indiana.
The event focused on Open Health Methodologies, and invited participants to challenge the old paradigms in health methodologies, and to create the tools and and processes to engage in open collaboration.
Regenstrief Institute is also home to one of Aspiration’s favorite open source software projects OpenMRS. The project is a fountain of open source best practices, and the platform itself is making a profound difference in healthcare in Africa and around the globe.
The agenda was collaboratively designed by Aspiration and the Regenstrief organizers, and proceedings were captured on the event wiki.
We are inspired by all the great work and vision that Regenstrief Institute is investing in open health methodologies, and we look forward to future collaborations.
Join us for hands-on learner-driven Social Media lessons
The goal is to help nonprofit staff both learn about social media, and just as importantly, learn how to track and assess the impact of their social media efforts.
This hands-on event will enable participants to explore:
- Social Media Tracking: How to assess the reach and impact of your social media efforts
- Publishing strategies for social media channels: how to make it all make sense together
- Facebook and Twitter essentials, including setup, core skills, etiquette, and best practices
- Beginning and advanced blogging skills, including basic concepts, blog setup, publicity strategies, and search engine optimization
- Any questions you have about the relevance of social media in your work
The Social Media Sewing Circle will take place on
Tuesday, September 15th from 1pm to 4pm
San Francisco Nonprofit Technology Center
1370 Mission Street, 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
This is a free and open event, but space is limited, so please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We invite anyone who’s curious about enhancing their social media skills and knowledge to join us for this hands-on learning event.
We’ll be hosting trainings at the San Francisco Nonprofit Technology Center to train other nonprofits on essential online strategy and data security topics.
The driving force behind Mozilla Service Week is the strong belief that everyone should know how to use the Internet, have easy access to it, and have a great experience when they’re online. You can have a hand in helping organizations and people all over the world experience the joy of using the Web too!
Here’s how to help:
Key points were captured in our ever-improving (*gasp*) slideware. We welcome comments, and we’re glad to discuss these essential sustainability processes with anyone who’s interested.
Aspiration and Community IT Innovators (CITI) hosted the third Nonprofit Technology Project Management event in Washington DC on the 22nd and 23rd of July.
Managing Nonprofit Technology Projects DC examined the tools and best practices that help nonprofits deliver successful technology solutions - whether it be websites, packaged software implementations, or custom applications.
You can check out the event agenda and the list of excellent facilitators. As with all Aspiration events, participants were encouraged to add sessions to the agenda. Also see press coverage from Projects at Work.
Interactive sessions and demos allowed participants to compare processes, tools, successes, and lessons learned. Discussion topics included team collaboration, project planning, software selection, migration, and project rollout, and mapping out software tools – from project management packages to collaborative communication to issue tracking and more – that support successful technology projects.
Feel free to join the MNTP discussion list, which we use to discuss MNTP-related topics.
Aspiration’s skill in facilitating practitioner knowledge combined with CITI’s experience in managing nonprofit technology projects contributed to an informal, collaborative, and information-rich event.
What Are They Saying?
The feedback from our previous MNTP events was roundly enthusiastic. Just a few of the comments from participants:
- “The event was very energizing, and renewed my enthusiasm for tackling some complex issues”
- “This gathering will inform everything I do in IT from here on.”
- “I used to be super intimidated - now I feel more empowered about what I do know and how to find answers to what I don’t”
- “It was a fun, casual, open, responsive learning environment for non-techies”
- “I learned that I’m not alone, and I can learn from a rich community of people facing similar challenges”
- “I was impressed with all that happened - it was amazing”
What are the Goals?
MNTP DC had three primary goals:
- To strengthen the community of practice among those who identify themselves as nonprofit technology project managers
- To enhance the knowledge and capacity of technology project managers within a rich, sharing environment
- To map out the range of tools and best practices being employed in nonprofit technology project management
Participants exchanged project management tools and techniques that they can apply to the management of many projects, and discuss project management processes – from project initiation to project planning, project execution, monitoring and control, to project closure – in the context of stories and experiences. Participants inventoried resources and best practices for nonprofit IT project management, ranging from templates to trainings, and shared useful software packages as they are used in actual nonprofits.
Significant time was spent discussing appropriate practices and processes for defining requirements in nonprofit software projects to inform the “build, buy, or rent” decisions that vex nonprofit technology managers on a regular basis.
MNTP DC was focused on the growing community of nonprofit technology project managers, aiming to provide support to those practicing as project managers, while also recruiting and offering support to those new to (or bewildered by) this craft, and creating a space for the “accidental project managers” to share their stories, discover their allies, and grow into more “intentional” project managers. A significant part of the event was built around mentoring relationships; experienced individuals with knowledge and stories to share collaborated with participants who wanted to learn more.
Participants were encouraged to bring real-world projects to MNTP, and vet them with some real-time project management, coaching, and assessment.
What was on the Agenda?
The agenda was designed specifically to ensure participants interact with and learn from each other, while also providing solid grounding in essential topics. The following workshops were included in the proceedings:
- Nonprofit Technology Project Management 101: For those who self-identify as new to the discipline, this session provided an overview of nonprofit technology project management. Essential topics, truths, and tools were presented, with the second half of the session employing a question-driven format.
- Anatomy of a Well-Managed Technology Project: Drawing from case studies good, bad and ugly, this session focused on key aspects of successful project management. The primary take-away was guidelines on how project managers can maintain control of their projects.
- Designing and Redesigning Web Sites: Any nonprofit that has published a web site understands the frustrating nature of the process. This session considered how best to take on the task of casting organizational identity on the web while also serving target audiences and delivering value to web visitors accordingly.
- What Should a Web Site Cost? One of the most vexing questions in any project is “what are appropriate costs for technology and labor?” This session utilized anecdotal data and participant input to explore costing for different types of web sites, from simple “brochure-ware” sites to custom, database-backed applications and points in between.
- Mapping Communication Tools to Tasks: There are a range of ways to collaborate with partners and stakeholders in any project. But which tools work best for which types of collaboration? This session will sort out appropriate times to employ email, instant messaging and chat, wikis, phone calls, file sharing, forums and other tools.
- Using Wikis for Effective Collaboration: Over the past several years, wikis have demonstrated their value as a key tool in certain project management processes. This session mapped out best practices and techniques for successfully utilizing wiki technology for project collaboration. Also discussed was when not to use wikis, and when more structured information sharing tools are advisable.
- Managing Nonprofit Software Development Projects: While a best practice for nonprofits technologists is to try and utilize existing tools and services, there are invariably times when the appropriate tools and applications don’t exist. But software development is not a core competency of most nonprofits, and too often nonprofit software development efforts spiral out of control or end in less-than-complete realization of vision. This session will explore how best to get from concept to running code with out losing focus on mission.
- Managing Consultants and Dealing with Vendors: This peer sharing workshop invited participants to compare their processes and tactics for managing critical project relationships that fall outside of organizational boundaries.
- Horrific Tales of Miserable Project Management Failure: Nothing is more instructive than the mistakes of others. Participants will be invited to swap stories and cautionary tales of the many speed bumps, pot holes, and multi-vehicles pile-ups on the road to project management success.
- A Whirlwind Discussion of Project Management Software Utilities: This fast-paced session allowed participants to share the various project management utilities available, including time tracking, task management, source code control, and more.
- Software Share: Basecamp, MS Project, DreamTeam and more – Nonprofit practitioners provided a variety of 10-15 minute software demos to allow participants to see the packages in real-life situations and compare the strengths and weaknesses.
Want more information?
Contact us at email@example.com.
Aspiration was delighted to organize Open Translation Tools 2009 (OTT09), in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, from 22-24 June, 2009. The event was followed by an Open Translation “Book Sprint” which produced a first-of-its-kind volume on tools and best practices in the field of Open Translation, “Open Translation Tools”.
OTT09 built upon the work and collaboration from Open Translation Tools 2007 (OTT07; see paper, video, and toolbox). The event convened stakeholders in the field of open content translation to assess the state of software tools that support translation of content that is licensed under free or open content licenses such as Creative Commons or Free Document License. The event served to map out what’s available, what’s missing, who’s doing what, and to recommend strategic next steps to address those needs, with a particular focus on delivering value to open education, open knowledge, and human rights blogging communities.
Primary focus was placed on supporting and enabling distributed human translation of content, but the role of machine translation was also considered. “Open content” encompassed a range of resource types, from educational materials to books to manuals to documents to blog content to video and multimedia.
The agenda goals of the 2009 event were several:
- Address the Translation Challenges Faced by the Open Education, Open Content, and human rights blogging communities, and mapping requirements to available open solutions.
- Build on the vision and exploring new use cases for the Global Voices Lingua Translation Exchange
- Document the state of the art in distributed human translation, and discussing how to further tap the tremendous translation potential of the net
- Make tools talk better: realizing a standards-driven approach to open translation
- Explore and sketch out Open Translation API Designs, building on existing work and models
- Document workflow requirements for missing open translation tools
- Match-make between open source tools and open content projects
- Map of available tools to open translation use cases
See the Agenda Overview for elaboration and more details about what transpired.
Most importantly, the agenda centered on the needs and knowledge of the participating projects, structuring sessions and collaborations to focus on designing appropriate processes and selecting appropriate tools to support open content projects and inform further development of open source translation tools.
In addition, OTT09 continued the knowledge sharing for the open translation community, and continue discussion on other identified needs from OTT07. The agenda for this event was greatly informed by open education, open content and human rights blogging projects with specific translation needs, and a number of sessions were structured to both characterize requirements and propose solutions to respective projects’ translation requirements.
OTT07 mapped out a hefty list of Open Translation Tools. Participants at OTT09 surveyed what has change over the past 18 months, and assessed the most pressing remaining gaps.
See OTT09 Accommodations Information for a list of hotels and other resources near the venue.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1.415.839.6456.