DevSummit07:Free Software and Open Source: How can the nonprofit sector do it better?

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Facilitated by Emily Tucker, Grameen Foundation, Jeremy Wallace, Fund for the City of New York, and others

From the Firefox web browser to content management systems such as Drupal, Joomla and Plone, free and open source software plays an ever-increasing role in the technology footprint of nonprofit organizations. But the promise still outpaces the reality in many nonprofit open source endeavors, and bridging the two is a discussion that will play out over the course of the Summit. Successful NPO and NGO open source projects will share their reflections on key factors and best community practices, while frank discussion will zero in on remaining barriers to nonprofit adoption and strategies for addressing them.

Emily will discuss how Grameen chose to build and release the Mifos software product (i.e., choosing to pay for the initial product to be developed and then releasing it to the open source community) and the challenges of building up an international open source community consisting of both end-users and developers who include non Native English speakers and people not necessarily familiar with or comfortable using email to communicate.

She will also share experiences on reaching out to NGO partners and trying to get them comfortable with using Open Source software, and name some of the challenges and common misconceptions that exist in the NGO space.