DevSummit07:Values and politics of open-source communities: what role can advocacy software developers play in international social change and political advocacy?

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Facilitated by Andrew Hoppin (YearlyKos, RootsCamp, CivicSpace, Trellon, Goodstorm, NASA)

How can new international advocacy organizations like best leverage the values, culure, and social networks of open-source software communities? And, in turn, how can these adovacy networks help the open-source software movement?

Policy groups like, developer communities like, policy-relevant companies like (Ubuntu), funders like Shuttleworth (, global technology capacity builders like, new activist social networks like and networks of legislators like all have a role to play in international social change.

However, most of these organizations are non-partisan, not directly engaged in activism, and not addressing specific policy issues.

How then can their immense human and technology capital be leveraged for explicit political activism work on issues of international importance?

Session Notes:

  • Skype now has chat rooms w/ very global community
  • Mobile: dating in Afghanistan happens through SMS
  • Community advocacy to the State doesn't work when the State doesn't listen... So advocate to NGOs, US, UN?
  • Tobias
  • Passing cell phone w/ voice recordings as communications platform
  • USAid put iPods with health care info in the middle of Afghanistan-- totally inappropriate
  • Create peer-to-peer relationships
  • Direct donations with transparency in Cambodia and Laos
  • from France: grassroots organization projects in Europe paired/matched with peer organization in Latin America or Africa; not just aid-- it's an exchange - needs a lot of human work, which for now are paid human facilitators
  • Footage from bikeathon that was donor-funded getting back to the donor directly
  • Smaller organizations need a louder voice on the Internet
  • Small organizations in Latin America don't work with individual donations
  • What would be great would be a UN-endorsed site that you could go to to find out about these local organizations
  • LinkedIn for Good: pre-launch, for NGOs and non-profits
  • LinkedIn for profiles + WiserEarth for structured data encyclopedia + for discussions masho would be cool
  • The Lonely Planet for people who want to go work with NGOs
  • Personal CRM to help leverage our respective social networks would be ideal

Participants: -Andrew Hoppin, andrew [dot] hoppin [at] gmail [dot] com -Lena Zuniga, lena [at] sulabatsu [dot] com -Liz Kimmerly, lizkimmerly [at] gmail [dot] com -Kevin Braithwaite kevsanfrancisco [at] gmail [dot] com