A groovy new family

April 22, 2007 § Leave a comment

Starting in July, I will be working part time as an open philanthropy fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation in Cape Town. I am psyched totally psyched by the opportunity to both experiment with the open sourcing of social investment.

This past week, I had the chance to meet my groovy new family at the Foundation (amazing people) and talk through some of the things that I will be doing. Here are the quick notes that I wrote up and posted to the Foundation’s internal wiki:

** First scoping trip to TSF …

Here are some things that I likely want and need to work on:

* Open philanthropy

  1. Document existing open practices used by the foundation (wiki, CC license in standard MOU, etc.). Turn this into a think piece article on open philanthropy looking at the simple things TSF is already doing, and looking at what else it might do.

  2. Design ‘one big experiment’ that takes what Canonical / Ubuntu has learned about creating a successful Linux distribution and apply it to a social change domain like open education (community, release cycles, leadership, planning sprints). May work for Kusasa or the ‘community piece’ behind Thutong.
  3. Work with Helen and team on a strategy to leverage leadership and velocity in the same way that a Linux distribution might. So: how do we look for leaders who are already going somewhere we want to go (beyond the fellowships), and then thread them into something bigger.

* Open content

  1. Continue to work with Karien on ‘shoelacing’ (connecting and leveraging) people working in the open education space globally with Foundaiton partners like the FHSST and Thutong. iSummit is a part of this.

  2. Spend time with Mark Horner in Dubrovnik to figure how we leverage his very practical approach to building teacher communities for content creation. How do we take what he has learned and build up the next communities that grab Thutong low hanging fruit? We need to do it.
  3. Come up with the papers and podiums plan on open educational content. Probably includes short vision articles about Thutong community piece and FHST at some point.
  4. See above about ‘big experiment’ -> see what we can do to learn from Ubuntu and feed into open ed.

* Other big stuff

  1. Work with Helen and team on a ‘theory of change’ that offers a clear, easy to understand picture of what TSF wants to achieve in the world.
  2. Turn the theory of change into a joint paper by Mark and Helen that explains where TSF is going. Sort of like a public manifesto. Can be used as part of the papers and podiums strategy.
  3. Find ways to help themes other than content add stronger networking and collaboration component into how they work. Especially Double Up and Kusasa with Jason.

* Other small stuff

  1. Figure out plan for Foundation presence at Ubuntu Live in July. What are our objectives? What are we messaging to who?

  2. Follow up with Rushnara at Young Foundation SIX event on social innovation and education in Cape Town. Maybe January 2008.
  3. Also suggest that we present paper on ‘open philanthropy’ practices (see above) at a Young Foundation lunch later this year or early 2008.
  4. Do more little events like we did with Jimmy and Larry, but as casual brown bags when people happen to be in town. Also with local leaders and activists talking to each other (people really said they appreciated this aspect).
  5. Buy iRivers so that we can easily record and podcast meetings like the ones we did with Jimmy and Larry (we really lost a good sharing opportunity).

While this is just a quick and very initial brainstorm, it’s clear that it is going to be fun. My first real gig with the Foundation is participating in the open education track at the iSummit in Dubrovnik. Very much looking forward to it.

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