Archive for June, 2009

Introducing the Ubuntu NGO team

June 25, 2009

You might have read about the Ubuntu NGO team in a few other places already, but as the team has formed now, plans for this cycle are being made and we are meeting this Friday, 26th June 2009, 15:00 UTC in #ubuntu-ngo on irc.freenode.net we thought we would introduce you to the team properly. Here’s an interview with the team:

What do you like best about Ubuntu?

  • Jonathan Carter: I like Ubuntu because I can’t find a better operating system for my needs. I like the Ubuntu community because the community members are mature, friendly and easy to work with.
  • Daniel Holbach: The community by far. The enthusiasm and strong will to work together and achieve something great. The spirit of helping is just fantastic and still thrills me after 5 years of being with the Ubuntu people. :-)
  • Rubén Romero: The commitment shown by the great people that take part of this project. Ubuntu’s success is a combination of process planning (technically and socially apeaking), transparency, a pragmatical approach to openness, a strong adherence to freedom and a inclusive-by-default attitude in all areas of the project.
  • Paolo Sammicheli: “I am what I am because of who we all are”. I feel a positive energy from Ubunteros coming from all the world and I think we are providing a positive contribution to the entire world.

Were you involved in NGOs before?

  • Jonathan Carter: I worked for the Shuttleworth Foundation for nearly 3 years working on Open Source promotional activities and getting hardware and free software into schools. I’ve worked with other NGO organisations as a result as well and still do so today.
  • Rubén Romero: Worked some with Greenpeace, Amnesty and some local interest organizations. All of which have shown interest in Free Software.
  • Paolo Sammichelli: When I was more young, about 10/15 years ago, I was involved with voluntary activities in Ambulances and I also participated in international humanitarian expedition in Russia, Albania and Moldovia helping orphanages. In my blog I have few old photos on that time.

Why Ubuntu in NGOs/CSOs?

  • Daniel Holbach: To be frank: everybody should use Ubuntu, not just NGOs. :-) Charitable organisations are very dear to our heart because their ideals very closely map to what we believe in.
  • Jonathan Carter: I agree with Daniel, additionally, the predictable stable release and support cycles are crucial in IT planning and makes Ubuntu a great system for organisations running on shoe-string resources. Many NGOs rely on volunteers to carry out their work, the vast amount of community documentation and support resources available for free makes Ubuntu a very supportable system for the volunteers of such an organisation.
  • Paolo Sammichelli: Because Ubuntu can help NGOs creating good and useful things and also NGOs can help spreading Ubuntu. We both win. :)

Is this about shared values, better technology, more innovation for the buck or a combination of these?

  • Jonathan Carter: In my experience some NGOs have specifically shown preference to Ubuntu because of its values, so I’d certainly flag that as an important aspect of it. I think many come for the values, and then stay because they learn how powerful the technologies behind Ubuntu are.
  • Daniel Holbach: Definitely a combination of these. We share values and can easily deliver great, tailored solutions for specific use-cases. Also do we help to spend 100% of the money on the projects itself, not on software licenses

Does free software by itself as a product of communitarian work resemble the work of idealistic organizations?

  • Laura Czajkowski: Yes, the fact that it is free encourages people to try it, and not rely on being locked into a situation where they have to go back time and time again or it expires. So people are being give more for a longer period of time, they are being give the whole system.

What is your main interest in the team? What are you going to help out with?

  • Laura Czajkowski: It’s great idea and a way of spreading the information I have and will learn with others so more people can learn and help to educate others further.
  • Jonathan Carter: I certainly want to do what I can to make Ubuntu an even better system than it already is for the NGOs I work with, I also want to share positive experiences with Ubuntu and get as much feedback from the “real world” to the Ubuntu developers.
  • Daniel Holbach: We all want to make the world a better place, it’s one of the core beliefs that brought us together. We are going to listen to NGOs, document best practices, set up solutions and I look forward to all the people getting involved in this place.
  • Paolo Sammichelli: I would like to collect experiences and information because it can inspire other people to do the same, or better.

How can people with an interest help out?