Introducing the Ubuntu NGO team


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 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?


6 Responses to “Introducing the Ubuntu NGO team”

  1. dholbach's status on Thursday, 25-Jun-09 06:25:34 UTC - Says:

    […] publichsed the !ubuntu #ngo team interview: – going to have a team meeting […]

  2. toros's status on Thursday, 25-Jun-09 17:35:19 UTC - Says:

    […] !Ubuntu in NGOs: Introducing the Ubuntu NGO team – […]

  3. czajkowski's status on Thursday, 25-Jun-09 17:41:02 UTC - Says:

    […] Let me introduce you to the #Ubuntu NGO Team […]

  4. fidusz's status on Friday, 26-Jun-09 02:30:56 UTC - Says:

    […] the Ubuntu NGO team […]

  5. fidusz Says:

    I wrote a blog entry/news bit on and also put in my blog:

    Those who understand Hungarian can read it. Already received one comment suggesting an NGO in Hungary who might need Ubuntu in their office.

    Some weeks ago I was contacted by a guy who mentioned we could install Linux on a refugee camp in Bicske, and make training to the refugees. First we shall visit the camp and check what kind of machines they have…

  6. andylockran Says:

    I’m really impressed, not just with the idea of using ubuntu in NGOs, but mainly in the ‘pull’ rather than ‘push’ attitude that many of the group have shown so far.

    This group is _NOT_ another advocacy group, promoting Ubuntu as something that will replace MS on the Desktop – this is a group about finding legitimate and clear solutions to problems that NGOs face. Utilising the expertise and the shared ‘volunteerism’ of the open source communities – the Ubuntu-NGO partnership can help vitalise and bring about mutual benefits over the next few years.

    I’m proud to associate myself with the group, and hopefully I can provide the group with useful insight into the charity field.

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