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GWOB as an Accelerator

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GWOB as an Accelerator

We started the process of GWOB becoming an Incubator Feb 10, 2012 with a call.


Good morning! Thank you for joining us for this call.
  • Introductions: Your name, the organization you are affiliated with, main interest, what you want to see GWOB do, what you want to bring to GWOB. 1 to 2 words per question, totalling about 7 words.
  • Review of Prezi by Willow, James, Diggz. : 15 minutes
  • 20 minutes for Q+A, discussion (you can list your questions below as they come up during Prezi review)
  • Invitation to participate as an Advisor
Useful links:
Feel free to take your notes in this doc. Indicate you have a question by using the chat window, or we will come around to you during round-table.
  • Riley - s/w dev, 20yrs in info disclosure, security, property rights management. GWOB, want to see idea get launched. Here to help launch it. And voiceover. 
  • Ethan Zuckerman - direct MIT centre for civic media, cofounder global voices online, ran GeekCorps (tech vols in developing world), once a s.w dev. Helping to get project off ground and avoid pitfalls that similar projects have had in the past.
  • Heather Leson - ushahidi, affiliated with RHOK, SBTF, Crisismappers, previously Ccommons, Want to see GWOB start and projects get to the end. Bring: firestarter, incident manager, 15 years Internet focused tech and software dev
  • Aaron Huslage - Tether CEO. Sys architect/ admin for 20 years. Want to see GWOB make world better place. Bring big picture thinking, systems thinking.
  • James Carlson - School factory. Interested in communities that auto-catalyically lear. Want ot see GWOB transorm into successful businesses etc. Want to help teams for good group dynamics and make their IP open to the world'
  • Johnny Diggz - Voxeo/Tropo community dev/ outreach. "this is all my fault" want to see GWOB build sustainable apps and companies that help people. Bring 25 years in comms, startups, fundraising etc.
  • Pascal Schuback - crisiscommons, county govt in seattle, lots of emergency response. rhok. Want to take crisiscommons community and pull the gems out of that (intro by Willow, ok'd by Pascal).
  • Ella - founder constitutional analysis support team, break systems. Want place to point things to, want GWOB to be that place.
  • Josh Furman - attourney private practive in southern CA. Do legal stuff. Intersted - all aspects of GWOB are fascinating, important part of how hum agencies work with technology. Hope to bring practical aspects of dealing with corporation formation, ip legals and keep that in mind with GWOB principles.  Pre-law background in tech/software/dev and work on projects benefiting orgs like EPIC, EFF, clerked at Center for Democracy and Technology
  • Sara-Jayne Farmer - just finished working with UN Global Pulse, which was set up to see how you would work with big data. Teams of volunteers, working with Crisis Commons. Started leading project teams and CC London. Took on project for the Crisis Commons, experience dealing with distributed teams, groups that don't understand they have problems we can help with. Also experience on the inside with trying to stick tech into situations. HR, SBTF. Working out where we could really change what people like OCHA do with data. 3W list for Haiti, doesn't work. Few outsiders allowed to look at designs that need community input. Be really gentle with these guys. Been involved with RHoK since the beginning. Coordinated projects around the world. How do we insert this tech into the environment, full system. Wanted one of these things, that GWOB is becoming. Independent agency that matches up all this energy and skill with humanitarian orgs.
  • Nick Skytland - NASA leads Opengov, open data, hackathons, Lead NASA in RHOK and Intl Space Challenge (21-22 april), Interested in GWOB because is nexus of this discussion, can bring together players, and capable/motivated group. Sees hackathons as some thing that can change the way govt does business. Want to make sure hackathons are done right, and there's a body of people who know what that looks like. 
  • Willow: Current program director of GWOB for 1.3671 years, excited about where it's heading; realizing that what you've been doing is backstory and now you're on the thing you want to be doing. Works with School Factory and Space Federation, cares about hacker/makerspaces, cares about education, humanitarian response, and empowering communities where everyone works together. Want to bring "get it done go juice" and push this forward. 
  • Schuyler: Has terrible connectivity in Afghanistan right now, sorry.
Prezi talk-through by Willow
Need an "incubator for humanitarian projects"
Pulling some of the promising things from hacktathonds and existing hum projects, and things from the existing online communities, unconferences... constant ambient awareness of each other and what we could do together if we had a bit more stucture. 
Going to pull things into an incubator via a selection criteria.  By the end of this call, going to come up with selection criteria etc
Each incubation 6 months long.
Month 1 Inc business and technical skillsets. 
Month 2 field experience, e.g. going to the slums of mexico city, participating in Relief, talking to people with field experience who can set reasonable expectations
Month 3 licensing, ip management, funding models etc - do you want to be a np, be umbrellad by gwob, by a different group, how to talk to the communities that they want to interact with.
Month 4: pitch refinement, become engaged in the larger community of response. Getting mentors in for each of these months, e.g. someone to help with s&m
Month 5: meeting with investors etc
Month 6: graduation. Different models: products sold, teams hired, start a business.
All months include tech training. 
Excited because we will be infecting our values into the people we're inviting to participate. 6 months contributiong to an OS platform, or 3 years after graduation date, release as OS. Could be NC-SA, so only team can make money off it.
Diggz on funding and community modelling
Orgs we're already working with over the past 1.5 years - Space Federation and GWOB are both sister orgs within the School Factory umbrella. Working with INSTEDD and RHOK, also CrisisCommons. Just started talking to Code4America (interesting model for fellowships, no interset outside the US) - pitched as C4A for rest of world.  Ushahidi, Sahana, crisismapping community. Businesses provided funds (tropo, voxeo funded GWOB for last year and half). For credibility and sustainability, need more than 1 sponsor - need ot go to other orgs with philanthropic arms, like google, msoft, yahoo, other tech companies who can see how this can help them and get their tools used in this process etc. Tropo involved because has a comms API - works well with type of apps used in a hackathon. Want to get to govt orgs that don't really have access to community - lot of red tape, slow, dont' quite grok the bigger picture because buried in lack of funding and oldschool thinking.
Q from Ethan: not talking about incubation where people have to be in the same place - want people from all over. Part of tech setup is for people to work remotely with the GWOB community. Are making this model available for other people to use (e.g. for non-tech-focused one). 
Ethan concern - taking a model that's worked well for NA and EU techies, and not heavily on model for parts fo the world where we have beneficiaries. Setting up model for our geeks, but if want beneficiaries may need different working method.  Worry that we work on cool tech projects that are disconnected to what's happening on the ground... something good for geeks at hackathons, but not for communities we want to help. 
James: know there are humanitarian startups that just happen, e.g. Tethr. What's missing (and in GWOB) is concept of sustaining communities (see What section of prezi) - bringing these diversities together, people in problem space meeting people who might build solutions. 
bringing some of these diversities together int he problem space istself, even with each other to define what some of these problems are more clearly. High variable quality, who recieves the tools. Engage the community more to bridge these gaps. Bring beneficiaries intot he process, compesate for part of that. People seleting the projects are doing so - evolved criteria. Before entering the incubator, develop problem defintions.
Ethan thinks we should move forward, but will talk more about that off list. Need a partner helping you build things, so it's not disconnected. Long track record in the space of lots of good intentions but no real follow through. How do you get partners with long-term committments to areas. Lot of people on this call who are involved with start up and buisness, we need to reach out to people on the ground.
Josh and Willow went over a lot of the values that are a part of this, how to have a relationship with the field. need to determine roles and relationships between teams, orgs, etc.
heather - use case. Run into awesome people around the world with brilliant ideas, need support. Some of these folk HAVE field experience. Social arc, help people with their next project.
Aaron - not about tech being a pancea, but helping with solutions
90 min quarterly call
Help with locating and getting funding for this program
Available during RHoK and et al to review presentations and determine who to invite
Help create the initial criteria
Provide mentorship for teams *or* link to mentors.
7 hours a month
^^^^ see top of doc for link to adv. board responsibilities
Offers to help: 
Heather: Mentoring, communications, networking, not funding
Ella - mentoring, advisory board
Josh - making 1-2 page docs into something to make people-s eyes bleed, month3 stuff.
Sara - mentoring, business design, system design, contaacts, advisory board
Nick - Advisory board, month4 pitch refinement Need to be careful with office not to create a conflict of interest.


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