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Welcome!

AdvocacyDev IV Convergence
Oakland, California, US
17-20 July, 2007

Aspiration invites you to mark your calendars on July 17-20 for our annual eAdvocacy shindig, which we’re lovingly naming the “eAdvocacy Jamboree ”.The Jamboree will be hosted at Preservation Park in Oakland, California.

The main event will run July 18-20, with a pre-day of eAdvocacy trainings on July 17 for those wanting to ramp up their eAdvocacy skills. See Complete Details.

“Online advocacy”, sometimes called “eAdvocacy”, refers to the use of email, web and other internet communication tools to advocate, organize and mobilize support for causes and campaigns. It is a rapidly evolving field in which practitioners rarely find adequate time to meet and compare notes on what they're doing, what applications are available, and how to better coordinate and pool efforts and resources.

A primary focus of this non-partisan event is to strengthen and broaden the social network of people who are using, visioning and implementing applications to support their advocacy and social change efforts. Participants from North America, Europe and Asia will have opportunity to compare approaches, explore tools and tactics, and build the foundation for ongoing collaboration. While much of the agenda will be designed dynamically as participants weigh in on what they want to share and do, the following areas will be addressed:

  • Mapping the State of F/OSS eAdvocacy Software: Finding the right tools to do online campaigning and organizing is still quite a challenge. Working as a group, we will map what is available in the space and then work to design roadmaps and selection criteria to assist non-technical organizers and campaigners in finding and applying the appropriate eAdvocacy technologies. Central to this process will be listening to campaigners describe what they need and how they currently use their toolsets.
  • F/OSS Database Tools for NPOs and NGOs: An ongoing source of pain for non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NPOs/NGOs) is the search for appropriate and affordable software tools to handle the various data sets and tasks associated with tracking supporters, volunteers, activists and other allies. Discussion will explore what's real and consider what's missing with current database tools, then seek to define what makes sense moving forward, both for integration with eAdvocacy tools as well as in the broader picture.
  • Introducing an eAdvocacy Training Curriculum: Aspiration received a planning grant from the Community Technology Foundation of California (CTFC) to develop an eAdvocacy Training Curriculum for CTFC grantees. Working with expert campaigners from Scout Seven and Radical Designs, an initial draft has been completed. The curriculum, published under Creative Commons, will be presented and participants will be invited to review, critique and improve the syllabus.
  • Peer-to-peer skillshares: Much innovation has occurred since AdvocacyDev I -- platform evolutions, new tools, creative campaigns, SMS (cell phone text messaging) and VOIP (internet telephony) inventions, culture jams and more. Blogging and podcasting continue to change the way first-person narratives are published. Substantial time will be blocked out in the schedule to allow participants to catch each other up and share the latest learnings as we all strive to stay connected in spite of our overflowing inboxes and ambitious technology projects.

More than anything, the organizers want to get practitioners in the same location and continue to celebrate all the hard work and leadership being provided by so many. We hope to see you at the event; please share with us your ideas and suggestions as we strive to refine the focus and broaden the appeal of this unique convergence.

For more information or to inquire about participation, please contact Aspiration at advocacydev@aspirationtech.org.

Background

This web site exists as an outcome of an Advocacy Developers Convergence which took place in San Francisco at the end of June 2004.

Our goal in creating this web site is to continue the discussion, collaboration, and visioning among the community of people working to design, build, deploy and leverage Online Advocacy tools.

In particular, we're working to create a comprehensive list of Advocacy Technologies and Services. Feel free to join the mailing list, or review the blog aggregator. And if you've got a question, there's almost always someone logged in to the AdvocacyDev IRC Channel.

The motivation for gathering: "Online Advocacy" is a fast-growing technology arena. Development is being done on dozens of platforms, systems and services to enable campaigns, issue advocacy, "get out the vote" (GOTV) projects and other communications, organizing, and mobilization efforts. Themes that consistently emerge in discussions among developers of such technologies include the difficulty of tracking other projects in the space, the desire to build bridges and dialog between the various initiatives, and the need to grow the circle of knowledge around online advocacy platforms and tactics.

The primary goal for the gathering was to allow advocacy developers to meet, share and compare projects, and take time from development efforts to celebrate each other, to grow community around the work that is being done, and envision future collaborations and directions.

All sessions were logged live to a wiki, and we encourage visitors to this site to view and add to what's been started.