TechSoup and Nonprofit Commons in the News!

Mixed reality panel at NetSquared conference

TechSoup’s own Susan Tenby, aka Glitteractica Cookie, wrote up a blog post about the Mixed Reality Health Panel Expo event that is featured on the Huffington Post. Part of TechSoup’s NetSquared Conference (N2y4), the mixed reality event highlighted nonprofits doing work in the virtual world of Second Life. including health expert panelists from organizations including Community Voicemail, Boomer Esiason Foundation, and Virtual Ability.

But that’s not all! The NetSquared Conference has gotten a number of press mentions. Huffington Post also featured an post from by longtime NetSquared supporter Allen Gunn: “NetSquared 2009: Making the Virtual Proximal”. “Lessons on Innovation from Nonprofits”, by columnist Chris O’Brien, also recently appeared in the San Jose Mercury News and Contra Costa Times. And we were proud to see The Economist’s Technology Quarterly, showcasing five of NetSquared’s previous Featured Projects for their application of mapping tools for social benefit work

We are thrilled to see these fantastic individuals and social benefit organization getting press about their important work. If you’d like to see more you can check out wrap-up detailed coverage of the NetSquared conference and find text archive, pictures, and live-blogging of the Health Panel Expo event.

Written by: penguin kuhn

Blogging The Health Panel Expo

[Cross-posting from the NetSquared blog by BJ Wishinsky]

N2Y4 Mixed Reality Health Panel, Wed. May 27, 11:15 AM

My name is BJ Wishinsky (avatar name Biji Mornington), and I’m the Communities Program Manager at the nonprofit Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. I had so much fun live-blogging the mixed reality at last year’s NetSquared conference that I volunteered to do it again today. There are Health Panels all day today in Second Life, celebrating the launch of the new inworld Health Commons. The 11:15 panel on Mobile Health Information is mixed reality: Second Life and Real Life (here at Cisco’s Vineyard Conference Center in San Jose, CA). We’re about to begin, so stay tuned.

Seth Gonzales (Avatar Impeccably Peccable) is the Communities Manager for the Boomer Esiason Foundation in New York. They started their SecondLife presence with the long-term goal of starting an inworld community of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients. SecondLife can provide CF patients an opportunity to interact with each other without the risk of infection. They are also using SecondLife and mobile technology to engage donors. Donors can give via mobile up to four times a month. The text-to-donate program was launched this month because May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month. 263 million people in the U.S. have cell phones so they want to tap into this group. Seth is confident this will be a sustainable program that helps tremendously with fundraising. They just started it and are getting some good responses using promotional PSAs to get the word out.

Our multiple venues in real life and Second Life are starting to fill up, and Susan Tenby (whose avatar is named Glitteractica Cookie) is explaining the format for our new arrivals. Susan asks Seth about the unique opportunity of the Second Life environment for CF patients. CF patients usually are taking 10-20 pills a day and going through multiple treatments from nebulizers to vibrating vests to keep their lungs clear and stay alive. They often live very isolated lives, between treatments and the need to keep them from being exposed to other infectious diseases that can aggravate their CF and prove fatal. Second Life provides an opportunity for them to meet safely in Second Life and connect with other CF patients for support and socializing.

Their measure of success is getting CF patients acclimated (with a SecondLife 101 class) and familiarizing them with what they offer on Boomer Island.

Jessica Dally of Community Voicemail, works for a nonprofit that provides voice mailboxes to people who are homeless and don’t have their own home or cell. This allows those who are homeless to better keep in touch with their families and friends, and for those who care about them to be able to reach them. It also allows Community Voicemail to get important messages out to clients, for example, about the peanut butter recall, or an approaching hurricane. They are also partnering with AIDS.gov in Second Life and using voicemail and mobile technology to help them disseminate information about HIV testing. In Second Life they partner with other organizations and help them set up voicemail programs with their communities. Second Life helps them spread the word about what they’re doing and partnering with other cities and agencies.

Ellehcim Fizzle (speaking from inworld) of AIDS.gov is talking about the stigma of AIDS and the need to continue to pay attention to AIDS/HIV. One in five people who are infected with HIV are unaware of their status, which underscores the importance of Testing Day. They’re still determining all that they want to do in Second Life. They’re using mobile technology for the KNOWIT campaign where you can text 566948 (KNOWIT) with your zip code and receive information on an testing facility in your area. At the CDC Conference a few months ago she heard about how Community Voicemail was used to reach homeless people regarding the peanut recall and thought it would be a great way to reach the homeless community with information about HIV testing. They are also highlight videos created by partners like Kaiser Family Foundation, MTV and others to help promote testing day.

About 15 of the people here in the room with me are also currently present as avatars at the event in Second Life (SL). Our host, Cisco, has provided great support for all these people running the graphics-intensive Second Life application over the conference wireless. We’re starting some Q&A — microphone in the room, text chat in SL. Jessica (Kali Idziak in SL) notes there was a bit of a steep learning curve for her getting started in SL since she was not a gamer, but there are lots of people and resources to help you learn. She notes that you don’t have to be a techie to learn your way around in SL.

How do nonprofits get started? Come to the weekly inworld Nonprofits in Second Life meetings (http://nonprofitcommons.org/ for info). There’s a meeting every Friday at 8:30 a.m. SLT (Second Life Time, which is Pacific Time).

Susan introduces Jeska Dzwigalski (avatar name Jessica Linden), Director of Communities at Linden Labs. Jessica says recommends telling your boss that IBM saved $320k in Second Life. She recommends also looking at some of the case studies at http://secondlife.com. Some groups in Second Life where you can find help: Virtual Ability (http://virtualability.org/) helps people with disabilities and Wiki Tecture helps people work on their 3D spaces.

The NetSquared Conference is a program of TechSoup, which also offers discounted technology to nonprofits through their TechSoup Stock program. TechSoup Stock is actively working to get more software partners to offer discounted products to health-related nonprofits.

Written by: penguin kuhn

Live blogging and tweeting from the Health Panel Expo event May 27th


Yesterday’s Nonprofit Commons Health Panel Expo innovative online event in Second Life brought together panelists from health-related organizations, including experts in the disability, HIV/AIDS, mental health and cancer communities. Panelists came together to showcase recent developments in health care research, and to connect efforts in fighting disease and creating a cooperative and supportive environment for patients and their providers. This event marked the grand opening of the Health Commons island in Second Life, the fourth Nonprofit Commons location, that focused on health-oriented organizations.

We had a terrific line-up of panelists for yesterday’s event and a number of volunteers who live-blogged the action by taking summarizing notes into the Second Life text chat, as well as tweeting the action, and blogging the experience.

You can follow the tweets from the event here.

Check out blog entries and pictures about the event and stay tuned for video coverage to follow!

You can also check out the archived panel presentations as we post them:

Health Panel Expo Panels
All times are in Second Life or Pacific Standard Time

9 am Virtual Support for Mental Health Issues Panel
10 am HIV/AIDS Awareness Panel
11am Faster Cures
11:15 am Mobile/Phone Health Information Panel Mixed Reality Event
12:15pm TechSoup Stock Donated HIPPA solutions
1 pm Physical Activity/Dietary Habits/Healthy Lifestyles Panel
2 pm Disability Panel
3pm Cancer panel

Written by: penguin kuhn

The Health Panel Expo – May 27 in Second Life & in the Real World

The Health Panel Expo planning is coming together and the event is right around the corner! Here are the details!

Click here to view a complete agenda of the days events.

PRESS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO—May 26, 2009—The Nonprofit Commons, a project of TechSoup Global (TSG), today announced an all-day, innovative online event in Second Life to showcase recent developments in health care research, and to connect efforts in fighting disease and creating a cooperative and supportive environment for patients and their providers. The Health Panel Expo, an international online conference sponsored by FasterCures.org, will be held on Wednesday, May 27, 2009, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST (also called Second Life Time, SLT) in the virtual world of Second Life and simultaneously in the real world, being broadcast live at the fourth annual NetSquared Conference at Cisco in San Jose, CA.,The Second Life online event is free to attend and open to all interested participants. It will be accessible through Second Life, and the full agenda is listed on the NPSL wiki.

The Health Panel Expo panelists will include speakers from Aids.gov and Community Voicemail discussing mobile health initiatives; Virtual Ability, Inc., a nonprofit that brings people with disabilities and chronic health conditions into virtual worlds; and Susan Tenby, Online Community Director for TSG and the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life. Other panelists include experts from the disability, recovery services, nutrition, cancer, and AIDS communities.

The Health Panel Expo marks the official launch of the Health Commons in Second Life. As part of TSG’s Nonprofit Commons project, Health Commons seeks to bring together real-world health-related nonprofits, academics, educators, thought-leaders, foundations, and volunteer-supporters to showcase recent developments in health care.

The Health Panel Expo: Event Details

  • The Health Panel Expo is a day-long event with several hour-long expert panels in the virtual world of Second Life at Health Commons AMO island.
  • The Mobile Health Initiatives panel is a mixed-reality session on Wednesday, May 27, from 11:15 am-12:15 pm PST (SLT). The live portion will take place in the real-world of San Jose, California as part of the NetSquared Conference, and simultaneously within the virtual world of Second Life. The panel will also feature interactivity between the two worlds.
  • Panels and tours of Nonprofit Commons’ four virtual locations will take place throughout the day. The complete agenda can be found here.
  • The event will be recorded via live video and audio and will be archived on the NonprofitCommons.org Web site.
  • Watch the live web stream from 11:15 AM-12:15 PM.
  • Twitter hashtag of the event: #npslexpo.
  • Twitter account for Nonprofit Commons in Second Life is @npsl.

Written by: Beth J. Bates

Women’s Health Fair on Oleander Island today in SL

Womenshealthfair_001

Today at Oleander Island (click here to teleport), come to the Second Life Women’s Health Fair, where medical professionals will speak on important health issues affecting women including cancer, heart ailments, and PCOS — a hidden womens health problem. There will also be a silent auction, with proceeds going to the organization Drive By Agony/Life Learning programs, which assists victims of crime, teaches young people violence prevention methods for everyday life. From 8 am – 1 pm PST.

Written by: rikomatic