NPC 5/17/13 Featured Presentation: Virtual Occupational Therapy

Below is an edited transcript of the May 17th, 2013 NonProfit Commons in Second Life meeting, featuring Andrew Hughes of Designing Digitally, Inc.


You can view the full transcript at: and photos at:


Today for our featured presentation we are happy to feature Andrew Hughes of Designing Digitally who will present about the company’s recent project using Kinect motion tracking and immersive training simulation for stroke victims that they have been working on for the National Institute of Health.


About Andrew Hughes:

Andrew Hughes founded Designing Digitally, Inc. which specializes in E-Learning, Training Simulations, Serious Games, and Virtual Immersive Learning. Andrew has extensive experience in education as a professor at both the University of Cincinnati and at the Art Institute of Ohio – Cincinnati. Currently Andrew is the president of Designing Digitally, Inc. and also is a curriculum evaluator for ACICS the private college accreditation board. The majority of Andrew’s experience has been in the development of enterprise learning solutions for Government and Fortune 500 clients.


Andrew also was a consultant for the Ohio Board of Regents and the U.S. Department of Education for the Office of Innovation where he helped to develop ground-breaking learning spaces for the K-12 sector. Having successfully taken on responsibilities in instructional design, project management, sales, and leading his own team, Andrew has propelled Designing Digitally, Inc. to be an award winning virtual immersion and E-Learning company.

Let’s welcome Andrew up, please take a seat and start whenever you are ready.


Buffy Beale: Cheering madly!

Kali Pizzaro: Hey Andrew

Jen (jenelle.levenque): Welcome to NPC Andrew


Andrew Hughes: Hello everyone! nice to see you all! I am the President of Designing Digitally, Inc. We’re located between Cincinnati and Dayton Ohio We’ve been doing development work since 2001, and went INC’d in 2006. We do a very wide range of work. Mostly it’s for online learning, in forms of both 2d and 3d interactive learning.


What I am here to talk about today is our effort we created with a SBIR grant from the National Institute of Health. We partnered with a healthcare agency called Barron Associates to create a new product called VOTA, Virtual Occupation Therapy Assistant 


We are using the Microsoft Kinect and the Unity3D gaming engine to create dynamic AI bots that help you re-learn how to use your arms. It’s for stoke victims, and people that have MS, etc. What this software is doing is using AI technology to help guide you in learning how to do everyday things again. Such as putting the groceries away. We are tracking the six axis’s that you have with your arms. We are using 2 Kinects together to get very high detailed tracking and the system is built into kiosks that are now going to be deployed in hospitals, and PT locations throughout the nation.


Tarquin Evermore: Oh how cool alternative use of Kinect!

Buffy Beale: it really is fantastic


Andrew Hughes: This SBIR grant was for Phase 1, which was to build the system and now we’re awaiting to see if Phase 2 (full deployment) will be funded so we can roll this out throughout the USA. We have built a content management system that sends all data about your progress, and even records your movements for you to see online and also for the your therapist to review to see how your movement has improved throughout time of using this tool. The AI bots actually are not static, so they change the difficulty, and even change the scenarios based on how well you are doing so it learns from you while you are learning! And increases the difficulty based on your past performance. 🙂


Rhiannon Chatnoir: for those that might not know, SBIR is short for Small Business Innovation Research – a series of government grants to encourage small biz development/projects


Andrew Hughes: Thanks Rhiannon!

So with that said here is an overview (we can only show just this small video but take into consideration that the actual development is much more than this, it’s just a small teaser for people until w know if we get phase 2 of the SBIR


Tarquin Evermore: This sounds awesome and exciting. It probably has a nifty side effect, I am sure many stroke sufferers suffer from depression for thinking they are ‘less than’ an able bodied person, and having to rely on others. It sounds so liberating to get that freedom back ;3


Andrew Hughes: So this is one of many projects we’re working on. Yes, the biggest thing is we wanted them to feel accomplished by doing thing they did everyday with little effort. So our goal was to teach them to cook in a safe way and do things around their home they had no problem doing in the past. This is just one of the scenarios out of many by using 2 Kinects together we can get a better sense of the 3d space.


Sum Anachen (szemanzoltan): It is awesome!

Tarquin Evermore: And how else but virtually? if they make a mistake or slip, they don’t have to worry about burning the food, or worse, themselves!


Andrew Hughes: right Tarquin!  🙂

OK, In regards to our efforts, this is something we’ve been working on for awhile now. Unity3D obviously has become a very popular gaming engine. What we’re doing is trying to push it’s efforts far beyond what it can do to produce learning experiences that are engaging, educational, and yet entertaining so the learning is fun and it sticks


Rhiannon Chatnoir: to view the movie it will show on the big NPC screen behind us, just click play

Azwaldo Villota: Please, could you also post video URL here in chat?


Andrew Hughes:


Kali Pizzaro: engages

Rhiannon Chatnoir: you can also view it on youtube

Glitteractica Cookie: watching on YT now


Andrew Hughes: We used the Kinect to build a serious game called Air Marshaller serious game where we used the Kinect to teach you how to do the air marshal signals


Sister (sister.abeyante): May I make a constructive request? Can your company please caption the youTube video, as the “auto captioning” does not do a very good job and the content is important to the deaf /HOH as well as the hearing. thanks!


Andrew Hughes: sure!


Rhiannon Chatnoir: so the video mentions that your real world Occupational therapist, so do you anticipate this to be a facilitated experience with a OT and patient


Andrew Hughes: Yes there is a OT. It can be either on site with you or online where they can see your progress in real time.


Tarquin Evermore: might be a good idea. I often have trouble when trying to listen to some of the videos a bhuddist monk puts up, because I can’t hear it.


Andrew Hughes: Another good example of using the Kinect for fun purposes is that Kinect serious game we built in Unity3D


Tarquin Evermore: I love this idea, when you turn therapy into a game, it seems less like theropy and ‘boring’


Andrew Hughes: Glad you guys like it. We wanted to do activities that people take for granted each day, such as the daily chores we find annoying. They become very hard when you don’t have control over your limbs. So we wanted to focus on accomplishments of everyday activities.


Jen (jenelle.levenque): My dad was very frustrated after his stroke

Wisdomseeker (lissena): and playing adds to consistency of practice, I suspect–less frustrating?


Andrew Hughes: agreed!


Wisdomseeker (lissena): music is being used with stroke patients in Canada, I know

Tarquin Evermore: They put Wii Fits in old age homes and such to get older people to move. And since it was a game, they didn’t notice it was theropy so they wanted to do it instead of “aww gee…do I haveta?” and since WIi Fit was low impact, it was perfect for the elderly.

Sister (sister.abeyante): Question: Will the program accommodate individual differences in physical ability i.e. a person with no arms needs to learn to do these same tasks, but does not have limbs to do it. Can it adapt/be adapted to something like that?


Andrew Hughes: It’s funny. if we can change the learning culture from “I have to” to “I want to” then you will see excellent results.


Rhiannon Chatnoir: and pairing the motor movement of Kinect with the game-like process of going through the daily routine works on both a physical and cognitive level I would think

Tarquin Evermore: Maybe different “games” for different physical types? Like maybe a ‘tour de france‘ type game for those without arms to learn how to use their legs again?


Andrew Hughes: That’s a great idea


Tarquin Evermore: And didgital ‘rewards’ for completing the task? Heck we all know why folks play MMOs, thats part of why it is addicting. The whole ‘reward’ thing.

Sum Anachen (szemanzoltan): Well MMO gives you a community feeling thats why it works so well

Buffy Beale: Question: Are there any other countries interested in your program for their hospitals?

Rhiannon Chatnoir: so does that correlate in the VOTA with the points that get earned throughout .. they are earning them via activities and how accurately done? is this mainly to keep progress and work to improve their overall score?


Andrew Hughes: Yes digital rewards are for completing tasks. You are ranked based on people = to you rather than just seeing a top 10, that way you can strive to be a little better than the person above you


Buffy Beale: nice idea

Sister (sister.abeyante): Question: Is this system only going to be available in a hospital or clinic environment, or do you anticipate making it into a portable “kit” that could be set up on someone’s home?

Tarquin Evermore: I am betting Japan would be all over this awesome. Heck they have an adorible robitic baby sea lion. All white and fluff and awww <3! it reacts just like the real deal. They use them in nursing homes.


Andrew Hughes: from there we are not sure about other hospitals in countries because we’re doing this as a SBIR so it’s not otu to market yet. We are actually making Kiosks that can be portable.


Rhiannon Chatnoir: Ozma, the relative scoring reminds me some of the math learning game you led at Arizone State Univ

Tarquin Evermore: Speaking of math, I am remembering Number Munchers very fondly. Still LD as heck, but that is one of the few math games I remember fondly XD


Andrew Hughes: Did you guys have any other questions regarding what we’ve built?


Rhiannon Chatnoir: you have done development of projects both in virtual spaces like SL, etc and then these free standing experiences in Unity or otherwise, what wisdom or differences in process do you find

Azwaldo Villota: What are the main advantages to developing with Unity? Is it due to the connectivity with Kinect?

Sister (sister.abeyante): I do. Ever the advocate for equal access— will the product be accesible to the deaf.hard of hearing? Captions rather than just audio?


Andrew Hughes: The reason why we did it in Unity3d is:

1. Level of detail / fidelity

2. Flexibility of the platform

3. Ability to create dynamic experiences

4. Kinect integration (we ended up having to custom code this with DDL’s and so while we thought it would not be hard to use Unity3D with the Kinect we found that we had to do a ton of R&D to get it to work properly


It can be deployed as an app, and we have it autoboot that exe file when the computer boots up, so that way it’s acting as it’s own OS


Sister (sister.abeyante): and I also have a related question to the one on accessibility for the deaf/Hard of hearing… will it be available to people who do not speak/understand English?

Rhiannon Chatnoir: so being able to be freestanding experience if need be


Andrew Hughes: yep! It can be. Right now it was setup of English only based on the SBIR requirement. You are correct Rhiannon.


Sister (sister.abeyante): And the accessibility to the deaf/HOH? Was that also an SBIR requirement?

Azwaldo Villota: Wow. Great info, much appreciation for you sharing here today, Andrew.


Andrew Hughes: Sister – Right now it is not accessible but it will be for Phase 2 if we are awarded the grant for phase 2. The Phase 1 is the prototype effort, phase 2 is the funding to do revisions / additions / mass produce.


Sister (sister.abeyante) nods… so the prototype wasn’t, but the mass production will be- that’s great.

Rhiannon Chatnoir: the first phase grant is more of a proof of concept, working prototype. if you do not get phase two grant support, what will be next step if any for this project

Tarquin Evermore: with this current economy, how about are you going to get this funding?


Andrew Hughes: Rhiannon – Good question about funding. The partering company is still going to be working with us to deploy it if we get funded or not. The partnering company is known for getting Phase 2 passed, so we shall see. Tarquin – It’s in review now and we will find out in September if we got Phase 2.


Frans Charming: 🙂

Rhiannon Chatnoir: not sure how much this gets impacted Tarquin, for deeper info on the program

Sister (sister.abeyante) wonders if, from the user’s/consumer’s end of things, this will be covered by insurance? Or will the user have to pay out of pocket to use this?

Frans Charming: Hopefully the sequester has no impact on the phase 2 funding.


Andrew Hughes: Sister – This side of it has not been discussed yet


Wisdomseeker (lissena): perhaps I missed this? how did you measure results of your program?

Sister (sister.abeyante) nods and reflects that, without it being covered by insurance, many or most folks most needing it will not be able to use it due to cost to the consumer.


Andrew Hughes: Wisdomseeker – There are multiple analytical pieces


Dancers Yao: great Q Sister…this has been an ongoing problem for seniors…to afford any of the new tech services

Rhiannon Chatnoir: any other questions or comments for Andrew

Buffy Beale: Just to say well done, it looks like this will be part of the future Andrew 🙂


Andrew Hughes: Thanks Buffy


Dancers Yao: really great to see you appreciate using a dynamical approach to your work….thanks

Ozma Malibu: Wonderful. I want to spread the word.

Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes, and good luck on phase two funding.. I have been part of an SBIR grant process too .. know they are a lot of work and waiting


Andrew Hughes: Thanks everyone!


Gentle Heron: Very cool Andrew. I’ll be looking for the next Phase of development from you.

Azwaldo Villota claps while clapping

Jen (jenelle.levenque): Regarding the payment question, if they are in therapy, then the specific tools used shouldn’t be an issue

Wisdomseeker (lissena): yes…just wondered what you were look inspiring!

Tarquin Evermore: BRB reconnecting :3

Wisdomseeker (lissena): sorry for mashup

Wisdomseeker (lissena): Inspiring!

Rhiannon Chatnoir: let’s thank Andrew for being here today and you can find more at

Buffy Beale: cheering!!

Frans Charming applauds

Scarlett Sismondi: thanks!

MusE Starsmith: ♫♫ APPLAUSE APPLAUSE ♫♫

MusE Starsmith: Applauds!

Jen (jenelle.levenque): Yay Andrew and company

Jen (jenelle.levenque): ********APPPLLLAAAUUUSSSEEE********


Andrew Hughes: Thanks everyone!   🙂   We are working hard to be creative!


Zadark Xavorin applauds

Sum Anachen (szemanzoltan) applauds

Buffy Beale: thanks Andrew


Andrew Hughes: thanks everyone for the time today!

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir

Social Change Through Games, Virtual Worlds and Tech Innovation for the April 5th NonProfit Commons Meeting

This Friday, April 5th, Nonprofit Commons is happy to feature Josephine Dorado (Josephine Junot in Second Life) who will report on her recent work leading TechCamp international workshops and webinars for the US State Department on innovation, digital storytelling and leveraging games and virtual worlds for youth engagement.



Josephine Dorado is a social entrepreneur, strategist, producer, professor and Pilates instructor whose work focuses on innovation in hybrid online spaces. She was a Fulbright scholarship recipient and initiated the Kidz Connect program, which is a virtual cultural exchange program that connects youth internationally through creative collaboration and theatrical performance in virtual worlds. Josephine also received a MacArthur Foundation Award in Digital Media & Learning, and and continues to be involved with the Fulbright community as an officer of the Board of Directors in NY. She currently teaches at The New School and is the live events producer for This Spartan Life, a talk show inside the video game Halo. She balances her work in online spaces with her passion for teaching Pilates, combining a technology-infused life with a physical, embodied way of being. Most recently, Josephine received the Selma Jeanne Cohen award for scholarly research in dance, recognizing her work using dance frameworks for online collaboration. Commissioned works include interdisciplinary productions for the ISEA and Romaeuropa Festivals as well as speaking engagements at SXSW, IgniteNYC, SIGGRAPH, PICNIC (Amsterdam), and IPZ (Istanbul). Her experience focuses on the convergence of physical with digital, arts with technology, and games with calls to action. She delights in architecting innovative transmedia experiences inspired by the collaborative methodologies behind games and theater.  


Join us in Second Life!


Nonprofit Commons Weekly Meeting

Friday, April 5th, 8:30 AM SLT / PST

Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheater




  • 8:30 am Introductions
  • 8:40 am TechSoup Announcements
  • 8:45 am Mentors Central
  • 8:55 am Josephine Dorado (Josephine Junot in SL) Social Change Through Games, Virtual Worlds and Tech Innovation
  • 9:30 am Open Mic / Announcements


The mission of the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life is to create a community for nonprofits to explore and learn about virtual worlds, foster connections, and discover the many ways in which nonprofits might utilize the unique environment of Second Life to achieve their missions.

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir

NPC 3/15/13 Feautured Presentation: Jim Lynch on Humanitarian Electronics Recycling and Refurbishment

Below is an edited transcript of the 3/15/13 NonProfit Commons in Second Life meeting, featuring Jim Lynch.

Today for our featured presentation we have Jim Lynch, Director of GreenTech for TechSoup Global.

Bio: Jim Lynch, Director of GreenTech, TechSoup Global 

Over his long career at TechSoup Global, Jim Lynch has been involved in creating all of TechSoup’s environmental programs. Mr. Lynch leads TechSoup Global’s work to develop the computer refurbishment and reuse field in the United States and internationally. He has provided testimony on the humanitarian portion of the field to the U.S International Trade Commission. He has also participated in the creation and refinement of standards for the U.S. electronics recycling industry.


Mr. Lynch also directs TechSoup’s GreenTech program, which promotes technology and practices that reduce the IT environmental impact and carbon footprint of nonprofits, NGOs, and libraries worldwide.


Jim Lynch designed, in cooperation with Microsoft, the Community Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher Program for the Americas, which distributes low-cost Windows and Office software to recyclers and refurbishers. In 2005 he also started TechSoup’s Refurbished Computer Initiative, which supplies low-cost warrantied refurbished computers to U.S. nonprofits and libraries. His interest in computer recycling and nonprofit social enterprise began when he created and ran homeless education programs and computer training labs in the 1980s


Jim Lynch has been interviewed extensively over the years on computer recycling and related issues by the Wall St. Journal, National Public Radio, PC World Magazine, and many other news outlets.

You can start when you are ready Jim


          Glitteractica Cookie: And he’s been at TechSOup longer than I have! How long, Jimmy?


originaljimlynchHappy Ides of March everyone! I’m originalJimlynch (Jim Lynch in the straight boring world), and this is my 1st time on 2nd Life. I’m TechSoup’s Green IT guy.


Let’s see I’ve been toiling away at Techsoup lo these 17 years


First off let me apologize for this presentation. It’s the one I presented (verbatim) to members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on February 13th this year. The briefing was called “Turning E-Waste into Green (as in cash)”. It turned out that this was a briefing mostly for new members of the committee to get them up to speed in this environmental issue


The policy folks from the American Chemical Society invited me to present to Congress on “U.S. E-Waste Environmental Policy”. The American Chemical Society is a big trade association for chemists and chemical companies. They asked me to the dance because TechSoup has been a staunch advocate for electronics recycling and especially reputable refurbishment and reuse for 10 years now. It’s the grand missionary passion of my life.


Slide 2

You all probably know all about TechSoup Global’s mission to do whatever we can to provide the IT resources and knowledge that charities, NGOs, and libraries need. It’d be silly to reiterate that! What’s far less known is that we’ve long had an environmental mission to reclaim a bunch of the electronics out there that are getting wasted in our throw-away societies. The UN estimates that less than 10% of the world’s discarded computers and mobile phones are getting recycled in any way.


          Jimbo Welles: (great school project would be a consistent collection of these items)


originaljimlynchGreat idea, Jimbo. Lots of schools do stuff around this type of recycling


It’s actually not our first time advocating for charities and libraries in high places like the U.S. Congress. Our Susan Tenby testified a few years ago on behalf of 2nd Life. When I got the invitation I decided to go for it – to make an appeal for “humanitarian electronics recycling and refurbishment.” Perhaps I should explain.


Slide 3

This is just the list of the stuff I covered in the 10 minute presentation


Slide 4

Don’t you hate it when people just read thru a presentation?

“Discarded electronics devices are one of the fastest growing parts of the solid waste stream.” 


“About 27% of discarded electronics are recycled nationwide”


          Komi Silverfall: why are such a low amount of electronics being recycled? Can’t they be reused?


originaljimlynch: Ah, reuse. We’ll get to that…


Our 27% recycling rate is up 9 percentage points from 2008, so at least in the U.S. we’re making some progress. Any idea which country has the highest recycling rate?


South Korea (85%) followed closely by Japan and Taiwan (both at 75%)


          Gentle Heron re-asks Komi’s question: Why is the US so lagging in recycling electronics?


originaljimlynch: Any idea of the lowest?


          Komi Silverfall: Africa

          Jen (jenelle.levenque): UK

          Jimbo Welles: its a space issue- USA has lots of space for landfills

          Panny (panny.bakerly): Money?


originaljimlynchA large share of the world is down around 1% – all of Africa and much of Latin America and Asia.


Why is the US lagging places like Korea? 


Slide 5

This summary of what U.S. electronics recycling policy is composed of was the hardest part of this to boil down


The patchwork of 25 state laws – is obviously half the country, but it’s the big populous states. The problem is that all the state laws are different. Most state laws use the ‘Extended Producer Responsibility’ model


I think you’ll see in all this that the policy stuff is kind of a mess and Congressional gridlock is basically why we don’t have a unified collection system like Japan and Europe.


          Jimbo Welles: “the USA right to pollute” also- and to buy, use, throw away

          Komi Silverfall: November 15 was America Recycles Day, and a great reminder about how important recycling is not only for the environment, but for jobs and the economy as well.

          Jimbo Welles: yes


originaljimlynchThe jobs thing – that was mainly what the folks in Congress wanted to hear about


Marching on: The 2011 National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship – this is an Obama administration policy to push on the recycling industry to adopt environmental standards voluntarily and for the Federal government to buy energy efficient IT equipment, and encourage better designed electronic devices that are easily repaired and easier to recycle (called demanufacturing)


The Federal Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge – this is the latest US EPA initiative aimed at original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and retailers to use certified recyclers. OEMs are on the hook in most states with laws to cover the takeback costs of recycling. The government doesn’t want them to take shortcuts by using cheap or disreputable recyclers


The R2 (Responsible Recycling) and E-Stewards certification programs – These are dueling recycling standards. R2 is the EPA initiated and largely industry-oriented stakeholder one that is now led by the industry trade association called ISRI. E-Stewards is the environmentalist led standard that prohibits exports of e-waste to most of the world. It is led by the environmentalist organization, Basel Action Network (BAN) in Seattle. Both standards are recognized by the Obama administration as being reputable.


Innumerable local, state, and federal environmental regulations – these are mostly landfill bans – the precursor to recycling laws. It turns out that municipalities are left with most of the costs to dispose of or to recycle all types of stuff that is thrown away, and that money comes from garbage collection, landfill and ‘tipping fees’.


The upshot of all this: There is no Federal law regulating electronics disposal and material recovery.


The latest effort was the 2011 Responsible Electronics Recycling Act (HR 2284 / S1270) – this bill failed in the last Congress. It will probably be reintroduced, but has little chance of getting to a floor vote in the Republican led House. It is mainly the policy position of the E-Stewards oriented environmentalists.


          Jimbo Welles: could a municipality actually make money collecting recycleable tech?

          Gentle Heron: Jimbo, the better question is: Would the recycling income be more than the cost of running the recycling program, or less than the cost of trashing the stuff?


originaljimlynch: Jimbo great question – it’s a loss unless there’s a law that subsidizes it. A scrapped computer that is ground down in to metal plastic and glass is worth about $3


The better money is in repairing and reusing this stuff – way more


          Jimbo Welles: nods. show us how!

          Komi Silverfall: In the U.S., 40-50 percent of raw materials come from recycled scrap. And although businesses make up a large amount of scrap recycling in general, recycled precious metals come in large part from consumer electronics.

          Jimbo Welles: bingo

          Jimbo Welles: and the jobs stay HERE


originaljimlynch: Nice! I didn’t know that stat.


Here’s a bit more about how the money works in this field: Slide 6 General Industry Characteristics


1,500 end-of-life electronics recycling companies in the US (I call them shredders)


1,400 IT asset disposal and refurbishment companies – 30% are noncommercial (Microsoft Registered Refurbisher Program)


The industry has two sides:

  –  End-of-life processing – the largest company is Sims Recycling Solutions

  –  IT Asset Disposal and Refurbishment – the largest company is Arrow Electronics


Most of the larger electronics recycling companies and refurbishers are now certified under R2 or E-Stewards – mostly R2 by around a 3 to 1 ratio


Because of persistent press about foreign e-waste dumping, the industry is eager to be reputable


Here’s the jobs bit: Job Creation Potential. It is a relatively high wage industry. Electronics recycling and refurbishment jobs tend to stay in the country and are regarded as green jobs. In the U.S., repair and refurbishment of electronics can create 200 times as many jobs as landfilling.


          Jimbo Welles: can the costs be sustained by the income generation?  ie. can a company make money on it


originaljimlynch: Repair and refurbishment creates around 10 times more jobs than shredding which relies on big machines


Companies do make money. Shredders need big volume though. The bottleneck in all this is that we’re bad at doing collections, Less than 10% of discarded cell phones are collected here in the US


Here’s the NPC angle: Slide 7 – Humanitarian Electronics Recycling and Refurbishment is the sweet spot for us


The industry is also active in providing low-cost computers to U.S. low-income families, schools, libraries and job training centers – the largest is Connect2Compete, but there are hundreds of others.


The Goodwill-Dell Reconnect Program has around 2,600 collection locations. Twenty-three entire states now covered, and 17 partial states are covered. It is mainly a free collection program for consumer electronics and collects several million pounds of electronics per year. It essentially offers free R2 or E-Stewards processing. Each Goodwill collection program is able to divert a portion of its collection for reuse and resale.


The Microsoft Registered Refurbisher Program provides very low-cost Windows and Office licensing to encourage this digital inclusion work. TechSoup worked with MSFT to develop that program in the early roaring zeroes (early 2000s)


These guys are my big heroes: U.S. based nonprofit programs like Interconnection in Seattle and World Computer Exchange in Boston are showing the way toward responsible export to many developing countries, mainly to schools in Latin America and Africa. Schools there badly need and want good used IT equipment. There are plenty of cheap (mostly Chinese) cell phones in places like Africa, but schools and NGOs there really want affordable laptops.


We advocate for a national law that is like the one in Illinois. It is notable because it has incentives for routing appropriate discarded electronics toward refurbishment, which is a higher form of recycling than material recovery, and would greatly increase the supply of good used IT equipment to charities, schools, libraries, and low-income families in the US and elsewhere.


          Jimbo Welles: but eventually they need to be recycled somehow

          Widget Whiteberry wonders about practices in California …. given the size of the state, good practices in CA could have an impact.


originaljimlynch: I think the install base on PCs is currently 1.2 billion and cell phones around 5 billion in use. 90% are not recycled in any way


Slide 8

I think I covered the certification rivalry between R2 and E-Stewards. I expect that within the next couple of years they’ll end up merging to become a single world standard. These voluntary standards tend to be a stepping-stone toward creating a proper recycling system. About 35 countries in the world have national recycling systems and the rest of the 160 odd countries don’t have systems, most notably China and India, and even the US and Canada. We’ll be participating in an event in June to introduce them to the African industry.


Slide 9: Resources: Probably the single best one to look at is the nonprofit National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER)


That’s me if you wanna chat more about all this


          Glitteractica Cookie: but you could also just email community@techsoup or nonprofitcommons@techsoup and one of us will fwd to jim

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: great, any questions for Jim?

          Buffy Beale: Question: Is there anything we nonprofits can do to help the cause?

          Widget Whiteberry: Question: Have you looked specifically at California?


originaljimlynch: Yes! There’s a group we’re part of called the Electronics Takeback Coalition


          LoriVonne Lustre: Very informative. A world standard is needed.

          Komi Silverfall: how does the organization thrive if their is no profits coming in??

          Glitteractica Cookie: Question: which is the most reliable company to recycle phones? I am always a little dubious of those dropboxes in shopping malls that offer you money for your used phone. is that real and would it be recycled?


originaljimlynch: Great question. There’s lots of scamming still in charity cell phone recycling. The biggest and most reputable company doing it is called Recellular


Thanks for having me here in 2nd Life finally!


          ray2009 Hazelnut: What about electronic bits that don’t work anymore, TVs, watches, radios?


originaljimlynch: The little bits… a huge question I don’t think I can type fast enough.


          Rhiannon Chatnoir: more than happy if you want to add any extra information to post to our NPC blog

          Jimbo Welles: (you are doing fine Jim)

          Rhiannon Chatnoir: Yes, great that you could come into SL to join us all and thank you for your presentation

          Buffy Beale: hearty applause! Thanks Jim and look forward to the day it’s a world standard

          Jimbo Welles: keep fighting the good fight Jim!

          Zinnia Zauber: Thank you for joining us, Jim!

          Glitteractica Cookie: thx Jim!

          Namaara MacMoragh: thank you

          Beth Ghostraven: yes, thanks!

          Gentle Heron: Great information Jim.

          LoriVonne Lustre: ~~~applause~~~

          Namaara MacMoragh: *applause*

          Glitteractica Cookie: Applause!!

          Jen (jenelle.levenque): APPLAUSE. Thanks Jim

          CarmenLittleFawn: APPLAUSE


originaljimlynch: My humble thanks. (bows)


If you took pictures of this event, please share them on our Facebook group: or G+ Community:, that would be great. Otherwise, tag them #NPSL


And tag your avatars in any photos posted!

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir

The Museum of Virtual Media for the March 1st NonProfit Commons Meeting

This Friday, March 1st, Nonprofit Commons is happy to feature Liz Dorland (Chimera Cosmos) and Adriana Sanchez (Adrianne Lexico) who will discuss the theory and process behind the creation of the “Museum of Virtual Media”, a Second Life sim built collaboratively by their University of Washington class in the spring of 2012. 


The museum is inspired by “Infinite Reality”, a book on virtual worlds technology and education written by Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson and takes participants through the evolution of media from ancient cave paintings into the future. Each exhibit in the museum applies different 3D instructional design methodologies including storytelling, gaming and learning archetypes to stimulate learning through immersive experiences, exploration, tours, active participation and knowledge creation.


Immediately following the meeting, Chimera Cosmos and Adrianne Lexico will guide those avatars interested through a tour of different portions of the Museum of Virtual Media exhibits. 

About the book “Infinite Reality” that inspired the museum:

How achievable are the virtual experiences seen in The Matrix, Tron, and James Cameron’s Avatar? Do our brains know where “reality” ends and “virtual” begins? In Infinite Reality, professors Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson, two pioneering experts in the field of virtual reality, reveal how the human brain behaves in virtual environments and examine where radical new developments in digital technology will lead us in five, fifty, and five hundred years.



Adriana Sanchez (Adrianne Lexico in SL) holds a Certificate in Virtual Worlds from the University of Washington. She has been an EduNation Resident since 2010. She works at The Digital Trainer. Over 20 years’ experience teaching English and Spanish for Specific Purposes to adults in multinational companies. Currently training educators on the use of web 2.0 tools, social networks and 3D virtual environments to enhance task-based learning. As an E.learning and Virtual Worlds Specialist, developing instructional and multimedia materials for online courses and providing consultation on how to integrate LMS and 3DVLE for distance education. 


Liz Dorland (Chimera Cosmos in SL) is currently the Communications Director for the Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center based at Washington University. Prior to moving to St. Louis in 2006, she taught general and organic chemistry for over 35 years, including 21 years in the Maricopa County Community College District in Arizona. She reviews frequently for the National Science Foundation and was a program officer in the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education, Directorate of Education and Human Resources (2003-2004). Areas of expertise include immersive virtual environments, social media, faculty use of technology, and research-based applications of visualization and history/philosophy of science in teaching. In July 2011, Liz was co-chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Visualization in Science and Education and is currently working with that community to produce an online report on lessons learned and recommendations for future research on visualization and learning. 


Join us in Second Life!


Nonprofit Commons Weekly Meeting

Friday, March 1st, 8:30 AM SLT / PST

Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheater 




  • 8:30 am Introductions
  • 8:40 am TechSoup Announcements
  • 8:45 am Mentors Central
  • 8:55 am Liz Dorland (Chimera Cosmos) and Adriana Sanchez (Adrianne Lexico): The Museum of Virtual Media
  • 9:30 am Open Mic / Announcements
  • 9:45 am Guided Tour of the Museum of VIrtual Media


The mission of the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life is to create a community for nonprofits to explore and learn about virtual worlds, foster connections, and discover the many ways in which nonprofits might utilize the unique environment of Second Life to achieve their missions.

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir

NPC 2/22/13 Feautured Presentation: Aliza Sherman, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly QR Code

Below is an edited transcript of the 2/22/13 NonProfit Commons in Second Life meeting, featuring Aliza Sherman (Cybergrrl Oh) who discussed innovative and compelling ways to use QR codes as an effective marketing tool when used thoughtfully and integrated carefully into a campaign. 
Today we have as our featured presenter web pioneer Aliza Sherman (Cybergrrl Oh) who will take us on an interactive exploration of QR codes.
Aliza Sherman is a Web pioneer with a mission to empower people through technology. She is a digital marketing strategist who has been online since 1987 and consulting clients about the Internet since 1992. She speaks around the world and writes about online, social media, and mobile marketing, as well as tech and business issues specific to women.
In 1995, Newsweek named her one of the “Top 50 People Who Matter Most on the Internet” after she founded the first woman-owned, full-service Internet company, Cybergrrl, Inc. and the first global Internet networking organization for women, Webgrrls International. 
In 2009, Fast Company named her one of the “Most Powerful Women in Technology.” 
Aliza is the author of nine books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Crowdsourcing, and Mom, Incorporated. Her next book will be Social Media Engagement for Dummies.
When not speaking in other parts of the world, she lives and works out of Tok, Alaska.
[Cybergrrl Oh] 
Thank you everyone! So great to be back here. So on with QR codes!
My presentation today is not about hyping the latest and the greatest new fangled tool. It is about practical, sensible and manageable uses of technology to improve how we do things.
So let’s start with a definition of QR codes. QR codes are 2- dimensional bar codes or “quick response codes” that were originally developed by Toyota to manage automobile factory inventory. 
You need a QR code reader to scan QR codes. I’m on an iPhone and use Scan from and also Paperlinks from
Just as we adopted Web technology from a tool created for and used by scientists, we have adopted QR codes that were made for machine parts tracking.
So do QR codes work? Well, like any tech tool, only if you use them well. Thoughtfully and strategically. QR codes can be a way to bridge online and offline efforts, real world “hyperlinks” that can instantly transport a person to your online resources, to online actions, all tied to your goals. Not transport like going inworld necessarily, of course!
QR codes should not be random or spontaneous afterthoughts to your marketing efforts. They should be thoughtfully planned, lead you to a mobile friendly destination and enhance an overall experience. Above all, they should be easy to use.
You need the right tools in place to create, manage and track the code. You need to think through the experience for the end user.
Your QR code can lead to a website, blog, social network. Marketing collateral, signs, banners, promotional items, attire and accessories. A quick poll or subscription form. A petition to sign. A video or audio file. Even a mobile and friendly donation trigger. Although there are still challenges with mobile donations.
You can put QR codes on any flat surface you can print and I emphasize FLAT surface. The readable parts of the code need to be even for a reader to pick them up.
They aren’t perfect, and the black and white versions aren’t really that pretty. But… They don’t have to be plain. Custom QR codes created by a designer familiar with the hot spots of the code can make them more attractive.
Yes, I love these! FYI, the ones on display around here were done by Paperlinks. Colors and shapes. Custom are not free, no. But to get a QR code in B&W, yes, free.
Now on to some quick examples. So let’s looks at what works and what doesn’t. The bad ones first.
This is one on a potted plant at the grocery store. So many possibilities. I was hoping for instructions on how to care for the plant but… 
Here is where it leads. Not mobile friendly, not readable.
This is the peril of MANY QR codes. They lead to a website that isn’t optimized for a mobile device. Hard to read and navigate.

Here is a QR code on a necklace. Looks cool
Here is where it leads. Not that exciting. They are showing that you can lead to text but…boring!

Here is a poster in a mall. For Tandy Leather Factory.
Here is where it leads. Almost a good experience because there is a video that can be played. Usually you want to link to YouTube for fast video play. Second best is linking to website with video embedded.

Nonprofit organizations can incorporate QR codes into their marketing mix, but need to be wary of misusing or over-using them in ways that don’t lead to positive returns.
Here is a QR code for Fashion Group International Toronto. They put these up on signs at events. I love QR codes on signs at events. I always pull out my iPhone to scan them to see where they lead. This is great for tradeshows, conferences, gatherings of any kind. 9 times out of 10 they go to unfriendly sites, meaning NOT mobile.
So here is where this one leads. 
At every event, this organization uploads a PDF program of the event – a takeaway. Then they place QR codes on signs at the event. Attendees can access the slides on their mobile device. It is pretty legible and our smartphones can now read PDFs so this works.

The Big Wild conservation group in Canada put up signs around town with QR codes. I’m forgetting which Canadian town but they did this to attract attention and start people talking. They were looking to build awareness of an issue. These signs were attractive and strategically placed in downtown. 
The QR code led people to a petition they could sign. Pretty mobile friendly as far as forms go. I’ve used this tactic for clients of mine. In store signs and at event signs with QR codes that lead to an email signup.

The South Carolina Auditorium had signs and stickers with a code for a contest. The more you checked in and signed up, the more chances you had to win a year membership to the aquarium and a chance to get close to an albino alligator. 
The contest only went on for a certain amount of time. This can be risky if you use the wrong QR code generator. Because your QR code will always be coded to go to the same place. The code representing a URL remains that URL. BUT if you create the code with a tool that you can change what is behind it, you can modify content and keep the code fresh Paperlinks is a service that does that for you. After the contest, the QR code still exists but goes to the home page of a mobile friendly site for the aquarium.
I once saw a QR code on a Heinz Ketchup bottle for a contest. After the contest, scanning it led you to a note that said “Contest Over.” Boo Hiss. Totally a waste and not thought through at all.
Here are things to remember when using QR codes:
  • What are your goals? 
  • What actions do you want people to take?
  • Where will you lead them? 
  • What should their experience be?
  • And how will you measure results?
You can make QR codes for free in many many ways. 
  • A very easy way is via Whenever you make a short URL via, you can access an automatically created QR code by adding .qr at the end of the URL. I believe that is how you access it. And because you can access analytics for your, you get them for the code, too.
  • Kaywa is another
  • I like Paperlinks because you get a modular mobile site that you can modify any time. Some have costs like Paperlinks if you use their mobile sites.
There are SO many ways to create them but look for reputable companies and ones that offer more than just the code.
Oh, and if you need a reader: Scan from and also Paperlinks from Android users can use Scan as well or also Red Laser.
OK, I’ve rambled on enough about this – questions? Comments?
          Treacle (treacle.darlandes): Interesting, thanks. My first experience of what they really are.
          Dage Yven: and cods for an artists – artworks?
[Cybergrrl Oh] 
Interesting Treacle! I hope this made sense. They aren’t the most amazing thing in the world but they can be quite useful.
Any time you have something physical – like a CD or DVD or packaging – you can place a QR code on that and then lead to a website or a video or other multimedia placed online. I really like the concept of Hyperlinks in the Real World.
         Irisgrl Saphir: Wow, really explained how we can use QR to work for us…..more powerful things than I thought!
[Cybergrrl Oh] Irisgrl – they can be if you use them well.
         Irisgrl Saphir: “well” being the operative word!
         Pastor Lynne (lynne.applewhyte): This is cool. I can see how this would be more useful for my tutoring business than the tear off things on the posters.
         Beth Ghostraven: You could put up a sign in SL w/ a QR code
         Glitteractica Cookie: gr8 idea a SL sign with a QR code
[Cybergrrl Oh] I’ve seen great uses of QR codes on websites – leading straight to a company’s mobile app. And a QR code inworld has many possibilities. We all have our smartphones nearby it seems as we are on the computer.
         Brielle Coronet: so if people don’t know about how to get these codes whats a very user friendly site to recommend to download?
         Glitteractica Cookie: Are they difficult to create? Sorry i had to step away from my screen, so may have missed you talking about this. Did you already include a link of your fave sites?
         Irisgrl Saphir: gotta trust the QR maker site, though
[Cybergrrl Oh] 
Glitter – not at all! You just go to a site that generates them and type in the content. QR codes can be text or even a phone number you can then call instantly. Even Google has a QR code generator.
Here are my fave sites: Paperlinks yes, and just starting to use You do want to make sure you use a reputable company. 
For the colored codes, some free generators let you pic colors. For the designed codes, you need a graphic designer who really really knows their stuff. You can mess up a code. There are hot spots on a QR code that cannot be messed with or the code is inactive.
         Irisgrl Saphir: This opens new worlds!
         Grizzla (grizzla.pixelmaid): Sorry – did you answer this already – what mobile apps will let a person “read” the code?
[Cybergrrl Oh] Yes here are some scanners to use. I’m on an iPhone and use Scan from and also Paperlinks from Android users can use Scan as well or also Red Laser.
         Glitteractica Cookie: There are many QRcode scan reader apps for free on the iphone
[Cybergrrl Oh] Many indeed. But not all work very well.
Eric Rice: The first stage of the QR Code driveway
         Rhiannon Chatnoir: the most ‘out of the box’ use of a QRcode, is from another web/media pioneer and once SL’er .. Eric Rice (Spin Martin in SL) who used paving stones to createa QR code of his driveway so that it could be seen from Google Maps
[Cybergrrl Oh] Rhiannon – that is so cool! I’ve seen QR codes on cookies! Some even have lights on them so you can light up the code to read better
         Beth Ghostraven: I guess you’d print them on the icing like a photo
         Brielle Coronet: ooo i like that
         Dage Yven: Is it new epoch for speed of an informations?
[Cybergrrl Oh] 
My client Wine Sisterhood just came out with a QR code scanner – should be in app store this week or next. It works really well and is free. They have QR codes on all of their wine labels and they all lead to Paperlink sites. And their campaigns lead to wufoo forms to sign up for things. Mobile friendly is the key!
And please scan some of the codes you see around. The codes you see are by Paperlinks.
         Rhiannon Chatnoir: if we think on the ideas of storytelling.. you could use it as an innovative way to direct someone in a physical location to the next step of a online/digital story or game even
[Cybergrrl Oh] Definitely great to integrate into a story, a process, an exploration
         CarmenLittleFawn: yes it is
         Brielle Coronet: do you know if survey monkey has this capability?
         Rhiannon Chatnoir: Brielle, not built into Survey Monkey, but you could use something like paperlinks and have it point to a survey
[Cybergrrl Oh] If the survey or quick poll is mobile friendly, just take the URL and put into any good QR code generator. Paperlinks is if you need a more robust mobile site.
         Glitteractica Cookie: I just read that Cybergrrl Oh started the first woman owned internet company! Go CyberGrrl!! We are in the company of royalty. You are too young for this all to be true, not that we don’t believe you, but you look too young!
[Cybergrrl Oh] haha – yes, that is true. thank you!
         Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes and published your first Internet focused book in the mid 90s… 96/7?
[Cybergrrl Oh] yes, Cybergrrl: A Woman’s Guide to the World Wide Web. I was on the Internet back in 1987. I was on the Internet women women made up 10% of the Internet population.
         Irisgrl Saphir: Off to meet with Commission Chair; taking business card with our Facebook Page QR code on it to demo. Thanks!
         Glitteractica Cookie: Bye Cybergrrl, great info.. really interesting
[Cybergrrl Oh] Thanks Glitter
         Glitteractica Cookie: thanks to YOU!
         Serene Jewell: Thanks for the info, Aliza. Gave me some good ideas for using QR codes at events.
         Brielle Coronet: terrific presentation! i learned a lot
         Treacle (treacle.darlandes): Yes thank you Cybergrrl
         Irisgrl Saphir: Applauding wildly!
         Buffy Beale: thanks for coming Cyber, you’re a great role model for women in tech
         Coughran Mayo: Thank you!
         Serene Jewell: Great to see you again, Cybergrrl.
         Gentle Heron: Thanks Cybergrrl. Very interesting information.
         Chayenn: great
         CarmenLittleFawn: much appreciated 🙂
[Cybergrrl Oh] You can email me any time with questions at Really grateful for this opportunity to share with all of you. Thank you! 

If you took any pictures of this event, please share them on the NonProfit Commons Facebook group: or G+ Community:, tag them #NPSL and tag your avatars in any photos posted!

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly QR Code for the February 22nd NonProfit Commons Meeting

This Friday, February 22nd, Nonprofit Commons is happy to feature web pioneer Aliza Sherman (Cybergrrl Oh) who will take us on an interactive exploration of QR code marketing. QR Codes can be a compelling and effective marketing tool when used thoughtfully and integrated carefully into a campaign. Nonprofits can benefit from incorporating QR codes appropriately into marketing collateral and communications flow, especially to bridge offline with online actions. Learn some of the best tools for generating and managing your QR code efforts and see some examples of QR codes, both effective and ineffective ones. 



Aliza Sherman is a Web pioneer with a mission to empower people through technology. She is a digital marketing strategist who has been online since 1987 and consulting clients about the Internet since 1992. She speaks around the world and writes about online, social media, and mobile marketing, as well as tech and business issues specific to women. 


In 1995, Newsweek named her one of the  “Top 50 People Who Matter Most on the Internet” after she founded the first woman-owned, full-service Internet company, Cybergrrl, Inc. and the first global Internet networking organization for women, Webgrrls International. 


In 2009, Fast Company named her one of the “Most Powerful Women in Technology.” 


Aliza is the author of nine books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Crowdsourcing, and Mom, Incorporated. Her next book will be Social Media Engagement for Dummies.


When not speaking in other parts of the world, she lives and works out of Tok, Alaska.


Join us in Second Life!


Nonprofit Commons Weekly Meeting

Friday, February 22nd, 8:30 AM SLT / PST

Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheater 



  • 8:30 am Introductions
  • 8:40 am TechSoup Announcements
  • 8:45 am Mentors Central
  • 8:55 am Aliza Sherman: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly QR Code
  • 9:30 am Open Mic / Announcements


The mission of the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life is to create a community for nonprofits to explore and learn about virtual worlds, foster connections, and discover the many ways in which nonprofits might utilize the unique environment of Second Life to achieve their missions.

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir

NPC 2/15/13 Featured Presentation: Community Partnership Development Through Hackathons

Below is an edited transcript of the 2/15/13 NonProfit Commons in Second Life meeting, featuring Lyre Calliope on Community Partnership Development through Hackathons. To view the full transcript, go HERE.

Today we have as our featured presenter Lyre Calliope who will be discussing how hackathons can be used to develop community partnerships and for social good.
Bio: Lyre Calliope’s mission is to assist in the emergence of a globally collaborative society. His first work experiences came as a volunteer for futures oriented non-profit organizations where he was exposed to cutting edge thought leadership, technology, and had his first experiences as a community organizer. Lyre began applying these experiences in 2006 through work as a social media consultant in an Atlanta-based agency called ConceptHub where he learned how business ecosystems operate and just how challenging they can be when faced with change. In 2010 he cofounded C4 Atlanta, a non-profit organization dedicated to stewarding Atlanta’s creative economy by helping arts entrepreneurs build successful careers. Now in Boston, he’s turned his efforts toward growing an ecosystem of open innovation practitioners that learn and build in the Commons.
Let’s welcome up Lyre, please take a seat and start whenever you are ready.
[Lyre Calliope]
Thanks for inviting me back Rhiannon! It’s great to jump back inworld. 🙂
For some time I’ve been worried about how accelerating technological change also accelerates gaps within society: income, literacy, social equity, etc. ‘Disruptive innovation’ is often seen as the most valuable form of innovation, but there has to be a place for constructive innovation. There has to be a way in which innovation can occur that doesn’t disrupt whole communities, industries, or even economies.
How do we approach innovation as an act of renovation?
I believe a major piece of this puzzle involves tying technological advancement to learning. This is exactly what happens at hackathons.
So, what is a hackathon?
A hackathon is an event in which people involved in software development come together to collaborate on projects. They usually last one to two days, but weeklong hackathons are not unknown. The goals of hackathons can vary, but usually the aim is to develop working software. Hackathons usually have a theme such as a specific programming language, a product category, a community, an industry, or a problem space. You can think of a hackathon as a programming marathon.
As the number of API (Application Programming Interface) based companies have grown, the number of hackathons has gone up as a means of marketing their developer focused products. Some developers think there are too many hackathons. There’s also the problem that good software takes time and few finished products ever come out of them. As a result, hackathons are seen by many people as superficial. This is understandable when finished products are seen as the outcome.
The real value from hackathons comes not from software developed, but from learning: the new connections made neurally, socially, and webbily.
Done right, hackathons enable communities of practice to form. Communities of open innovation practitioners.
Arthur C. Clarke famously said: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Well, hackthons are like the new Hogwarts. They’re where you go to learn new magic.
So let’s talk about purpose driven hackathons.
After Hurricane Sandy, I began volunteering for CrisisCommons, a non-profit organization that stewards the CrisisCamp hackathons it grew from. CrisisCamps convene globally whenever there is a natural disaster to apply open source and open data capacities to disaster recovery efforts. More than just software developers, people of all stripes are invited to participate in data management tasks, communications, etc.
One of the lessons I’ve learned over the past few months is that unlike traditional hackathons in which developers start working on projects from the very beginning, CrisisCamps require something of an R&D process. The problems faced by crisis responders are unique, and often happen in real time. A successful CrisisCamp invites subject matter experts to share their knowledge and help guide the discovery process that informs the design and development of solutions.
At the end of a hackathon, it’s customary for groups to demo the projects that they have been working on.. even if their projects are only prototypes or mockups. During these demos, there’s often an a-ha moment that comes when subject matter experts see what is technologically possible. This can open doors to new opportunities for change within the organizations these subject matter experts operate in.
The division of labor for a team at the typical hackathon falls between designers working on the user interface systems and developers working on the back-end logic systems. For the purpose-driven hackathon, I’d like to add a third category of team participant: Storytellers facilitating problem discovery and solution documentation.
I imagine many of you hear actively identify as storytellers. 🙂
By introducing the storytelling role into the mix, hackathons can become a learning opportunity open to a much wider group of people. There’s a lot more that I’d love to say about the importance of storytelling in purpose-driven hackathons, but I should talk a bit about the role of data.
Innovation during the past decade can be largely attributed to the Open Source movement. Innovation during the next decade will be all about Open Data.
At the center of hackathon culture is the use of APIs: Application Programming Interfaces. APIs enable the flow of data between Apps and organizational infrastructures in a secure, structured, and accessible way. You may or may not realize it, but all of us are constantly using APIs every day. They are kind of like the web, but for all our apps. 21st century organizational partnerships are built through the exchange of data via APIs.
I could easily have spent this entire time just talking about the role of APIs play in facilitating powerful partnerships between organizations, but then the community learning piece would have been lost!
One of the best ways to really understand APIs if you’re not a techie is to go to a hackathon and help put them into action! Making is learning, and we learn best when we make together. The last thing the world needs is more Instagrams and Pinterests. Unfortunately, software developers are too often isolated from communities with real problems to solve. 
Hackathons are the forums where bridges can be built to engage software developers in civic and purpose-driven problem solving. Hackathons are the place where communities can come together to not only learn where information technology is going, but actually direct its advancement toward solving the real-world problems they face.
That’s all I have prepared, but I can go into more detail and fish out some relevant links if ya’ll are interested. So, questions? 🙂

     CarmenLittleFawn: how can a story teller get involved?


[Lyre Calliope]
First thing that brings real value: documentation. Most software developers hate creating documentation, but it’s really important for encoding knowledge as well as engaging others in building forward. Second, facilitating conversation and understanding with subject matter experts and helping developers think through application logic. Btw, when I say subject matter experts, I mean people with pain points within communities.

     Jen (jenelle.levenque): Made my living as translator between engineering and users

     Ozma Malibu: so the storyteller can interpret the problems to the designers and developers, and the storyteller can have the vision of a solution that holds everything together (yes Jen – I made my living similarly as translator but in education) 

     Ozma Malibu: Pain points! I had not heard that expression. very useful way to see the problem.

     Glitteractica Cookie: My new work with Carvanstudios will be largely focused on hackthons and apps that come out of them. Lyre and the rest of you… @caravanstudios is our twitter handle. You may be interested in this hacker helper wiki: which identifies the probelms and gives corresponding data to hackers who build apps to help solve civis problems. We are hoping ppl add to the hacker helper wiki and edit it if they see fit.

     Jen (jenelle.levenque): QUESTION: How do we find out about hackathons and what their focus is?

     Gentle Heron wonders if there is somewhere a master list of upcoming hackathons and topics?

     Glitteractica Cookie: there are thousands of hackathons going on, so I doubt there is one master list

[Lyre Calliope]
As for where to find out about hackathons, there are community calendars you can find. A friend of mine is trying to compile a semi-master list and I’ll share that link. Honestly, I’d try! Enter the social stream where developers reside and ask them where the hackathon calanders are. 🙂

     Rhiannon Chatnoir: I have a question, how could you seem something like a Hackathon being carried out within a virtual space such as Second Life or otherwise, and within communities like NPC.


[Lyre Calliope]
So, the great thing about open source tools is that they allow for productive time and space displacement. Which makes them even more powerful when you get people together at the same time.
As long as you get people together within the same headspace and have effective communication channels in place, you’re good to go.
Horror story:
After Hurricane Sandy, I was at the MIT Media Lab at the local CrisisCamp while at least a dozen other hackathons were ongoing around the world. All sharing waaaaayyyyy too many communications channels. It didn’t just disrupt our ability to work with other events, it disrupted our room.
The physical space was disrupted by too much virtual distraction.

     Rhiannon Chatnoir: so collaborative presence is key – even if virtual

     Frans Charming: You know some the relief fundraising we did and do in SL can be viewed as a hackaton. Thinking back on the once I was involved in, though less about providing data/program.

     Jen (jenelle.levenque): The key word with communications was EFFECTIVE.

[Lyre Calliope]
So yes. Collaborative presence. 🙂
And by past experience, hacking in second life is second only to actual physical presence.
Incidentally, hackathons are a great way for organizations to support their communities.
The presence enables conversations that wouldn’t occur otherwise. Fast looping and iteration. And helps form that core engaged community that supports itself. Kind of like what used to happen in the old days of yore right here.
One other comment! 
I’m a big fan of inter-organizational collaboration. Communities exist between organizations. Hackathons are a great way to bring multiple organizations together and learning how their communities not only intersect, but can help facilitate organizational partnerships out in the open.
Like I said, it’s like Hogwarts! Especially for non-api savvy types.

     Rhiannon Chatnoir: Any other questions for Lyre on Hackathons or how this could fit witing your org/mission? And, I have a question for all of you… what are your thoughts on somehow organizing a virtual hackathon?

     CarmenLittleFawn: I would be interested in seeing how it would fit my organization

     Jen (jenelle.levenque): Been mulling that over

     Dancers Yao: sounds good….would like to learn more about this

     Buffy Beale: I think it would be fun and interesting for those non-api savvy types too

     CarmenLittleFawn: I would love it all though I am not a programmer but a storyteller

[Lyre Calliope] 
Storytelling is the original programming.

     Jen (jenelle.levenque): Someone needs to provide the story that shows the need to be addressed

     CarmenLittleFawn: I would love too If I knew how I have a idea I would love to implement

     Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes, the issue/mission/storyline comes first

     CarmenLittleFawn: I can provide a story that show needs

     Rhiannon Chatnoir: maybe we can work on that to come

     Glitteractica Cookie: Are any of you going to build an app or enter an already built app to the win8 apps for social benefit contest?

     Dancers Yao: want to enter…but it is at storytellng level

     CarynTopia Silvercloud: I have an idea but don’t know how to get it actualized

     Glitteractica Cookie: caryn, if you want to post yr idea to the wiki, we could maybe add the data to help a hacker build it


[Lyre Calliope]
And just as important as storytelling around need, is storytelling the activity at the hackathon. Publishing ideas, hypothesis, ideas and hypothesis thrown out for new ones.. code prototypes that didn’t pan out.. all valuable stories.

     Rhiannon Chatnoir: so let’s thank Lyre for presenting today! Great to see you back in Second Life. and maybe we can drag you back if we can get a hackathon going 🙂

[Lyre Calliope] 
Any time! I’m totally in!

     Gentle Heron: Thank you Lyre. I learned a new word for “collaborative work” 

     CarynTopia Silvercloud: very interesting presentation

     Buffy Beale: cheering! thanks Lyre

     Glitteractica Cookie: Thanks Lyre! You are great

     Beth Ghostraven: yay! Thanks, Lyre!

     CarynTopia Silvercloud: would love to check out a hackathon

     Jen (jenelle.levenque): Thank you Lyre, I was totally mystified about hackathons til today


[Lyre Calliope] 
I’m still mystified. 😉

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir

Community Partnership Development through Hackathons for the February 15th NonProfit Commons Meeting

This Friday, February 15th, Nonprofit Commons is happy to feature Lyre Calliope who will be discussing how hackathons can be used to develop community partnerships and for social good. Hackathons are a staple of open source development culture and have gained in popularity as marketing channels for businesses offering API (Application Programming Interface) products to software developers. At their best, hackathons represent opportunities for collaborative learning that spans communities. Hackathons are a core building block in modern civic engagement and he will share with us what he has learned thus far as a participant and organizer in holding hackathons for developing impactful community partnerships.


Bio:  Lyre Calliope’s mission is to assist in the emergence of a globally collaborative society. His first work experiences came as a volunteer for futures oriented non-profit  organizations where he was exposed to cutting edge thought leadership, technology, and had his first experiences as a community organizer. Lyre began applying these experiences in 2006 through work as a social media consultant in an Atlanta-based agency called ConceptHub where he learned how business ecosystems operate and just how challenging they can be when faced with change. In 2010 he cofounded C4 Atlanta, a non-profit organization dedicated to stewarding Atlanta’s creative economy by helping arts entrepreneurs build successful careers. Now in Boston, he’s turned his efforts toward growing an ecosystem of open innovation practitioners that learn and build in the Commons.


Join us in Second Life!


Nonprofit Commons Weekly Meeting

Friday, February 15th, 8:30 AM SLT / PST

Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheater




  • 8:30 am Introductions
  • 8:40 am TechSoup Announcements
  • 8:45 am Mentors Central
  • 8:55 am Lyre Calliope: Community Partnership Development through Hackathons
  • 9:30 am Open Mic / Announcements


The mission of the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life is to create a community for nonprofits to explore and learn about virtual worlds, foster connections, and discover the many ways in which nonprofits might utilize the unique environment of Second Life to achieve their missions.

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir

Transcript of the February 8th NPC Meeting featuring Robert L. Todd

[08:33] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Welcome everyone to this week’s Nonprofit Commons Weekly Meeting!

[08:33] Oronoque Westland: @ Rhiannon, many thanks

[08:33] Rhiannon Chatnoir: The Nonprofit Commons in Second Life is sponsored by TechSoup Global and is a program of the TechSoup Global Community & Social Media team



 • 8:30 am Introductions

 • 8:40 am TechSoup Announcements

 • 8:45 am Mentors Central

 • 8:55 am Robert L. Todd: BreakThru: Virtual Mentoring for STEM Education

 • 9:30 am Open Mic / Announcements


[08:34] Rhiannon Chatnoir: First a few links to start off the meeting. 


Here are the many ways to can get involved with the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life:


– Nonprofit Commons Blog:

– Wiki:

– Twitter:

– Facebook:

– G+ Community: 

– Google Group:

– Google Calendar:



About TechSoup the sponsors of the Nonprofit Commons:






[08:34] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Hello everyone, let’s start off with Introductions!

[08:34] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Please state your real name, location, org, and the ways we can find you online.

And if you are new to NonProfit Commons, how you found about today’s meeting.

[08:34] Buffy Beale: Buffy Bye, Bridges for Women, Victoria BC Canada, @bridges4women

[08:34] Zinnia Zauber: Renne Emiko Brock-Richmond, Sequim Humanities and Arts Alliance and Peninsula College, Sequim, Olympic Peninsula, Washington. @renneemiko

[08:34] Dancers Yao: Kara Bennett, Elder Voices, Los Angeles, CA Human Rights and Health care

[08:34] Andy Evans: Andy Mallon, First Opinions Panel in SL & Social Research Foundation, NYC in RL

[08:34] Ronnie Rhode: Denise Harrison, The Garden for the Missing featuring missing persons: and SLURL Remora (203,148,21), Project Jason, assistance for families of the missing,

[08:35] Gentle Heron: Virtual Ability, Inc.

[08:35] Oronoque Westland: Roberta Kilkenny, Hunter College, City University of New York

[08:35] Keko Heckroth: Keith Jones, Cincinnati, OH. Adult and tech ed

[08:35] CarynTopia Silvercloud: Caryn Heilman of Topia Arts Center based in the Berkshires of NW, MA coming to you from NYC today. @TopiaArtsCenter

[08:35] Grizzla (grizzla.pixelmaid): Chris Robinson, metro Atlanta, Georgia Gwinnett College, Virtual Assistant

[08:35] Glitteractica Cookie: Susan Tenby, Director, Online community and Social Media Team, TechSoup Global, San Francisco, CA USA @suzboop @techsoup @caravanstudios @npsl

[08:35] Frans Charming: Jeroen Frans,, Amsterdam, @Frans

[08:35] CarmenLittleFawn: Lorna Hawkins, Drive By Agony/Keeping Kids Safe, Los Angeles California, Executive Director, GM everybody 🙂

[08:35] Beth Ghostraven: Beth O’Connell, middle school librarian in RL and owner of the Book and Tankard Pub in Victoria City, Caledon

[08:35] Coughran Mayo: Dick Dillon, Innovaision, LLC St. Louis MO @Coughran, @Innovaision

[08:35] Chayenn: Monique Richert, Protect Yourself 1, Inc., Baltimore Maryland,,, @PY1US

[08:35] Rhiannon Chatnoir is Joyce Bettencourt, Boston MA area (about to hit by the snowpocalypse), online community manager of NonProfit Commons,, @rhiannonSL

[08:35] Brena Benoir: Brenda Bryan, Preferred Family Healthcare, Kirksville, MO, @brenabenoir

[08:36] Rhiannon Chatnoir: any other introductions

[08:36] ditto (dikori): Iam ditto and found out about this group by just goin g through the picks

[08:36] Frans Charming: Welcome Ditto

[08:36] CarmenLittleFawn: Hi ditto

[08:37] ditto (dikori): thanks

[08:37] ditto (dikori): hi all of you

[08:37] Rhiannon Chatnoir: welcome ditto, and anyone else new here

[08:37] CarmenLittleFawn: yvw nice to have you with us Ditto

[08:37] Kali Pizzaro: me

[08:37] Kali Pizzaro: sorry kepp trying to get here

[08:37] Beth Ghostraven: Has anyone announced that the chat will be public after the meeting?

[08:37] Ozma Malibu: Sandra Andrews, Floaters Tech Outreach & Floaters Gallery, Arizona, Mexico and On the Road, @ozma.

[08:38] Rhiannon Chatnoir: no, but a good time to, we do archive the chat of this meeting so that we can publish our weekly meetings online

[08:38] Glitteractica Cookie: although I’m not sure we are actually doing that every week on our wiki these days, are we?

[08:38] Adalace Jewell: RoSa Library & Documentation Centre, Brussels, Belgium. @adalace

[08:39] Rhiannon Chatnoir: well the chat log ends up on as the archive post

[08:39] Glitteractica Cookie: we used to but I havne’t been keeping up on whether it happens every week. Also not sure it was read by many folks

[08:39] Glitteractica Cookie: oh ok, cool. Rhiannon is such a rockstar, I tell you. She does all these things to keep this community running that we don’t even know

[08:39] Glitteractica Cookie: and she is super humble too. 🙂 We are lucky

[08:40] CarmenLittleFawn: 🙂

[08:40] Rhiannon Chatnoir: thank you – like a lot of long time people here.. we believe in the NPC community

[08:40] Beth Ghostraven: If anyone wants the URL for the chat later, let me know; I put it on my Google docs, but it’s not public unless you know the URL

[08:40] Frans Charming: yay Rhiannon

[08:40] Rhiannon Chatnoir: so let’s move on





[08:40] Rhiannon Chatnoir: It is time for TechSoup Announcements!

[08:40] Glitteractica Cookie: Yes, I have the announcements: Have you been using the new Google+ communities for your social good work? Sound off in our forums:


And remember, your input in our forums is always welcome. We know you all are super smart and have lots of techie know-how, so please share it with nonprofits, charities, NGOs, and libraries who have questions! 


Next week on February 12, TechSoup’s Jim Lynch will be following in the footsteps of our own Glitteractica Cookie to testify in front of Congress, specifically with the US House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. He’ll be covering e-waste environmental policy, including the work being done in the humanitarian refurbishment field. More about the Committee here: and Jim may stop by at a future meeting to talk about the experience.


And speaking of TechSoup speaking engagements, back in November Chris Worman, director of communications and special projects for TechSoup Europe, presented:

[08:41] Glitteractica Cookie: Civil Society as We Know It” at TEDx Bucharest. It’s a short talk, but very cool. Watch it here:


And lastly, The Windows 8 Apps for Social Good contest deadline is fast approaching! Submit by February 28 and win the prize to hatch your bright idea. If the notion of using technology to help others – and win some cash in the process – excites you, this is your contest. Your creativity plus the capabilities of Windows 8 equals a world of inspired solutions to real world problems. 


Read more about the contest:

See what makes an ideal submission:

Check out all the submissions to date in the Project Gallery:


[08:41] Gentle Heron: QUESTION: What is meant by “humanitarian refurbishment”?

[08:42] Glitteractica Cookie: And as you are reading all of that… I wanted to let you know that teh WIn8 contest is still accepting submissions, and btw you all (my friends) and me… There are not that many submissions

[08:42] Glitteractica Cookie: so if you know how to design a win8 app, or know anyone who does, please enter

[08:42] Glitteractica Cookie: and we also need folks to look at our hacker helper wiki. I mentioned this before

[08:42] Glitteractica Cookie:

[08:43] Glitteractica Cookie: This is a wiki to help those who are building apps to solve problems in civil society

[08:43] Glitteractica Cookie: please take a minute, so we can see if you think the data we grabbed is right, if you have additional info or links, please do not hesitate to add them, edit the wiki

[08:44] Rhiannon Chatnoir: and I think humanitarian refurbishment refers to working on solutions to recycle ewaste/electronics/etc

[08:44] Glitteractica Cookie: and if you have any questions about any of this, do not hesitate to ask

[08:44] Gentle Heron: Thanks Rhiannon… how is that humanitarian?

[08:44] Glitteractica Cookie: And if you know anyone who has a win8 app in the marketplace that would qualify as a social benefit app, tell them to submit it

[08:44] Glitteractica Cookie: Gentle, We are only relaying the announcements, as you know

[08:45] Glitteractica Cookie: We have not prepared the content

[08:45] Glitteractica Cookie: i’m happy to connect you with Jim Lynch who wrote it

[08:45] Rhiannon Chatnoir: well often ewaste pollutes soil, ground water, etc

[08:45] Gentle Heron: Thanks, I’d be interested in that Glitter.

[08:45] Glitteractica Cookie: in fact, i think he is coming here to NPC

[08:45] Rhiannon Chatnoir: so it is seen as a huge thing to combat in certain areas.. but yes, definitely follow up would be great

[08:45] Rhiannon Chatnoir: and yes, we would love to have him here

[08:45] Glitteractica Cookie: so, you can talk to him there, if you want

[08:46] Glitteractica Cookie: Rhiannon, you were on an email about this yeterday

[08:46] Glitteractica Cookie: so, let’s make sure to get him here

[08:46] Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes

[08:46] Glitteractica Cookie: he is actually the world authority on e-waste and what to do with dead electronic

[08:46] Glitteractica Cookie: he invented that stuff, computer recycling

[08:46] Glitteractica Cookie: ok, so that’s all i got

[08:46] Rhiannon Chatnoir: thanks!

[08:47] Glitteractica Cookie: sure!

[08:47] Rhiannon Chatnoir: great to have you present TechSoup stuff today

[08:47] Glitteractica Cookie: 🙂





[08:47] Rhiannon Chatnoir: so… let’s move on to Mentor’s Central!

[08:47] Glitteractica Cookie: I’ve only been working at techsoup for 13 years… it makes sense for me to present some time

[08:47] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Zinnia will be presenting for this week

[08:47] Buffy Beale: yay Z!

[08:48] Gentle Heron: Thanks Zinnia.

[08:48] Coughran Mayo: nice hat

[08:48] Zinnia Zauber: Hi there!

[08:48] Frans Charming: oh stars!

[08:48] Buffy Beale: hi Jac 🙂

[08:48] CarmenLittleFawn: Ji 😉

[08:49] Gentle Heron waves to Jacques.

[08:49] CarmenLittleFawn: Hi*

[08:49] Zinnia Zauber: Sorry, I am laggy today.

[08:49] Zinnia Zauber: Yes! Stars!

[08:49] Gentle Heron pours coffee on Zinnia’s avatar.

[08:49] Rhiannon Chatnoir: lol

[08:49] Zinnia Zauber: Thought I would remind you all that you’all are All Stars!

[08:50] Jen (jenelle.levenque): Bruce Hestley, Transgender American Veterans Association, Akron, OH,,!/TAVAUS

[08:50] Coughran Mayo: or that we are ALL stars

[08:50] Zinnia Zauber: How many of you believe you are Mentors?

[08:50] Grizzla (grizzla.pixelmaid) laughs at Gentle pouring coffee

[08:50] Gentle Heron: Officially, or unofficially? That is the question. Whether tis nobler……

[08:50] Ozma Malibu: me

[08:50] Andy Evans: If I am, I am reformed, not conservative

[08:50] Buffy Beale: me

[08:50] Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes Gentle

[08:50] Gentle Heron laughs with Andy!

[08:50] Buffy Beale: lol did you get the pic Z?

[08:51] Sister (sister.abeyante): LOL

[08:51] Zinnia Zauber: hehe

[08:51] Zinnia Zauber: I mean that you all have something to share or teach?

[08:52] Zinnia Zauber: Can you see my photos?

[08:52] Andy Evans: y

[08:52] Keko Heckroth: Yes, see them

[08:52] Zinnia Zauber: Some of you may have seen this set on Facebook this week.

[08:52] CarmenLittleFawn: y

[08:52] Grizzla (grizzla.pixelmaid): y

[08:52] Zinnia Zauber: This is from a field trip that I did with my video students.

[08:53] Zinnia Zauber: Scottius was my guest speaker.

[08:53] Gentle Heron: a fantastic artist!

[08:53] Zinnia Zauber: How many of you know Scottius?

[08:53] Gentle Heron: I own his book!

[08:53] Frans Charming does not

[08:53] Sister (sister.abeyante) raises her hand

[08:53] Gentle Heron: and he has his art exhibited right now in the Cape Able Art Gallery for Virtual Ability.

[08:53] Zinnia Zauber: He is an amazing artist!

[08:54] Zinnia Zauber: ooo yes! Gentle please share that LM!

[08:54] Gentle Heron: Cape Able (182,171,22) if you want to visit after this session.

[08:54] Zinnia Zauber: thank you!

[08:54] Zinnia Zauber: He shared his work and also took time to review my students’ projects as well.

[08:55] Zinnia Zauber: His time really meant a lot to them.

[08:55] Zinnia Zauber: And, me, of course.

[08:55] CarmenLittleFawn: nice 🙂

[08:55] Zinnia Zauber: His insight was really thoughtful.

[08:56] Zinnia Zauber: And, his work helped changed my students thoughts of how they could tell a story.

[08:56] Zinnia Zauber: We all have stories to tell here in SL.

[08:56] Zinnia Zauber: Is part of your story how you become your best self while helping others?

[08:57] Zinnia Zauber: (hint: YES!)

[08:57] CarmenLittleFawn: yess

[08:57] Zinnia Zauber: Thank you, Carmen!

[08:57] CarmenLittleFawn: heheheh

[08:57] Sister (sister.abeyante) nods

[08:57] Zinnia Zauber: So often we forget that we are information booths of amazing data and gifts.

[08:58] Zinnia Zauber: I want to encourage you all to share what you know. Pay it forward. Be Mentors!

[08:58] CarmenLittleFawn: mmhmmm

[08:58] Coughran Mayo: Where do I sign up?

[08:58] Gentle Heron: Agreed, Zinnia. We are all teachers, and we are all learners.

[08:59] Zinnia Zauber: You don’t have to wear the name tag Mentor to be one.

[08:59] CarmenLittleFawn: nods head

[08:59] Zinnia Zauber: You are already all on the list!

[08:59] Grizzla (grizzla.pixelmaid): Yep – everyone teaches – well or badly 🙂

[08:59] Sister (sister.abeyante) wonders…what are some of the topics folks here would like to learn about or share about?

[08:59] Zinnia Zauber: Yes, like it or not. We all are.

[08:59] Brena Benoir: Each one teach one

[08:59] Zinnia Zauber: Yes Sister!

[09:00] Buffy Beale: Each one teach one reach two 🙂

[09:00] Zinnia Zauber: Mentor Central is a chance to teach, share and be an ALL STAR!

[09:00] Zinnia Zauber: You don’t have to be one of the NPC Mentors to share.

[09:00] Zinnia Zauber: Think about how what you have to teach us.

[09:00] Zinnia Zauber: Tell us what you want to learn.

[09:01] Zinnia Zauber: I live on a Peninsula.

[09:01] Zinnia Zauber: We have to support each other being at the end of the road so to speak.

[09:01] CarmenLittleFawn: it can be any thing Zinnia that you want to learn ?

[09:02] Andy Evans: Is there a list of mentors and their areas of expertise so the learner can choose the right mentor?

[09:02] Rhiannon Chatnoir: anything you think useful to the community at large

[09:02] Zinnia Zauber: Virtual Worlds let’s us have the whole world at the end of the road with us.

[09:02] Zinnia Zauber: We are updating the wiki Andy with that info.

[09:02] CarmenLittleFawn: all right ty rhia

[09:02] Zinnia Zauber: Yes, anything!

[09:03] Rhiannon Chatnoir: 🙂

[09:03] CarmenLittleFawn: ok great ty Zinnia

[09:03] Zinnia Zauber: Please contact me, or any of our NPC Mentors.

[09:03] Rhiannon Chatnoir: great Zinnia

[09:04] Zinnia Zauber: Your time, ideas, and questions will expand all our brains.

[09:04] Zinnia Zauber: I am grateful for having such clever people like you to work with!

[09:04] Zinnia Zauber: Thank you all! And, please remember, you are ALL STARS!

[09:04] Frans Charming applauds

[09:05] CarmenLittleFawn: ty as well , claps

[09:05] Buffy Beale: thanks Z

[09:05] Zinnia Zauber: Get your stars in the little gift box up front.

[09:05] Keko Heckroth: Excellent

[09:05] Zinnia Zauber: Thank you!

[09:05] Rhiannon Chatnoir: thanks Zinnia.. and for bringing out your stars today

[09:05] CarmenLittleFawn: how cute, 🙂





[09:05] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Let’s move on to our Featured Presenter!

[09:05] Dancers Yao: thanks Zinnia as always…great!

[09:05] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Today we have as our featured presenter Robert L. Todd (RobertT Deluxe), who will be discussing the Georgia STEM Accessibility Alliance, BreakThru project.

[09:05] Rhiannon Chatnoir: About BreakThru:

The influence of digital media has changed the way students learn, play and socialize. As a result, researchers at Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia (UGA) have partnered to develop a virtual learning environment that combines creative avatars and social networking tools to help high school and college students with disabilities to succeed in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. The universities work alongside Georgia Perimeter College and the school systems of Georgia’s Greene, Clarke and Gwinnett counties to serve targeted students.


[09:06] Rhiannon Chatnoir: If you want to come up and take a seat Robert

[09:06] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Bio: Robert L. Todd is a Senior Research Scientist and Director of the Accessible Education and Information Laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA). His research foci include accessible web design and universal design and accessibility of science and math education. He is currently PI on NSF and Dept of Education initiatives to provide accessible virtual education to students with disabilities and train post-secondary instructors to provide accessible online science and math courses. He leads research and instructional efforts via the Institute on the usability and accessibility of online resources and is a lead designer and instructor for Georgia Tech’s Professional Education certificate courses in Creating Accessible Web Sites and Usability Engineering. He teaches graduate level courses on accessible and usable web design and evaluation through Georgia Tech. He is the creator and former PI for the web resource


[09:06] CarmenLittleFawn: welcome Robert 🙂

[09:06] Rhiannon Chatnoir: thanks Robert, start whenever you are ready

[09:06] RobertT Deluxe: Thanks, Rhiannon, I’ll let everyone take a minute to absorb all that.

[09:07] Sister (sister.abeyante) is grateful! LOL

[09:07] Gentle Heron: Welcome to NPC, Robert.

[09:07] RobertT Deluxe: And while you are scanning the chat, here is our project URL:

[09:07] Zinnia Zauber: Rah Robert!

[09:08] Rhiannon Chatnoir: if others can make sure to NOT touch the slide viewer

[09:08] Buffy Beale: yay Robert!!

[09:08] Gentle Heron: Rhiannon, lock the viewer.

[09:08] RobertT Deluxe: I’ll use the projector behind me to supplement my talk.

[09:08] Gentle Heron: Click the padlock icon on the far right side.

[09:08] CarmenLittleFawn: hehehe

[09:08] Gentle Heron: Then Robert can “touch” the padlock and you can grant him access to turn slides, but keep us from doing so.

[09:08] RobertT Deluxe: Our goal with BreakThru is to enhance STEM education for students, and lead on to STEM graduate work and employment

[09:09] Glitteractica Cookie: What is the twitter handle?

[09:10] RobertT Deluxe: We know that students with disabilities often don’t get a truly level playing field in that area, so we are using virtual mentoring (thanks for discussing mentoring, Zinnia!) to help solve that problem.

[09:10] RobertT Deluxe: And our project proves Ga Tech and UGA can actually get along. 🙂

[09:10] Gentle Heron: That is a major finding!

[09:10] RobertT Deluxe: We address all STEM education for students in high school and college

[09:10] Zinnia Zauber: 🙂

[09:11] Glitteractica Cookie: I just looked up the twitter handle @breakthruGSAA

[09:11] RobertT Deluxe: For those not familiar with STEM acronym, see behind me

[09:11] RobertT Deluxe: Thanks Cookie.

[09:11] Rhiannon Chatnoir: thanks Glitter

[09:11] RobertT Deluxe: Vesuvius (take a bow Rhiannon) has created the virtual mentoring islands which are our centerpiece

[09:12] RobertT Deluxe: BUT … we use all forms of electronic, mediated communication for the project

[09:12] RobertT Deluxe: Students choose which tools they prefer, freely

[09:12] RobertT Deluxe: SL is popular, but so are Skype and Google Hangouts, etc

[09:13] RobertT Deluxe: We base all our work on UDL principles, so we can impact students with and without disabilities

[09:13] RobertT Deluxe: Check out for info on how Universal Design can assist in learning

[09:13] Glitteractica Cookie: UDL?

[09:13] Gentle Heron: Universal Design for Learning

[09:13] RobertT Deluxe: Universal Design for Learning

[09:13] Glitteractica Cookie: thx

[09:14] RobertT Deluxe: (All, let me know if you have trouble viewing the presentation behind me, so I can fill in the details)

[09:15] RobertT Deluxe: We have several partners/test beds right now, hoping to expand with time

[09:15] RobertT Deluxe: They include:

[09:15] RobertT Deluxe: Georgia Tech with the University of Georgia as lead institutions. Georgia Perimeter College and three Georgia public school systems are also critical partners in the project.

[09:15] RobertT Deluxe: And we want to address the 3 goals behind me on the projector

[09:16] RobertT Deluxe: Retention of students, entry into STEM fields, and or course increased numbers are important

[09:17] RobertT Deluxe: The Islands created by Vesuvius focus the overall efforts, one for post secondary students, one for secondary students

[09:17] RobertT Deluxe: But identical, and connected by a bridge that is a “shared” space between all groups

[09:17] Gentle Heron: Cute metaphor… the bridge.

[09:18] RobertT Deluxe: It really is a good metaphor, and it allows us to keep security high for the under age students, while allowing all to share and help each other

[09:18] RobertT Deluxe: As Zinnia, said, mentoring can be powerful, and the program is focused on matching students with effective mentors in STEM

[09:19] RobertT Deluxe: Mentors guide students through their studies, and especially at the critical junctures

[09:19] RobertT Deluxe: Such as high school to college, college to workforce

[09:19] Kali Pizzaro: transitional periods?

[09:19] RobertT Deluxe: Yes.

[09:20] Kali Pizzaro: which can be difficult

[09:20] Kali Pizzaro: 🙂

[09:20] RobertT Deluxe: We’ve found the transitions are where the students often get lost in the shuffle

[09:20] RobertT Deluxe: Especially students who need certain accommodations for learning materials

[09:20] Gentle Heron: Students on IEP are supposed to have “transition plans” in place well before those transitions occur.

[09:21] RobertT Deluxe: Heron, they are, yes – but you’d be surprised how man are still left floundering when the arrive on campus

[09:21] RobertT Deluxe: they arrive, sorry

[09:21] Gentle Heron: No, sadly, I would not be at all surprised.

[09:21] Kali Pizzaro: Notes the use of the word ‘meant’ by Gentle

[09:22] Coughran Mayo: 🙂

[09:22] RobertT Deluxe: So we and the mentors use many tools, including video case studies shared via SL and YouTube

[09:23] RobertT Deluxe: Modeling for empowerment of the students, for example, showing them in SL and via the videos how to work with campus resources

[09:23] RobertT Deluxe: Just for one example

[09:23] RobertT Deluxe: For those who like nerdy example, this is our Theory of Change, behind me on the screen

[09:24] Josain Zsun: Will these slides be available later?

[09:24] Gentle Heron: Robert, will you please put these slides on SlideShare so we can look at them later?

[09:24] RobertT Deluxe: As a research project, we want to help all students, but we also take data every day, for analysis

[09:24] RobertT Deluxe: Yes, I certainly will share them

[09:24] Zinnia Zauber: Thank you!

[09:25] RobertT Deluxe: As you can see, there are many steps, so a focus like SL helps us to keep it “all together”

[09:25] Oronoque Westland: oooops, sorry

[09:25] RobertT Deluxe: And regarding our UDL philosophy, see this slide

[09:26] RobertT Deluxe: We want to figure out what works best for the students with specific needs, via mentoring, but also what can help ALL students succeed

[09:27] RobertT Deluxe: These are some of the benefits our preliminary data set is showing for the use of virtual world mentoring

[09:27] RobertT Deluxe: For example, we have some mentor/student pairs that are separated by oceans

[09:27] RobertT Deluxe: But now they have access to the best fit for a mentor

[09:28] RobertT Deluxe: This is a rough map of the space

[09:29] Frans Charming smiles at our map

[09:29] RobertT Deluxe: And these are examples of outside STEM sources that we have used or discussed with our students

[09:29] RobertT Deluxe: Sadly, they don’t all stay available

[09:30] RobertT Deluxe: But we guide students to other SL resources on STEM every week

[09:30] RobertT Deluxe: And if you check out our site URL, you will see many learning modules to assist students at high school and college levels

[09:30] RobertT Deluxe: Hope you can see these

[09:31] Frans Charming nods

[09:31] RobertT Deluxe: But you can find them all at

[09:31] RobertT Deluxe: Feel free to use any of those resources with students who are struggling

[09:32] RobertT Deluxe: Time is short, but I want to add we addressed many accessibility and novice log-in concerns with the help of Vesuvius

[09:32] RobertT Deluxe: Like the registration API process in the slide

[09:32] RobertT Deluxe: We’ve tried to make use of SL as, well, foolproof as possible since many students, mentors and teachers had never encountered it

[09:33] RobertT Deluxe: Just one more thing … examples of some of the accessibility challenges in SL and other media we have addressed

[09:34] RobertT Deluxe: Rhiannon, time is running out, I think I’ll let folks ask questions

[09:34] Rhiannon Chatnoir: sure, if anyone has questions for Robert

[09:34] Sister (sister.abeyante): Question: When you say you’ve “addressed” those challenges- do you mean you have found solutions that work for all in SL?

[09:34] RobertT Deluxe: (just browsing through slide and will share them all)

[09:35] Zinnia Zauber: All of this is wonderful, Robert! Thank you!

[09:35] RobertT Deluxe: In some cases, yes.

[09:35] Buffy Beale: really great info

[09:35] RobertT Deluxe: Let me show a couple of examples

[09:35] RobertT Deluxe: These are some tools we have used for very low vision/blind students

[09:36] RobertT Deluxe: Some are easy, like changing SL preferences, some hard

[09:36] RobertT Deluxe: And some, like chat instead of mic, pretty obvious

[09:36] Gentle Heron: Although that makes it difficult for those who don’t type well or at all

[09:36] RobertT Deluxe: Aha, yes, good one

[09:37] Gentle Heron: Is there a state school for the deaf and blind in Georgia?

[09:37] Kali Pizzaro: Do you allow text chat 🙂

[09:37] RobertT Deluxe: Which is why we have students experimenting with a mix of mic and chat, and also voice input tech

[09:37] Kali Pizzaro: and emoticons

[09:37] RobertT Deluxe: Text chat, yes. Students choose which forms of communication they prefer

[09:37] Rhiannon Chatnoir: text chat is allowed

[09:37] Kali Pizzaro: Q: Did I miss the methodology, is this a mixed methods

[09:38] RobertT Deluxe: Mixed methods, yes

[09:38] Kali Pizzaro: so a vast amount of data 🙂

[09:38] RobertT Deluxe: Oh, yes, I have a bottle of Excedrin on my desk to prove it

[09:38] RobertT Deluxe: 🙂

[09:38] Josain Zsun: These ideas resonate with Marc Prensky’s ‘partnerships’ in “Teaching Digital Natives”

[09:39] Zinnia Zauber: lol

[09:39] RobertT Deluxe: Zsun, can you link me to that info. I’d love to see.

[09:39] Kali Pizzaro: Reading you slide now I have found similar findings in my study – the representation of self and when to disclose or not a disability

[09:39] Gentle Heron: Robert, Kali is a researcher you will want to connect with.

[09:40] RobertT Deluxe: One of the most interesting aspects of this project – when and why do students disclose or choose not to do so

[09:40] Kali Pizzaro: 🙂

[09:40] RobertT Deluxe: Thanks for that tip … I’m very interested in pursuing

[09:40] Kali Pizzaro: I will give Gentle the $LL later

[09:40] Kali Pizzaro: 🙂

[09:41] Gentle Heron: now now Kali!

[09:41] Kali Pizzaro: lol

[09:41] Rhiannon Chatnoir: ha

[09:41] Rhiannon Chatnoir: commission eh

[09:41] Sister (sister.abeyante): I am wondering… How open is Breakthru to collaborating with other nonprofits or SL based communities that also focus on inclusion of pwd?

[09:41] RobertT Deluxe: As you can see from the board, we could spend all day discussing aspects of accommodations, but I’ll share those slides so we can all communicate about that topic later

[09:41] RobertT Deluxe: Very interested.

[09:41] Gentle Heron: QUESTION Did you use the AAAS listing of scientists with disabilities to choose your mentors? Or how did you recruit them? And how do you train mentors?

[09:41] Kali Pizzaro: excellent

[09:41] RobertT Deluxe: We know we don’t have all the answers.

[09:42] RobertT Deluxe: Just LOTS of questions.

[09:42] Sister (sister.abeyante): Great! What is your preferred means for connecting with other groups, Robert?

[09:42] RobertT Deluxe: my email:

[09:42] Sister (sister.abeyante): Thanks!

[09:42] RobertT Deluxe: Easiest way to reach me. And please do!

[09:43] RobertT Deluxe: Do we need to wrap up, Rhiannon? I think my big mouth has kept us way over time

[09:43] Josain Zsun: How does one become a STEM mentor in SL?

[09:43] Rhiannon Chatnoir: any last questions before we wrap up with Robert

[09:43] Frans Charming: I would like to add that we have been adding game based learning in to the islands, and are adding more.

[09:44] Frans Charming: One example is that we made animals interactive, and provide the students with information about the animals, and link to web resources about

[09:44] Sister (sister.abeyante): Can you provide (maybe you did and I missed it!) the LM or SLURL to the islands?

[09:44] Gentle Heron: QUESTION Did you use the AAAS listing of scientists with disabilities to choose your mentors? Or how did you recruit them? And how do you train mentors?

[09:44] Frans Charming: It’s a ongoing project and will be adding more interactivity to island, to encourage use of it.

[09:44] RobertT Deluxe: We love the animals and the other interactivity that Vesuvius is providing.

[09:44] Rhiannon Chatnoir: the islands are closed access due to privacy/minors

[09:44] Jen (jenelle.levenque): Question:How do you recruit your students?

[09:45] Gentle Heron: So Frans, you see that a major issue for these students is lack of content knowledge? Is that related to the education they received in public school?

[09:45] RobertT Deluxe: Mentor recruitment: We posted notices at Georgia Tech and UGA, and … we had an excellent response.

[09:45] Sister (sister.abeyante): Closed? So, how do new people get involved or sign up?

[09:45] RobertT Deluxe: They are grad students, faculty, and some STEM lab folks in the workforce

[09:46] RobertT Deluxe: One sec and I’ll post the contact info

[09:46] Gentle Heron: Do your mentors have disabilities?

[09:46] Beth Ghostraven: Robert, can you make the slides available online please?

[09:46] Jen (jenelle.levenque): QUESTION: Do you have anything set up to accommodate the special needs of veterans who are disabled?

[09:47] Frans Charming: Gentle, it is more about providing information/ science facts, and incorperating them in the island. I have no idea what the students knowledge is.

[09:47] Rhiannon Chatnoir: you can email Robert on possible collaborations and further questions

[09:47] Namaara MacMoragh: And how do you meet the needs of those with cognitive challenges due to brain injury?

[09:47] RobertT Deluxe: I will do so. And some mentors, yes, have disabilities, but we found students are more concerned (usually) that the STEM interest take precedence over other issues of choice

[09:47] Gentle Heron: That is an important finding, Robert!

[09:47] RobertT Deluxe: And it surprised us.

[09:48] Sister (sister.abeyante): What a wonderful opportunity to involve scientists w/ disabilities in interacting with students with disabilities, though.

[09:48] RobertT Deluxe: We have a small number of those scientists

[09:48] Rhiannon Chatnoir: let’s try to wrap up this part of the meeting, not sure on Robert’s time, but please reach out to him after this and if he is ok sharing his presentation, we will put a link to it up on

[09:48] Sister (sister.abeyante): Are you interested in recruiting more? Gentle, what’s that list you mentioned?

[09:49] Gentle Heron: oh the AAAS used to publish a listing of scientists with disabilities.

[09:49] CarmenLittleFawn: very good information and ty for sharing, wow Robert generated a lot os interest have to go I will look into this futher for sure 🙂 thanks again Robert, bye for now everybody

[09:49] Rhiannon Chatnoir: If you took pictures today, please share them on our Facebook group: or G+ Community:, that would be great. Otherwise, tag them #NPSL

[09:49] RobertT Deluxe: Folks, if you are interested in being a mentor or referring someone else, you can contact Gerri Wolfe at the address above

[09:49] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Let’s thanks Robert for presenting today

[09:50] Kali Pizzaro: Fantastic and important work – good luck with the future analysis! I look forward to reading the papers

[09:50] RobertT Deluxe:

[09:50] Zinnia Zauber: Thank you Robert!





[09:50] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Let’s move on to Open Mic & Announcements

[09:50] RobertT Deluxe: Sorry I skipped a few questions, my fingers don’t move so quickly

[09:50] Gentle Heron: Thank you Robert. As you can tell, many in our audience here have a deep interest in this subject.

[09:50] Rhiannon Chatnoir: anyone have any announcements

[09:50] Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes

[09:50] Keko Heckroth: Thank you for a very informative presentation

[09:50] RobertT Deluxe: But email me for any followup … I truly want to hear

[09:50] Buffy Beale: clapping for Robert, great presentation thanks!

[09:50] Frans Charming applauds

[09:51] Gentle Heron: Oh Rhiannon, you know Virtual Ability always has announcements.

[09:51] RobertT Deluxe: Thanks, and again, keep in touch with those questions/suggestions

[09:51] Rhiannon Chatnoir: lol, then go ahead Gentle

[09:51] RobertT Deluxe:

[09:51] Rhiannon Chatnoir: yes!

[09:51] Gentle Heron: Thanks Robert, we’ll be in touch again.

[09:51] Gentle Heron: Some Virtual Ability events coming up today and this weekend:



11am SLT- Second Life’s Little Secret: A discussion with Saffia Widdershins about the age distribution in SL

Virtual Ability (53,172,23)

[09:51] Gentle Heron: TODAY!

noonSLT- What is One Billion Rising About? by Honour McMillan (It’s a world wide movement against violence experienced by women.)

Virtual Ability (53,172,23)

[09:51] Gentle Heron: TOMORROW (Sat)

8am SLT- Phelan Corrimal tells about Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE)- how it is becoming accessible, and how to participate.

Virtual Ability (53,172,23)

[09:51] Brena Benoir raises hand for open mic

[09:52] Gentle Heron: SUNDAY

noon SLT- Sister Abeyante talks about Self-Advocacy. She’s an expert!

Virtual Ability (44,138,23)

[09:52] Gentle Heron: Please join us for these and upcoming events of interest.

[09:52] Gentle Heron: (done for this week)

[09:52] Rhiannon Chatnoir: great and thanks Gentle

[09:52] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Brena, your up

[09:52] Brena Benoir: Please join us this Sunday February 10 at 6pm SLT at the Art House where Acoutisenergy Nitely will be performing

[09:53] Brena Benoir: This is a continuation of the fundraiser for ARTC, the creative arts program at PFH

[09:53] Zinnia Zauber: ART HOUSE Rocks!

[09:53] Gentle Heron: What a lovely concept!

[09:53] Brena Benoir: We will be wrapping our fundraiser up next Friday at 11am SLT where will will be doing the drawing for those who have entered

[09:54] Zinnia Zauber:

[09:54] Brena Benoir: Please join us from 11-12:30pm SLT for a the closing event, this is a PG event as we will be streaming it for the kids on the unit

[09:54] Kali Pizzaro: got to go do housework, I believe in these times of austerity that housework should have been one of the first things to be banned!

[09:54] Buffy Beale: wow that’s great Bren

[09:55] Brena Benoir: The kids have enjoyed hearing about people supporting them and encouraging their artisitc talents

[09:55] Kali Pizzaro: Take care

[09:55] Brena Benoir: We will be making a huge deal of this in RL for them and are doing a sober party while we have SL streaming and doing the drawing

[09:55] Rhiannon Chatnoir: great

[09:55] Brena Benoir: thank you for your support!

[09:55] Frans Charming: sober party?

[09:55] Zinnia Zauber: It has been wonderful to support the ARTC program!

[09:56] Zinnia Zauber: Thank you Brena!

[09:56] Brena Benoir: to celebrate their recovery efforts-they are in drug and alcohol treatment

[09:56] Frans Charming: Ah. 🙂

[09:56] Brena Benoir: 🙂

[09:56] Rhiannon Chatnoir: any other announcements

[09:57] Tori Landau raises hand

[09:57] Rhiannon Chatnoir: go Tori

[09:57] Tori Landau: Ty °͜°

[09:57] Tori Landau: Tuesday 12th at 1pm slt is the Open session, dicussion this month is, “is it love in a virtual world”:

[09:58] Tori Landau: Deep Think West (68,46,37)

[09:58] Tori Landau: and Wed 13th at 1.15pm slt for 30 mins is the drop-in

[09:58] Tori Landau: Deep Think East (224,38,32)

[09:58] Tori Landau: done °͜°

[09:59] Rhiannon Chatnoir: great

[09:59] Rhiannon Chatnoir: well let’s wrap up for this week

[09:59] Kali Pizzaro: waves bye and ‘poofs’

[09:59] Josain Zsun glad to be home sick and able to attend

[09:59] Rhiannon Chatnoir: And again, here are the many ways to can get involved with the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life:


– Nonprofit Commons Blog:

– Wiki:

– Twitter:

– Facebook:

– G+ Community: 

– Google Group:

– Google Calendar:


About TechSoup the sponsors of the Nonprofit Commons:


Thanks everyone and see you next week!


[09:59] Buffy Beale: bye Kali 🙂

[09:59] Zinnia Zauber: Great meeting!

[09:59] Sister (sister.abeyante): Thanks!

[09:59] Rhiannon Chatnoir: and thanks again Robert

[09:59] ditto (dikori): thanks bye

[09:59] RobertT Deluxe: Good to meet you all, and hello again to some of my friends out there

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir

Moving Beyond Second Life: Opportunities for Education, NonProfits & Healthcare in the Wider Metaverse, January 18th NPC Meeting

This Friday, January 18th, Nonprofit Commons is happy to feature Chris Collins (Fleep Tuque). An ardent supporter of the Second Life platform for many years, she now encourages educators, non-profits, and healthcare providers to explore the emerging metaverse outside Second Life’s walls. Fleep will discuss her own experiences running not-for-profit projects in Second Life, and what led her to explore alternative platforms like Opensimulator and Unity3D for her research at the University of Cincinnati and for personal projects like FleepGrid, an Opensim hypergrid enabled research grid. She’ll also discuss why she believes this broader approach helped AvaCon, Inc. receive 501(c)(3) status, and what this might mean for grant-based and other funding initiatives that public sector organizations rely upon.     

Chris M. Collins, Fleep Tuque in Second Life

Bio: Chris M. Collins (Fleep Tuque) is an IT Analyst at the University of Cincinnati.  Her research focuses on the use of virtual worlds, social media, and augmented reality in higher education and for remote workforce collaboration.  She founded and currently manages the Center for Simulations & Virtual Environments Research in the UC Office for Information Technology (UCIT), Instructional & Research Computing department.

In her free time, she serves on the board of AvaCon, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the growth, enhancement, and development of the metaverse, virtual worlds, augmented reality, and 3D immersive and virtual spaces. AvaCon’s primary goal is to connect and support the diverse communities and practitioners involved in co-creating and using virtual worlds, and to educate the public and our constituents about the emerging ecosystem of technologies broadly known as the metaverse.

Her other projects include running FleepGrid, a small hyperlinked research grid on the OpenSim platform, serving as Executive Director for the Chilbo Community in Second Life, and she blogs informally about the impact of technology on education, politics, and economics at Fleep’s Deep Thoughts.

Join us in Second Life!

Nonprofit Commons Weekly Meeting

Friday, January 18th, 8:30 AM SLT / PST

Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheater



  • 8:30 am Introductions
  • 8:40 am TechSoup Announcements
  • 8:45 am Mentors Central
  • 8:55 am Main Speaker: Chris Collins (Fleep Tuque)
  • 9:30 am Open Mic / Announcements

The mission of the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life is to create a community for nonprofits to explore and learn about virtual worlds, foster connections, and discover the many ways in which nonprofits might utilize the unique environment of Second Life to achieve their missions.

Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir