Interview with Kyle Reis/Zazoom Zimminy

1.  Your rl/sl name and affiliation:
Kyle Reis/Zazoom Zimminy, Board Co-Chair of the Grants Managers Network (GMN) and Assistant Manager, Program Staff Development at the Ford Foundation

2.  How did you get involved in the NP Commons?  Why?
I think I heard about it through the Technology Affinity Group.  GMN was (and still is) looking for a replacement for its online knowledge community and this seemed like one possibility.  Once I learnt about NPC and got involved, I was hooked.  It is such a great community and the possibilities for the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors are numerous.

3.   Is your work here in Second Life as an individual or are you representing the foundation?
I’m principally representing the GMN as we are on the waiting list for an office, though I’m interested as an individual and as a representative of my foundation as well.  I’m curious on behalf of my foundation because I think there are many practical applications for our foundation and for the philanthropic sector generally in SL. 
4.   Some people say that the networking opportunities – professional networking opportunities here in SL have been extraordinary.  Do you think so? If so, what advice would you give for effective professional networking in SL
The networking has been great, in large part because the Nonprofit Commons (NPC) has attracted such a great community.  But I would spin the networking aspect a bit differently in that I’ve principally met people I would normally never have met were it not for bumping into them (sometimes literally) in NPC.  The power of this type of networking is that it is has exposed me to people, ideas and communities that differ from the ones I’m normally exposed to, and this has allowed me to think about my work differently and to integrate these unique perspectives into my work for both Ford and GMN.  To use a relevant example, Dick Dillon (Coughran Mayo), recently shared with me a chapter of a book by Lynda Gratton called Hot Spots which addresses just this topic.  It says, and I quote: “Innovative value is created through novel combinations of the ideas, knowledge, and insights of people [and when] people exploit their shared expertise within their group or explore ideas, knowledge, and insights with people outside their group.”  The greatest ideas often emerge when a person reaches across the disciplinary spectrum and sees possibilities that she could or would never have seen had she not crossed the proverbial aisle.

5.   Why do you think virtual worlds like Second Life are valuable for nonprofits?
Probably the biggest value is with respect to communications.  SL enables people from all over the world to convene in an environment that breaks down the fourth wall, which in this case is the enabling technology itself.  Videoconferencing, for instance, has come a long way but everyone is ‘aware’ of the TV screens or the phones being used to bring people together.  A colleague, for instance, recently commented how she hates teleconferences because everyone in the room stares at the phone during the call.  By contrast, in SL, once you settle in, you really feel as if you are in the room with folks-even when they are “dressed” as pink cats, have wings and white mohawks, or are donning psychedelic sunglasses. The intimacy of the platform is uncanny (which is probably why so much “other” activity is going on in SL as well.)

6.   Do you think that every nonprofit should have a presence on SL or is it only appropriate for particular types of nonprofits? 
At this point I don’t.  The learning curve is too steep and the format is too unstable and the proof that it’s worth the effort is still being proved.  If the technical obstacles can be addressed (and I think they will be in due time), then I think most nonprofits and foundations will establish a virtual world presence.  I think the “should” will disappear from the equation altogether.  The only nonprofits that it won’t be appropriate for will be the ones that don’t now have a website.  I don’t know if the final landing point will be in SL or somewhere else, but right now I would put my bet on SL for the nonprofit sector at least.  The for profit sector will probably end up somewhere else like or “Virtual Google” (my coinage).  I liken the split to the PC vs. Mac dichotomy, where SL is the Apple that gets the 10-15% share of the market and pulls in all the creatives and academics.
Having said that, it’s certainly clear that there are some communities for whom it is critical to establish a presence sooner rather than later.  Nonprofits working with far flung communities that need to communicate regularly (to enable a more organic and carbon-footprint-friendly platform for communication), nonprofits working with people with disabilities (to enable interaction with others in a way that might not otherwise be possible), nonprofits working with distance education (to enable richer, more tactile interaction with students), and nonprofits in the arts (to enable folks to virtually create, manipulate and hang out in worlds they would otherwise not be able to).  However, the mantra that must guide all nonprofits working in SL (with perhaps the exception of arts) is: “In service to real life”.  SL can certainly be a means of withdrawing from the real world, but people who look at SL and summarily arrive at this conclusion are, I believe, doing themselves a disservice.

7.   You’re fairly new to SL and there is a learning curve, what advice would you give to make that learning curve easier?
1. Go about naming your avatar as you would go about naming your kids
2. Rely on the kindness of strange avatars
3. Don’t give up if you fall in the pool
4. Think of your engagement as like reaching for the gold ring on the Merry-Go-Round:  There is treasure to be found if you just keep at it.


Written by: kanter

Alazar Fauna Speaks at NpCommons Meeting Today

Alazar Fauna

Here’s transcript of remarks:

As it grows, and is ultimately sold to a consumer, this tag, with an anonymously numbered “I was Hugged” tag on it, This can be traced through an online database, so that the two parties, if they wish, can correspond about the tree, where it is planted, how it is doing, what it’s name is etc.
This raises the love and awareness of our precious tree resources and is a social networking active way to further more plantings and raise the conscious of our citizens.
Finally, Solar Energy is abundant and clean. And this is our Solar Fire Project.

Our sun does more than light our days. It provides massive quantities of energy in the form of heat, convertible photovoltaic electricity, photosynthesis, evaporation, transportation and millenia old biomass in the form of petroleum and natural gas. This is an amazing fact ! At any given time, the Sun gives our earth 174,000,000,000,000,000 watts of power. This is 174 petawatts – each and every second!

And this leads us to our latest project.

Our Solar Fire Project is a collaboration of several organizations around the world. Currently we have missions in Mexico, Spain, Latin America, Corsica and soon in Mali.

Our solar cookers and industrial strength solar ovens are built
locally from off the shelf materials.
Alazar Fauna: They can be operated very simply and require about 10 seconds of adjustment every 8 minutes. Pre-empting the need to deforest whole regions, solar power represents the future of renewable energy on small scales for individuals, families, villages and small entrepreneurs.
We have made an exhbit for Second Life concerning the use of Solar Energy.

You can see it behind me…and after this speech I will be glad to answer any questions you might have.
We are currently able to locally build solar cookers, in the poorest nations, for a family of 5 for about 175 USD and large industrial solar ovens for 500 USD. We do not believe in charity per se. Rather we feel that ownership is the key to raising the standards of living for poor entrepeneurs,at the same time as it reduces global warming and deforestation.

We target this for micro-loan programs, as the cost is easily recoverable over the time for gathering or the money required for buying wood. For instance in Mali, which is now 60% denuded of trees, and where the average daily income is $1.50, 70% of this daily wage must be spent on wood for cooking.
We hope to change this with our Solar Fire Project. There are many types of Solar Cookers. Our lead technology is the large scale Helios project. This unit can produce 4000 Watts of energy, and is useful for water purification, massive cooking, and industrial uses such as drying foods or beans, firing ceramics, making dyes and soaps. Built from local materials it has a useful life of 20 years.

lso solar distillers hold great promise to purify seawater, polluted water, brackish water and any water source that must be made drinkable. The Helios can purify 70 liters of water per hour. Enough in one day for an entire village with some left over to sell. All this from the free power of the sun!
So in conclusion, it takes all of us, in both large, and small ways, to push for the reduction of global warming.

Written by: kanter

Community Profile: Jacques Macaire/Jacmacaire Humby of HUMANBE

1. What is your rl/sl name? Can you point to RL photo?

My RL name is Jacques Macaire / and in SL jacmacaire Humby.. Our office #14 is the Non Profit Commons Island

2. What organization are your representing? What is your role?

Our Non Profit association is called HUMANBE. As a headlight which shows the way, HUMANBE, seeks to create a place of reflection, information and education about the Sustainable Development, of which the priority of the
actions are:

– informative in the field of the climate change, the control of energy, transport, as well as natural and industrial risks

– educational as regards Sustainable Development, in order to contribute to an evolution of the behaviors.

– and participatory knowledge development in proven in the evolution of the climatic changes.

But in front of the extent of work, and in order to federate the
assistance necessary, we created 2 entities:

intended to put the man at the center of our concerns and to make it change in its behaviors

intended for all those which wish to defend a more human vision of our world

3. Why is your organization doing work in Second Life? What do you hope to accomplish?

According to the research, roughly 80% of the Net surfers, like the 500 most important companies in the world, will have a second virtual life on the Web from here at 2011, and we would be wrong to deny the advantages related to this new fashion of navigation, which is at the bottom much more normal. We remain on average 11 minutes in a virtual place, against one to two minutes on a Web page.

HUMANBE wishes to give to human the possibility of applying and supporting the Sustainable Development in the true life, by trying it in SECOND LIFE, and by becoming a place of reflexion, information and education concerning the Sustainable Development. Thanks to SECOND LIFE, HUMANBE has the possibility, today, of treating the questions of the Sustainable
Development in a different way.

All the keys and the solutions are thus there, between the true life and the virtual worlds to pass in sustainable development mode and to make SECOND LIFE becomes this formidable tool for diffusion of the ideas.

4. What activities have you implemented so far? What has been the result?

It is not a long time that we are in Second Life, but thanks to the Anshe Chung Studios ( which generously donated the Non Profit Commons), TechSoup and a group of volunteer residents, we had the possibility of lowering the barrier of access to Second Life.and thanks to SECOND LIFE, we especially found the possibility of being able to explore new ideas, and finally the means of launching many project like an Eco Postive House which the objective is to produce a self-sufficing building in energy, a
Network of Humanbe Centers to carry out true places of escape, of calms, and peace, where we can relax, and discover all the richness of our human world, an Eco Label to sensitize the consumer as regards Sustainable Dévelopment, etc..

Many ideas and others projects are in preparation, and only wait for financial supports to be realized.. and it will be necessary to act quickly now to change the behaviors and to organize a world ecological governorship.

5. What advice would you offer to other nonprofifts?

If it is true that Humanbe lack assistance, and we still pain to find the funds necessary to advance, and by the same to set up certain essential projects for our activity.

In order to create positive synergies, we have the idea to simply give the possibility to other non profit to share actions together, by creating thematics maps or objects (like the Peace Monument) which gives a kind of virtual union in Second Life.

By an other way, we try also to bring our European feeling…

Written by: kanter

Community Profile: Kali Idziak Community Voice Mail

What is your name?

Kali Idziak/SL
Jessica Dally/RL
I represent Community Voice Mail and I am staff member. My job is Help Desk Technician

Why did you decide to come into Second Life?

I had been in SL just on my own for about 9 months before we came in here. We learned that SL was having more and more opportunity for non profits and then the MacArthur foundation event passed thru my ED’s hands and, knowing I’d been in here, we began to check things out for our organization

How will your nonprofit use second life?

Well… our main focus for SL is using it as a social networking tool for our nonprofit. Our nonprofit is based on a federation model, so we partner with other organizations all over the us, and hopefully the world to provide voicemail.

We’re hoping to expand our contacts with other non profits thru our use of SL and also simply to get the word out about what we do to anyone who will listen. So many folks forget that it’s quite hard, if not impossible, to get a job, an apartment, whatever, without a phone number… easily overlooked and

yet so vital. That would be our primary objective here… but we’re also trying to stay open to other possibilities as we all learn what can be done in SL
How will you realize your objective? What is your strategy? what are some nuts and bolts things you plan to do in here?

Our first real project was simply to set up the office!Now that we’re done with that there’s a bit of a lull in our involvement here as we have our RL convention this next week. From there we’re hoping to do many of the things the other non profits are doing… hold events to educate people, etc.. but mainly just being in here and talking to the other non profits has done quite a bit to get the word out to potential partners

Does your ED allow you to spend work time here?

She’s great about that but really it’s something that I can do while working hours.

What is your advice for other nonprofits about doing a project or having a presence in here?

My biggest piece of advice is to come in and just play for a bit (if you can). I can’t tell you how much my experience of “playing” has helped me with the non profit part… knowing how to interact in sl, how to do some very basic building and having some amazing friends that were able to help me immensely with set up and scripting all of these things I got from being in here a
bit, seeing how things work, before just trying to jump in… I guess, in the corporate world, it’d be called “knowing your market” and in this case knowing your reality too… what can and can’t be done… what works and what doesn’t.

Written by: kanter

What are Kids learning in Virtual Worlds?

Is your nonprofit considering doing an educational program in Virtual Worlds? Then you won’t want to miss this event.
MacArthur Foundation and Common Sense Media Forum in association with USC Center on Public Diplomacy & Global Kids, What are kids learning in Virtual Worlds? The Wonders and the Worries today, Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 6:00pm PST. This event will be streamed into Second Life at the USC Annenberg Islands and on the teen grid. There will be a separate discussion for the second life audience concluding the discussion.

This event is specifically being held to create a balanced conversation between parents, educators, researchers and media. People with an interest in child development, virtual worlds, and the effect media is having on children, will benefit from the information provided in the panel discussion.

You may have heard of Club Penguin, Whyville, The Sims, and Second Life. But, what do they mean for kids? Hear from a panel of experts as they discuss:

* What are kids really doing in virtual worlds?
* How are they learning?
* What does this mean for parents and educators?

Speakers at the event include Anastasia Goodstein, author of Totally Wired, Doug Thomas, the founding editor of an interactive media journal, Yasmin B. Kafai, an associate professor of education at UCLA and Barry Joseph, director of an online leadership program. The panel will be moderated by Jim Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media.

Written by: kanter

Barry Joseph Talks About Global Kids at NPC Meeting Today!

The highlight of today’s meeting was Barry Joseph who gave a high energy chat about his work at Global Kids. Here’s some of the transcript:

Global Kids is a NYC base educational org we work with tens around the city to develop the skills around global issues 8 years ago I founded out Online Leadership program
The Online Leadership Program combines youth development practices and world affairs with the development of high profile digital media projects to empower teens with 21st Century Skills, such as critical thinking, self-education, global knowledge, and personal empowerment.

The programs:

Virtual Video Project (VVP) The Virtual Video Project is a city-wide after-school program designed for teens interested in learning about making 3-D animated movies, global citizenship and civic engagement.

Two days a week. Global Kids computer lab.

The D.I.D.I. Initiative – The D.I.D.I. Initiative is a partnership in Second Life between Youth Venture and Global Kids to improve health and healthcare by supporting 40 groups of teens to develop social entrepreneurial projects organized within Second Life. Over 18 months, managed from the Global Kids office.

Second Life Curriculum – The Second Life Curriculum is the first public resource for using Second Life in an educational setting. It consists of over two hundred lesson plans. This fall we will offer the curriculum in a print and downloadable form, offer trainings in the new Global Kids computer lab, and start development on a comic book version using game-based learning theories.

The Second Life Science Project – Global Kids will be launching a winter/spring after school program to use Second Life to teach global issues, basic science, and computer programming. It will either be at Global Kids or Canarsie High School.

The International Justice Center – The International Justice Center in Second Life will provide a hub for raising awareness and increasing engagement around the International Criminal Court and its activities by offering educational programs, dialogues, and online and offline outreach material while supporting collaboration between individuals and organizations.

MacArthur Competitions in TSL – Global Kids will bring five areas of the MacArthur foundation into Teen Second Life — Affordable Housing, Community Change, Juvenile Justice, Global Migration and Human Mobility, and Conservation and Sustainable Development — through a year-long series of competitions
and workshops.

SL Summer Camps – Global Kids has run three summer programs within Second Life. In 2006, we took P.O.C. workshops into SL and challenged the teens to do something around an issue of their choice. In response they built a maze against child sex trafficking. This summer we ran the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) Machinima Camp for UNICEF, which taught teens about the CRC and machinima production; the teens produced ten one-minute long videos about the CRC. The second summer program was a partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in which youth from Washington, D.C., meeting at the museum, curated an exhibit about being a bystander during the Holocaust.

SL Teen Intern Program – Our new, ongoing teen intern program in Second Life is aimed at developing leadership amongst TSL residents around global and social issues.

Webcast MacArthur’s Digital Media and Learning Forums – Global Kids will stream five broadcasts into Teen Second Life, Second Life, and on the web of live public events related to current trends in digital media and learning. The first will be the upcoming MacArthur Forum on Virtual Worlds and

Learning in L.A. on November 14th – will be live in L.A. and on the USC Campus in SL.

In addition, we will be releasing our
two reports from the SLCC – one reviewing the education track and one on best practices for non-profits in Second Life. We hope to have a follow up event from the two authors – one who is hre right now! – later this month in Second Life.
Advocate for the Role of Non-Profits and Philanthropies in Virtual Worlds – Global Kids will write and publish a number papers, reports and recommendation papers on the role of non-profits and philanthropies in virtual worlds. In addition, GK will run a conference, or a thread within an existing conference, on this topic.

Written by: kanter

Support Burma in Second Life: Red T-Shirt and Vigil on Commonwealth Island


Attended the Nonprofit Commons and there was a T-Shirt giver and I got my virtual T-Shirt.  There’s also a vigil being held today organized by the Peacemaker Institute on Commonwealth Island.  Here’s the information on the notecard:

Please join us in solidarity for the monks in Burma who are beng killed and imprisoned…a meditation/vigil  will be held throughout the day on Friday the 28th  on Commonwealth island:

They are arresting and imprisoning monks- so far over 700 have been arrested.
They have raided dozens of monasteries
While the regime is stating only 9 have been killed the number is far closer to 200
They have snipers on tops of buildings to pick of the leaders
They are trying to suppress the violence.
We MUST protest!

1 – Protest – Look below for details of worldwide protests. Contact US Campaign for Burma to sign up to hold a march, vigil or any sort of event in your area- there is also a protest being held on Burning Life sim today.

2 – Spread the word – Invite your friends to this group, email all your family and friends, write to local newspapers

3 – Write to your elected official – they will respond if enough people contact them.

4 – Wear red clothes on Friday.

5 – Email the companies that still operate in Burma, their email addresses are listed here

6 – Sign up for the petition!

Written by: kanter

Meet PCOSGurl Infinity

PCOSGurl Infinity/Ashley Tabeling

Tell me about your organization

In February of 2007 I founded an organization for women and girls who are suffering with PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome. This came out of my own frustrations with gong through years of not knowing what was wrong with me and incorrect diagnosis.  Then once I got the right diagnosis, there was no information available out treatment and the condition itself.   I have been invovled with the PCOs Community online since 2000.

What is your role with the organization?

I am the chief operations officer.  We have an all-volunteer staff of 25 people who handle daily operations, support services and the creation of an PCOS community on Second Life.

Why did you decide to come into Second Life?

As our organization is trying to reach women worldwide, we are a virtual organization
It was only natural that we open offices in Second Life, which will allows us to reach these individuals in a way that may otherwise be impossible.  We now have the availibilty to bring, patients, the public and healthcare providers together on a regualr basis.

What are some of the benefits so far?

One of the greatest benefits is being able to network with like minded people and organizations
The other day, I was able to speak with a woman who runs an online medical information kiosk that I was trying to connect with.  We are finding a lot of patient support groups in Second Life.  I think it is because Second Life is a fantastic empowerment tool.

What are your current or planned activities?

We’re just getting started, but we will be distributing information, facilitating support groups, and have lectures/talks.  We will host monthly support meetings.   And, even though we’ve just gotten started, we have already seen a large influx of women with PCOS coming to SL to join our group and take part in our activities.  Additionally we are offering new SL members a weekly orientation on Project PCOS and SL and have many in-world information resources for our members.  The biggest thing is the connection.  It’s the ability for people to be able to see and interact with one another and get immediate support.

What advice would you give to other nonprofits who want to start in Second Life?

Second Life is moving non-profits in to the next era.  It enhances a nonprofit organization’s aiblity to connect, network, and provide service. The opportunities are limitless and the ability to impact the success of our real life organization is amazing.

More information at can be found at the

Written by: kanter