NetSquared Local: State of the Union

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NetSquared State of the Union

Another year, another report… But this won’t be painful. I’ll keep it short and sweet!

NetSquared Local

“NetSquared? What’s that?”

NetSquared Local is TechSoup’s volunteer-driven network of nonprofit tech meetups and salons. Our organizers (who are amazing! Give them a kiss for me!) hold monthly offline events for anyone interested in the connection of technology and social impact. They offer an opportunity to convene locally to share ideas, learn from one another and collaborate on projects for real world impact.

Stats Time!

NetSquared Local has been busy in the last fiscal year. From July 1 2012 to June 20 2013 our volunteer network has accomplished the following:

  • No.of active groups: 45

  • No. of events: 373

  • No. of attendees: 7,166

  • No. of countries with active groups: 19

  • No. of meetup.com members: 18,176

If I may be so bold I think these events are invaluable in building local #nptechcommunity capacity. Our organizers have empowered countless (because I don’t know how to count them!) community organizations and activists to become more efficient and effective at their work by leveraging technology.

Community Highlights

“Gosh, those are some big numbers, but data doesn’t move me. Give me some narrative.”

  • We invited Net2 organizers to apply for small grants last summer so that they could hold unconferences. These NetSquared Camps are a great way to build up a strong local #nptechcommunity of practice. But more importantly these events brought Net2 organizers in regions together via a travel bursary, which has the effect of strengthening their connections to the network and increasing engagement.
  • NetSquared partnered with Microsoft to hold the Windows 8 Apps for Social Good Challenge from November to April. We surfaced a bunch of interesting Windows 8 Apps.
  • NetSquared organizers were major participants in the Digital Storytelling Challenge. They held Digital Storytelling events, were the backbone of a global tweet chat, and shared the contest with their community. In fact, the winning entry came from a Net2 Vancouver member.

A Sneak Peek at the Future

The future is full of mystery, but here’s some hints.

  • NetSquared Local organizers will be descending on their communities in full social media surgeon costume this September. They’ll be creating social media for social good clinics where volunteers will offer one-on-one consulting to NGOs, activists and engaged citizens.
  • NetSquared Camps will return as part of our new focus on building regional capacity and offering opportunities for Net2 organizers to get face-to-face.
  • The NetSquared team will expand with the addition of new talent (I’m looking at you Kevin Lo and Joyce Bettencourt.)
  • We will continue to look for ways to integrate the NetSquared Local network into TechSoup Global’s projects, similar to the success of the “Digital Storytelling Challenge.”

That’s all for now, but we’re always open for questions. Give us a shout!