austin / nonprofit / nptech / open source / penguin day

Austin Penguin Day, April 28th

We are looking for nonprofits to attend, but also for technology professionals willing to present or just participate in sessions to add to the information presented.

Penguin Day Comes To Austin

Popular One Day Conference Showcasing Open Source Technology Use For Nonprofits And Communities Makes Austin Debut

Austin, a city well known for its technology-centric offerings, festivals and a motto of keeping Austin “weird” can add one more item to its growing list–Penguin Days. The popular day long convening of software developers, activists and nonprofits will take place on April 28 from 9 am to 5 pm at Ventana del Soul.

Penguin Days involve community exploration of open source software for nonprofits and helps socially-minded technologists find ways to support public interest organizations. The gathering serves to demystify open source software as an agent for social change. Open source software can be freely shared, distributed, and modified so that organizations can adapt software programs to suit their specific needs.

This is an excellent opportunity for nonprofit leaders and nonprofit technology workers to gather and learn about open source solutions to existing problems various organizations face. Participants will help drive the agenda for the day and will be able to explore, in plain English, the flexibility and savings in cost and productivity open source solutions provide.

Unique sessions feature breakout discussions and entertaining “speedgeeking” (modeled after speed-dating) to bring programmers and users together in fast-paced information exchanges. Organizers say there is a growing group of programmers who are interested in making their skills and technical knowledge available for social impact.

Jon Lebkowsky of Polycot Consulting and a local organizer of Penguin Day Austin points to the need for dialog, training and interaction to increase awareness of applications and benefits that open source technology can play in advancing nonprofit and community efforts. “Texas nonprofit and Open Source communities are obvious partners, but they don’t always make the connection. Penguin Day [Austin] will demystify the technology for the nonprofit participants, and help bring those communities together”, said Lebkowsky.

Allen Gunn (Allen Gunn of Aspiration, co-organizers of the international movement of Penguin Days, said, “Nonprofit organizations are in need of specific software to manage volunteers, raise funds, and mobilize their constituents. Open source software can be less costly for these groups. We convene Penguin Days to challenge software developers to provide flexible and useful open source software. Penguin Days also empower nonprofits to communicate their needs and be active partners in the use of open source technology.”

Penguin Day Austin is open to all community members. Registration is available online.

Notes about costs:

* $150.00 – Participants from organizations with budgets over $500,000.
* $90.00 – Individuals and participants from organizations with budgets under $500,000.
* Scholarships and sliding scale slots are available; contact Jon or Allen for more information. Please don’t let cost be a barrier to your participation.

About Penguin Days

Penguin DaySince 2004, Penguin Days have been held in Philadelphia, Portland, Oregon; London, England; Toronto, Canada, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York. Hundreds of nonprofit staff, programmers, and activists have attended Penguin Days.

The Penguin is the symbol adopted in the early days of Linux as the mascot of this growing software movement.

Penguin Day Austin is scheduled for April 28th, 2007. Other upcoming Penguin Days are scheduled in Washington, DC, on April 7th, and in Lowell, MA on June 22nd.

More information on Penguin Days is available at

Directions to the Penguin Day Austin venue can be found online:

Penguin Day Austin is sponsored by Polycot Consulting, Aspiration, EFF-Austin. In-kind support comes from local nonprofits and volunteers.

About Aspiration

Aspiration ( connects nonprofit organizations with software solutions that help them better carry out their work. We want nonprofit organizations to obtain and use the best software to maximize their effectiveness and impact so that they, in turn, can change the world. We identify what is available and what is missing in NGO software arena, and foster relationships, delivery systems, and sustainability strategies between NGOs around the world.

Penguin Day Austin Contact:

Jon Lebkowsky
Polycot Consulting, L.L.C.
512 762-6547 or 512 482-0715

Penguin Days/Aspiration Contact:

Allen Gunn
Aspiration: Better Tools for a Better World


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