The 2008 NetSquared Conference opens with an introduction by Vince Stehle of the Surdna Foundation to the ideas of using web technology for organized philanthropy and social innovation. Representatives of each of the 2008 featured projects give brief descriptions of how their websites use technology to tackle social issues and work for change.
This year's NetSquared Conference, a Mashup Challenge, brings together a unique mix of people from the public and private sectors to develop and release Mashups designed to provide deeper insight into the social issues affecting communities around the globe.
Deron Beal founded the Freecycle Network on May 1st, 2003. He now also fills the position of Executive Director.
During and previous to this, he spent 2 1/2 years with RISE as its Enterprise Manager. RISE runs a recycling and transitional employment program in downtown Tucson.
Before that, he worked with a conservation group called Native Seeds/SEARCH as its Director of Foundation Giving & Venture Philanthropy, and prior to that, as its Development Director.
Deron has a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird. He spent several years living, studying, and working in Germany. Currently living in Tucson, he looks forward to learning Spanish.
Daniel Ben-Horin, CompuMentor's President and Co-CEO, feels very fortunate that his job has evolved since 1987 to allow him to spend the bulk of his time thinking about social change this organization can work to enact.
The rest of Ben-Horin's time is spent trying to sell his ideas to the people at CompuMentor who have to implement them and the people outside who need to be convinced to be partners and/or funders of the projects.
After graduating from college in 1969, Daniel spent 7 years as a journalist (Arizona Republic, New York Times, New Times) in Arizona. During this time, he realized that as much as he liked to write and edit, he was more interested in how to use his skills for social change.
Gradually, his work moved in the direction of becoming an organizer, administrator, fundraiser, and what would today be called a social entrepreneur. He worked for Pacific News Service, directed Media Alliance in the early 80's, wrote fiction, took a couple of basic programming classes and, in 1987, founded CompuMentor with the notion that people who understood technology were an undervalued but potentially tremendous resource for social change organizations.
Wendy E. Brawer is Green Map System's Founder and Director. She has been an eco-designer, public educator, and consultant since 1990.
Michael Dale is the main developer of MetaVidWiki Software.
Peter Deitz is the founder of Social Actions and the author of a blog called About Micro-Philanthropy.
Ben Drexler is an information technology associate for the Genocide Intervention Network, which is behind the Anti-Genocide project.
Ian Elwood of CorpWatch is the Project Manager of Crocodyl.
Alan Gutierrez is Project Designer for City of New Orleans: A Mashup for Citizen Monitoring of the Recovery.
Erik Hersman is an avid blogger and writes four different technology blogs, including AfriGadget, WhiteAfrican, African Signals, and Realty Thoughts.
When he is not blogging, Hersman serves as VP of strategy and marketing at eppraisal.com, an online real estate site providing on-demand access to home valuations, real estate professionals, home inspectors and appraisers. In this position, he is responsible for marketing implementation, partner strategy and consumer evangelism.
Raised in Sudan and Kenya, Hersman brings unique energy and insight to the world of technology and bridging the gap between Africa and the Silicon Valley.
Isaac Holeman is co-founder and head of Business and Communications for Squarepeg. Isaac is interested in social entrepreneurship, anthropology, and medicine. He prefers small, sustainable solutions rather than big, fat band-aids, and thinks that we can understand many prevailing social problems by elucidating the perspective of those who suffer most.
When not busy with Squarepeg, he works with the Archimedes Movement, a healthcare reform effort. He studies Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Lewis & Clark College and plans to go to medical school.
Holeman traces his roots as an activist back to the small town in Oregon where he grew up as a jock/choir boy, and the small town in Holland where he spent a year as an exchange student with AFS.
David Kobia is the founder of www.ihavenotribe.com, TextHQ, and Mashada. He has a background in web design and application development.
JD Ross Leahy
JD Ross Leahy is the Rosetta Project Archive Manager. He holds a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Oregon.
Michael is responsible for the development, partnership relations, and operations of OneWorld in the United States. He serves on the board of OneWorld U.S. and participates in the global governance structure of the OneWorld network.
Michael brings ten years of practical experience in program development and management, strategic consulting, computer networking, web development and technical training to OneWorld.
Prior to OneWorld, Michael served for five years as Chief Technology Officer with the Benton Foundation where he was responsible for the Foundation's overall technology strategy and the development and incubation of new technology projects.
Michael also been a technology consultant and managed information systems for nonprofits and political campaigns. Born and raised in Europe, Mike has lived and worked around the world and is fluent in three languages. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees with honors in history from the University of Pennsylvania.
Peter Manzo has over 13 years of experience in public interest law and management. In addition to his work at the Advancement Project, he is a Senior Research Fellow at the UCLA Center for Civil Society and is the author of numerous articles and reports on legal, management, and policy issues affecting nonprofits and philanthropy.
Previously, Mr. Manzo was the Executive Director and General Counsel of the Center for Nonprofit Management, where he directed the expansion of the Center's information, training, consulting, technology, and search and compensation services to nonprofits.
Prior to leading the Center, Mr. Manzo was Directing Attorney of Community Development Programs for Public Counsel, the nation's largest pro bono law firm, and the Los Angeles affiliate of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where he represented nonprofit charitable organizations in a broad range of real property, corporate, tax, and other transactional matters.
Before moving into the nonprofit sector, Mr. Manzo practiced real estate and corporate law in the private sector, first at the law firm of Riordan & McKinzie, then at Tuttle & Taylor in Los Angeles.
Mr. Manzo is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley; he also attended the London School of Economics, where he received a Master's degree in Political Sociology, and the University of Notre Dame, where he received a Bachelor's degree in Government.
He is a member of the boards of directors of the following: National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy; PacAdvantage, a nonprofit alliance whose mission is to enable small employers throughout California to provide excellent, affordable health coverage to their employees; and United Friends of the Children, which provides transitional living assistance and job training to emancipated foster youth in Los Angeles County.
Justin Massa is currently the Fair Housing Testing and Outreach Coordinator for the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where he has supervised the testing program, handled intake and investigation, and conducted fair housing trainings for the past two and a half years.
Massa is also serving his second term as Vice President of the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance. Prior to working in fair housing, Justin was a Chicago Public School teacher and research analyst for the Center for New Community, where he monitored white nationalist activity and trained more than 5,000 young people on how to spot and respond to hate.
He holds a BA in Political Science from Loyola University of Chicago and a MA in Teaching from National Louis University.
David Russel Moore
David Moore is the Executive Director of the
Participatory Politics Foundation.
Dan Newman, Co-Founder and Executive Director of MAPLight.org, a nonpartisan nonprofit illuminating the connection between money and politics in unprecedented ways.
He received a MA in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley, where he attended on a National Science Foundation Fellowship, and a BA in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University.
Zoli Piroska is head of Business Development and Partnership Opportunities for Greener One.
Ben Rigby graduated from Stanford University with Honors, Distinction, and Phi Beta Kappa. He went on to co-found Akimbo Design, a web design firm that created and managed the consumer web sites for The North Face, Beringer Vineyards, and California Pizza Kitchen and completed award-winning projects for Nokia, Sony Pictures, MGM, Calvin Klein, and Macromedia.
His company produced three Web design books, won dozens of awards, and had work featured in major media publications such as Newsweek, the New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today.
In 2002, Ben took a position as CTO of DFILM, a youth entertainment company creating web and mobile applications. At DFILM, he managed the launch of a youth-focused communication platform in partnership with KPN, the largest wireless operator in the Netherlands. He also launched a viral application that is consistently used by 300,000 unique users per month and has been licensed by Yahoo!, Sam Adams, IBM, the Sierra Club, and Old Navy.
In 2004, Rigby founded and became co-executive director of Mobile Voter.
Michael Schnuerle is founder and CEO of YourMapper.
Michael has over 14 years of career experience in the internet field and has had a passion for maps ever since his first bedroom was covered in nautical wallpaper. His web background runs the gamut from programming, user interface design, graphic design, information architecture, project management, and product management.
Michael has worked and lived in Australia, Paris, Edinburgh, San Francisco, Lexington, and he currently resides in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
John Wagner is the Co-Founder and Design and Development for Squarepeg. Studying cognitive psychology and design at Lewis & Clark College, John wishes to merge his interests in art with his curiosity about the way that people think about and process what they see.
John is also a designer, photographer, developer, bike nut, and general Portland geek.
Marnie Webb is the Vice-President of Knowledge Services of CompuMentor. She manages 25 technology activists tackling systemic nonprofit technology issues.
Webb works with her team to orchestrate a series of goal-oriented community-wide engagements that help nonprofits, technology consultants, and mentors engage with one another, solve systemic technology problems, and build technology capacity.
Marnie is also driving a CompuMentor project to understand how weblogs and related technologies can be used by individual organizations and by the nonprofit sector to promote social change. She blogs on technology, serendipity, and social change at ext337.
Marnie is one of the founding members of the Nonprofit Emerging Technology Exchange and an organizer of the NPTech tagging experiment. She is also a frequent speaker on topics involving nonprofits and technology.
Nathaniel Whittemore is the project manager for Assetmap.org. Whittemore is also a founder of the Northwestern University Center for Global Engagement.
Melinda Wittstock is an award-winning broadcast and print journalist with 18 years' reporting and hosting experience in the highly competitive New York, Washington, and London media markets.
Her work spans BBC Radio, TV News, ABC News, National Public Radio (NPR), MSNBC/CNBC, as well as London's Times, Guardian, and Observer newspapers. After covering U.S. national politics for more than a decade, Wittstock founded Capitol News Connection (CNC), which covers Congress from a local perspective for public radio stations nationwide.
In two years, Wittstock built CNC from a staff of 3 serving 10 stations to a staff of 12 serving 230 stations. CNC's daily audience is now 1.86 million (Arbitron: Spring 2006). Brought up in New York and Toronto, Wittstock graduated with an Honors B.A. in political science from McGill University (American Government, International Relations, and Political Philosophy).
At McGill, she began her broadcasting career on CRFM Radio McGill as a news anchor and talk show host and also edited The McGill Daily. She moved to London and joined the London Times as a correspondent when she was just 22. She spent five years on the newspaper, breaking several major exclusive investigative political and business stories, and started working for the BBC in 1990 as a newsmagazine reporter and live radio/TV pundit.
In 1994, Wittstock joined NBC Europe as a financial news anchor, and the following year became one of the main primetime hosts/anchors of BBC World, the international TV news channel, where she covered most of the big breaking news stories of the time - from the Oklahoma City bombing to the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the death of Princess Diana, as well as the 1996 and 2000 Presidential election campaigns and Monica Lewinsky affair.
In 1998, Wittstock moved back to New York to join ABC News, anchoring the network's overnight and early morning national news programs, World News Now, and World News This Morning.
She continued to report for BBC Radio and TV, creating the nightly newsmagazine USA Direct from the BBC New York Bureau, and hosting the half-hour interview program, Hard Talk, and the discussion program, The Talk Show. She joined MSNBC and CNBC as a news reporter and anchor in 1999, before coming once more to Washington in 2000 to launch and host a new live NPR morning newsmagazine for Sirius Satellite Radio.
Wittstock also freelanced as a congressional reporter for CNN and The London Observer while creating Capitol News Connection, which launched June, 2003. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband Mark McDonald, the program director of WAMU 88.5 FM, their daughter Sydney, son Matthew Finn, and amiable but opinionated golden retriever, Pundit.