[dvlug] Dreamfish Campaign

Grant Bowman grantbow at dreamfish.com
Thu Sep 29 04:29:51 PDT 2011

Hi everyone,

As you know I'm in Nairobi, Kenya working with Dreamfish. I miss Caffe
La Scala but I am keeping very busy. I will be online in IRC speaking
with Ian and attendees on Friday at 6 PM PDT. Because of the 10 hour
time difference I will wake up at 4 AM EAT to participate.

I have seen first hand that the support I have received is really
life-changing for our Kenyan youth team members.  Having three meals
per day, housing outside the slums, and mentorship by senior
professionals, is transformative.

We now have less than two more days and are working to raise $5,500.

To help this happen, the Dreamfish Board will match all contributions
dollar-for-dollar up to $3,000 before the close of the campaign.
It would help tremendously if you could ask your friends to consider
contributing so that we can take advantage of the matching grant.

To share, here is the campaign link:

A Dreamfish overview and project update are copied below from Tiffany
von Emmel's blog. Tiffany's blog entry with pictures are available at



Community Tech Project Update

Harison Wamani, 2011 Dreamfish Intern, learning to use the command
line as he works on the Community Tech Project

I want to share with you the kickoff of our online community
technology project and the upcoming improvements you will experience.
Before we discuss the tech project, it’s good to reconnect with who we
are and what do we do so it informs how we do…..

Dreamfish is a peer-to-peer micro-enterprise development network. Our
mission is to enable people everywhere to work like humans to realize
their dreams. For different people, this can mean realizing basic
needs of food and shelter, achievement, learning, collaboration, and/
or care for our world. Our structure is also human – A global
co-operative. Dreamfish members are both co-owners and customers of
Dreamfish. Many of us contribute our energy, skills and funds to
operate these four programs:

Dreamfish Community Tech – Our core program is our online work
community. Below, we’ll get into what we’re working on.

Dreamfish Fellows program – A 12 month service learning experience for
senior consultants to coach entrepreneurs in professional skills while
gaining experience in global citizenship and intercultural

Dreamfish Internship program – An empowering 6 month program for youth
from settlements in developing regions of the world, youth gain
practical experience in global leadership and professional skills.

Dreamfish Residency in Kenya – 12 week residencies at Dreamfish Place
Nairobi for professionals leading capacity-building projects while
mentoring youth in our internship program.  Dreamfish Place Nairobi
also serves a landing pad for Dreamfish contributors while generating
income as a collaboration retreat venue.
Why do this project now?

Cynthia Kihu, Grant Bowman and Maryann Wangari working on front end development

Now is the time because great people have stepped up and open source
software is available to support the project. In addition, we create
impact by using this project as a training ground for African young
professionals. Here are the needs that we’re addressing:

1. Do more of what we do well
Our strength is helping people to develop through practice in
relationship. A few examples of Dreamfish at work – facilitating a One
Laptop Per Child Kenya Summit; a web developer in Ohio collaborating
with a startup entrepreneur in Ghana; an LGBT activist working with an
artist on digital storytelling, a leadership consultant in Taiwan
facilitating strategic planning for a grassroots nonprofit benefiting
homeless children in Kenya, a transgender youth creating their life
with professional skills and income, an executive coach in US to
support a young woman CEO to build a tool empowering rural farmers in
Africa.  Given the small resources invested in Dreamfish, these are
great results AND with better tools for connection, we can do much
more. Imagine millions of people having the same opportunities.

2. Mobilizing our diversity
Diversity is both our strength and our challenge. How do we hold space
for engaging the richness of our diversity for our members’ benefit?
How do we enable individuals to customize their participation for
their unique goals and interests?
To give you an idea of our diversity in action, my estimate is that
about 40% of our community are youth and live on less than $4 a day,
20% live on more than $100 a day, about 40% are over 40 yr. We are of
many faiths, and cultural norms. Our new technology will allow people
to follow the topics that are most of interest and filter out what
they don’t need.

3. Shifting from “give me work” to “we are doing it!”
With the new technology design, our goal is to shift from passive
transactions to pro-active relationship-building as the foundation for
work in Dreamfish. Behind this is a larger agenda of societal change
to help people shift from institutionally-learned apathy to
empowerment. it is critical that we support individuals to
pro-actively create support systems for their own development, rather
than wait or resign. The way our tech is setup now, people in the
Dreamfish network tend to wait for something to happen rather than
initiate interaction. The tech is getting in the way – it is hard for
anyone to know how to start, how to interact and how to achieve goals.
This is changing. We are designing our new tech to facilitate people
connecting around “What are you working on?” as the starting point for

Currently, it is not easy to connect with Dreamfish members in a rural
village or without a computer. In our new tech plan, you will be able
to select whether you use your phone, sms, or sit at your computer to
interact with Dreamfish people. You will also be able to more easily
initiate local face-to-face events.

4. Easier Knowledge sharing
Finding information that you want and sharing has been hard in our
current platform. We are making the act of sharing to be front and
center. We also are making a friendly section to explain what
Dreamfish is and how to get started.

What are we working on?

Grace Kwamboka, Harison, and Nelson Munyiri, learning to code on a One
Laptop Per Child XO 1.5

Our team includes Grant Bowman and me as project co-leads, 2011
Dreamfish Interns and Mentors. The project has three sub-teams –
Community Leadership, Back-end Development, and Front-end Design.  We
welcome volunteers to get involved. Here’s what we are working on…

Community Leadership is working on the Community HelpDesk, community
digital art and performance, social media communication, improving
online documentation, online admin, and the campaign to fund the
project. Team members work alongside me and include Grace Kwamboka,
Nelson Munyiri and Simon Muya.

Backend Development is working on developing software functionality,
server administration, wifi network and maintaining hardware for the
project. The team has now got a server up, prepared hardware for
development, installed and configured software for prototyping. Team
members work alongside Grant and include Harison Wamani and Peter

Front-end Design and Development is working on user experience/
interaction design, product management, graphic design, CSS and HTML.
We have been interviewing Dreamfish members on how Dreamfish tech can
help them, researching the problems with current tools, prototyping
solutions and testing different open source social software. Team
members work with me and include Maryann Wangari and Cynthia Kihu.

Our mentors include Bernard Owuor, Jamila Abass for development,
Bridget Mcgraw for design, Jonas Kolben for networking and Polly
Bodegener for communication. Thanks to Nancy White and Peter Kaminski,
Dreamfish Advisors, for helping on strategy.

All of this will take time and is due to the committed efforts of
contributors to the project. As we get farther along, we’ll ask you to
try what we’re building and give feedback. I would like to invite you
to get involved in any way that you like with your expertise, funds
and cheers

What can you do?
Learn more about the open Tech Planning process here:
Fund the project – Every bit counts. We have 12 days left in our
campaign to raise $5,500, which pays for simple living and tools for
the team in Nairobi during the project. In exchange, we can give you
things like B&B accomodation or an iPad.  Learn more:
Volunteer – Developers, designers, testers, fundraisers and community
managers – please, you are welcome to join in. Contact Grant, me or
jump in…
in Chat (Freenode IRC) - Enter your name and #dreamfish
Open meeting at 10pm PST / 8am East Africa or any time you can jump in

Thank you, Dreamfishers, for your pioneering spirit, your patience and
all your efforts to build Dreamfish.


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