At different stages in people’s lives they have varying degrees of responsibility that affect the amount of time they are able to dedicate to social service. As a volunteer organization we need to respect these boundaries and work to make diverse teams that collectively have the skills and availability to complete substantial meaningful projects.

We need senior software developers to champion the projects. They define the requirements, the tools, and the approach to take. They recruit jr. fellows to work full time for 3 month stints. They meet the fellows weekly to discuss direction and review code.

If we can get 2 or 3 senior people who are all excited about a project and agree on an approach they can work together to make it happen. This will be more rewarding for them as mentors as they develop peer relationships as well as mentor relationships. It will also make for a better experience for the fellows as they will have more mentor bandwidth to draw from. Happy mentors and happy fellows make for more successful projects with greater social impact.

So. One of the main goals for Saturday is to get people talking with each other about ideas with the goal of forming into small teams that then recruit fellows to work with on their chosen projects. Towards this I’d like to organize a number of brainstorming activities to get people thinking about projects.

We will push two main types of projects – Blue Sky & NGO support. This Saturday we’ll spend most of our time brainstorming blue sky ideas. These are like startups that don’t have the constraint of a business model. This is where we can say ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if there was an app that would….’ without having to answer the ‘how do we make money’ question.