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Celebrating Drupal’s incredible social impact

Drupal is all about people coming together to solve shared problems. Sharing knowledge, mutual aid, organising, volunteering and raising awareness all come naturally to the Drupal community. Join us at DrupalCon Amsterdam 2019 (28 – 31 October) to learn how Drupal is helping solve real social problems and improve lives around the world.

Drupal’s social DNA

In 2003, Drupal made headlines when it was used to build a network of decentralised websites for Howard Dean’s candidacy in the US presidential election, helping him smash the Democratic record for most funds raised in a single quarter and establish the participatory fundraising model that would propel Barack Obama to power four years later. Since then, the open-source content management system has been used by an ever-increasing number of social organisations and non-profits to bring about positive change.

This year’s DrupalCon Amsterdam will celebrate that legacy of social impact with a track dedicated to Social + Non-Profit case studies, success stories and ideas, providing a forum for technologists and social organisations to come together and solve the big problems of tomorrow. There’ll be opportunities to meet like-minded people, share insights and advice, gain technical knowledge, get inspiration from ambitious social impact projects built with Drupal, and even join forces on new challenges.

Drupal’s real-world social impact

Me, Katja Heitmann and Rosian Negrean have the honour of chairing the Social + Non-Profit sessions track at Drupalcon Amsterdam 2019. Selecting three sessions to compose the track from amongst the submissions we received was a tough job but, in the end, we feel the sessions included showcase the best of what the Drupal platform and community can achieve.

Limba – Using Drupal as a Cultural Heritage Preservation Tool

2019 is UNESCOs International Year of Indigenous Languages. 2019 is also the year that the Victorian Corporation for Aboriginal Language (VACL) will launch “Limba”, their platform for language preservation and education for use across Victoria, Australia.

A partnership between VACL, the digital agency Web Prophets and social justice consultancy Lirata, Limba is a language library, a knowledge showcase and community collaboration platform which is being used to better connect indigenous language projects across the state and empower a distributed approach for the VACL. Providing a 21st century platform for the oldest living culture oral traditions of language, knowledge systems and ceremony (song and dance), Limba has the potential to strengthen kinship ties and community.

VACL CEO Julie Saylor Briggs, Julia Topliss, Director of Web Prophets and Dave Hall, Drupal Lead at Web Prophets, will introduce the Limba platform, explain why Drupal was chosen for this project and provide some insight into the value added by using Drupal, and discuss the architecture of the platform and the journey to open sourcing Limba.

By the end of the session attendees will have an insight into why it has taken 65,000 years for Limba to be developed.

Memory of Nations – How Drupal Helps to Preserve Memories of Humankind

Memory of Nations is a non-profit project. Drupal was chosen as a technical solution to help researchers and volunteers from all over the world to preserve memories of people who witnessed holocaust and other tragic events in history of humankind. The website was awarded a Global Drupal Splash Award in the Non-profit category and a DrupalCS Award in the Companies category.

In the session, Miro Michalicka of Made It Digital will provide more details on the project, including why Drupal was chosen, the technical challenges faced, the project’s unique language solution and lessons learned.

Why Open Source Matters by Making People and Companies Better through Virtual Barnraising

This session, delivered by Janne Kalliola of Exove, explores open-source projects and communities from within, explains why people want to contribute and how contribution benefits both the individual and the wider world.

A good open-source project is analogous to a barnraising. People strive to accomplish the actual goal and also work side by side for the common good. This creates a strong feeling of belonging to something bigger than themselves – a local community.

Belonging and meaningfulness are extremely strong motivators in the current, very fragmented, era. They can be harnessed for the good of the open-source project, community, and participating companies. This session tells you first why and then also how.

Both as an individual or company, you will learn what you would get by participating in an open source project; why it is so deeply motivating and empowering; and finally how to harness this energy to help you move forward faster than people and companies around you.

Join us in Amsterdam for this and so much more

Obviously, the excellent Social + Non-Profit track isn’t the only reason to attend DrupalCon Amsterdam 2019. The four-day event will be bursting at the seams with insightful keynote talks, training opportunities, Birds of a Feather sessions, and a whole host of official and community-organised social events to blow off steam after all the learning, sharing and networking.

Other tracks include Business + Marketing, DevOps + Infrastructure, separate Backend and Frontend tracks, and five industry-specific tracks, so that no matter which sector you work in, or where your open-source interests lie, there’ll be plenty to engage your mind and your social needs. We’re hoping to see you there!

Finally, if you can’t make it to Amsterdam in October, there’s always a healthy selection of Drupal events to check out on Drupical. Coming up:

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