Open Source and Cloud beyond tech – Keynote at DrupalCamp Bulgaria Nov 2015

logo_small_sx_1 The keynote at DrupalCamp Bulgaria was planned to be left field from the get go, however it went a little further out after Paris came under attack on the night of the 13th of November 2015.

#JeSuiBaghdad #JeSuiParis #JeSuiBeirut #JeSuiChibok #JeSuiKarachi #JeSuiMadrid #JeSuiDamascus #JeSuiAnkara #JeSuiLondon Dalai Lama Quote 2015 #JeSuiMali the list goes on, but other than on the bench solidarity what are we doing as individuals, as a community to facilitate and help build a better safer, cohesive and a pluralist society?

As a FOSS community we are constantly talking of give-back but are we engaged enough?

How could we take the strengths and learnings that make us a successful tech community to wider non tech audiences with a view of creating social transformation that addresses the needs of our societies in these turbulent times. What can we learn from the transformation FOSS and the Cloud has had on our ecosystem as technologists and how can we export that beyond tech to heal and build a stronger society?

I have more questions for discussions than answers however there is an inflight and successful start made by Peace Through Prosperity using Agile, Open source and Cloud to deliver social transformation programs that could be a starting point for the Drupal community to engage with in their own geographies. The open source component of this program is in development and work in progress can be seen here, if you’d like to contribute and #GiveBack beyond our bubble please get in touch over Twitter or Linkedin.

Links shared within the keynote slides:

The presentation from the keynote:

 

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Agile for Peace at ALE 2015 (Agile Lean Network)

Agile Lean Network With international development programs seen as hit and miss exercises and foreign aid failing to create the impact our policies desire the question is why are non-­governmental organisations not adopting Agile/SCRUM in mass to design and deliver programs that deliver immediate and lasting benefits.  Over the course of 2 years Peace Through Prosperity; a social enterprise has designed, prototyped, deployed an Agile, data driven social transformation program to alleviate poverty amongst the working poor and provide food security to the marginalised and vulnerable in conflict affected regions, in doing so reducing the risk of the community being radicalised or harbouring sympathy for extremist belief systems and organisations .

I’d like to thank the ALE community for the opportunity to share the journey, their time and feedback, thank you.

Members of the audience who expressed an interest in utilising our materials and learnings for similar programs in their own communities regardless of their geography, please reach out and lets make this happen! lets OpenSource our way to a better World.

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Agile for Peace – Scrum Alliance Regional Gathering South Asia

South_east_asia It is a privilege to be provided with an opportunity to share with the Agile Scrum community what has been an experimental journey for the past 4 odd years applying Agile methodologies to social transformation projects in hard and occasionally hostile environments.

What started off as a micro-fail experiment by Peace Through Prosperity to ‘see if it works’ has in true Agile fashion evolved into a successful program of socioeconomic transformation with a strong emphasis on preventing radicalisation or the slide to the far right. From the get go the ambition has been to open source it and engage individual communities across the third rock to embrace the program, modify it for the nuances of their community and environment so that we can as a large collective lift many if not all of the 99% out of poverty and out of harms way (for us harm is the mass non-violent radicalisation of the populous by any far right movement religious, political or otherwise).

However Open sourcing it hasn’t been all that easy! its wasn’t the program, the methodology or the underlying ethos of Peace Through Prosperity’s work, rather the challenge has been finding willing individuals as partners to approach, embrace and take the program to their own communities. 

Agile for peace Scrum Alliance Meet up Back in January 2015 we had that breakthrough, when Raju from Chennai contacted me enquiring about how Peace Through Prosperity’s been using Agile in non-tech projects and whats the secret sauce for Boundaryless Agile – the conversation lead to exploring taking the Peace Through Prosperity model from Karachi, Pakistan to Triupati, Andra Pradesh in India. As a starter for ten Raju kindly invited me to speak at the Chennai Scrum Meetup which of course coincided with the ICC World Cup match between India and Pakistan; we dubbed it ‘Agile for Peace’ and you can watch the talk here 

The next natural step was introducing the program and approach to local Agile practitioners and aficionados and start exploring the migration process for exporting the Peace Through Prosperity program across the border. The Scrum Alliance Regional Gathering in India seemed like the most apt place to reach out to local and regional practitioners, particularly given the theme for the year ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ which I am told stands for ’The World as one Family’, something that resonates very strongly with Peace Through Prosperity’s community ethos ‘for the 99% by the 99%’, and so it was decided, Raju and me submitted a session for the Scrum Alliance Regional Gathering; ‘Transforming Lives Using Agile & Scrum’ and here we are!  

The only down-er has been my inability to secure a visa to India in time to be presenting in person, I have been informed I travel a lot to countries of ‘interest’ and therefore processing a visa for me takes longer than usual! Though the lack of a visa won’t be keeping me from co-presenting (Goto Meeting Zindabad!) it will be keeping me from meeting some awesome folks from the Agile community in India that I have been in touch with over the past 3-4 months! but friends we shall right that wrong soon!

Raju and my joint presentation can be viewed below, a complete guide to tailoring and migrating the Peace Through Prosperity program will be posted up on my blog soon too and do keep pulse on how the Peace Through Prosperity program fares in Triupati, and lastly thank you to Scrum Alliance User Group in India for the opportunity to share this with the Agile Community. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam!

 

Transforming lives using agile – Scrum Alliance Regional Gathering South Asia 2015 from Kubair Shirazee

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Security of our homeland begins abroad

Across every forum I have had the opportunity to speak on this subject, be it the Agile Business Conference in London, Digibury in Cantebury, Palace of Westminster, numerous technology camps across Eurasia or Starbucks (the usual rendezvous for the curious) the message has always been …security of our homeland begins abroad. It was hence reassuring to hear our Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Mr Philip Hammond utter those exact words this week during the 10th Manama Dialogue Regional Security Summit organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in the Bahraini capital Manama.

However Mr Hammond’s vision for its implementation is a Universe apart from our own, though Mr Hammond has got it right that the security of the “homeland” began abroad his means to achieve it as history has repeatedly proven are going to be ineffective. To protect Britain and British interests our foreign policy needs to pivot away from building military bases and putting our troops on the ground to prop up unpopular regimes.

Transformation will happen Mr Hammond, choose wisely as to how you invest our taxes abroad. Be it the Middle East, North Africa, Sahel,  Afghanistan, Central or South Asia; every society is transforming from the bottom up and from the top down. The populous is seeking progressive change whilst the top is seeking ways to maintain the status quo, our foreign policy must embrace the transformation being driven from the bottom up for that is where the war for hearts and minds will be won or lost, that is where the 99% will see us as their friends or as the enemy that worked with their corrupt and oppressive regimes; prolonging the inevitable.

Middle Britain needs to think hard but not for too long. Do we want our taxes spent on the protection and preservation of unpopular regimes or do we want to contribute towards a future state where Britain is part of the solution and not the problem.

Security of the homeland will not come from the expansion of our military complex in distant lands, it will come from prosperity of the masses of those distant lands who remain disenfranchised.


What a difference Digitally Lead, Agile Designed, Open Sourced Social Transformation Makes from Peace Through Prosperity on Vimeo

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User-centered content design with empathy maps

DrupalCamp-BE-logo-intro Thank you to the organisers at DrupalCamp Ghent for the invitation and the opportunity to share an awesome tool that for me is the foundation of user-centered design.  Empathy Map as a tool was developed by Dave Gray at XPLANE  and since then has found its way from design agencies to digital transformation consultancies as we all seek out better tools and techniques to understand and empathise with our audiences and markets to design and build products and services they want. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, it is a close cousin of but not the same as sympathy.

Using the Empathy mapping technique we develop better understanding of our audiences by understanding:

  • Who they are in their world (their persona and current state)
  • Where they would like to be (their desired future/altered state)
  • What influences them (social and otherwise)
  • What they say their aspirations are (who and how they influence)
  • What feelings and motivations guide their behaviour

You can use Empathy maps at a macro level say for a brand or at a micro level for a user type/segment, you can download a blank Map to work with here, and there are two sample maps to help guide you; one for a persona seeking content to help inform his/her decision to buy a particular brand of a Digital SLR and another sample Empathy map that is  somewhat left field. (these are large SVG files best viewed in a PDF viewer post download)

As Drupal/CMS consultants we can deploy Empathy maps to better inform our client’s content strategy by using developed Empathy maps to narrowcast messaging at specific content touch points. If you’d like to explore how Empathy maps can empower your team to drive innovation, improve stakeholder engagement or address unmet user needs feel free to reach out.

If you think you have benefited from what has been shared then #GiveBack; please do the absolute minimum and follow @Bringptp on twitter, like them on Facebook and share their videos from Vimeo, thats the least you could do… but if you like… don’t let me stop you there, you can donate here; 2015 is a big year for Bring Peace Through Prosperity they need to raise US $100,000- to work with another 500 entrepreneurs of circumstances and transform their communities and society.

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