The Genesis Project - FOSS in social development

The Genesis Project - Sync

31 March 2023 / 4:00 PM / Zerodha Broking Limited

ATTENDEES (Representatives from)

  • FOSS United Foundation
  • Ashoka
  • Tech4Good Labs
  • Tech4Good Community
  • Tech4Dev
  • Kalvium
  • ReapBenefit
  • TinkerHub Foundation
  • Samagata


  • Based on the silo conversations with several communities trying to bridge the gap between tech and social development - crafting an experiment in collaboration with all the organisations to collate an impactful drive.


  • Initiation - Context Setting by @knadh

    • Shared vision on the FOSS4NGOs sector attempted by the FOSS United Foundation - to check into the lack of tech capacity within the social development sector.
    • The distinction of tech usage between tech companies and social-dev orgs, where the tech world has little visibility into the social development sector.
    • A new framework for identifying role model organisations and empowering them, so their accomplishment can pave for more spreading of the message. - kickstart an ecosystem where technologists can come and evolve the social dev sector.
    • Highlighted a few of the foundation’s projects - Robinhood army volunteer check-in system, Periferry etc., and emphasised how all the attending organisations fitted together.
  • Round of introductions along with significant work and challenges.

    • ReapBenefit: Samajaa system, and its functional structure.

    • Kalvium: A liberal engineering programme in Computer Science. A bottleneck discussed - the lack of projects for academic settings.

    • Ashoka: Aspire | Role Model organisation for social entrepreneurship.

    • T4GCommunity: Identified lack of budget and tech capacity, and partnered with several NGOs to frame problems - offer formal internships and mentor support to students to work (Note: a possible integration with Kalvium discussed).

    • TinkerHub: Physical community with extra-denoted tech capacity.

    • T4GLabs, Tech4Dev & Samagata

  • Non-lucrative exposure of the NGO/NPO forte;

    • Specific class of FOSS - once setup, zero maintenance; low-code/no-code etc;
  • Two major aspects to work on:

1. Discovery

  • Forum/Marketplace set up for prominent FOSS tech efficient for usage.

    • Project idea: FOSS Tech marketplace to search for discoverability.
      • With demos of use-cases
      • Vendor links for service options (IT shops in the picture)
  • Must be organic: via role model organisations.

    • can vary and do not depend on size or age.
    • should be in a position to influence other organisations in the same space.
  • Setting up frameworks:

    • Human connect
    • Playbooks
    • Tools and UX
  • Top-down: Funders - advocating the usage of FOSS tools for the reuse of already existing modules.

  • Events:

    • meet-ups, workshops, dreaming sessions?
    • FOSS/tech/social development conference (after significant momentum is reached)
    • Vision hackathons?

2. Delivery

  • Bring in IT Shops and consultants into the circle (where skills exist)

    • Best to navigate the many tech/organisational problems that are low-hanging fruits and repeat across organisations.
  • Students and volunteers - in need of probable training and specific direction.

  • Through project/product management teams and funder mandates.

  • Draft pipeline: People coming in → Problems being specifically made → Navigating them to potential matches of solvers.

  • Public accessibility of playbooks with a human connect.

:question:How can role-model organisations be fixed? And be mapped to seed organisations.

:question:Problems being specifically and accurately framed? And the right conversations be made


  1. Frame problem statements from across the social-dev ecosystem.
  2. Craft frameworks/playbooks from existing social dev role model organisations, highlighting their perspective of approach and execution.
  3. Onboard a pilot team of IT shops/tech vendors - offer FOSS-related services to social organisations (installation/usage/support).
  4. Pool use cases on existing high-quality FOSS.
  5. Integrated programme for students - internship + mentorship to connect with social dev projects and organisations.


  • Kalvium - students can dedicate a sufficient amount of time persee.
  • Ashoka - apt in project management support.
  • TinkerHub - physical space and tech capacity provision.
  • ReapBenefit - support with mapping the right ends.
  • Tech4Dev - mentorship and connect.

Project Champions :sunglasses:: T4GLabs and T4GCommunity