The OASIS Network - FOSS for Social Development (prev: The Genesis Project)

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



[Summary] The OASIS Meetup on 15 July 2023

Through a series of discussions between several organisations, on par with the Genesis Project, the idea of a collective network that would promote FOSS for good took root.

This formed a coalition of techies, community organizations, tech companies, donors, large and small organisations - forming the Open-source Alliance for Social Innovation & Sustainability (OASIS) [previously the Genesis Project].

One of the key messages of OASIS is “Don’t build software. Reuse FOSS” in the sense that orgs without technical capacity needn’t build software from scratch, but can use out-of-the-box, low-maintenance FOSS solutions that solve a large number of problems. The network is also not for building tech solutions for organisations but evangelising and empowering - creating opportunities for the citizen sector to learn about the work of others and create easily re-usable play books for easy and practical technology adoption, invoking their imagination and a sense of possibility.

On July 15 2023, a meetup, hosted by ASPIRe, and Tech4GoodLabs started with an icebreaker session involving representatives from FOSS United, ASPIRe, T4GLabs, Tech4GoodCommunity, ReapBenefit and TinkerHub. The agenda included defining the alliance’s vision, core values, and guidelines.

  • The meet was structured around helping the group come together and build a shared vision for the Alliance and its goals and values. For any network, this is a key starting point.

  • The second part of the meetup in the afternoon welcomed stakeholders from about 20+ organisations, where we opened the idea of the collective alliance to a broader group. We continued to build on the ideas and found that the extended group was aligned and that OASIS could play an important role in unlocking the potential of FOSS for impact.

The group deliberated about the importance of FOSS and principles of openness to promote open innovation ecosystems in the impact sector. Towards this, the group discussed some of the key potential areas of work for the Alliance:

  • An opportunity to equip organisations at scale with open source solutions
  • The need for Alliance to play a role of an evangelist and advocate for FOSS for Impact
  • The need for spaces and opportunities for learning and sharing innovations that are already happening
  • More structured and impactful ways to channelise tech talent for good

The highlight of the event was the magazine headline activity :grin: where different workgroups brought in headlines that correspond to a future vision - about the impact this network would bring in 5 years later! Quoting some of the popular ones here:

  • India’s thriving ecosystem of “Open Source for social good” grows to 10,000 orgs.
  • Everything is FOSSible!
  • Fortune at the bottom of the pyramid unlocked by “OASIS Movement”

In conclusion, the Alliance is set to play a role in the adoption of FOSS at the grassroots at scale, covering the basic technology needs of many organisations. It is also going to support and evangelise innovative and cutting-edge approaches to leveraging FOSS technology for impact. It will play a role of a broad umbrella for openness creating spaces for learning and cross-pollination of innovation. It will also play a role in simplifying the process of discovery and adoption of FOSS for Impact.


An OASIS Summit is planned for 14th September 2023 at BIC, Bengaluru. The Summit will launch the Alliance and will feature its curated with keynote talks, case study showcases - aimed to bring together people from tech, NGOs, social enterprises, government, philanthropies etc.,

More updates in process……stay tuned! :blush:

Edits by: @knadh and Ira Snissar Lobo