Penguin Day

Penguin Day Conference in Toronto
The migration begins ... Saturday, November 20th 2004

Penguin Day Toronto links non-profits leaders, activists and socially responsible techies for a day of question-asking, knowledge-sharing and networking about the potential of Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS) for non-profit organizations.

Whether you're looking for software that can change the world or just want to find a way to get rid of all those nasty viruses, Penguin Day will expand your knowledge of how F/OSS applications can help non-profits. It will also provide you with a chance to help refine the vision and vocabulary which are guiding the civil society + free software movement that is emerging all around the world.

Who should come to Penguin Day?

You don't have to be a geek to take part in Penguin Day! Penguin Day is designed for a diverse group of Participants interested in the question of 'how can Free and Open Source Software help?' Past Penguin Days have included:

* People from non-profits who are wondering about the potential of F/OSS for their organizations
* Developers and implementers who want to find out how they can use their skills to help non-profits
* Social entreprenuers intrigued by the way F/OSS strikes a balance between business saavy and community values
* Free software activists who want to share their enthusiaism with others
* Funders and others that support non-profits who are wondering what all the fuss is about

The result: a lively, educational and catalytic conversation that leaves everyone buzzing ... and that almost always catalyzes an aftermath of concrete projects, ideas and offers of support.

What will we talk about?

Like other Penguin Days, the Toronto conference will use a dialogue oriented approach to inspire non-profits and developers to dig into the questions and issues that interest them most. Current topics under consideration include:

* Intro to FOSS for NGOs: why it matters and what it can do
* Helping techies talk to non-techies
* How you can help out with FOSS projects
* Talking tech to non-techies: how to help
* Political convergence: connecting the free software movement with other social movements
* Open source usability
* Cyber security for non-techies, and NGO admins - A consulation
* Participatory culture
* Public licenses and the arts in Canada
* Free software and social enterprise: is there a connection?

Penguin Day will also host Toronto's first Speed Geek — a fast-paced, energizing, hilarious presentation of free and open source software tools that NGOs can use in their day to day work. The SpeedGeek will include hands on demos of applications like: CivicSpace online campaign tools, CoopTools decision making system, ActionApps web site management tools and desktop Linux.

Why the penguin?

The penguin is the unofficial, yet very friendly mascot for Linux — one of the world's leading free and open source software packages. You can read about the history of the Linux penguin (named Tux) and find lots of examples on the net. Some have suggested that the name Penguin Day may be a little arcane for an event for non-profits. While we agree, we have seen non-profits around the world having fun with the Penguin Day idea ... and we wanted to join the fun.

How can I join the migration?

Penguin Day is not like a typical workshop — it is about getting immersed, involved and inspired.

If you want to get involved by just showing up, get on over to our online registration form. Registration is $50 until October 31, and $75 after that. Once you register, you will be kept up to date on the ever evolving agenda and list of participants. There are also scholarships available for people who cannot afford the registration fee yet are passionate about the connection between penguins and social change.

Beyond showing up, there are a number of other ways to get involved in Penguin Day. If you'd like to:

* ... share a Free / Open Source Software application or story with others, please consider signing up for our SpeedGeek event. Mail to:
* ... propose a workshop, we want to hear it. Mail to:
* ... just like to help out, you can volunteer by mailing to: (volunteers get in free)

Of course, we are also looking for sponsors who can help out with cash or stuff to make the event happen. If you are able to help with sponsorship, write to

Where, where and how much

Penguin Day Toronto will be happening on Saturday November 20, 2004 between 9:00 and 5:00. It will be held at the 215 Centre for Social Innovation, which is on Spadina Avenue just north of Queen Street. The address is 215 Spadina, Suite 120. The 215 Centre is located in an accessible building with accessible washrooms.

Cost will be $50 before October 31st, and $75 after (registration fee includes session materials, meals and refreshments). Numbers will be limited, so advance registration is *highly* recommended. Please take a moment to register online now. Also, visit our scholarships page if you want to attend but cannot afford the fee.

Childcare will be available if requested in advance. Please contact if you would like childcare.

See you at Penguin Day!


Penguin Day Toronto is hosted by the 215 Centre for Social Innovation. Sponsors for the day include Aspiration, Commons Group and Community Bandwidth.