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Interplay between Drupal and human progress

Prominent Drupalistas reflect on our community's social conscience:

Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg, Zivtech

http://www.zivtech.com/blog/drupal-catalyst-community-and-change

Kristof Van Tomme, Pronovix

Drupal is unique in that it is both a tool for social activism and a
skill that enables people, regardless of their background to build up
a decent living in an awesome community.

Even now that many of us have started consultancy businesses there are
a lot of people that will freely contribute to the project or
activities of a broader humanitarian nature.

The best way summarize the optimism and altruistic nature of our
community is this picture
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4151/4950495181_7ab83db255.jpg

Michele Metts

I see Drupal as the tool of the disenfranchised that will enable people to organize, focus and rally around a cause, or many causes. There is no barrier to entry, anyone can download Drupal and create sites that make the world a better place for all.

The Occupy Wall St. movement is now using up Drupal to create a foundation for NYC to connect occupiers with others that have similar goals, and as a model to other occupied states. Occupy Boston is using Drupal for their Working Groups (in the same fashion as Drupal Groups uses it). It will be used to distribute information and allow interaction to gain consensus on the priorities of the movement. I am using OpenScholar version of Drupal, with full support of the Harvard team that created it, to set up FreeSchoolUniversity.org as a site for teachers to create their own sites and share knowledge. I am reaching out to other occupied towns/cities countries to use the Drupal platform so we may all collaborate in harmony.

A group of Drupal developers at MIT has a promising program called voipdrupal that will enable people to interact with the FreeSchoolUniversity.org Website or any Website that has voipdrupal installed - no computer needed.

Jennifer Hodgdon, Poplar ProductivityWare

  • I think that having Drupal and other free software (Linux, Gnu, Libre Office, PHP, etc.) available helps to level the playing field between rich countries and poorer countries -- allowing people without large monetary resources, around the world, to use the same software to accomplish the same tasks that people with larger resources use. So contributing to Drupal and other open-source projects is, in part, an exercise in social justice.

  • Having people from all over the world, who have different ways of using the web (e.g., blind people), and different backgrounds (e.g., racial, gender, education, occupation) involved in the Drupal contributor community enriches Drupal, by bringing us deeper understanding and perspective. So it's important that we make our community as open as possible to all kinds of people everywhere, and take seriously any concerns that are raised about exclusions and barriers.

  • Drupal (the software) will only survive and thrive if Drupal (the community) is healthy. If our community becomes toxic or dysfunctional, eventually the key contributors will leave it or contribute less, damaging the software as well. And if we do not attract new contributors, we miss out on new ideas and perspectives, as well as the replacements for current contributors, some of whom will inevitably find something else exciting to work on and move on. So we need to pay attention to the community and the well-being of the community members as our highest priority.

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