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Grassroots promotion

This page is designed to capture some information about grassroots community growth for the GetOneGiveOne program and other opportunities/resources that can help people explore how to support OLPC, wherever they are in the world.

Step 1: Join an email list

To join an email list, go to "List Info" page and enter your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time. (Hint: you may wish to choose the option of receiving email in a digest format when signing up. This means that instead of getting every email that is posted to the list, you will receive a series of summaries of several emails.)

Grassroots email list

Subscribe here:

For circulating ideas, starting discussions that could result in forming groups; asking questions about items on this page — anything related to Grassroots OLPC mdash; and initially focused on empowering OLPC supporters who are coming into the OLPC community, perhaps as a result of recent press coverage around the world, or the G1G1 program.

Community support email list

Subscribe here:

This list is meant to be a list where people can ask questions, and other members will answer them. It will work in tandem with a "forum", a special website where you can also post questions, where experts will be able to answer some questions, where you can find questions that have been answered before, and where you can participate by helping someone else out.

  • The basic principle in OLPC community support is that help is a noun and a verb. Help is there for the asking — and the opportunity is there for you to help someone else along. This is going to be a global community, it already is, and we're all in this together.
  • It's really important to know that anyone and everyone's contribution is important. And discussion, asking questions — is important. There is *NO DUMB QUESTION*. You are most welcome to explore.

Step 2: Spread the word

Explore, and, get to know OLPC, learn what's going on. Look at this page, think of ways to tell other people about the program.

G1G1: There are a couple of flyers that can be printed out for spreading the word: Community#Marketing

Step 3: Join or form a group

Some tips and a step-by-step guide on starting your own grassroots group are available at How to start a grassroots group.

Learn how to edit a wiki page. It's actually fun. Anyone can do it. Did you know that Wikipedia is the world's #2 recognized brand, after Apple? And that is is an entirely community created site, in a great number of languages? The OLPC wiki is a core of the community. Share ideas, explore, learn about groups.

If you'd like to make a homepage for your group on this wiki, Template:Grassroots group may help you get started.


(11-29-07) The Get One Give One program is resulting in a wide variety of great opportunities for people to show their support for OLPC, not only by purchasing an XO (resulting in another going to a child in the developing world), but through sharing links to information, promotion and other items that can help spread the word, in online communities such as YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Second Life and others.

(Note: Please feel free to add to this. Get involved!)



  • A new page/video has been posted directly on YouTube with information about the OLPC Foundation, and showing the television spot featuring Heroes star Masi Oka:

(FunFact: by 9pm Central, about 40,000 views)

  • Actions you can take: Watch, play for friends, don't spam people, but with people you know, send them a brief email or instant message telling them what you think about OLPC, and suggest that they check out the video.


(fill in with URLs of official and grassroots MySpace presence)

  • Actions you can take: Connect with the OLPC Myspace page, tell your friends about it, add as friends, etc.


(fill in with URLs of official and grassroots Facebook presence)

  • Actions you can take: Connect with the OLPC Facebook page, tell your friends about it, connect with the network, etc. -- if you're at a college/university -- consider forming a group (see university group link below in Grassroots group draft section).


Virtual worlds

For grassroots support of OLPC in virtual worlds such as Second Life, see Virtual worlds.

Forming grassroots groups

This section, in draft status, is to discuss and brainstorm about the design of a future lightweight Grassroots Group Program to help interested citizens to start local OLPC efforts within and directed towards their own country.

Note that the presence of a grassroots group in a country doesn't imply government endorsement of the OLPC program in that country, although many grassroots groups are actively working with their government to make this happen.

This page is extremely rough (and partly based on the University program). Feel free to edit & contribute - see the Talk:Grassrooots page for discussion.

Why grassroots?

  • Local communities should be able to make things for their children - we should have games, music, programs, stories, lessons, and so on from each local community for the children in that particular country, or even town.
  • Centralization is a bottleneck.


  • How much time do you spend on the organization?
  • How are you structured?

How to form a grassroots group

The process of forming an University chapter is very informal. University chapters are really just good excuses to get groups of interesting people together to do interesting things... that happen to be related to OLPC. The following instructions are suggestions - feel free to change them according to what works best for your group.

  • Gather a group of at least 10 interested people (students, faculty, staff, community members and their families) at your school who want to form a chapter. If people at your school use computers a lot, creating a mailing list or website can help you recruit. Template flyers and letters are also available - please remix, modify, and create new ones!
  • Create your group's homepage on the OLPC Wiki and include it in the University chapters category. The easiest way to do this is to use the University chapter template.
  • Create a mailing list for communication within your group. Universities will often host mailing lists for clubs and community service groups; talk to your IT department if you're not sure how to do this. Google and Yahoo also offer free mailing list services. It is often convenient to define group membership and mailing list membership as the same thing (in other words, if you're signed up for the mailing list, you're a member of the group).
  • Once you've got at least 10 people, call a meeting and collectively decide on a name and some projects to begin working on - see the What University chapters can do section for some ideas. Holding a Jam is often a good first project to bring a group together (and can help you recruit new members and projects to boot).
  • Designate one person to be the main external contact for your group. (This is usually called "electing a leader," but your ideas on self-governance may vary.) The external contact person (and any other interested members) should subscribe to the mailing list (discussion mainly in English).
  • You may want to turn your OLPC chapter into a club or community service group at your university. Talk to your Student Life department or student government representative if you're not sure how to do this. Forming a campus group often makes it easier to obtain resources from your school.
  • When you have an active group, a first project, a webpage, and a contact person, add yourselves to the Current university chapters list at the bottom of this page.
  • Send out an email announcing your new chapter and introducing yourselves to the mailing list.

Being listed as a chapter

In order to be listed on this website as an active university chapter, you need to keep your chapter profile up-to-date. This is particularly important for contact information, as newcomers who want to join your group should always have a way to find out who to talk to. As such, you should update your entry in the "Current university chapters" table at least once a year. The easiest times to do this are usually at the beginning or end of a school term, or when your group selects a leader. Here's what to do:

  • Make sure the link to your website is correct.
  • Update the contact information to point to the userpage of the appropriate person - usually the group leader.
  • Change the "Last Updated" date to today's date.

Entries with a "Last Updated" date more than a year old will periodically be deleted from the table (if you see any, feel free to edit the wiki and remove them yourself). This is in order to keep contact information current for people looking for active university chapters.


  • An "XO lab in a box" - some number of spots (3? 5?) in the developers' program so the students can have machines to play/experiment with (I have a game-jam box of 5 machines earmarked for any upcoming Game Jams; please get in touch with me with advanced notice for jamsSj talk)
  • Connections, networking, etc. with others in the OLPC community (not that you can't do that without a university chapter, but this lowers the activation energy for people to join in)
  • Announcements about research, internship, etc. opportunities for OLPC work
  • A good excuse to work on OLPC for credit :-)
  • Your ideas here - what else would you like to see?


  • Run a Jam at your school
  • Take on OLPC projects as class projects/assignments for education, history, language, etc. classes
  • Serve as mentors for younger students making content, software, hardware, etc
  • Your ideas here - what else would you like to do?


Expand beyond universities - high schools, elementary schools, etc. might want to help

They could always be part of the chapter by their local college - great mentorship opportunity for the college students.

Add yourself to global maps:

Current grassroots groups

See Regional groups and Category:Countries


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