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Gurufest logo and text PLAINSVG draftv1 09.svg

Gurufest is a project to extend the work of the many employees now leaving OLPC. Each of these "OLPC alum" (our gurus) have an incredible base of knowledge and it will be difficult to fill their shoes. While they are still in the area, we would like to hear their experiences with OLPC, Sugar, and the XO. The topics are up to the Gurus, some may generate excitement for an exisiting OLPC project, others may speak their mind on the future of OLPC. Our Gurus know best and we have much to learn from them.

GuruFest is GO Come attend the next session with Greg Smith (start date::4 Apr 2009 10:00-2:00pm), check our the website:

Current Status: Up and Running!!!

GuruFest is in full swing. Check out our website,, for a full list of details. Our next Guru is:

Caroline Meeks: Sugar on a Stick

Again, check out the website for more details.

Who is a Guru?

At present we are focusing on "OLPC alum" as gurus. We would like to catch our alum before the move on to bigger and better things. In the future, we are open to having more GuruFests with anyone with considerable OLPC/Sugar Labs experience and would like to spread their enthusiasm, projects, knowledge, direction.

Specific Skills

  • Real-time transcription: We would love to have GuruFest transcribed and streamed live. If you can help us out here, put your name under Attendees with a note or Contact Us


If you want to attend a Guru Fest, list yourself here:

  • Joe XO
  • Mel Chua - generally speaking, I'm a transcription nut. Would be happy to take Gobby notes during sessions I attend.

Upcoming Gurus

If you are interested in sharing knowledge @ an upcoming Guru Fest, list yourself here:


Gurufest is being organized by OLPC of Olin College. Because of our proximity to Boston, we would like to hold conferences at Olin Campus in has location city::Needham, MA, Has location country::USA.

Beautiful Olin College Campus. Come be a guru!

Google map of Olin College

Directions on getting to Olin from the admissions office

Contact Us

If you would like to be a guru, attend a fest, or otherwise get involved, feel free to email

Colin Zwiebel (user:colinz)

colin dot zwiebel at students dot olin dot edu

Also, suggestions, feedback, whatever is greatly appreciated.


Like SugarCamp and OLPC Camp, we are willing to bring the events of GuruFest to the global OLPC community. We are happy to video record all talks and request that our attendees help update the wiki with any information they take from the event. Oh course this all depends on the format. Videoing an intimate talk would be counter-productive.

SJ has recommended high quality live transcription. This would be totally awesome! If you have experience with stenomasks, stenotype, or can type as fast as Mel Chua, put your name under attendees with a note, or Contact Us!


Q: Isn't GuruFest futile? We cannot hope to take a brain dump of leaving OLPC employees!

A: Gurufest doesn't aim to pick our gurus brains for every piece of information they learned/used while at OLPC. It gives them a platform to share whatever they feel will be useful in continuing their work (including technical information, as they feel appropriate) and a platform to let the community hear about their exciting work.

Q. I'm not part of OLPC at Olin College, can I take part in gurufest?

A. Absolutely, this is not meant to be exclusive in any way. Some of us coordinators happen to be from Olin and think it is a good (and inexpensive) venue for GuruFest.

Q. Can we have a GuruFest outside of Olin?

A. Absolutely, but hold near the Boston area so we can attend. Oh, and probably would be good to wait until we get a couple down and develop the concept to the fullest.

Q. How long is the fest?

A. We haven't planned for more than one day (though it is possible to do). Each fest will probably be a several hour event. We hope to hold these at regular intervals (week or two apart).

GuruFest Formats

We'd like to taylor each GuruFest to the topic/guru, but we'd also like to keep GuruFest simple and convient for gurus (you all have a lot on your plates). So we've come up with several different "fests" we think would work. Ultimately, we feel that our gurus know best, but we thought we'd give them some ideas.

Presentation/Technical Documentaiton Format

Length: half day Documentation: very likely (video and wiki) Start off with a presentation of your work at OLPC to get people excited, then move on to information about how to get working on your area. Give an overview of work that needs to be continued in the coming months. Suggest things that would be really neat to accomplish. Talk about technical information that (probably) isn't on the wiki. We'll record your talk and put information up on the wiki. You probably don't want to talk forever, so this should be combined with a some other activity. Perhaps a hands-on session? Breaks/greet time would be part of the fest.

Intensive Training

Length: half day Documentation: not immediately. Video unlikley. Write up training or "getting started" resources from skills learned Lead some OLPC community members through an intensive training program. Walk them through your work, pull them straight into the problem your working on at present. Kick start the volunteers to continue your work


Length: multiple half days over large period of time Documentation: as the apprentice feels appropriate. No video. Come lead a smaller crowd into your line of work. Get volunteers into "starter problems" and lead them up to current projects, giving advice all along the way. Return to futher assist volunteers that have become engaged in your area. Create a relationship that, though your help, will lead apprentices into working your specialty of OLPC.


Length: half day Documentation: very likely (video and wiki) Ask the right questions and you can learn anything, pretty much. Given the right audienece members, come to get asked all kinds of question about your work, technical knowledge, direciton of OLPC, what have you. Just answer, we'll ask and document.

Fireside Chat

Length: half day Documentation: none Join a smallish group of community members and share the personal side of working with OLPC. Share whatever seems relevant and generally just develop good conversations with what may be the future OLPC developers.