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I'm working at a software consultancy that a has a lot of volunteers available for about a month and a half at a time (when we're between projects and learning things) and we'd like to start contributing to open source projects that have a positive social impact. Any idea which projects we can look at?

The constraints are:

  • Built on a fairly modern language and stack that's suitable for beginners but has wide adoption - Java+Spring+Hibernate / RoR / Groovy+Grails - basically a stack we'd expect to work on in other projects too.

  • Has / aims to have a positive on peoples lives - like Ushahidi, OpenMRS, RapidFTR, FrontlineSMS, etc.

  • Has well defined stories and requirements, or has owners who are willing to work with our analysts to come up with them.

Any ideas?

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closed as off-topic by durron597, MichaelT, Snowman, Kilian Foth, GlenH7 Jul 7 at 13:38

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If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

You ask, "Any idea which projects we can look at?" and then go about mentioning some of the open sourced social impact project yourself - OpenMRS, RapidFTR, FrontlineSMS etc. Confused! What is it that you are asking for or wanting to know? May you please refine your question. – karthiks Jul 22 '11 at 17:17
I'm trying to see what other projects fit into that category. Are these the only ones? – Sudhir Jonathan Jul 23 '11 at 12:44… – Job Jul 25 '11 at 14:58
I do not like the idea of doing charity while on the company's clock. It is bad economics. – Job Jul 25 '11 at 15:10
@Job: The OP said that the people are volunteers. Therefore it is not a question of good/bad economics (disregarding for the moment that charity is, from a naive viewpoint, always bad economics, but valuable and admirable nonetheless) – asfallows Jul 25 '11 at 16:16

2 Answers 2

I am not deeply familiar with the projects promoted there, but aims to offer people an easy way to connect with humanitarian projects in all aspects of engineering - they have a section on 'Info Systems', I suspect that one or more of those projects will fit your interests.

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You could look into distributed social networks, like Diaspora or Appleseed. Having monoliths like Facebook or Google controlling our online interactions could/has lead to bad places.

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