Vishwas Babu and Ed Cable had the pleasure of being guests on FLOSS Weekly on April 9, 2014. FLOSS Weekly is a live talk show hosted by Randal Schwartz that features the most interesting and important people in the Open Source and Free Software community. This week Randal was out so we had a blast chatting with Aaron Newcomb and Dan Lynch about all the great opportunities the Mifos X platform presents for financial inclusion. Check out the video below or download the audio or video for FLOSS Weekly 289 to watch later on.
Throughout the year, so many acts of kindness, ingenuity, and dedication go unheralded. In what will now be an annual tradition, we want to recognize those members of the community who’ve gone above and beyond in their service to their fellow community members and their clients. Below is a post to recap our first annual Community Choice Awards which were given our during a rooftop ceremony and dinner on October 24, 2013 during our Mifos Summit in Jaipur. This year we had four planned awards and one surprise one that was bestowed upon me:
- Most Innovative MFI (sponsored by Google): Nuru International
- Most Dedicated Specialist (sponsored by ThoughtWorks) – Conflux Technologies
- Technical Volunteer of the Year – Gurpreet Luthra
- Non-Technical Volunteer of the Year – Deanna McCusker
- Distinguished Service Award – Edward Cable
Fresh off an invigorating and breathtaking summit that united our community from around the world, Craig Chelius is off to represent the Mifos Initiative at the Financial Inclusion 2020 Global Forum in London. We are gracious and honored to be one of a select group of Innovators who have been invited to attend the summit, which kicked off today. As we launch the first true open platform for financial inclusion, we’re eager and ready to partner with hundreds of delegates who will be at the summit. Mifos is a game-changing catalyst for technology-enabled business models and we’re delighted for the chance to help the industry as a whole, re-discover the new Mifos Initiative.
The Community for Open Source Microfinance (“COSM”), in conjunction with Software Freedom Conservancy, is proud to announce that COSM will assume full stewardship of Mifos®, an award-winning free and open source software platform for microfinance, effective immediately. Conservancy, a non-profit fiscal sponsor for Free Software projects and the previous non-profit home of the Mifos project, will assist in COSM in the transition and will donate all the Mifos copyrights, trademarks, and domain names to COSM.
In turn, COSM plans to reunite the project and brand under the name, Mifos Initiative, and will serve as both the new non-profit home for the Mifos project and as the community hub for developers, microfinance institutions, vendors, development consultants, and users that together comprise the Mifos community.
I’m eager to get to Portland to kick off an exhilarating week at OSCON with the Community Leadership Summit but am stuck at the airport with a delay. CLS is always a blast and this year our Executive Director, Craig Chelius, will be joining me. Looking forward to discussing fundraising, launching local chapters, engaging non-technical users, and stimulating application development in our ecosystem among the many topics in community development.
Continuing into the week, OSCON will be a reunion of sorts and a chance to harness the power of our collective minds. Two of our board members, Zaheda Bhorat and Dave Neary will be in town along with advisor, Steve Thomson. I’m eager to make strong headway in charting our community forward heading towards our 2013 summit in Jaipur.
I wanted to give a big thank you to Deanna McCusker and the VMware Foundation for an incredible gift they made this past week. As you know, Deanna, as part of her Take 3 Sabbatical from VMware, has been designing the user experience for our Mifos X platform the past several months. She wrote about her experiences with her community for VMware Foundation’s recent #iServe challenge. She was selected the winner of a $1000 grant for our project for her exemplary community service. Out of the kindness of her own heart, Deanna also chose to personally donate a $1000 which was also matched by VMware Foundation which means a total of $3000 has been raised for Mifos and The Community for Open Source Microfinance.
Two days. Three continents. Twenty volunteers. One mission – 3 Billion Maries.
I am totally psyched to be headed to San Francisco this weekend to experience Random Hacks of Kindness for the first time. We are ready to RHoK out with Mifos as one of the featured problems for December 2012. The sheer enormity of this global collaboration puts me in awe – i really don’t know what to expect but am excited to lead our project and am sure great things are on the way.
This past week there was a virtual conference led by CGAP and Microsave on Client Insights as well as blog post from Ignacio Mas on remixing microfinance. Both these topics on focusin on client data and looking at way to create hybrid models of delivering financial services were a good follow-on to our vision session at the Mifos Summit. It got me reflecting on our product vision that was beginning to emerge at the summit. Technology often constrains what an MFI should do rather than enable it. We aim to make Mifos X a flexible platform that puts no limits on how an MFI can design and deliver their financial services.