Free Geek Seattle:About

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Who We Are[edit]

Free Geek Seattle is a non-profit organization which serves the community by recycling electronics and computer hardware, refurbishing and giving away computers, and providing training and support in Free and Open Source software. It is based on the original Free Geek organization in Portland, Oregon.

What 'Free Geek' means[edit]

The 'Free Geek' name is a trademark of the original organization in Portland Oregon. For an organization to call itself a 'Free Geek' it must meet |the following criteria:

  1. Have a mission that is similar to and does not contradict the Free Geek Mission Statement.
  2. Dispose of equipment in an ethical and environmentally responsible manner.
  3. Use Free/Open Source Software wherever possible and must promote the Free Software philosophy in other ways, such as transparent collaboration with others.
  4. Provide low- and no-cost computer technology and training to their community.
  5. Be democratically run in a non-hierarchical way that is open and transparent to all participants in its programs.
  6. Be a non-profit business (as legally defined in their location) and must follow honest business practices with the stated goal of advancing the common good.

History[edit]

Free Geek Seattle formed in 2008 as a side project of the Greater Seattle Linux Users Group (GSLUG) and under the guidance of a few dedicated individuals started to gain interest and momentum.

Our first community event was the 2009 Install Fest held in commemoration of Software Freedom Day. This took place at the Greenwood public library meeting room and was a big success.

Also, quarterly meetings were held at various location (libraries and 3rd Place Commons) to help drive the growth and direction of the organization. By working with Free Geek Portland we were able to obtain semi-official status as a Free Geek startup with the requirement that we select a board of advisors to help guide the organization in a more democratic manner. (See below for more details about the board).

Another important event in 2010 was our computer recycling workshop held at the Seattle Green Festival.

In 2011 we began to partner with " Jigsaw Renaissance and shortly after they moved into the Inscape building they agreed to host our monthly workshops and quarterly board meetings there. Our first workshop was in August 2011 and since then we have seen accelerated growth as more frequent and willing volunteers show up to help, grow, and learn.

In early 2013 we secured our current workshop space at the Filipino Community Center of Seattle. We spent most of the year getting more interested volunteers together and learning how to use our new space effectively.

As of 2014 we continue partnering with the Filipino Community Center to provide youth classes as a part of their STEAM Lab program, and are currently conducting workshops and informal classes during our regular Saturday volunteer sessions. Donations and volunteer participation are continuing to grow, and our programs are improving every week. We had our first substantial presence at LinuxFest NW (http://linuxfestnorthwest.org) in Bellingham. We had over 1/2 dozen volunteers manning our booth with stickers and brochures, and made some great contacts in the PNW open source and tech community.

Future[edit]

As we continue to grow, we hope to:

  • Improve our donation, volunteer, and educational programs with more formal structure
  • Obtain 501(C)(3) non-profit status in addition to our WA State non-profit status
  • Find a larger and more permanent location for our operations
  • Build partnerships with other tech and education-related community organizations
  • Expand volunteer participation and projects

Want to help? Feel free to visit our forum and introduce yourself!

Board of Directors[edit]

Current Board[edit]

Current Board[edit]

President - Jon Madamba
Vice President/Volunteer Coordinator - None
Treasurer - None
Donations Coordinator - Chad Walters
Secretary - Tim Leavitt

Voting members without portfolio:

Harvey Friedman
Dan Ryan

2009 Founding Members[edit]

Mark Foster

Jon Madamba

Chad Walters

Affiliations[edit]

Here are a few of the organizations we collaborate with, or otherwise support and wish to be associated with.

Filipino Community Center of Seattle (FCS)

Greater Seattle Linux Users Group (GSLUG)

Jigsaw Renaissance

3R Technology - Our current electronics recycler