Episode 029: Wilbur Ince, Drupal Frontend Developer and Human Rights Activist

Wilbur Ince, Drupal Frontend Developer and Human Rights Activist, sits down with Ivan Stegic to discuss his career, road to Drupal and the valuable volunteer work he does.

Here's what we're discussing in this podcast:

  • Origin of Ince
  • Origin of Wylbur
  • Growing up in Minnesota
  • Living abroad
  • A short-lived marketing career
  • Discovering Drupal
  • Meeting Allie Micka
  • Impact of joining the Twin Cities Drupal community
  • Twin Cities Drupal Camp's success
  • Raining Training
  • RAGBRAI
  • Team Roadkill
  • Cycles for Change, the Bike Library
  • Amnesty International USA
  • Working Hard – Doing Good

TRANSCRIPT

IVAN STEGIC: Hey Everyone! You’re listening to the TEN7 Podcast, where we get together every fortnight to talk about technology, business and the humans in it. I’m your host Ivan Stegic. In this episode of the Podcast I’m chatting with Wilbur Ince who is a frontend developer at Electric Citizen, an avid cyclist, an active member of the Twin Cities Drupal Group and has described himself as anti-war and pro-people. He’s based right here in Minneapolis, Minnesota and I’m so glad to be talking with him today. Wilbur welcome to the Podcast.

WILBUR INCE: It’s great to be here. Thanks for having me.

IVAN: It’s a pleasure to have you. It’s nice outside again! We’ve been doing all these podcasts in the cold winter and the last couple of weeks the sun is shining. It’s good to be alive.

WILBUR: It has been a very interesting spring, hasn’t it? I don’t know that it’s ever lasted so long before.

IVAN: I agree. And it seems like the trees and the grass suddenly became green.

WILBUR: Right. I think the biggest thing I noticed now is that the length of the days already longer, and it seemed like we missed spring. All of a sudden we’re in summer.

IVAN: I’m okay with that. (laughter)

WILBUR: Yea. Yea. That’s good.

IVAN: So, I wanted to start with your name. Wilbur Ince. I’ve seen it spelled with a “y” online and I’ve made the mistake of actually writing it with a “y”. I think it’s a mistake. But I think that’s your username, I’m not sure. So I want to ask you about the difference between them, because there’s also two websites.

WILBUR: Right. Well, at some point I realized to go on websites with Wilbur you’re always going to be fighting and have to have a unique name like “Wilbur - Ince”, “Wilbur.Ince”, “Wilbur.6148” and I saw somebody else, I actually copied it where they replaced the “i’s” with “y’s” and I came up with Wylbur and I have almost no problem getting that everywhere. So, any social media, any kind of website presence if you look for Wilbur.

IVAN: That’s really a great way to kind of hack the system. I tried doing that as well with my first name, but there’s a ton of people with Ivan.

WILBUR: Yea.

IVAN: And then even exchanging the “a” with the number 4 doesn’t really help either, so, kudos to you.

WILBUR: Yea.

IVAN: Now, your last name “Ince”. I did a little bit of research. It’s either from one of two counties in the Northwest of England, or it’s a Turkish name. Have you researched your ancestors?

WILBUR: You know, I haven’t done a lot of that but my brother and my sister have. They’ve done a ton of work on that, and actually you’re wrong on both and that’s interesting. (laughter) So, we do know and have heard about the, there’s a Turkish movie director that has the last name Ince. I’m trying to think if that’s Will or not, if it's Will Ince. I also know about England. But really where it came from is that we were German immigrants, and we had a very complicated name. It was spelled “Unectz” and at immigration the three brothers were there and they looked at them and they said “no, that’s not going to go here.” And so the three brothers actually picked three different derivations of that – “Unce”, “Unze” and “Ince”. And those three brothers all settled in Minnesota, and so we had relatives that are named Unce that are, you know, far back related to us in the same town that I grew up. I grew up in Shakopee.

IVAN: In Shakopee…

WILBUR: By the Twin Cities.

IVAN: And you said that your ancestors settled in Minnesota, so you are truly born and bred Minnesotan?

WILBUR: Yea, oh yea. I’ve been here my whole life. I actually spent a little bit of time in Brussels in the mid-nineties. Before I was a technical guy I was a marketing guy and I worked with the frequent flyer business and I lived in Brussels for a couple years and I missed Minnesota and I came back here.

IVAN: Why did you go to Brussels?

WILBUR: I worked with Sabena, the ex-airline of Belgium and I helped them launch their frequent flyer program.

IVAN: My goodness, I think they're called Brussel Airlines right now.

WILBUR: Oh, is that right?

IVAN: And we ended up flying over spring break with them, over to Brussels. So we were just recently in Brussels. It’s a beautiful town. Beautiful city.

WILBUR: Yea. And it’s a great place to land as an ex-patriot. I was there for a couple of years and it's nice, but they have Spring and they have Fall. There’s no Winter and there’s no Summer, you know. We’re really lucky to live in a place that you can get 100 degree days and you can get minus 40 degree days, you know.

IVAN: For those of us who don’t have AC, 100 degrees right now sounds like hell.

WILBUR: Yea. Oh, yea. It can be. I think the worst thing about warm weather is when it’s at night. You know, if it's 90 degrees at night, that’s impossible.

IVAN: It is impossible. So, you grew up in Minnesota, spent some time in Brussels, Belgium, came back to Minnesota. It sounded like you became a technical guy from being a marketing guy. When about did that happen?

WILBUR: You know I had a pretty typical American upbringing. I have actually about 50 first cousins. We’re German Catholic, so big families.

IVAN: Wow.

WILBUR: Yea. And so I was one of the first people to go to college and so, you know, you studied hard and I went to college, graduated from the University of Minnesota. I worked a couple years and then went back and got my MBA. And I ended up, you know, working in frequency marketing. And, that’s the marriage of marketing and technology. You know where it’s tracking peoples’ behavior and retracting things and then we’re rewarded for them or encouraging them to buy more things. And in that process I realized I was a technical guy. I just love to solve puzzles and problems. And then have just sort of a terrier kind of personality about learning and finding about things, you know. What I also found out is that I’m not a very good marketing person, because in marketing you have to lie a lot and that was just too much, you know?

IVAN: Yea.

WILBUR: I actually retired from marketing in 1994, after having a successful run as a marketing person. I just thought there was something else, and of course in 1994 technology was just really taking off. So that was the way to go, and I didn’t know what I was going to do after marketing,F but that seemed to figure itself out.

IVAN: I know Drupal wasn’t around in ’94, so you must have done something to do with technology and the web before Drupal? And I guess the question is what was that thing and why did you come to Drupal?

WILBUR: Yea. So after being a marketing guy, really, I made my life a lot simpler and I was doing a lot of work with a non-profit bike shop in town, where we were recycling bicycles and teaching people bicycle skills. And they needed a website. At that time, you know, we were hard coding websites and I got to a point and I said hey, you know, it would be great to have this menu show up the same on every page. And somebody said, you should look at PHP, that’s the thing. PHP is the thing. And, somewhere along the way there I figured out PHP and then I met a woman named Allie Micka.

IVAN: Oh Allie! Shout out to Allie Micka!

WILBUR: Allie Micka is… if you would look at the etymology or the tree of where everyone came through and got exposed to Drupal in the Twin Cities, she probably touches everyone. And, so she got me on Drupal and I started looking at that and, I mean, my intention was really to get websites to people that didn’t have money to build them, you know, non-profits and little local organizations, and that’s how I got into Drupal. And so I just sputtered around and made a lot of websites for a lot of people and a lot of little different causes, and it took me a long time to figure out that, I don’t even know when I became a pro. I think it was a couple years ago. Also, you just sort of realize to yourself, it’s like I guess this is my thing. I’m really pretty good at this. I know a lot more than I thought I did.

IVAN: And I’m writing invoices every month and I’m getting paid to do this, and this thing that I love that used to be a hobby is actually turning into a profession.

WILBUR: Right. I think it came clear when you would get questions from people about how to do something, and then you’d be like oh, that’s easy. Here just do this and that and that. And when you answered more questions than you had, I think that’s when I was like oh, yea, I think maybe I know what I’m doing.

IVAN: So your introduction to Drupal and the Drupal Twin Cities community really comes through Allie, and she is kind of the roots of the Drupal Twin Cities group. I really should ask Allie to join me on the podcast. That would be a really interesting discussion I think.

WILBUR: Yea.

IVAN: And, do you recall the first Drupal event in the Twin Cities that you ever attended?

WILBUR: I don’t. I worked at a non-profit bike shop over in St. Paul. It’s called Cycles for Change. And, we were in the Renaissance Building in downtown St. Paul. I had met Allie at a PHP user group meetup. She was looking for space and she moved into that building and so that was a long time ago…2005, 2004. But I think there’s a lot of common stories in the Twin Cities about people that came to Drupal kind of organically through other things. Especially through the non-profit community and activism. I think that’s really a big part of the Twin Cities. What makes it special is how many people use Drupal because they have this community focus, you know, and giving back kind of a thing.

IVAN: I agree. And it strikes me that everything that Drupal Camp Twin Cities has done in the last several years since its existence, I think we’ve had, what is this now the sixth camp coming up now? Fifth or sixth? All of it has happened through volunteer, and you get sponsors of the camp, but the camp itself is all run by volunteers every year and it amazes me that it happens every year, year after year. And I think that activism that runs through the community is what drives that. You’re a very highly active member of the community.

WILBUR: You know, it's great to hang out with people like that and be part of an organization like that. You talk about this camp, right. When you think about it, we just went through and did the sessions, we picked the sessions. You look at the sessions and we have a hard time every year because we have too many advanced sessions, and we look at the camp and we say what are people that are new to Drupal, do we have enough sessions for them? Because we have such high flyers in this area and such good sessions. If you look at a camp like that, if you look at an event like that, four days and it costs $35. I mean you go to other camps, you know, lunch costs $35. Or $1,000, $1,500 conference fee. We’re doing this for nothing.

IVAN: We’re doing it for nothing.

WILBUR: It’s really amazing.

IVAN: And it's four days of programming as well. It’s not a day conference or two-day conference. Do you want to talk about what it looks like this year? When it is?

WILBUR: Yea. You know every year we plan this thing. We seem to be letting it go a little bit farther before we really dig our heels in and I think we’re really having a little trouble, just because we’re so far behind, but I think that’s part of the mystique of these camps, is that they're organized by people and that let’s all get together and if you have something to talk about then come and talk about it. What’s been happening the last couple days is, our web form on the website was not forwarding messages to us, and so the first day is training and we were kind of scrambling because we were trying to get together some training options, and now we have those three trainings set up and we had three people, three organizations that had contacted us, asking if they could do training at our camp. And so, now, we’re adding a fourth and a fifth training session and maybe a sixth.

IVAN: Wow. I thought we were only adding a fourth one. I didn’t realize we might actually be adding three more. That’s incredible. Six training sessions.

WILBUR: You know the fourth is official and the fifth and sixth are potential. Promet is one of the places. Mike Anello who does a very famous Drupal podcast wants to come and do a session because he’s going to come to our camp. It’s raining training sessions on us.

IVAN: It’s raining training!. So the first day is June 7, we’re doing all of those trainings. The second day is the Friday, the 7th is a Thursday, the second day’s a Friday. The keynote's still scheduled for that Friday am I right?

WILBUR: I think that’s right. I haven’t been involved with the keynote planning, but the keynote would be on Friday and then we’d have just sessions on Saturday.

IVAN: And then a sprint still on the Sunday.

WILBUR: And then the sprint on Sunday. Right. We just published the schedule, so go and take a look at it, but a lot of really power packed presentations. It’s going to be really a fun camp. Great for people that have been working with Drupal 8 and want to kind of level up. This is a place to really get some questions answered and really find out from people that are really doing it in the field. It should be really good.

IVAN: That’s tcdrupal.org right Wilbur?

WILBUR: Yup. Tcdrupal.org. Yea.

IVAN: One more questions about the camp if you don’t mind?

WILBUR: Sure.

IVAN: One of my first interactions I remember with you was helping out with one of the parties. And I know you used to be the head honcho…the main guy…the big squeeze for the Saturday night or the Friday night party. Any plans for that this year? Are you helping out with that again?

WILBUR: You know, I’m not on the party circuit at this time, and I don’t know what’s going on with that. Sorry. There’s a lot to do with the party. The first couple years I worked with the Friday night party. For a few years I was kind of the guy on the Saturday party. Now the Friday party is kind of the official party and then the Saturday party was like ok, this thing is done. And, it’s really more the organizers' party, because we could finally relax. It’s like let’s just hang out. We don’t have anything to manage anymore. And so, that was kind of fun because I took the lead from other people that said you know the best kind of a party is not at a bar where there’s music blaring and you can’t talk to anybody. It’s really kind of a comfortable place to hang out. So, a friend of mine and I do a micro cinema called Casket Cinema, and he has a studio space in Northeast Minneapolis. So I got his space and had somebody come and just cater a barbecue. We shuttled people to and from the event. I’m in a bicycle club and we used our converted school bus, a 1988 school bus to shuttle people back and forth and that was really, for me, one of those really fun times when everybody can just hang out and relax and it was totally that hip Northeast Minneapolis artist scene kind of played out.

IVAN: I recall hanging out on the roof of that bus, and I couldn’t understand how it was that you had access to a bus of such sorts and then I got to talking to, and it was very evident that you were involved in this thing called RAGBRAI that I’m still not really sure exactly what it is. I think it’s a week long bicycle trip? Do you want to tell us a little more about what that is?

WILBUR: Sure. Yea. I’m involved with a very, very unorganized/organized club called Team Roadkill. We had a couple of lawyers on our crew and they got us incorporated as a nonprofit, and we own a bus together, a 1988 GMC customized school bus. And it’s funny because we have this really good organization and sort of look good on paper and it’s just a bunch of people that like to get together and ride and drink beer. So, our big event every year is called the RAGBRAI. It’s an acronym. It’s short for “Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa.” So this is an event. Anybody that’s been from Iowa knows this. This is actually the largest and the oldest ride in the country, organized bicycle ride. Every year about 12,000 people go across Iowa. Seven days from the Missouri River to the Mississippi in this annual pilgrimage. They pick a different route across Iowa every year and stop in at small towns and it really captured the small town and middle America feel of Iowa. So, you ride into some small town and you buy homemade pie from a church lady that makes these pies every week for church and she charges you $1.50 for the pie and she thinks she’s making a killing, because she charges just a $1.00 for that pie and you think you’re in heaven because you’re getting a slice of homemade pie from some lady in Iowa for a buck and a half.

IVAN: Wow. So you must have someone that drives the bus that isn’t riding? Someone that keeps track of the whole maintenance of all of these bikes and then do you camp every night? Or how does that part work?

WILBUR: It’s a camping thing. The whole idea of the team kind of came around on the RAGBRAI because when you have 12,000 people going into a small town in Iowa, facilities become stretched to the max and so the team our club, kind of takes care of a lot of things that are difficult in that situation. So we have a shower system on our bus for people to take showers at night, which is pretty decadent on this kind of an event. We’ve been doing this, our club is about 35 years old. I’m not the original people that put this together. We have so many people that have ridden with us and gone along with us that pretty much anywhere we go in Iowa we have connections to somebody’s family and we stay in their yard rather than in the campground over at the county fair. You get to really meet people and it’s a lot more civilized than being in a giant campground with 12,000 other people.

IVAN: Wow. And that’s this July.

WILBUR: Every year the last full week of July everybody rides across Iowa. This’ll be my 20th year doing this.

IVAN: Wow. And you must spend a fair amount of time practicing and training for the ride. I mean, it’s one week from one major river to another in Iowa. I’m guessing there must be 150 miles at least?

WILBUR: The average is about 60 miles a day. They kind of alter the route. Right now they’ve really been keeping the distances per day pretty low to keep the family factor there. So between 50 and 75 miles a day. At some point in the nineties when I was doing it they were really, there’s a lot of partying that goes on, on this ride if you could believe that (laughter). During the day people drinking beer in these small towns. And so they really wanted to get rid of the party factor on the backside of the ride, you know, these are the people that kind of lag, and so they were making one year they had, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday were all 90 miles plus per day and that’s…

IVAN: … that’s killer.

WILBUR: It’s killer. Especially in Iowa in summer. You know you can get a 100 degree day, you can get a 20 mph headwind and that can just destroy everyone, you know. But then the partiers just get on their school buses and drive to the next event. So they abandoned that.

IVAN: So, you’re involved in the Drupal community. You’re involved with Team Road Kill and RAGBRAIi, but you’re also an activist. You’ve been doing work with Amnesty International recently?

WILBUR: You know one of the things that changed after I got out of marketing and kind of had some successful years, was that I realized it’s easy for you to get a fancy job and make a ton of money and have as much money as you want. But that’s really not what life is about for me. I did a lot of reading up on this and philosophy of what kind of a person I wanted to be, and I came upon an idea that I was going to spend one-third of my time doing charitable work for other organizations, other people. And, I try to keep that up. And, that’s pretty easy for me. So, I really like Amnesty International right now, that’s a great organization because they speak out for prisoners of conscience. And it's very satisfying as an individual to work and collect signatures and to send these petitions on to despot leaders in another country and say hey, you know, there’s this person you put in prison and you know, you need to give them a fair trial and you need to drop all charges and release them. And when that happens, a local kid from Shakopee makes an impact on the world. That’s really satisfying. And the other kind of activism I really like to do is really local stuff that doesn’t happen. I worked with the bike shop here, it’s a nonprofit bike shop that really advocates bicycle transportation for people. And, when you can just sit down and work with the public and make a difference in somebody’s life, that’s fantastic. Empower somebody to take control of their life by getting on a bike and riding to work.

IVAN: What’s the name of the bike shop?

WILBUR: Cycles for Change. They have two locations. One over in St. Paul and one over in Minneapolis.

IVAN: Is that the nonprofit that’s on Chicago in South Minneapolis?

WILBUR: No. That’s Full Cycle actually.

IVAN: Oh, that’s Full Cycle. That’s another nonprofit cycle shop right?

WILBUR: Yea. Cycles for Change came up with a really revolutionary program. They call it the bike library and so think of it like a library. A person comes and they say “I’d love to have bike.” And you say “that’s great. Here, we’ll check you out a bike, but it's not just a bike, you get a bike, you get a helmet, you get paniers so that you can carry your groceries to and from the grocery store. You get access to training to maintain your bike. You get riding lessons. They’re not called riding lessons – what are they called? Cycling lesson. How to ride safely in the city. What to avoid. What not to avoid. We think it’s as easy as riding a bike but really there’s a lot of strategies to making being a bike rider a lot nicer. And so you get all this stuff and you say “here you go, here’s all this stuff.” And people come in and they work on their bike and they learn about it, and after six months they go back and they talk to the person. They say how’s it going? Are you riding to work? Are you using your bike a lot? And if the person says no, it’s just not for me. It doesn’t work for me. No problem. You can give us the bike back. Everything’s great. If it’s great, if they're doing it, they say here, the bikes all yours. The bike is, the lock, the helmet all that stuff. We made a new bike rider, and now we can go on and work on the next one.

IVAN: Wow. What an incredible program. And that’s free to the individuals that are participating?

WILBUR: Free to the individuals. They just apply. They say I have a need. This is what I want to do. And they take it from there. And they’ve done that for hundreds and hundreds of people already. And it's really a program where it’s like let’s not just put out free bicycles. Let’s really like change people into bicyclists.

IVAN: I love the idea of it being a library, where it works out or it doesn’t work out. It doesn’t work out no big deal. We read the book, didn’t like the book, bring the book back.

WILBUR: Yea. Right. There’s no shame in that right? But now you gave it a good chance and we took away as many as the barriers as possible and tried to make you as successful as possible.

IVAN: So they’re online at cyclesforchange.org and is that a website you help them with as well?

WILBUR: This might be one of those uncomfortable, embarrassing moments, because remember when I said when you first learn how to do websites, I worked on their website and we had a Drupal website there and I learned so many things from that website for many years. Then I took a little break from Cycles for Change, but I helped them with their hosting and that’s what I really did. I still manage their hosting, but now they had a group come in and say hey, we have a bunch of students that are learning that other content management system WordPress, and so they built a website and I said that’s great. Let’s use your website. But what I do is I give them some continuity with that and I’m their devops for their website and if they have any issues then I take care of that. That’s been happening for 2005, so how many years is that?

IVAN: Thirteen.

WILBUR: That’s a long time. I’ve been there a long time. It’s a lot of donated hosting.

IVAN: Yes it is. I don’t think there’s any shame in the switch to WordPress at all. It sounds like it was the right thing for them at the right time. So, kudos to you for supporting them. I do want to just take one step back and ask a little more about Amnesty International. I’ve always thought of them as a large international organization that does things for human rights that really I have no power of changing or participating. But it sounds like you’re doing that. It sounds like they have a local chapter of some sort. Can you speak more to maybe a case that you’re working on right now. I don’t know if you call them cases. How you got involved with Amnesty and maybe how others might get involved as well if they have the inkling.

WILBUR: Yea. Amnesty is a large international organization. Their mission or their continued mission is to speak out for prisoners of conscience. And so, their main work is that they have country specialists that investigate cases that are reported of prisoners of conscience, and they get the facts and they figure this out. Then they’ll organize campaigns to put pressure on people to alleviate that situation. So that’s the international organization that everybody knows and that people get a membership to and they pay their $35 a year and they’re a member of Amnesty International. Then, that campaign is there and that is typically letter writing campaigns where we’ll be writing letters to the leaders of those countries or to the Prime Ministers, or to whoever is in charge that can make an effect. And, people, like you and I will sign those petitions. We can go online to Amnesty International or Amnesty USA and we can sign those petitions and those get sent to those leaders. Then the local chapters are kind of another part of this in that we can actually do our own sort of individual events to support that. That’s really where I’m involved with the organization, and that’s where you can meet other people and what we like to do in the Twin Cities a lot is to piggy back on other organizations’ events and be there at the place and say oh, if you’re interested in this then here’s a way you can help. You can sign petitions about these. So not all places have a local organization, but we’re really lucky again in the Twin Cities here to have some really prominent advocates from the Philippines, from Nigeria, North Korea, there’s a North Korea specialist that’s in town and we also have the Humphrey Institute over at the University of Minnesota. They provide fellowships for people that are human rights advocates, and so through that organization, if you come to our local chapter meetings which are the third Sunday of every month, it’ll be this Sunday at 2:00 at First Congregational Church, we have speakers from all over the world that are directly involved with these actions. That come and talk to our group of 15 people. It’s really impressive how quickly you can get associated with people that are really making a difference in the world.

IVAN: That’s twincitiesamnesty.org. Did I get that right?

WILBUR: That’s right.

IVAN: I just took a look at that.

WILBUR: That’s my next Drupal website actually.

IVAN: Is it really?

WILBUR: I just sold them my new website.

IVAN: I just clicked on the link for the Facebook page and it’s showing three admins, all of whom I know. Chris Dart works for TEN7 He’s one of our developers, so you know Chris pretty well I would imagine?

WILBUR: I don’t know Chris very well.

IVAN: You should talk to him at the next Amnesty International meeting.

WILBUR: I will.

IVAN: Third Sunday of every month from 2-4 at the First Congregational Church of Minnesota.

WILBUR: Yea. It’s a humbling experience and it's empowering to be able to just do a little bit of work and help other people, you know. When we think about our problems here and we look at some of these cases that we help, people that get thrown in prison, one of the things our local chapter does is we adopt a prisoner of conscience. Somebody who is in another country and maybe it’s a case that’s fallen to the wayside, and we’ll say let’s do this and let’s actually try and call the Prime Minister. So our last case was with an Ethiopian Journalist, his name was Eskinder Nega. And, this guy, I mean if you think we have courage, this guy was a journalist in Ethiopia which has a pretty horrible human rights record. And he would write about how he disagrees with the government and he gets thrown in jail in 2005, and he spends seven years in prison and there’s an Amnesty campaign and he gets out.

IVAN: He does?

WILBUR: And he comes back out and he starts writing again about things in Ethiopia. And he gets thrown back in jail and he spends six more years in jail. And so this was a case that had fallen by the wayside and our local group picked it up and we started making calls and we actually had an Ethiopian refugee here that was still connected in Ethiopia and he started making calls and some things have happened in Ethiopia where they’re releasing a lot of prisoners of conscience and Eskinder Nega got released again. And, he was getting around with a bunch of things and he got thrown in prison again, but now he’s out again. When I think about my activism, right, I just am organizing volunteers to sign letters, I’m not getting thrown in jail over and over again. So, people like that, real freedom fighters right, really people that are trying to change the system, that’s amazing.

IVAN: That is amazing and kudos to you for doing that. I admire that activity that you have and the amount of time that you spend in your principled, just persistence with this.

WILBUR: Thank you.

IVAN: Do you ever get a chance to arrange a meeting or a meet up with any of the people that you’ve helped?

WILBUR: Through the miracles of Zoom meetings like this and Hangouts, we’ve had calls with people and I was really trying to get us to have a call with Eskinder Nega and really to complete that circle and just... It almost makes me cry to think that we can get him on the phone and say hey, you know, it’s great to meet you and we want you to know that you were our prisoner of conscience and we really pushed hard to get you out and it’s great that you’re there. And that’s maybe some of the miracle of our technology right? Is that would could make that happen. We could have Eskinder Nega at one of our meetings in Minneapolis.

IVAN: That’s just a wonderful part of what technology can do and I hope that we continue to invest in the open web and in the principles that we believe in. The fact that the internet can help more than just bad actors and that there are more good actors on the web, and in the world and that ultimately we’re all just humans trying to make it to the next day. So if someone wants to get involved with Amnesty International they can go to twincitiesamnesty.org or to just amnesty.org and either become a member or contribute a donation.

WILBUR: To come to our meetings, I think the best place to get information if you’re on Facebook is to look up Amnesty Group 37.

IVAN: So Amnesty International Group 37 in the Twin Cities and the meeting is this Sunday, so see you there.

WILBUR: Sounds great.

IVAN: Wilbur, thank you very much for spending this time with me. It’s really been a pleasure to get to know you a little better and to speak with you.

WILBUR: You bet. Thanks for having me.

IVAN: You’re welcome. You’re Wylbur on drupal.org and also on Twitter and wherever other social media is on the web. Wylbur.us, we’ll see you online. You’ve been listening to the TEN7 Podcast. Find us online at ten7.com/podcast. And if you have a second, do send us a message, we love hearing from you. Our email address is podcast@ten7.com. Until next time, this is Ivan Stegic. Thank you for listening.

Ivan Stegic

Founder and President
 
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Ivan Stegic

Words that describe Ivan: Relentlessly optimistic. Kind. Equally concerned with client and employee happiness. Bowtie lover. Physicist. Ethical. Lighthearted and cheerful. Finds joy in the technical stuff. Inspiring. Loyal. Hires smart, curious and kind employees who want to create more good in the world. His favorite things right now: the TEN7 podcast and becoming the next Björn Borg.