Information for Labdoo Hubs (Laptop Collection/Sanitizing Points)

Labdoo is a global collaborative platform that operates in a decentralized and flat structure. Decentralization is essential to ensure sustainable and organic growth since hierarchies tend to generate bottlenecks and often add management overheads. Everyone is capable of taking actions in Labdoo regardless of ages or locations. You can help bring education to children and reduce electronic waste even if you only have 5 minutes or a few hours of spare time.

You can participate as an individual (for instance, by sanitizing your laptop once you no longer use it) as part of the grassroots. The individual contribution will go to a default hub called the Grassroots Hub. However, if you like to unite forces with friends and accomplish more, you can create your own Labdoo Hub. As a hub, you will have additional tools to help you manage your inventory and increase your presence within the platform to better outreach local and global communities.

In this wiki book, you will find the necessary information you need to know about Labdoo hubs. The contents of this book is structured in three different parts as follows:

  • Information for all hubs. This is a common section applicable to all Labdoo hubs. Read this section to get a general idea of the tasks a Labdoo Hub performs.
  • Information for School Hubs. This section is specific to Labdoo hubs that are implemented by schools, typically high schools but also universities and colleges.
  • Labdoo for Cities. This section describes the Labdoo for Cities program, which consists in implementing the Labdoo workflow in your own city or village, involving the local town hall to collect laptops from the citizens and your local schools to help sanitize them.

If you have any questions about this material or if you see any typos or errors, please reach out to us at


Information for All Hubs

Let's start describing some of the activities you will be able to carry within your own Labdoo hub. Some activities may require technical experience, for example, hosting a sanitation workshop, but most activities rely on organization and leadership skill.

As part of a Hub you can choose to do any of the following activities. A best practice is to start with "outreach" and "collect and tag laptops" first, and then progressively increase as you gain experience. In any case, you decide which activities you can carry out depending on your resources, preferences and availability.

  • Outreach your community. Let people know about the digital divide and eWaste problems, and mobilize people to help the Labdoo cause.
  • Collect and tag laptops. Collect unused laptops from your local community and maintain your own laptop inventory.
  • Sanitation workshops. Get together with friends and members of your hub, sanitize unused laptops, install Ubuntu and the education software, and package dootronics ready to go on a new mini-mission.
  • Dootrips. Organize your own dootrips by mobilizing travelers in your own area.
  • Create edoovillages. Identify schools that need laptops and set up new edoovillage projects with them.
  • Recycle Laptops. Recycle laptops that no longer work and help reduce eWaste.

Tools That You Receive When Creating a Labdoo Hub

These are some of the tools you receive when you create your own hub:

  • Your own hub page. This page provides information (such as the location of your hub) to help donors know where they can bring their unused dootronics. From this page, you can also manage your own inventory of dootronics and edoovillages.
  • Photo album. Every hub has its own photo album where hub managers can upload pictures of their own Labdoo activities. To access the album, click on the "Go to photo album" button found in the hub page.
  • Additional user rights. As a hub manager, your user account will be given additional management rights within the Labdoo platform, such as the rights to edit your hub information or the rights to create your own edoovillages.
  • Tools to help organize your own outreaching activities. These tools include brochures, flyers, posters, email templates, etc. to help you initiate and manage your own campaigns to mobilize unused laptops and contributions from volunteers near your area. These tools include also the capability to create your own regional Labdoo newsletter and organize local events.
  • Additional management tools. For instance, as a hub manager you will be able to set regional triggers to automatically receive notification emails upon certain Labdoo actions happening near your area (such as laptop tagging activities or registration of new trips near your area).

Figure. Every hub has its own page to help outreach the local community and manage its own inventory. Each page has access to open data including the list of dootronics, edoovillages, and progress metrics.


How to Use Your Hub Tools

For a detailed description on how to use the hub tools inside the Labdoo platform, please read the section "About hubs" in the book "The Labdoo Social Network - How It Works".


Sample Sanitation Workshop

When you carry a laptop sanitation workshop, it's a good practice to organize your own workflow to ensure there is a proper coordination of the various tasks among your team members. While there are many different ways to do this and you can certainly be creative, here is a sample sanitation workshop template that you can use as a reference.

Sample Meeting Agenda
(Prepare to reserve between 2-3 hours to efficiently carry out a successful workshop.)
* Welcome and Sign-in - 15 mins
* Short Presentation and Status update - 15 to 30 mins (optional)
* Divide volunteers into groups to work on different tasks - one hour
* Clean up and Feedback - 15 mins.

Although there's no foreseeable danger involved for sanitizing laptops, and Labdoo, as a registered nonprofit, is protected by the laws, we still recommend you to have your volunteers sign a waiver form to release liability in order to avoid unnecessary disputes during or after the event.

It is nice to remind our volunteers about Labdoo's mission and share the results of their hard works. Here's a few nice resources
About Labdoo Page
Labdoo Facebook Page

It is also important to encourage a new Labdooer to sign up a Labdoo User Account so he/she will be able to access all assistance listed at the Get Started page.

Divide the workshop into mini tasks
It is recommended to divide the working area into different stations based on number of attended volunteers and their skill level.
Please find possible mini tasks your volunteers can take during the workshop at the "Workshop Mini Tasks" page

We are keen to hear how you organize your events in order to build a better wiki knowledge and share with everyone. Please kindly share your experience by going to Team Wiki and Translations and click on start conversaion at the side menu, so we can incorporate your input into the current flow. Thank you.

Labdoo Volunteer Waiver

Depending on the region where you are, some Labdoo hubs like to distribute a waiver to the volunteers attending their sanitation workshops. Feel free to use this as a sample.

Volunteer, ___________________________, AKA (The Volunteer), email:_________________________ & Organization, Labdoo , AKA (The Organization), located at 92 Corporate Park, Ste. C303, Irvine, CA92606

I, the above listed Volunteer, desire to work as a volunteer for the Organization and I hereby voluntarily, execute this Volunteer Waiver under the following terms:

I, the Volunteer, release and forever discharge and hold harmless the Organization, its successors, and assigns from any and all liability, claims, and demands of whatever kind or nature, either in law or in equity, which arise or may hereafter arise from my volunteer work with the Organization.

I understand that this Waiver discharges the Organization from any liability or claim that I, the Volunteer, may have against the Organization with respect to bodily injury, personal injury, illness, death, or property damage that may result from my participation on the Organization’s activities. I also fully understand that the Organization does not assume any responsibility for or obligation to provide financial assistance or other assistance, including but not limited to medical, health or disability insurance, in the event of injury, illness, death or property damage.

I, the Volunteer, understand that I expressly waive any such claim for compensation or liability on the part of the Organization beyond what may be offered freely by the representative of the Organization in the event of such injury or medical expense.

I grant unto the Organization all right, title, and interest in any and all photographic images and video or audio recordings that are made by the Organization during my work with the Organization, including, but not limited to, any royalties, proceeds, or other benefits that are derived from such photographs or recordings.

I acknowledge that the Organization has not arranged and does not carry any insurance of any kind for my benefit. I represent that, to my knowledge, I am in good health and suffer no physical impairment that would or should prevent my participation in Volunteer Activities.

I also understand that this document is a contract which grants certain rights to and eliminates the liability of the Organization.

Print Name & Signature of the Volunteer
(or Parent/Legal Guardian if the Volunteer
is under 18)

I am of legal age and am freely signing this agreement. I have read this form and understand that by signing this form, I am giving up legal rights and remedies.


Workshop Mini Tasks

It is sometimes difficult to keep all attendees feel involved during the workshop, therefore, we prepare this possible mini-tasks list to help you get started. Please feel free to adjust according to the number of your attendees and their skill level. If the members are not technically strong, you can always contact us for help on "Installation and Repair" tasks after laptops are done with cleaning and tagging. We can help connect you with other technical hubs which you can send the laptops for future works.

A good preparation before the workshop is very important for carrying a successful workshop. Please be sure all the necessary supplies are available ahead of time. It is a good idea to have a box to keep all the supplies to bring to the workshop and periodically refill the box when supply is low.

We also find it is useful to color-code each laptop depends on the laptop's progress in the sanitation workshop. This gives flexibility and visibility on the laptop status especially when there are a lot of laptops to work on.

Here's a sample color-code we use:
White- passed inspection
Blue- has been tagged with Labdoo ID number
Yellow - data has been erased
Green- Labdoo image has been installed (We normally change language setting and do the final inspections after an edoovillage has been assigned to the laptop)
Red - the laptop is broken.

Station 1: Laptop Inspection

  • Purpose: To prescreen the donated laptop to avoid wasting time working on broken laptops
  • Supplies required: Universal Laptop Power Adaptors.
  • Work Description:
    1. Matching the laptop with its power adaptor. If the laptop does not come with a power adaptor, use the universal power adaptor to check if the laptop can be power on.
    2. Make sure the laptop can be power on normally.
    3. If it is a defect laptop, add a red sticker with a note specified the problem (eg. cannot be power on or broken screen), and send it to the Repair Team
  • Station 2. Tagging laptops

  • Purpose: To ensure each working laptop has an assigned Labdoo ID number
  • Supplies required:
    Blank Labdoo Label Sheet (you can find the link HERE), scissors, clear tapes, pens
  • Work Description:
    1. Follow the Laptop Tagging procedure to tag the laptop. ( )
    2. Make sure both power adapter and laptop are tagged with the same number. If the laptop comes with a battery, please label the battery too since the battery may need to be carried separately from the laptop during the trip.
    3. Add a blue sticker on the laptop.
  • Station 3. Software Installation

  • Purpose: To erase previous data stored in the laptop and install new Labdoo image.
  • Supplies required:
    The Labtix CDs/USBs, Most current Labdoo Images (
  • Work Description:
    It is recommended to separate Data Erasing and Software installation into two different meetings since erasing data is very time consuming (30 mins. - 1 hour)
    1. Use Labtix to erase data. The instructions can be found Here. Apply a yellow sticker after data erasing.
    2. Follow the Sanitation Guide for software installation
    3. Add a green sticker after installation. If the laptop fails to be installed, add a red sticker with a note specified the problem and send it to the Repair Team for further investigation.
  • Station 4: Laptop Repair Team

  • Purpose: To assign skillful volunteers to investigate problems on broken laptops
  • Supplies required:
    Since the Repair Team needs to be experienced volunteers, we expect each member comes with his/her basic toolkit - a universal power supply, screwdrivers for laptops, Labtix and Labdoo Image HD
    What is also needed - small sealable bags for spare parts, extra memory and hard drives removed from broken laptops
  • Work Description:
    1. Debug and fix the problems
    2. If the laptop cannot be fixed, label the laptop with "ready to be recycled" and save its power adapter, hard drive, and memory as spare parts.
  • Station 5: Final Inspection, Cleaning and Packaging

  • Purpose: To package the laptop for travelers to take with them
  • Supplies needed:
    Cleaning kit (some soft clothes, a small bottle of 91% rubbing alcohol, a box of cotton swabs)
  • Work Description:
    1. Check laptop condition based on the "Laptop Check List".
    2. Use the cleaning kit to carefully clean the laptops, both inside and outside. Please constantly reminding your volunteers that this is one of the most important task in the Labdoo donation laptops since we hope the laptop recipients feel our love and care.
    3. Bubblewrap the laptop and include the dootrip package in the laptop bag.
  • Laptop Inspection CheckList

    Turn on the laptop and login with userid "labdoo", password "labdoo" and use the following checklist to verify that your laptops have been properly sanitized.

    Labdoo ID #___________________________

    1. Make sure all parts are properly tagged with the same Labdoo ID number (laptop, battery, adapter and other external components)

    2. Notes on any defects or limitations (eg. missing keys, no battery ...) 



    3. Check to see if the wifi is working (If it fails to work, check to see if there's an external wifi switch on the laptop)

    4. Make sure Edubuntu is properly installed. (Test it with the GCompris game)

    5. Open the Internet Browser and go to  (Test the Internet connection)

    6. Play a video from Youtube to make sure video and sound play properly.

    7. Offline Wikipedia/ebook installation (Wikidoo) /or xowa offline wiki for different languages
    (should show its icon on the desktop)

    8. Change the Language to proper edoovillage language setting :______________________________________

    Workshop Feedback Form

    Some hubs use this template to collect monthly feedback from their team members. Feel free to use it too.

    Labdoo monthly meetup feedback form:


    1) What were your main takeaways from today’s meeting?

    2) How can you apply what you learned today for your team?

    3) If you could change today’s meeting, what would you have done differently to make it more useful to you and your team?

    Information for School Hubs

    Labdoo hubs can exist in many different places (at your home, at your work, as part of your NGO work, etc.). This wiki section is dedicated to hubs which are created within the premises of a school.

    Labdoo School Hubs are the Labdoo Hubs which is run by students (for example, at a high school) with the supervision of adults.

    Managing a Labdoo School Hub provides an excellent leadership opportunity for students.

    As a Labdoo School Hub manager, we expect you to follow the Labdoo Hub rules. Please read the following sections with care. The information can help you make the best decision during the process of creating and managing your School Hub.

    We hope your Labdoo experience will not only benefit the world but also help you write a meaningful chapter in your high school life.


    Where Can I Start?

    Five Steps to Get You Started

    Remember, regardless of the cause, a very important element when it comes to starting your own social project to help the community is commitment. If you are decided to create a Labdoo Hub in your school, the following steps will guide you through the process:

    1. Check with your school for the requirements to form a school club.
    2. Invite friends to fulfill the club officer roles.
    3. Find a teacher to be your club advisor.
    4. Email us at We will find a parent hub to work with you. The parent hub can provide guidance for your club activities.
    5. Submit the School Hub Information Form to your parent hub manager.

    Once you submit the "School Hub Information Form", your hub will be formally added into the Labdoo Hubs list.

    Benefits offered to school hub members

    • Be environmentally friendly: Learn the best practices for recycling your electronic waste(eWaste)! It is easy to forget sometimes that our electronics need to be properly disposed, just like anything else. At Labdoo, you get to learn how you might implement these practices in your own life.
    • Help bridge the digital gap:  Have you ever imagined what it would be like to have the whole world connected digitally?  Students get to help deliver technology to underprivileged communities
    • Build critical thinking and leadership skills: Being in Labdoo is all about coming up with new ideas to deliver education and technology in a green way. Students get to think outside the box.
    • Build technical experience: Each mini-mission teaches students how to sanitize a laptop and install Edubuntu (an education package built on top of a Linux-based operating system).
    • Fulfill school service requirement: Many schools encourage their students to volunteer outside their centers. Students are required to spend a minimum time to serve the community. The time contributed to Labdoo can often be used towards fulfilling these service hours. Please contact your school first to see if Labdoo fits into their requirement.
    • Be a global citizen: Labdoo is a global non-profit social network. Labdoo volunteers are taught different skills and experience many cultural backgrounds. The Labdoo community provides many opportunities to interact and learn from other volunteers across the globe.

    Ideas to work with your hub members

    Here is a list of possible topics for the school hub to work on:

    • Introduction to the Labdoo Project.
    • Laptop Drives.
      • Reuse – Discover idle laptops around you and put them into a better use.
      • Repurpose – An old laptop can have a new story. It can help provide education resources for underprivileged children.
      • Recycle – By properly recycling a laptop, 41 lbs of carbon emission will be prevented from entering the atmosphere. This is equivalent to recycling 270 soda cans.
      • Spread awareness among family and friends.
      • Set a goal on the number of laptops to be rescued for the semester.
      • Plan a laptop drive campaign and design a flyer for it. Check out the Labdoo toolkit for some ideas and templates:
      • Follow the link HERE to learn how to effectively rescue an idle laptop.
    • Technical QA Session.
      • Learn how to build a Labdoo magic box (sanitizing a laptop).
      • Join Labdoo Monthly meetings to learn how to fix a laptop.
      • Examine basic laptop components together (e.g., memories, hard drives, etc.).
    • Dootrips.
      • Learn how the laptops get delivered without additional expenses and without additional CO2 emissions.
      • Find traveling resources among family and friends.
      • Try to match existing trip plans with destinations to Edoovillages or other Labdoo hubs and ask travelers to help carry a laptop to its next stop.
    • Adopt a project site (Edoovillage).
      • Identify an organization which needs laptop resources.
      • Help manage communication between the edoovillage, dootripers, and hubs.
    • Be part of the software development team.
      • Help translate the Labdoo website into different languages.
      • Help proof-read the Labdoo website (wikipal).
      • Join the Software Development Team Wall and help test the Labdoo website, identify and report bugs.
      • Get familiar with the programming language PHP and the Drupal System.
      • Sign up to Labdoo Github and understand Labdoo framework.
    • Recycling.
      • Watch educational videos together (e.g., TED Talks).
      • Organize a field trip to a recycling facility.
      • Organize an e-waste drive.

    Responsibilities of a School Hub Manager

    Thank you for your interest in Labdoo and be the bridge between Labdoo and your school community!

    5 out of 7 people in this world have no access to free education resources. Labdoo's mission is to provide modern education to the underprivileged students through re-purposing laptops. As you decide to bring Labdoo to your school and help to bring education to underprivileged students with repurposed laptops, please carefully read the following information and we look forward to reviewing your Labdoo School Hub Application!

    Labdoo User Account Registration: All officers need to register a Labdoo user account.

    Club Rgistration: Please submit your School Hub Informaiton Form to your parent hub

    Club Officer Application Form The Club President is mandatory to fill and submit the Club Officer Application Form. However, we recommend all club officers to fill the form.

    Before the school year begins:

  • Work with your team to set a club goal and the plan to achieve it.
  • Email your goal and plan to your parent hub. .

  • During each semester

  • Attend the parent hub meetings or meet with the parent hub manager at least twice per semester.
  • Constantly remind your club members record their service hours using the Doopoint System.

  • By the end of the second semester: Eelect and introduce new club officers to the parent hub before school ends.

    Fundraising: Since Labdoo does not operate with money, students are not expected to do fundraising at school.
    However, some schools require school clubs to participate in school fundraising events. If that's the case, the school hub has the right to decide how to best apply the club funds toward club activities.


    School Hub Information Form

    Please copy the form below into the email body, fill the information, and email it to your parent hub manager. If you don't have a parent hub and would like to have one, email us at

    Make sure you have read and agreed with the responsibilities of a school hub manager section before submitting the form.

    Your Information

  • Email Address:
  • Labdoo Username:
  • Graduation Year:

  • School Information

  • School Name:
  • Address:

  • School Advisor Information

  • Teacher's Name:
  • Email Address:
  • Teaching Subject :

  • Club officers Information (Please list all club officers detail information)
    Email Address / Labdoo Username / Club Officer Title / Graduation Year

    Goals and facilitate activities for each sememster

  • First Semester:
  • Second Semester:

  • (You can find activity ideas here )

    Download and Read the Labdoo School Hub Booklet

    If you are interested in working on Labdoo as a project or creating a Labdoo Hub at your school, the 'Labdoo School Hub Booklet' will provide you help and guidance through the process.

    Alternatively, if you are a parent or a teacher and would like to pitch the idea of creating a Labdoo hub at your school, you can also find helpful information in this School Hub Booklet.

    Thank you once again for collaborating with Labdoo and help education by repurposing used computer resources.

    [Download in printable format - English Edition]
    [Download in printable format - Catalan Edition]

    Example - School Hub in Madrid

    [This article was written by Alex Rodriguez as part of the paper he wrote for the Labdoo Conference held in Barcelona in September 2016. You can download the booklet where you will find this and other stories from this link.]

    “Se hace camino al andar”:
    A personal journey from noble ideas to hands-on social activism

    “Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself. It is not far. It is within reach. Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.” ― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

    Hi, my name is Alejandro (Alex) Rodriguez and I come from Madrid, Spain.

    Since the end of July 2016 when my family relocated to California, I have been living close to San Francisco. I am now 15-years-old and two years ago, I became the founder and hub manager of the Balder School Labdoo Hub in Las Rozas de Madrid, Spain.

    How did I end up founding and managing a Labdoo hub for my school? What could move a 13-year-old boy like me to take on something like this? How was the experience? Was it worth it? Do I have any advice for other young kids who might be thinking of trying to do something similar? I will try to answer these questions by recalling my own Labdoo journey made over these past two years.

    As far back as I can remember, I have always liked learning new things especially in maths, science and technology and since I was 10-years-old, I have habitually enjoyed working with computers and software as well as building and programming robots. My dad has constantly encouraged me to spend any spare time on these activities whilst also forever reminding my
    sister and me how lucky we are. Lucky to have been born to live in this age (he keeps repeating “I envy you so much” and I would keep wondering “Why?”). Lucky to be citizens of a country like Spain at a time when almost everything that we might need or want, was available to us. In addition, my dad often retells us the story of how his parents and my mum’s parents (my grandpas and grandmas) had only been able to attend school until they were 12-years-old because they had to start working at that young age. Healways talks about how tough life was in post-civil war Spain and how his parents worked extremely hard for him, his sister and his brother to give them the education that they themselves, could not have. Each time, I have listened to my dad as though he was talking about an old, black and white movie.

    Yes, we had everything that we could possibly need or want including a good education: in good schools with good teachers; plenty of books and well-equipped school laboratories. My mum is a teacher so I guess the idea that a good education is the foundation for every kid’s future, runs in the family. I also remember my parents invariably calling me to watch the news on T.V. whenever there was an item relating to education or schools in developing countries or even in poor areas of Spain. I would see classrooms and students without computers; without books; even without desks and chairs; some schools were even without a roof. I did not understand why those children could not have all the resources that were available to me either for learning and/or just having fun. Still, I could see in their faces and in their eyes that they enjoyed going to school.

    Maybe it was all of this (if even from the comfortable distance of my little bubble in a wealthy family; in a wealthy neighborhood; in a wealthy country) that formed a keen sense in my mind that education is a fundamental right and that every kid, no matter where he or she is born (a decision by the way, not of his or her own making), deserves a good education. Although, I must confess that I do not remember this idea extending much beyond the uneasy feeling I experienced each time my parents roused me to watch those news stories on the T.V. Perhaps during that period, I was simply focused on being a happy child; going to school; playing with my friends and doing the things that I enjoyed the most, like playing basketball!

    The background
    Fast-forward to the beginning of the 2014/2015 school year, one that would turn out completely differently for me from previous years. Up until that point, I had been going to one school but my parents decided to moveus to a new school called Colegio Balder. So at just 13-years-old, the September of 2014 felt like a new start for me.

    As I got to know my classmates and make new friends, the school year carried on. In late November, the Balder Foundation whose charitable activities included building schools in Togo, was running their second "Annual Young Social Entrepreneurship Contest". This competition was open to any student with a viable idea for making the world a better place and the Foundation would help the winner turn his or her idea into a reality.
    I thought that making the world a better place was something I could readily do; perhaps it simply required fixing some of the things that adults had got wrong. How difficult could that be? But what did they mean by “viable”?

    Upon hearing about the contest, I talked it over with my dad. He told me to think rigorously and come up with an idea; that even if it was half-baked, he would help me to give it shape. I deliberated long and hard, over and again. I wanted to participate in the contest but I could not imagine a sure way of making the world the better place. Now that I actually had to think about it, all that came to mind was this: how could I, a mere 13-year-old boy make a difference? The only notion I could dream up was the lofty intention of helping other children (probably in far, far away places) to get a better education. But how could I achieve this? How could I turn this noble objective into a real project?

    With the deadline just three days' away, as I was running out of time and almost ready to give up, my dad told me about Labdoo which he already had some knowledge of. Perhaps because he suspected that with computers, software and education in the mix, it would be of interest to me. My dad explained how anyone could make an individual contribution by donating old laptops and/or their spare time to sanitise the laptops and install educational software. He told me how this large project was already up and running and making a real difference across the world. In a single day, I read all the information (and there was a lot) that I could find about Labdoo.
    Then, I told my dad that whilst being an individual contributor was fine, I really wanted to take on something bigger that would be sustainable in the long run: I would propose setting up a Labdoo hub hosted by my school and supported by the Balder Foundation. We would receive laptops from the north-western area of Madrid, sanitise them and send them to impoverished schools around the world. We would help bridge the digital divide in the world, help improve education in other countries and help reduce e-waste (that was Labdoo’s mission which I instantly found amazing!). There, that was my idea; we would build that hub.

    My dad looked at me and said “Sure, that's a piece of cake. Go write the proposal and I will help you with the details.” So that was the first step in my journey. They say that "Every journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". (Is this supposed to be a piece of wisdom? If so, then it should also warn you about how painful that step can be!) For me, the first step was to truly convince myself of the (bold?) notion that I could actually win the contest with this proposal, turn my idea into a reality and with that goal, help make the world a better place.
    The second step was to write the proposal in just two days and for this, I had to stay up very late at night! I composed the submission with Word and Powerpoint in case I made it to the last round of the contest and my dad helped me (as he had said he would) to make it "more precise; with quantifiable objectives, tasks and a budget”. I thought “Bah! When you are on a mission to make the world a better place, those details should not be necessary.” He was sure to remind me of this presumption a year later.

    I submitted my entry and was called a few days later to present it before the committee-in-charge. I was really excited but so nervous. However, I also had the feeling that everything would go smoothly because I had prepared my 10-minute presentation diligently. When my turn arrived, I was told that I only had 5 minutes! I had to rush through my proposal and I went home believing that it had not gone well. With a disappointed face, I told my dad what had happened and about all the things that I had not been able to explain to the committee members. He told me to take it easy. So then, I waited and waited. As the days passed, I went back to my usual routine and after a couple of weeks (which seemed more like a couple of months) as I had not heard anything from the Balder Foundation, I assumed that I had not won the contest.

    Then, one Friday afternoon, all the students at school were assembled for the announcement of the results. I went along with the idea of congratulating the winner and maybe even volunteering to help with their project. When the moment of truth came, Lourdes Atrio, the president of the Foundation, called my name. I thought “Wait, what? Did I hear that right?” and immediately proceeded to shake hands with everyone who was congratulating me. I had thought it was going to be the other way around!
    That weekend, my parents told me that I looked like a shiny balloon ready to burst. My friends told me “Dude, that’s sick! But it looks way too hard...” but I didn’t care. I was ready to make the world a better place and I was convinced it was going to be easy. I was 13-years-old; I was naive.

    The early days
    It was early January 2015, cold and windy. I started to set up the Labdoo hub in a 20 square metre storage room next to my technology classroom.
    The stories that my dad used to tell me about people who had started their companies or social projects in a garage (like “the Steves”: Jobs and Wozniak who founded Apple) came to mind so I was cool with having my little "garage" for establishing the hub.
    By early February, with help from my dad and my technology teacher (thanks Alfredo, for everything!), I sanitize our first laptop. Learning the technical process for how to sanitise a laptop and install all the Labdoo software was not difficult. But my dad and Alfredo kept pointing out that
    this didn't mean the entire undertaking would be easy. The first hurdle was discovering that getting the hub up and running would be so time-consuming. I would have to skip some breaks and classes; make up for missed school work later and then, also work at home on the weekends.
    This sudden awareness that turning my idea into a reality might not be so straightforward after all and that it would require extra work and effort beyond my daily routine, made me wonder “What have I gotten myself into?”

    But I did not want to quit; I had to keep going and finish what I had started. Besides, the warm feeling of that first laptop reaching status S2 in readiness to be transported by a volunteer to a needy school somewhere in the world, helped me get through those first few months. Then, I finished preparing the second laptop and Jordi Ros found a volunteer to take them both to Mexico. This was only 5 months after I had presented my idea to the contest committee and I was already helping some students in Mexico. All this with simply my determination and effort and some help (okay, a lot of help!) from my dad and Alfredo.

    I thought of those students in Mexico; I could picture them with their brand new, I mean used laptops; I felt proud, even relieved and I started to believe again that everything would be reeeaaaally easy and that all you need to make things happen, is hard work. Hey, I had just turned 14-years-old; how could I know any better?

    After that delivery, the development of the hub seemed to come to a halt. I had received some more laptops but around May of that year, they stopped coming. I guess that's when I realised that a hub needs to actively reach out to its local and wider community otherwise, it can easily fail. This question suddenly became a pressing one: how could I make the hub more visible beyond my school?

    On top of that, the lack of space and volunteer time (I had no real volunteers, it was just me and two “forced” volunteers) also became a major problem. I myself, was willing to put in the required, extra time on the project but this meant that I had to catch up with all of my school work later and I could not really ask my dad or my technology teacher to do more since all of this had been my idea. At this juncture, I had the strange feeling that the hub might turn out to be a short-lived adventure. I had no volunteers; only a small stack of laptops; almost no space and barely any time to work on solving all these problems. But this was not how I had imagined my project to turn out; I wanted the hub to keep functioning and grow. My dad kept trying to cheer me up, pointing out how much I had accomplished since he had first mentioned Labdoo to me back in December but I could not get over the sense of disappointment.
    The school year came to an end and I approached summer with the intention of focussing on how to improve the slow developmental pace ofthe hub. But the truth is that after a few weeks, I could not find the time nor energy to do so. I'd like to think that I decided to recharge my batteries (although my parents made sure that I did not spend the 10 weeks idle!) and aimed to return to school in September with new and fresh ideas on how to fix all the issues.

    Moving up and on-wards
    After a busy summer (hey Dad and Mum, I need more time to do nothing!), the beginning of the 2015/2016 school year was drawing near and I came back to school with the following two resolutions:
    1. I would continue as the hub manager instead of trying to turn the job over to someone else (maybe a teacher?) because I felt that I had not finished my job there (come on, only two laptops delivered and only one volunteer, namely myself?).
    2. I would not suffer the same time and space constraints that I had experienced during my first year. There, I was clear and firm but I did not have a clue about how to achieve this.
    Fortuitously, while I was thinking about that second resolution (and of course, getting nowhere), my school, through Lourdes Atrio and the Principal, Carmen Serrano (thanks Lourdes, thanks Carmen!), offered me the opportunity to turn the Labdoo hub into an official school project for other students to participate in as an elective, extra-curricular activity. This would enable those interested pupils to join the hub by registering for the project and we would all work together in a full class period every Monday.
    There were many other projects and elective activities available to the kids so I had to give an inspiring presentation about the hub to the whole school To persuade them to choose this project over another. In my speech, I basically explained the whole idea behind Labdoo, how our hub was contributing to it and how this was an important mission to make a better world.
    I do not know why (everyone probably thought that as I was the one in charge, they wouldn’t have to take it seriously) but my presentationseemed to convince many students to sign up for the hub. Suddenly, we even had a waiting list for volunteers!
    This turned out to be a great help; our team grew to 10 volunteers and the donated laptops started piling up. This was likely because these students talked about the hub when they went home and also, presumably thanks to the efforts of the whole school in spreading the word about the project.

    However, I soon faced two new issues:
    1. How do I organize a team of 10 people (all new to Labdoo) effectively in order to move ahead with all the tasks and activities? After an initial
    attempt to educate everybody about the whole Labdoo process (which failed miserably - why did I even try that in the first place?), I decided to create two sub-teams within the hub, namely for technical and marketing.
    The technical team would take care of anything technology-related, in other words, the sanitizing of laptops and installing of software. The marketing team would be responsible for publicity-related activities: informing greater numbers of people about the project and developing events for reaching out to the local community.
    2. How do I assign the right students to each sub-team? Then, how do I train these volunteers in all the specifics and activities necessary to a Labdoo hub and furthermore, how do I keep everyone interested and engaged? I really did not know how to go about all of this (do adults really know?) and later, I understood that what motivates you might not be
    exactly what motivates others.

    By this stage, the hub’s routine was so different from just a few months' back – it was even a bit chaotic. To be honest, I liked being the boss or at least playing that part. However, it was really laborious to ensure that everyone understood their role on the team and occasionally, I was
    conscious that all the time I was spending on managing the team was time that I was not actually working on the many laptops that were coming into the hub. But I guess this is what the word “leadership” means..... After a couple of months, with the increased numbers of volunteers and laptops, the lack of sufficient physical space became a major obstacle. Fortunately,
    we were able to move to a new classroom by the end of the school year which had plenty of space so that we could stop looking like that scene from the Marx Brothers' movie.
    It began to seem as though most of the main concerns that I had suffered with the previous year (lack of volunteers, lack of resources, lack of time and space) had been resolved. The hub was now functioning at full capacity with laptops coming in; getting sanitised and loaded with educational software in readiness for transporting to those deprived schools possibly in a remote corner of the planet. Nevertheless, I still wanted to see if I could also get the hub involved with the final objective of the whole process, that is to help needy schools get connected to the Labdoo network.

    I talked this over with Lourdes at the Balder Foundation and she suggested that I contact an NGO program called Acción Alegra which the Foundation was helping to build a couple of schools in Togo. A few days' later after speaking with several adults (who were a bit puzzled by this 14-year-old) and collecting all the necessary information, I set up and registered two Labdoo edoovillages for the schools in Togo. Finally, I had the sense of experiencing the whole Labdoo process from obtaining a single used laptop to setting up an edoovillage that would benefit from the donations plus the efforts of the thousands of volunteers all around the world. I felt an enormous pride although my dad still says to me that one day, I should go and visit those schools in Togo to see "the real deal”.

    Around April, a small summary of my endeavours over this period was published in the Labdoo Global Newsletter and a couple of weeks' later, I was invited to be a speaker at this conference. Now here I am after this journey of almost two years.

    Some do’s and don’t’s

    I have been asked to think about the following question: what advice would I give to other young kids who may be thinking about setting up a Labdoo hub in their schools? I thought that I would summarise the lessons that I have learned during these two years in the following list of do’s and don’ts.


    1. Try to know at all times what you’re doing: if you don’t really know, just ask around (the Labdoo global community, teachers or your parents).
    2. Be prepared to put in sufficient time and effort: it will pay off although in the beginning, it may seem otherwise.
    3. Think early on how to maintain a steady inflow of resources: from the outset, start planning publicity/marketing strategies or you may end up with no laptops to work on.
    4. Get other people to work with you: friends; students; parents; teachers; school staff. Spend all the necessary time and use your charm to persuade them. A hub is a joint effort and there are many diverse activities that need to be undertaken so everyone can contribute (it is not only for geeks!). Besides, (cold) pizza in the hub room tastes better when shared with others!
    5. Celebrate with everybody when your first laptop arrives at a needy school (wait, I forgot to do this!).


    1. Be lazy: things will not happen just because you want them to.
    2. Do important stuff without planning: this includes trying to organise a team without knowing who you will assign to each sub-team or what each one's strengths and weaknesses are.
    3. Think that everything will go smoothly and easily: expect both some serious bumps in the road and some serious roadblocks.
    4. Despair: a hub’s first year may make you feel frustrated at times; just keep thinking about the future and why you got into this in the first place.
    5. Consider that there are activities in a hub (for example, the “technical stuff”) that are more important than others (for example, the “marketing stuff”): each and every activity, no matter how small it may seem, is crucial to the development of the hub.

    Looking back and looking forward

    Now that I have left Spain and moved to California, I have had some time to reflect on what I achieved in those two years. I believe that my hard work and that of the many people involved in the creation and development of the Balder School hub have paid off; I feel that the hub is solid and sustainable enough for me to make an exit (although I did not want to quit it yet!). I am confident that I leave it in good hands but I feel a bit sad about not staying with the team.

    This journey of two years hasn’t been easy but I think it has been an enriching experience. I have learned so many things; it has helped me to grow as a person as I have managed to face and deal with a number of (hard) problems. It has also enabled me to develop as a citizen because I feel that with every step I took, I was building something for the future and that this whole adventure has been a step forward in helping other children around the world to have a better education.

    I hope that the Balder School Hub will continue into the future for students, teachers and parents to come and participate in its activities. Please make it grow and keep helping students in needy schools around the world. I promise that I will help the hub whenever you need me or call me.

    I am thinking that perhaps, I will set up another hub in my current high school in California.


    “Caminante, son tus huellas
    el camino y nada más;
    Caminante, no hay camino,
    se hace camino al andar.
    Al andar se hace el camino,
    y al volver la vista atrás
    se ve la senda que nunca
    se ha de volver a pisar.
    Caminante no hay camino
    sino estelas en la mar.”
    ― Antonio Machado, Proverbios y cantares XXIX

    Labdoo School Hub Officer Application

    Please copy/paste the selected form into your favorite word processor and fill in each question. Once done, email the form to your point of contact at

    Labdoo School Hub Officer Application Form

    School Name:
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    You Name:
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    Grade Level:

    Select Desired Officer Position(s):
    President/Secretary/Treasurer/VP of Public Relationship
    (*We recommend you to select multiple positions in case other candidates apply for the same position.)

    Short Answers

  • How do you see participating in Labdoo benefit club members?
  • With the position you are applying for, what can you do to help your club succeed?
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    Additional Questions For Club President Applicant :

  • Have you held any leadership positions before? (If yes, please give details about organization/position/year)
  • If elected, will you be able to host club meetings at least twice a month?
  • Describe your vision for Labdoo club.
  • What do you see as the biggest opportunity for the Labdoo club at your school?
  • Explain how you will act as a role model for your club members.
  • Labdoo Volunteer Task List

    1. Outreach Task Description Examples Useful Links
    Locate unused laptop resources *Talk to people you know who may have unused laptops to be donated
    *Send email to ask for laptop donations
    *Organize a laptop drive at your school or at your work place
    * Like/share Labdoo/Labdoo.OC facebook posts
    *Create your own hub with friends
    Create promotional material *Create/Improve Labdoo related material
    *Create flyers
    2. Laptop Sanitization Task Description Examples Useful Links
    Prepare donated laptops for school use *Sanitize laptops at home following the Labdoo procedures
    *Attend Monthly QA meetings and work on laptops together
    *Help answer technical questions at the Labdoo global support wall
    3. Art and Language Task Description Examples Useful Links
    Improve website readability *Translate the Labdoo platform into different languages
    Improve website readability *Proofread the labdoo wiki articles
    4. Coding Task Description Examples Useful Links
    Website coding/ create Labdoo related apps *Coding with Drupal
    *Create Labdoo games
    * Create educational apps