Hello! My name is Ruth Cheesley and if you hadn't guessed, I run Virya Technologies, which specialises in open source technology - specifically the Joomla! Content Management System and Linux-based server support. Follow me on Twitter
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As we specialise in Joomla! this is mostly what you'll find me talking about .. and believe me I can talk for hours! I run the local Joomla! User Group in Suffolk, organised Joomla!Day UK 2010 and was part of the team for the largest Joomla!Day UK yet - Joomla!Day UK 2011 London. We are just starting the planning for the 2012/13 event.
Virya Technologies are a small company of seven working on everything from small websites for local startups through to supporting massive international news portals and carrying out large-scale database migration. We also specialise in providing emergency linux server support for those moments when your techie geek can't fix the problem!
We release our Joomal! Extensions at Virya Software - this is a fairly new venture and we're building up the extensions we offer at present, focusing on providing high levels of customer support as well as top quality software.
About Virya Technologies
Our office is located in Little Bealings nesr Woodbridge, Suffolk, at a really cool business centre which is a converted railway station. Virya Technologies is operated as an ethical 'Right Livelihood' business, along the guidelines by which Buddhists live their lives. I am a practicing Buddhist with the Triratna Buddhist Community and am training for ordination - quite a challenge while running a business!
Buddhism in business?
(skip this bit) Virya Technologies is based on 5 principles or values. We formulate these in general terms (rather than specifically Buddhist ones), so as to make them accessible to all our staff and clients, and allow us to explain them to others in the business world. If you want to know more about Buddhism and the Triratna Buddhist Community, please visit thebuddhistcentre.com.
The first principle is generosity - we are in business to make money in order be able to provide a free or heavily discounted service to charities and not for profit organisations. This is fundamental to the purpose and ethos of the business. Roughly half our profits are ploughed back into the business. We intend to further develop this as the business grows, to enable us to give money to organisations who need it - primarily to Buddhist projects around the world and also to social projects in communities.
The second principle is ethics - we intend the business to be a tangible expression of Buddhist values in the modern world and for Buddhist ethics to be practised through all the interactions involved in the running of the business. As well as being Buddhist these are basic, human values that can be summarised as kindness, honesty and awareness:
- Kindness here means trying to develop and maintain an attitude of goodwill and care towards each other and towards anyone we encounter in the course of the working day, for example our clients. It also means care and consideration in relation to our use of the natural environment.
- Honesty - in the sense of not taking things without permission, and in the sense of telling the truth, is crucial to developing trust amongst ourselves and with our clients and suppliers.
- Awareness as an ethical principle is concerned with being aware of other people as human beings, with feelings, thoughts, needs and qualities, rather than merely as objects that help or hinder us in our pursuit of our own desires or clients who pay our bills. This kind of awareness is needed in order to be kind and to be honest, and to develop the atmosphere of trust and care that we aspire to maintain in the business.
- Personal Development
The third principle of Virya Technologies is personal development - the business is based on the Buddhist belief that all individuals can change, grow and unfold their potential, moving towards what Buddhists refer to as Perfect Wisdom and Compassion. We aim to promote the personal development of all our staff, from training in a new task or learning better communication skills through to supporting spiritual practice in a range of ways.
- Collectivity and communality
The fourth principle is collectivity and communality - we aim to be a community of like-minded people, supporting and encouraging each other in our collective project of making money to give away. At the same time we also aim to support each other's personal development and ethical practice. We work together within our own team and with other teams, co-operating and collaborating with each other as creatively as we can in order to achieve the collective aims of our own team and those of the wider business.
- Commercial viability
The fifth and final principle is commercial viability - we are running an ethical technology business and it needs to make money and be commercially successful for us to accomplish our purpose. The Buddhist purpose of the business and the manner in which we operate cannot be separated. This is the case with regard to our internal relations and in our relations with those outside the business.
As well as my Buddhist activities I enjoy being outdoors in nature, and am an accredited assessor as part of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award for Bronze & Silver.
Due to health problems (I have hypermobility syndrome, a form of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which means my joints are more bendy than they should be) I can't walk as far as I would like to, but I still enjoy getting out in the hills and camping in my 'mousetrap' North Face Tadpole tent! I also do a bit of card making, glass painting and cross stitch in my 'spare' time!
I live with my long-supporting partner of 9 years in Ipswich, with our two cats Lucy and Louie. I am not on SunZu to accumulate lists of people I have no connection with - I am here to meet people, network with people, and make reciprocal connections. Tell me about what you do, why you're here, and how I can help your business - that way I know what you do and how I can help you build your business/organisation.