Continuing the OSBridge Community

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who's here, and why do you want to continue the OSBridge Community?

Jon: it's got people who share my interests that aren't shared by the broader community

Alex: very inclusive to people who aren't "tech" as its usually defined

Ed: on the organizing committee the first year. "let's do our own thing" was the spirt that got me in here, want to see it continue

Kalina: community organizing is auch a challenging job, takes so much energy, how can those of us like me who have some energy (but not a lot) help people like Audrey and Christie, whnat community organizing to keep happening, specifically with this welcoming community

Jesse: the Portland tech scene has vibrancy I haven't seen in other places, and I'm intersted in making sure that it continues even as our needs in the community change

Alberto: I go to a lot of diversity conferences, really impressed with how much diversity and inclusion comes through here

AJ: I'd echo what Alberto said, it bills as a tech conference but really it's about community - that's really special and hard to find. I always came away feeling very viscerally connected in a way you don't get day-to-day

Lourdes: also impressed with the community. the theme for today is grassroots organizations, starting from the base

Grant: Portland's badly lacking in diversity, so it's sad to lose a significant player

Ashley: conference has been really important for me, one of the few spaces both in tech and Portland that combines my passions and interest and my work with my actual values, being a space and place that feels safe and welcoming

Ivan: appreciate goal of cross-pollinating open-source projects and building the community across projects. and, commitment to inclusion, welcoming, equity around how it's structured physically and how it's organized. we've seen the end of Alterconf, OSFeels is no longer, feels like these conversations are becoming more important and the energy for organizing is burning out - I understand why!

Caito: ditto, I apprecate why but it's still hard. when i first came, i was just starting taking CS classes and I was miserable, really questioning, and when I first came I was like "I've found my people"/ Catalyzing moment, this is the right choice for me, I just need to find these people. I want that for other people!

Aaron: felt like an outsider to this group. This conf is my favorite because there are so many different elements - inclusion, so many people and perspectives. what we do affects the world. there's political conferences that focus on the issues, and tech conferences where they just focus on the tech.

Athan: similar to what Aaron was saying, the intersectionality of how everything effects everyting, inclusiveness matters to every community

Tantek: when i first heard about it, it felt so much more grassroots accessible than anything corporate, went to my first one and it was so much more accepting, welcoming. taking it with me and tried to replicate it. like to see it continue, given lip service by corporate conferences - it's hard, takes a lot of work (not just moeny so that helps). emotional labor.

Alberto: starting question, trying to get information about Stumptown Syndicate. Will the current board be taking up the mantle?


[What's the status of Stumptown Syndicate going forward? Don't know if they're on the board but Toby or Ried could point to information]

Recommendation: pick up Audrey and Christie's book on community organizing (go to Recompiler website and it's there, probably on Amazon too) - it sort of distills 10 years of doing this Maybe shorter events, like a book club get together - can we do pop-up-y things instead of a big conference?

Question: is the one day preconference of community leadership at OSCON a thing people go to? A: It feels pretty firmly controlled by one set of people, and it feels filled/overrun by people who do online corporate communities. Aaron: it's a good conference, but I don't see it improving to anything that can replace what we're losing

Speaking of the idea of the Syndicate/book, could we toss together some docs so that if you could meet something you could put on an "Open Source Bridge" event and you'd get the name, etc., sort of like TedX Maybe no branding? Kind of the Docker style of rolling out your event

Focused, short events easier than a 3 day conference. Focused like e.g. mapping, or documentation. Could pull volunteers on with a little less chance of burning out.

How do we get people new to tech to these conferences? May be intimidated by larger conferences Some public meeting space we could use, e.g. public library meeting rooms - you just have to reserve ahead That would be pretty great for civic engagement, etc., connecting to other groups

What about use of the Open Source Bridge website and mailing list? Passing around a signup sheet Question: how do Christie et. al. feel about this? Do they want it to just go to bed? Sometimes it's hard to hand off something that might change. Anything we do must be with the consent of the "owners". Tantek: If they consent and there's critical mass, maybe we should have an Advisory Board

Audrey, Christie confirmed that website, YouTube, etc. will remain, but the wiki has problems Someone needs to clean it up after spam

Wonder if this is possible: we have certain people who volunteer massive amounts of time and some volunteers donating managable amounts of time. How can we better manage volunteering? "Microservices volunteering" instead of burning everything out of a person. Those of us who have a *little* energy could be utilized better

Question: are there communities like this *not* burning out? Yes, in the scifi space, generation after generation. Also lots of conferences that ran out of steam. Sometimes the kids wanted stuff like anime, etc. so organizers said that's a different thing, you can start your own Even in there there were always people who burned out

SCALE is completely volunteer, grassroots driven, but it's larger so it has less of a community feel All Things Open is also grassroot but it feels corporate, Red Hat is all over it

LibrePlanet is the closest to this, it's political. Cambridge in March every year Stark difference, seems like this conference is about caring about marginalized people/social justice/etc. *in tech*, LibrePlanet was about social justice *in the world*. Former was more "here's what my company is doing", LibrePlanet is "this is what tech is doing to the world"

Specific concerns at all tech conferences: I'd like to see the same basic community, but inviting people outside the community to engage. DebConf had a non-technical anthropologist give a keynote and it was fascinating.

You can come to OSBridge as a user only and still feel connected/give talks. Don't know if there's others like that

Unconference style is part of what delivers what we like about this.

Is there anything like a Kickstarter-funded conference? XOXO started that way Set it up so a bunch of people didn't have to work for free to make that happen There's enough people with motivation and desire for Open Source Bridge to happen that maybe we could just fund some people for a couple months to organize it

Leadership values set the tone for everything else, that's really important for this space There has to be some sort of generational continuity so values and wisdom don't die out

Allied Media Conference in Detroit WisCon, every memorial day weekend in Wisconsin and inspired things like the quiet room. Scifi con, around for decades

AJ: perhaps every 6 months or something we do an online IRC time to chat about what we are doing. Part of what is nice is the cross pollination we get at this conference. I don't know of any online space that is not for a specific project.

There is a thing that is complementary to this withing the world of GitHub there is a "maintainer space", it's associated with the Maintainerati conference which is for maintainers

Zulip, the open source IRC/Slack alternative. Free hosted Zulip with unlimited message history if you're not for-profit! Zulip would be great for this

Some organizations do virtual conferences with screencasts, etc. Women in Linux do a virtual conference

Specific OSBridge alumni get-togethers piggybacking on existing conferences "A bunch of us are going to, let's all get together"

A lot of things were really done right here, some things weren't - some kinds of diversity were better than others, some tech groups felt excluded Talk to Christie

Core value: not selling out - it causes a lot of tension but is essential AlterConf really held a standard there; they would refuse sponsorships

Need emotional/financial support for organizers who are doing this

If we do a Kickstarter thing, or writing documentation, it would be great to set that up so that *that* is a funded project so they aren't asked to continue burning themselves out

If there are people in this room who want to throw their weight behind some existing or new conference to basically turn it into OSBridge, talk to Changeset Consulting and Equitable Tech $250 for this year which was one day If there are people here who are like let's make this conference OSBridge 2019, Changeset Consulting will put in $1000

Could see getting behind something specific and aligned with values Alignment is good, cooption is bad, tricky

Probably would need to have everyone opt in again to a mailing list

  • general grumbling about GDPR*

Doesn't necessarily have to be about current OSBridge name/structure/etc. Sometimes a new beginning and building on the past is the right answer WE're the same people and community and we can go ahead

How do we continue to discuss this?

How can we inject OSBridge values into other conferences? Mozilla has an open call for sessions at MozFest. If you want to share OSBridge values Tantek (who works for Mozilla) encourages you to submit, and attach his name as a reference if you want

What's coming up?

Community leadership summit, in 2 weeks - corporate sponsors but they don't really do anything. Mostly uncnference still (2 day unconference but with a small amount of stuff in advance) Tagged onto OSCon but isn't OSCon It's about this topic, we could have a session there

ChickTech is next month at the college

DevSummit conference in Oakland - unconference. Lots of tech/social justice stuff, a bit more hackery November.

What descriptions of OSBridge could people take to other conferences? A shared repository of stuff to do presentations with. Book might have some of that. Some people are going to community conferences that are more specialized (e.g. DebConf), what's wanted? Since we're talking about having presentations at other conferences


  • Check with Christie/Audrey
  • Set up a Zulip server