Community Map draft

Hi all - based on the governance meeting from Aug 10 2020, I wrote up a draft community map. This helps us understand the key people, resources, and actions that we’ll want to organize into a governance model moving forward. It’s not a proposal, just a map - so…

  1. How’s it look?
  2. What’s missing?
  3. What’s wrong?
  4. What’s right?

You can directly edit the map by cloning the git repo and editing the SVG in inkscape (free to download, cross-platform) and proposing a commit to update, or saving and committing an alternative version. -->

Or… you can just view it here and comment in this thread and we’ll get it updated as ‘consensusy’ thoughts emerge :slight_smile: ! -->

All comments welcome. Thanks!

PS - I just pasted it here just so it’s directly visible without a link somewhere else -->

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Hi gbathree

Great to see the GOSH Governance Working Group progressing, and thanks for taking the plunge on drafting a community governance map. Below some thoughts in answer to the questions in your post.

What’s missing?

From the minutes, I understand that the exercise is to map a set of Minimum Viable Principles for the governance that “make it very clear what assets are being governed and what decisions are being made in each realm”. No doubt this could be a very long list. But in the spirit of being ‘minimum viable’, the following seem particularly important:

The Working Group itself should be part of the map, since even if it is a temporary entity, it’s playing an important role in establishing the future governance model.

The Community Governance Council mentioned in previous threads should be on the map, too. The name may change, but I understood that setting up this entity is a key objective for the WG.

A Community Manager is a new governance role earmarked in the Sloan grant. What decisions that person makes and who they refer to needs to be thought through. I suggest the WG starts this process.

The GOSH Manifesto is not the only source of values. The community has generated important values in the GOSH Code of Conduct and the GOSH Roadmap, complementary to those in the Manifesto. The Code of Conduct emphasizes the importance of equity and respect as community values. The Roadmap highlights self-learning, forging partnerships and increasing diversity as value-laden goals. I suggest all three of these community assets should appear in the map on an equal footing, as they all affect GOSH governance.

What’s wrong?

The layout seems too linear and ‘top-down’. In particular, the arrow going one way from values to people. I suggest representing this as a feedback loop: the community develops its values, which in turn shape the community, in an iterative process. Also the arrow going one way to decision making. Whether the decision making is about values or event planning or anything else, it should appear as a process, not an end-point.

To represent this, I suggest a more heliocentric map, with the GOSH Community at the center, including sub-groups like the WG, and a range of assets (community events like AfricaOSH, community documents like the Roadmap, community websites like the forums) orbiting like planets.

These assets interact with the community through different decision making processes. These processes can be represented by arrows, similar to those in your map, which are a bit like gravitational forces, keeping the assets on course.

Easier said than drawn! Nevertheless, I hope some of these suggestions prove helpful.


Thanks for the initiative, Greg.
Sorry for late reply.

  • How’s it look?

Not sure if concentric circles (ok, not concentric, but you got it) are the best way of representing it. I understand that the map helps us map (!?) the resources, so being the manifesto and roadmap, for example, resources that may need to be manage or something like that, it’s better to have them on separated circles with connecting arrows, or different color-labels.

The GOSH forum represents the virtual gatherings/discussions, but the way is represented seems that it includes the in person gatherings and other groups (what can be true in some cases, but not all).

  • What’s right?

Identifying the in person community.
The forum and manifesto being larger (yet, the concentric style can be confusing).
The connection with values and decision making and managing.

  • What’s missing?

I miss some working groups: governance, IT geeks, 2016/2017/2018/2020 GOSH organizers, roadmap.
I also miss an indication to the roadmap and to groups/people directly working on it (via those git issues, for example).

I do not miss the Community Governance Council neither the Community Manager because they do not properly exist yet. But will be added soon.

  • What’s wrong?

For the Latino-americans group, I would label “reGOSH”, not TECNOx (they are some how connected, but TECNOx is an event that goes beyond GOSH, while reGOSH is the community+event related to gosh).

Just realized of some missing resources:

  • Financial resources;
  • GOSh events (not the wg, but the event as an entity to be managed);
  • Virtual infrastructure (not the wg, but the event as an entity to be managed);
  • The visual identity/name/“brand” of gosh

@francois - I updated some of the items (COC, Roadmap, included working group.

You’re bringing up a really good core question with your latter point - are values hard coded (unchanging) or are the values defined as we go? It was my assumption (intentional for sure!) that we agreed on our values, and assemble from there. I recognize that’s a … inflexible (?) approach in some ways, but it’s also a clear approach and reduces a lot of complexity.

This is a great broader question to discuss I think… when and how do we update our values?

@marinappdf good point - forgot the original organizers group ! Added, also but TBD on the things that don’t yet exist. Added extra bubbles to show that there’s a lot more mini groups that I’m not really showing, changed to reGOSH also. Tried to shift the bubbles to show the forum / in person separation better. Also added public lab + assets held mostly by the organizers. So hopefully this is a more accurate map of what we currently do, in addition to what we’d like to do.

In terms of how do we make decisions… the question who and how.

@gbathree regarding the values, the Roadmap is pretty explicit: Besides having common goals, the community is united by shared values, which were initially laid out in the GOSH Manifesto but are constantly revisited as the community grows (p12). Of course, this is an aspiration, not a statement of fact. But as you say, it raises a series of questions: when and how does the community update its values? Who can initiate such a process and who will manage it? This is exactly the sort of challenge that the future community governance model will need to address. Lots of interesting work ahead for you guys…!

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Hi Guys I am so sorry to be late on this (my laptop is still not fixed).
Thank you @gbathree for having initiated this map; I am going to use a metaphor to explain my vision. From my perspective GOSH looks like “the composition and internal structure of the earth (figure bellow). Just to say that, I see it as a dynamic structure of interlinked multilayers.

1- Community or the “inner core”
“Despite the fact that, it is the hottest part of the Earth, the inner core is in the solid state. This is because the inner core is under tremendous pressure due to the weight of the other layers.”
For me, the GOSH community (both online and offline communities) is this inner core. Without the community/inner core we cannot have GOSH/Earth; so, the community should be central to all what we are doing. What maintain the inner core “Hot” and “solid”? In other terms, what should we do to keep these properties in our GOSH Community? I will quickly say:

  • To keep the community “Hot”, the most important are values we are sharing (diversity, inclusion, family spirit, solidarity, equity, transparency, participation, etc.

  • To keep the community “solid” we should have a common and clear vision; this is what makes our uniqueness. But the big question is: who define the common vision?

    • Is it the community? If yes, how to achieve this? What kind of mechanism we can put in place to ensure an equitable contribution in the definition of our common vision?
    • Is it a small group of people? Why them? How are they selected? We need to explain these mechanisms to the community.
    • Is the vision going to be driven by the GOSH roadmap? This document is already there, and this will show a kind of continuity in our ideas and vision.

No matter how the question on vision is answered, we need to keep our vision flexible and realistic.

2- Activities or The “outer core”
“This layer is also hot but in a liquid state. The outer core is always in constant circulatory motion, which creates a magnetic field around the Earth. Without this magnetic field, our Earth could never have atmosphere, oceans, and life.”
The attraction created by the magnetic field is the important property I want to keep here. For me, activities conducted by the GOSH community can help us keep this property. In fact, our activities can help us display our values and achieve our vision. That is how through our activities, more people will be more attracted and comfortable to join our community.
These activities can include from regional events to local event/activities held by members of the GOSH community in their different place/lab. The big questions here are :

  • Which activities are aligned with the common vision?
  • Who decide about their selection?

3- Rules and governance structure or “The Mantle”
“This layer is not a perfectly solid. At some locations, the rock is completely melted, which is called magma. In this layer, rocks are in constant motion. They rise and sink due to internal heat from the core, and set up the convective currents. These convective currents also cause the tectonic plates to move and crash into each other causing earthquakes.”

For me the mantle is our governance structure and the great property here is the constant motion due to the convective currents. It means that rules and the governance structure should be flexible. The governance structure has a big role to play:

  • Keep the inner and outer cores hot. It means that put rules in place that can ensure that core values are respected through activities and the global vision.
  • Ensure that the global vision is going in the right direction. It means that all the decision questions on access, resources, management… should be addressed through clear decision rules.

The Gosh manifesto, the Code of Conduct…can be part of our mantle

4- Our identity as seen by the world or “The Crust”
“This is the layers on which you stand on. All the mountain, jungles and oceans you know are carried on this layer”
This is the image we are projecting to the world as a community. Documentation, JOH, events, social media, etc. can be part of this.


@thomasmboa I wish I had ready this before our monday meeting :slight_smile: But glad we focused on the big question that keeps coming up - how do we define the inner core, and how do we update the tough stuff like values and goals… progress is being made!

@thomasmboa @gbathree I also really like this concentric model. As you note, above the lithosphere is the biosphere, with all the water and air that makes life possible. Don’t want to stretch the analogy too far, but maybe that represents the world of other institutions and communities with which GOSH needs to interact effectively, to achieve the goals the community has set. And such interactions are another major reason that the governance has to be developed, besides supporting the sorts of internal processes like updating values and goals discussed above. I refer back again to the Roadmap, which anticipated this wisely: “…balancing the contributions and voices of diverse groups requires sensitive and responsive governance structures at all levels…” and “Many OScH groups do not want the burden and overhead of an incorporated organization or are discouraged by such complexities.” (p26). Seems to me this is exactly the challenge that the WG is trying to solve. Great to hear that’s progressing!

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