GOSH Community Coordinator - exciting opportunity!

Hi All

GOSH is seeking a Community Coordinator and we need your help! The role advert is below and we’d love you to share with your networks (and of course apply if you’re interested! to ensure we can get the best person to support the community’s activities over the next 12+ months.

Below is a Tweet you can retweet and please feel free to pass on via other social channel!

Jenny


Role: GOSH Community Coordinator
Full time, fixed term contract (~12 months with potential for extension) starting in late January 2021
Deadline for applications: 3 Jan 2021
Location: Remote
Reports to: GOSH Board members

Download Role Description PDF >>

Job Overview

The Gathering for Open Science Hardware (GOSH) community supports open hardware for scientific research and education by convening meetings such as global and regional GOSH events and providing online forums that democratize research, influence policy and take action to make open science hardware (OScH) ubiquitous by 2025. We support our community, many of whom are outside of formal institutions, to scale our collective impact. Examples of our activities include mapping useful tools, resources and people in OScH to maximise the visibility and use of existing initiatives; reaching out to new communities and individuals; increasing connections between scientific and local communities that are already engaged in using science to address issues such as environmental pollution.

The GOSH Community Coordinator will work with the GOSH community governance groups, the wider community and the board of the GOSH 501c3 nonprofit to support them in organising activities such as global GOSH meetings, writing sprints, collaborative development projects and more. The community is currently undergoing a transition to a new governance structure and they will also support the new governance group in implementing and communicating that structure.

They will play a key role in supporting the GOSH Community to reach new audiences, provide an enriching and dynamic environment for existing projects and community members, share open and impactful technologies and make OScH ubiquitous by 2025.

To meet the deliverables of this position we anticipate 35-40 hours/week, with an understanding that some weeks might require more hours than other weeks especially during community events.

Responsibilities and Duties

Community

  • Support the GOSH community governance groups to make use of community tools and platforms, implement and communicate the new GOSH community governance structure.
  • Organize and help monitor and implement actions arising from GOSH Community meetings.
  • Foster relationships and partnerships with other organisations and stakeholders in OScH who may join or collaborate with the GOSH community.
  • Implement metrics and mechanisms to measure the health of the GOSH community and collate impact stories.

Event Support

  • Coordinate and develop and document a handbook, templates and other resources for running a GOSH event including our facilitation model.
  • Manage calls for funding for regional events, writing workshops and collaborative development projects.
  • Support the Global GOSH organising committee with administrative tasks and coordination.

Communications

  • Work with web developers and the GOSH community to develop and improve the GOSH website and forum.
  • Amplify news and projects from the community to raise the profile of OScH and ensure diverse voices and projects are visible and used.
  • Monitor and manage GOSH social media channels, support community members who wish to contribute to those channels.
  • Create engaging GOSH newsletters compiled to keep members up to date with activity on the forum, events, funding opportunities, highlighted community successes and requests for help.
  • Consider new ways of communicating and tools for increasing connections in the community at a time when travel is reduced.

Project Management

  • Collate reports from activities funded by GOSH such as global gatherings, regional gatherings, writing sprints etc.
  • Support the 501c3 board in gathering material for funder reports and grant applications.
  • Support funding applications arising from the GOSH community, where applicable.

Qualifications

  • Education: a background in a STEAM-related subject or another subject relevant to the role and to the OScH community is desirable.
  • Experience: +2 years experience of community coordination and/or project management in a paid or voluntary context is essential, involvement in the OScH community is desirable as is a track record in open source or open hardware projects and communities.
  • Specific skills: facilitation, social media, content creation, project management, event organisation, community management
  • Personal characteristics: team player, adaptable, organised, strong communication skills, empathetic, willingness to listen to the community, strong alignment with the values of the GOSH Manifesto and a commitment to equity, passionate about OScH and its potential to improve science and society.
  • Certifications: None necessary

To Apply

Send a resume and cover letter in a single document to goshcommunity@gmail.com by 3 Jan 2021.

Please note, this position is time zone flexible and community-facing which means that some weekend and evening work will be required regardless of location. The Community Coordinator is expected to attend GOSH community calls, which typically happen mid-morning U.S. Eastern Time. Some travel will potentially be required, particularly for community events.

Contract rates will be commensurate with experience and geographic location, GOSH is committed to providing fair and equitable compensation.

The Gathering for Open Science Hardware is committed to a diverse, multicultural work environment. We encourage people with different ability sets, people of color, and people of diverse sexual orientations, gender expressions, and identities to apply.

Download Role Description PDF >>

3 Likes

Hola!

It will be great to have someone pushing all these things forward for the GOSH community!

I only have one comment regarding the “contract rates”. I don’t know if this has already been discussed within the Governance WG, but in case it hasn’t I would like to bring it up: I find it odd that the salary will be “commensurate with geographic location”. I imagine that this is related with the differences in the cost of living in different countries. What I think is that this ‘cost of living’ is largely correlated to the ‘standard of living’, and paying accordingly sounds to me like people living in rich countries somehow ‘deserve’ a better quality of life than people living in poor countries, even though they would have the same job.

Of course this is just a personal impression, since I am not at all an expert in these issues, but I am worried that people interested in this position might get the same impression.

3 Likes

There are many different takes on this, endless articles on-line. I also think we often say “cost of living”, but in reality what counts is the “market rates” practiced at each location, though often that correlates with standard of living. Most companies will practice that, specially with contractors. Then you have companies like Automattic, which struggle with the complexity of paying employees with the same roles similar salaries regardless of location. But that’s a multi-million dollar corporation. Doesn’t mean every organization can do it. And their rates end up being lower than the market for people living in some regions. Anyway, it’s a good question indeed, though I’m not sure if a priority for such a small employer as GOSH (with possibly limited resources). .~´

I share those concerns.

Also, I think for the sake of transparency it’d be good to say how much this person gets paid (gets because it was already selected, not sure by whom either). I think job descriptions without a salary range are troublesome.

salud
p

1 Like

Hi @gpereyrairujo and @pazbernaldo

You can see the budget for the Community Coordinator position in the Sloan Foundation grant summary that was shared in the June 2020 community call and on the forum. This covers a full time contract plus other materials and costs associated with the role so it is not directly equivalent to what is being paid.

The Coordinator is an independent contractor rather than an employee, which has different implications in different parts of the world. For this reason as well as others it was challenging to post an accurate contract range that took into account people applying globally with many different levels of experience. Anyone interested in applying for the role who requested the salary range via email was provided with additional information.

If anyone has good examples from other non-profit organisations of how they deal with advertising remuneration scales for remote global hiring then do send them over. It is more complicated than it first appears and there was too little time for sufficient due diligence before the advert was posted: it seemed better to not include them than to include the wrong information. For future hires by GOSH, a policy on job adverts and remuneration will be drawn up and passed by the Community Council once it is seated.

For selection of the Community Coordinator, the goal was that the Community Council would draw up the role description and a Council representative would participate in the selection process along with Shannon and I (who are named on the grant and are also legal signatories for the contract). Unfortunately, that assumed the Council would be seated by Nov/Dec last year and we’re now looking at Mar/Apr, as updated in the recent community calls convened by the governance working group. It was necessary to hire the Community Coordinator asap to move forward with planned activities (hiring should have happened in mid-2020 and was delayed in order to allow for the community governance process to be set up first). As a compromise, the GOSH governance working group gave their input on the role description and criteria then Shannon and I did the interviewing and selection.

We’re thrilled to have found Bri among a really competitive field of applicants and so excited about the amount of progress the community can make on bringing forward GOSH roadmap objectives, supporting new members, and delivering on many plans from the past five years with the help of a full time Coordinator. Shannon and I are now on-boarding Bri, who is already bringing enormous energy and experience to the role, and we’ll be supporting her on a daily basis as she works with the community, until such a time as the Council is seated whereupon they will play an active role as well.

I recognise that the lack of additional community representation on the selection panel was far less than ideal and it was neither the intention nor the plan! For future hires, the Council will manage community input into the process.

We will post updates here on the forum soon on how the grant budget is being spent, as of now with events being on hold due to COVID this has largely been hiring to the Coordinator position and the website RFP.

Jenny

1 Like

Hi Jenny,

Thanks for you detailed answer. After a lot of though now I think I understand why I have been confused about this and other recent activities.

What I think is the problem and the origin of my (and maybe others’) confusion, is that the newly created USA-based non-profit entity is called GOSH, the same as our years-old community. This creates confusion about what are activities carried out and governed by USA-GOSH (or US-UK-GOSH), and GOSH activities. For instance: I had to carefully re-read the community coordinator call to find that this role responds to the “GOSH board”, and then re-read other posts to understand that this board is the board of the USA non-profit, and not the GOSH council, which will belong to and represent the whole community. This fact is obvious when you think about it (the grant is paying for the role, and the grant was given to the non-proft), but it is confusing, because everybody thinks of the whole community when reading “GOSH”. I’m sure there are also other situations in which this could also lead to confusion.

I understand that the newly created GOSH non-profit is a private USA-based entity who is free to sign any contract and is free to carry the actions they decided and agreed with their funders according to their rules and USA laws. I would also like to make it clear that I think that the work that you and Shannon are doing is very valuable for advancing towards the goals of GOSH: it’s great to have funding, it’s great that now there is someone helping coordinate community activities, and all the other activities that you planned and worked hard to get funding for. I know you two personally and I know you work a lot and care for GOSH.

Nevertheless, I think it should be clear is that this initiative (the non-profit and the associated Sloan grant) is qualitatively similar and equal to other previous initiatives, carried out by other valuable members of GOSH. One example I am familiar with is reGOSH: it also involves an important grant, a signed contract with legal implications, a private entity that receives the funding, and activities that contribute towards GOSH goals. There were also other similar activities like AfricaOSH, Great Lakes GOSH, of which I don’t know the details, and I’m sure there have been others. But there is one thing they have in common: they were named GOSH-something, or OSH-something, so that it was clear that they were part of GOSH, but they were not the whole GOSH. Maybe one could be tempted to think that this Sloan grant is different because it involves more money, but I don’t think it is convenient to treat the initiatives of GOSH members differently depending on how much money they bring.

I guess now it is too late to ask for a change in the name of the non-profit (too bad this was not discussed in the forum earlier). My suggestion is therefore that we should make a special effort to make it clear when someone is referring to the USA-based GOSH non-profit entity, and when someone is referring to simply GOSH (the whole community).

Abrazo,
Gustavo

5 Likes

Thanks Gustavo! The Community Coordinator will report to the Community Council as soon as it exists and to that end, Bri is supporting the community governance working group to get the elections underway as quickly as possible.

I absolutely agree with you that all GOSH community activities are equally valuable and vital to make GOSH what it is and to make open science hardware ubiquitous by 2025. The GOSH nonprofit was intentionally named to provide a piece of infrastructure for the benefit of the whole community, that is not limited to a particular group. Your point is well taken that this can be confusing and the terminology should be used carefully, that will go on the agenda to be discussed at a future governance working group call. Anyone who would like more information on governance of the nonprofit can read this summary circulated in the community governance update from July 2020. The takeaway is that the board is as small in size and scope as it is possible to be and only deals with oversight of legal, financial and operational admin matters. Decision making on what GOSH does (and how the GOSH nonprofit could support that activity) is centred in the Community Council and associated community processes/groups.

Thanks for holding recent decision making to account. We’re getting to a more transparent, accountable and community-based governance structure step by step through the hard work of a lot of people. Everyone who wants to help is encouraged to read and comment on the outputs of the community governance working group that was set up last August, review the summary of their governance proposal discussed at the 16 Dec community call and come along to discuss the election process on the next community call on 25 Feb (announcement and details coming to the forum soon).

Jenny

1 Like

Thanks again Jenny for the details, and for being open to my feedback.

I read the documents, especially the summary about the activities and responsibilities of the non-profit. I think that although it gives a lot details, the current version adds to the general confusion between the non-profit and the general community. As we already agreed, all GOSH activities are equal, and therefore I think we should avoid anything that could imply that this non-profit constitutes some sort of “official headquarters” for the global GOSH community, rendering other initiatives in other countries somehow “less official”.

So I took the liberty to make suggestions to the text, so as to make it as clear as possible and avoid any misunderstandings (I made a copy of the document, so it is now open for comments from anyone).

I also read (in one of the other documents) that this “delineation” around this non-profit is a task deferred to the future Community Council. But since the first version of the document was not written by this council either, I think it should be also valid for me or other community members to build on it in the meantime, and then the future council will make the final decisions about it.

I hope these suggestions help in making all the work that is being carried out through this non-profit as valuable as possible for the goals of GOSH.

Abrazo,
Gustavo

3 Likes

Hola Gustavo, I think the suggestions you made to the document are on point, I had not considered many of the things you’ve said and I feel a bit of shame actually, for not noticing all this myself. I’ll share this directly with other people in the community, to see what they think. gracias!

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Hi Gustavo

I’ll point the governance working group to your suggestions for inclusion in their handover to the incoming Community Council.

Jenny

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I’ve also been very absent the difficult and detailed discussions around governance, and am so so happy to see active members taking on this difficult task. So, I’m admitting the complexity of the topic and my lack of context first here, so take these comments with many grains of salt.

That said @gpereyrairujo your comments appear to make sense, and the core of both more clearly separating the community (which is an important entity, though not a legal one) from the non-profit seems important. Also, ensuring the interactions between the GNP and the community itself are voluntary whenever possible is also a positive one.

3 Likes

Very interesting to see you guys making a mistake after you have been prevented. Looks like the group leading the work on governance and legal structure had done a bad job.

I am just a distant satellite of GOSH mainly because I interacted with @gbathree some years ago and I appreciated his work and values.

When this work on Governance started I provided some links to our previous work on governance and I offered my support. Why reinvent the wheel when you can build on someone else’s experience? And more importantly, why make mistakes?

You can search my name in previous conversations about governance and consider these links.

Within the Sensorica OVN we realized a few yearsa go that we must use 3 separate entities to function as an open network with economic agency: the open network (or the commumity), the Custodian (a non profit organisation) and the Exchange Firm (a for profit organisation). In fact, an open value network can have multiple Custodians and multiple Exchange Firms.
We also realized very early in that is it a great mistake to use the same name for these 3 entities. In our case, we have the Sensorica network, CAKE as Custodian and we had Tactus as Exchange Firm. In essence, the Custodian(s) and the Exchange Firm(s) are service provides to the open network.

Yes, having the nonprofit with the same name as the community is a great mistake that can destroy your network by shifting influence to those who run the non-profit and handle the money and by also changing the culture.

The network is the economic force, the source of innovation and of the vision. The nonprofit is a trust, a service provider, a legal interface with the traditional system, government, NGOs, the bank and the private sector. It transfers funds to the network through fiscal sponsorship. It does not employ network members of affiliates. Network affiliates are independent entrepreneurs or freelancers. They perform tasks and get paid from the Custodian through fiscal sponsorship. The network or the community is, legally, a non-regisrered association. This means that it is not a registered corporation. It is ruled by contract between peers / individuals. It is not a moral entity with a corporate number. Just an association of freelancers, a bunch of freelancers that have a contract among themselves. They all declare taxes as individuals, based on what they get paid from the commun pool, held by the Custodian.
Grant applications originate within the network. The Custidian applies for grants on behalf of the network, and holds the funds. Administration of funds is done based on a Custotian Agreement.

This is the best arrangement we found, 11 years of existence, to function in the north American context. I hope you get inspired and minimize your risk and cost for the future.

Again, contact me if you have questions.

“If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow…” no need to be so alarmed, tiberius (=

Everything will be worked out as the community is only starting to structure itself, formalizing the council etc. If ever a name must be changed, all it takes is paperwork. There’s plenty of competent people around with their own experiences running communities and organizations in quite different settings. And GOSH, as a global community federating communities and organizations, will develop its own unique features.

Cheers to your motivation to share the experience of your space in Montreal. It looks really neat and I’m happy you found a model that works for you, and that we all can learn from it. But there is nothing bad about anyone’s job here. The same can’t be said about showing up as a “distant satellite” to judge other people’s work at a glance. No offense taken, of course, just an advice.

(By the way, as you’re from Montreal I assume you borrowed “prevented” from French, I assume you meant “warned”.)

Abraços!
.~´

2 Likes

Yes, there is room to innovate for legal structures, but there are not many ways to skin this cat… As a new structuring community you make the choice about how much to experiment and how much to remix. There’s no streight answer to that. It all depends on the experience you have within the community and how much risk you want to take. It’s all good. Just keep in mind the risk factor and make that choice rational.

There are all sorts of social dynamics in an open groups and everyone’s motivation and incentives to act should also be taken into consideration. Remember the Makerbot story? That mistake was part ignorance and part individual greed and ego.

The transition from informal to formal is very tricky and many communities implode at this stage. I wrote something about this some time ago.

I hope you find other relevant posts in there…

Another good resource is Jaime’s blog

A cultural note, it’s good to be open for constructive criticism…

@tiberiusb, I think everyone will agree with the sentiment you express when you say:

I think this thread has showed some good constructive discussion. I am sure no one has overlooked your advice, and the community still welcomes it. From where I stand, I can see the governance working group have worked very hard to create a structure for a unique and diverse community. They have also given the rest of the community plenty of opportunities to offer constructive feedback.

I do worry, however, that starting out with:

may not come across as constructive. The blog posts are an interesting perspective, thank you for sharing them.

1 Like

@julianstirling I agree that stating my opinion about the work done in a direct way might not generate a pleasant experience for those who did the work. My point it that we should never lose the ability to put the finger on mistakes and generate some costs for those who make the mistake. See my "la-la land … " paper linked above.

I’ve seen many open communities becoming non-productive and disintegrate because they lost the ability to make members responsible for their work. This thread on Governance is the perfect place to consider this. I’m not trying to put venom on this forum, just raising some very serious points related to governance and culture.

I sometimes adopt this behavior on purpose, to test how well the community is immunized against the necessarely feel-good problem.

Another thing to consider: never kill your barking dog and your canary. These are personalities that can also affect the feel-good in the community and they are often pushed aside by the majority. But their role is critical. The barking dog is an individual who smells danger before anyone else and attacks a potential troublemaker before he does any damage. That’s often mistaken for violent behavior (language) and the barking dog is ostracized, leaving the sheep exposed to the wolfs. The canary is the individual who’s always winning about everything, a sensitive personality that detects internal functioning problems, pain points, before the problem grows too large. All that to say that within the community there are some pain in the but individuals that play very important functions. If you attach costs to their behavior (criticize their actions) they leave, because their participation is only voluntary. From my experience, it is better to identify these individuals for what they are, to surface their role and modus operandi so that everyone interprets their actions properly, and let them be.