GWG values - Manifesto and Code of Conduct

Values for the Governance Working Group

From last meeting, we decided to based the values of the group on the Manifesto, I also check the code of conduct. Of course that both documents already guide our actions on GOSH related subjects, but I summarized them on a governance-guided style.

Anyway, I strongly recommend that everybody give a second (or hundredth) look on both documents before the meeting, I myself had forgotten some parts of them, so it was good to read it again.

And of course, those ideas aren’t written on stone, so please say if you think this should shaped differently, if I forgot something, or if I misinterpreted something.

How we should act as a group

  • We should work toward sharing, to build a movement, not acting territorially;

  • Preference for using open source tools for every step (whenever is possible);

  • We follow the code of conduc;

    • In short: we listen, we practice consent (when interacting to others), we respect difference.

Some highlights to guide our governance

  • Our documents have to be understandable and communicative;

  • The tools involved and necessary to participate on governance (decision making, communicating, etc.) should be open, free ( libre ), and licensed as such (unless there are no open source option available);

  • Prioritize communal, accessible, shared and collaborative practices and tools;

  • Avoid practices, tools and actions that will privilege institutional groups, or global north groups;

  • We don’t have central authority, we have community champions;

  • Whenever possible, it should not limit the participation in any instance.

Some thoughts on it

  • Not sure what means “to have community champions”, but my interpretations is: the decisions/actions should be guided/taken by actively working community people. However, what are the criteria for “electing” community champions? Are they active on their own community? GOSH community? GOSH forum? OSH community? This is one of the most “governance like” topic of the manifesto, and since we are guided by it, I think we should get to an agreement of this meaning.

  • Since GOSH is a movement, not a research group, the “rules” and decisions should shape the movement, not the research. This means the governance should not rule the GOSH community researches. However, if any sort of funding or support will be granted by GOSH, them the Manifesto should be called on as a criteria for it.

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To clarify, the term ‘community champion’ came out of a discussion at the first gosh about the tendency, especially in traditional startups and academia, to put highly successful individuals and their paths on a pedestal and to do what they do or say mostly because they say they did it (the term ‘no high priests’ term also came out of this discussion). Those few individuals end up controlling a lot of space and direction This produces championing of individual successes for the purpose of replicating individual successes, and fail to identify and championing activities that benefit the community and our common goals.

A community champion is invested in the community’s success, not just their own or even just the replication of their own type of success. Individual success is great (!), and sharing those methods is critical (!), but the way we share and interact should be focused on community success and not our personal egos.

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