Thu 26 Feb 2015 4:02AM

Encouraging diversity

JVD Jaco van der Merwe Public Seen by 290

We tried really hard to ensure good diversity @ LCA (not just women, but other demographics too), but by some accounts we still did not get it 100% right.

Is there a way to encourage a good diverse range of people to engage?
Do we state a code of conduct?
If this even something we should explicitly address?


Alanna Irving Thu 26 Feb 2015 4:13AM

The code of conduct is here: http://www.opensourceopensociety.com/conduct.html

We are working really hard to have diversity among the speakers. So far we have some amazing women and people from the Maori/Pasifika community involved and are keeping it in mind at every stage. We're also looking at other vectors of diversity such as age, sector, technical skill level, etc.

We're in talks with a potential sponsor to specifically support even more diversity outreach, like scholarship tickets, extra marketing to underserved communities, on-site childcare... really hope that comes through. If not we'll still try to make it happen as much as possible.

We ask about accessibility needs as part of the signup process and are hoping to hear from participants about their needs so we can specifically work to them, in addition to focusing on general accessibility. I'm thinking about things like special lighting, deaf interpretation, etc. We're also keeping in mind things like having quiet rooms and spaces for people who tend to get social/sensory overload.

As facilitators, we're especially sensitive to issues like diversity of communication styles, and are consciously designing sessions in ways that enable meaningful participation from many kinds of people. E.g, individual, pair, small group, large group, written, movement, drawing, hacking, singing...


Jaco van der Merwe Thu 26 Feb 2015 4:29AM

very nice indeed :)
thanks for that


Kelly Cheesman Wed 1 Apr 2015 10:12AM

Hi all. I’m attending with my Rails Girls hat on and want to put some of our money we have left over from our last workshop towards hosting a Tea Party of sorts at the conference (working title is Diversi-TEA). I want to invite those who are involved in similar outreach / education / diversity projects (and those also interested in joining) along to meet, greet and discuss some of the hard stuff, talk about what you are doing etc.

Question topics - What’s your project? Who’s missing from here? How do we get more people interest in and involved in Open Source? How can we lower the barrier to entry to OSS? Diverse skill sets…getting designers and ‘non code contributions’ to OSS?

I’ve booked a 30min slot in-between sessions at the same time as the scheduled Afternoon Tea, 3pm Thursday.

Who is interested in coming along? Do you have a project in mind that you want to talk to people about? Ive sent invites out to CodeDojo Porirua, Maker Box Miramar, Hopper Fund, (waiting to hear back) but i’d like a more solid indication of others who are involved in projects that would come along. Also I’d love suggestions of others that I should reach out to.



Kelly Cheesman Mon 6 Apr 2015 11:36PM

Bump. Looking for Looking for co-conspirators.


Dean Marc Co Wed 8 Apr 2015 2:10AM


Representatives from our teams (2 very nice and dependable ladies) were excited to join this event and engage the community but just heard that their temp visa application will not be approved for several reasons; 1 was a new application while the other was a renewal same as mine.

Will just follow the event updates from here. Wish you the best. See you around.


Alanna Irving Wed 8 Apr 2015 2:28AM

sorry to hear that @deanmarcco - hope the visa situation gets worked out in the future


Silvia Zuur Wed 8 Apr 2015 6:58AM

@deanmarcco we are working on ensuring the event will be live streamed - so hopefully you will still get a bit from afar. But I can 100% confirm that all keynotes will be filmed - so you will def be able to hear that afterwards!


britta bear Tue 14 Apr 2015 6:11PM

@kellycheesman1 Im looking forward to the diversiTEA. My area of interest and questions (which are just ideas for possible discussion) are:
- how to get people with different abilities involved ?
I work for a charity in the disability sector, and open source software is hard to support, given bugs with open source software working with assistive tech, and also not really being able to get people over the entry hurdle so they can "scratch their own itch". Some ideas welcome. The charity I work for is tasked, because this is a niche area, with the education, the tech support that companies aren't doing/don't know how to do, and getting employment software to work woth assistive tech. There are not enough people to do this.

One noteable exception for a company helping us out in this area, is Catalyst. They have an accessibilty consultant to look over and advise on their code. And I cannot thank them enough for this. One less piece of open source software for us to have to " hack" so disabled people can work or get access to education.
- How do we get more open source people/companies to do this Engage with the disability sector ?


PAN & BAM | Creator: Stephen Chernishov Fri 8 May 2015 12:40PM

It appears that to get a diverse range of people involved in a project we are going to have to massively inspire/lead awesomely/be visionary/have a clear point of difference, and lead people to think,
"Would it be worth living in a tent & reshuffling my entire life to begin spending lots of time on this?"