[OSGeo-Conf] Code of Conduct at Events?

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Thu Nov 11 09:25:17 EST 2010

Eric Wolf wrote:
> Here is an article from Geek Feminism on making events more women friendly:
> http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Women-friendly_events


I was pretty impressed with the material at the above link, though
I'm not convinced I'd want to try and do it all.

I will note that the code of conduct idea has received a pretty
poor reception on the SPI mailing list, partly perhaps because SPI
is a step removed from the meetings actually held by it's projects.
But also for a number of the reasons stated here.

> Maybe this is more of an issue for SciFi/Comic Cons where there is a
> strong movement towards publishing such statements. Maybe the problem
> at ApacheCon was due to some level of cross-over in communities.

I don't think the problem at ApacheCon had anything to do with cross-over
of communities.  I think it was the sort of thing that could happen at
any conference with men, women and alcohol.  I personally have no doubt
that the same sort of thing could happen at FOSS4G.  We certainly aren't
a uniquely virtuous community.

My hesitation about a code of conduct is more due to doubts it would
serve any useful purpose, and that it would complicate things.  On the
other hand, we have set an objective for ourselves (IMHO) for OSGeo
to be an inclusive diverse community and this includes being welcoming
to women, and other groups that otherwise might be a minority in our
community.  With FOSS4G being our premier event, and a large one, I
do think it behooves us to consider how we can improve it specifically
and perhaps our general behavior as a community.

> It just seems to me that something may be afoot and we should avoid
> dismissing the issue. Maybe we should include a statement like the
> IETF RFC 3184 Principles of Conduct. Maybe we should extend the
> statement a little to make it encompass some of these more recent
> trends. We definitely should explore the information provided by Geek
> Feminism to make the event more friendly for everyone. I wonder if we
> can find an LOC member willing to make this their charge? One of my
> original ideas was to try to have LOC members who would take on the
> task of encouraging participation from specific countries. Maybe we
> can do the same for women.

Interesting idea.

My hope is that if we come up with some good ideas they can become part
of the culture of FOSS4G, applied year to year.  But certainly we have
to start it somewhere.

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | Geospatial Programmer for Rent

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