Malvika Sharan: So ok, welcome to the last cohort call of this cohort, things have gone very fast. But today we are discussing a topic which is extremely important to what Open Life Science stands for. And I’m really excited that we have two speakers on the call Rowland Mosbergen and Anelda van der Walt. As usual, this call has a code of conduct. If you find anything which is not comfortable or makes you feel excluded, please report that to the team by emailing team@OpenLifesci.
org. You can also reach out to one of the team members if you would rather speak to them personally. Before we head over, please make sure you can edit your name to add w or s that stands for written or spoken so we can locate you to the right breakout room. So I’m just doing right now a I will put myself for the written room today. Please choose one so it’s much easier for us to assign you to a room add your roll call name and icebreaker question.
01:10 - some really interesting answers are coming and I’m really just excited about my my favourite fact which is that clownfish changes sex. When female fish on the top dies, they change their sex and take her place. So think about that.
01:30 - Maya says is that anything about babies and ocean is mind blowing. We have some things about the female bee worker We will start today quite reversely. Like we will start by asking you to think about some questions. So if you can see the page number four, we have some prompts for you. And we will ask you to take 10 minutes silent docking, thinking about question What place that made you feel included the first time you visited, it could be online or in person? What made that place so inclusive? And I will cut the last question because we didn’t ask you for taking this bias test.
So please take six to eight minutes. I’ll see how you’re noting, and then we’ll come back to it. Before the first talk.
02:57 - I’ll just start reading some of the insights and you’re also welcome to raise your hand and share your personal thoughts. So the common idea that I see most of the answer is that there was somebody who made intentional effort to create a chance to talk and introduce, set the tone for the community, explain things to each other, encourage them to take bigger roles, respectful co creation and also methods that reduces power imbalance and hierarchy.
03:33 - Fabianne’s comment about people were genuinely happy to see us I think we can definitely read authenticity in people’s behaviour. So if we want to be inclusive, we need to be authentic. I think pretentious inclusion doesn’t work.
03:47 - Yo says is that when she joined people in her team, were talking about inclusion, equity and caring and it was really supportive and kind and like minded. So again, I think it’s also about authenticity of people willing to talk about these kinds of things. Javier has something about people from different backgrounds, including indigenous people, I think this is about, again, participatory research where knowledge holders are also the knowledge owners in terms of how research works, and then same was told by Batool, which is where she’s in the carpentries training where people are from different backgrounds very supportive.
04:30 - Unfortunately, some of you have also expressed that you’ve not been to a lot of places where you certainly feel included or have low threshold for inclusion.
04:40 - sense of belonging is very important. So these were really skimmed through so if you would like to unmute and share your personal opinion that would be great as well.
05:04 - So I don’t see a hand I ll see, especially the Marina’s comment about the Turing way where people from diverse Unknown: background, Malvika Sharan: work together who are very approachable. But there are also chances where you can take a break from socialising and work silently, I think we do have lots of CO-working hours. All right, I think please keep writing, I think these are really great example for us to visit back and see what others do that make place inclusive, and we can try to integrate those in our work.
And with that, I’ll hand over to Yo for the first speaker.
05:44 - Yo Yehudi: Thank you so much Malvika. So I am really excited going to be introducing Rowland in a minute, I’m actually going to just pre face this with, I guess a little bit of a content warning just to say that at the next talk, we’re going to be talking about inclusion and about bias. And I know that often when we examine bias in ourselves especially it can be really difficult and really uncomfortable to recognise that maybe we are biassed or that we see bias and other people and but both of those are uncomfortable topics that are also really important to face head on and recognise and figure out what you can do about it to try and avoid them and reduce bias where possible.
And With that, I am going to hand over to my friend Rowland, who has been kind enough to stay up I’m thinking quite late in Australia. So thank you, Rowland, over to you.
07:17 - Unknown: Thank you, um, Can I grab access to share the screen should be enabled.
07:30 - Can everyone see this? Just get my stuff. Ready. Is that okay? Excellent. Okay, so when Yo asked me to do this, I was.
08:37 - And on the right here, you’ve got Ruby Bridges, six, in 1960, when she went to a previously white school, you know, they threatened to poison her - she’s six years old.
08:55 - And she was only allowed to bring food that she brought from home for her safety and, and this is the challenging thing.
09:03 - Because this is not this person is still around, she gives talks from what I can remember. And you know, this is a really this is change is not something that just happens very lightly with very minimal effort. And people just go Oh, you know what, it’s okay. This is this is the this is what happens when you have to when you bring about a change. So I want to ask people to think about not writing anything down but to think about the bias that she received was a conscious or unconscious bias.
And I want people to think about that for a few seconds. And then I’m going to give my take so you get a six year old people threatening to kill a Do you think that’s conscious or unconscious bias? So my take on this is do you think it mattered to Ruby? Do you think that if someone threatened you when you were six years old, whether it was conscious or unconscious? Do you think it would matter? And that’s the sort of question that I want to ask across a few different other examples as well.
So Tamir Rice was 12 years old when he was killed by a policeman holding a replica gun.
10:36 - He didn’t make any verbal threats or points down towards the officers, he was shot and killed very, very quickly. By the time the police pulled up, it was a very short amount of time before he was killed. Do you think it mattered to me if he was killed? Because he was? Because the police were consciously or unconsciously bias? Do you think it mattered to his family? In 2015, just doing a search on racism in Belgium, I just picked a country.
There’s a situation where this person was lost the leg after being chased by a police car. And on Facebook. He had statements about the kind there and there’s more, there’s more where that came from? Did it matter? Did his left leg feel? Did he lose his left leg? And was it worse because it was conscious or unconscious bias? You know, when you start to think about that, and all of a sudden, this idea of conscious bias doesn’t matter. Doesn’t seem as important anymore.
To me. As a personal opinion, you might have a different opinion on that. But I’ve shown you some really obvious things. But what it does is it’s more subtle. So this is really this happened just recently with Vanessa Nakate got cropped out from from a photo. And it was just bizarre when I first saw it, I just, it’s just bizarre, I can’t I can’t explain it. But it can be more subtle. And, again, whether you’re when you’re the recipient of this subtle bias, it can hurt just as badly.
Whether it’s conscious or unconscious, it doesn’t really when you’re the victim, and it doesn’t really matter. From what I can tell.
12:41 - But bias also includes people who do similar things getting treated differently. So who gets forgiven and who gets punished? So one of the things that I like to teach people is to actually start to break down and say, Well, can you think of another example where someone’s been given a very different situation where, you know, they’re forgiven or punished. So this is Brock Turner, who’s on the left is very famously, was treated quite nicely, because I think the judge recognised that he could have been an Olympic swimmer one day, and they thought that it might ruin his career if he was, you know, treated, like a person, or are treated like a, you know, as someone who has to bear the consequences of his actions.
And then you’ve got Dayonne Davis here, who gets five years in prison for fish for a shoe for shoe robbery. And I think he just really shows this idea I call it side by side, when you actually start to put these examples side by side becomes really easy to see who gets forgiven and who gets punished.
13:58 - This is actually fairly close to home, say in Australia, in Victoria and Melbourne, where I live. There was a lot of COVID happening in the rich and affluent areas, and people were just breaking things and this guy was walking around and you know, no people were in masks cafes were full. But in the place where there wasn’t that much COVID there were cops that are surrounding towers, in effect, and they found out later on that the the Ombudsman for I think was a human rights ombudsman actually was saying that, that lockdown having those police around the towers was actually a breach of human rights.
And again, the housing Minister for Victoria just said, we’re not going to apologise for that. And again, it’s like who gets forgiven and who gets punished. And once you start to, to understand that and you can do what I would call a simple discourse analysis about who gets forgiven who cares punished, it becomes really, really obvious where those biases lie.
15:05 - And these biases are obstacles for people from marginalised groups. And I really love this picture because it actually says, Well, actually, I’m just going to judge you on who gets the finish line. And they don’t actually judge the degree of difficulty. And I’d also like to point out that when I talk about intersectionality, I’m talking about having more belonging to more than one marginalised group. And so I like to think, well, I don’t like to think of that, but I think of it as a power function.
So if you’re from, you know, it’s exponential, it’s exponentially more difficult to be a person from two marginalised groups and to be a person from one marginalised group. And incidentally, actually, I’ll leave that one for a little bit later. That story. So for me, when you talk about unconscious bias, I’m thinking we’ll actually I think we should centre, the people who are marginalised. So when you’re talking about unconscious bias, you’re centering the perpetrator centering yourself, and I don’t think that’s actually really helpful in this one that was saying is like, you know, this is just an easy get out, call it club clause for behaviour, that’s bad, and I don’t really want to be able to sort of focus on that.
So I think what we should be doing is listening to the people who are the most marginalised in our society, because they are the canaries in the coal mine. And how comfortable they are, how well treated they are, is an indication for how healthy that society is. So in Australia at the moment, we are not a healthy society. We are not a healthy society. And it’s been like that for a while now. Because when you look at the most marginalised people in our society, they’re treated really badly.
And the way I like to think of how we adjust this is think of a triage in our hospitals, emergency department.
17:05 - There’s a lot of way too, you don’t really need to think about it, but the more marginalised the person, the more we should help them. Because the people who aren’t marginalised or that marginalised very much might not need as much help. So when you think about intersectionality, and you’re saying, Well, if you’ve got more than one marginalised part of mine, one marginalised group, it’s almost like having a heart attack, you want to be seeing, seen, and you want to be given as much help as possible.
If you just sort of hurt your finger a little bit, you shouldn’t be the one at the front of the queue. And then the following two slides, I’ve got a couple of graphs where I talk about who are actually listening to based on their degree of difficulty. So this is what I call the intersectionality spectrum. And this degree of difficulty is something that I’ve sort of calculated. So I’m a big fan of George P Box’s, quite all models are wrong, but some are useful.
And the reason I show you this is because I know it’s wrong, but hopefully, it’ll be useful. And what we do in Australia is we listen to people over on this side of the one so white males, white females, they they’re over represented in a lot of media, in leadership positions, etc, etc. We don’t listen to people over on this side. Because actually, overall, like I said, we’re we’re we are a # #, we’re not a healthy society. And if you think about it from a triage point of view, and this degree of difficulty is actually calculated in a certain way, you can sort of see it in the spreadsheet.
But well, the way I see that we should do it, if we were to do it in a triage point of view, where this big arrow here is like where we listened to the most, that should be actually on the other side, we should be centering the people over on this side. And just a highlight here as well. I’m sitting here. So I’m actually extremely privileged. When you look at when I looked at people to my right, my my family, my immediate family is all to the right of me.
I’m the most privileged person in my family. And the way I think of things is how do I help people to the right of me, because I don’t necessarily need to help people to the left, as much as I need to help people to the right, and advice centre, centre, these choices. But it’s not just important to listen. We have to show courage and act. So I don’t there’s a couple of things in here that I just want to show is what matters to people. One on One lifelike speech is how you’re supported.
I think we mentioned a little bit more about that inclusion. It’s like you know, you feel supported.
19:43 - But you have to recognise that if you’re if you’re neutral, you’re on the side of the oppressor. Right. If you’re neutral, the system is not going to change. It’s going to say it’s going to keep its momentum.
19:55 - But to act, to be to fight the system, it actually takes courage and a willingness to sacrifice your privilege to help others. So, really interesting, the only person who agreed to teach Ruby, the six year old was a white woman called Barbara , Henry. Now, could you imagine what Barbara would have had to go through to actually do that for a whole year, she was the only one who taught taught Ruby, you can imagine going into the, into the staff room there, and I don’t think she would have felt very included.
And then, but the thing is, it’s an act of courage to be able to actually fight the system. And that’s, that’s not easy. There are many times where I have decided that I am not going to fight. Because I do not have the I just don’t have that in me. So I was trying to find a quiet, I couldn’t find one. So I stuck my hand in apologies for that. Right, you can read it.
21:03 - For me, inclusion is being comfortable. We all say these things about losing my job losing friends or damaging my career. And I won’t talk about this with my friends. Alright.
21:22 - So here’s some I always like to end on, I think this is near the end is on practical things that you can do. You can change your social media ito centre intersectionally marginalised people, get out of your way to encourage people from marginalised groups, and identify talented people from marginalised groups who may not have had the opportunity. And these are ways that you can use your privilege to step aside to be able to allow people to have the opportunities that they missed.
And if you’re up for looking at chase to change the systems in your organization’s and this is a really great example. And it’s surprising how many times I’ve seen this in the music industry, where you have someone who’s got a lot of privilege, who’s saying, hey, if you give this person a chance, I will make it worth your while. And that person became, you know, be able to, you know, I’d never had to play a small jazz club again for Ella Fitzgerald Fitzgerald.
And that was a sign of someone sacrificing their privilege or using their privilege to provide an opportunity for someone else.
22:25 - There was another situation I think Fred Astaire did at Princeton, where the artist not only known as Prince did it as well. But really interesting to be able to see those things happening. So in summary, for me, unconscious bias, yes, no, not really interested. For me, it’s about centering marginalised voices, and trying to support people from marginalised groups to your right, in the intersectionality spectrum. Everything else is sort of not going to be as helpful for the people who are who are marginalised.
If you want to know more, I recently tried to put together a workshop, a theoretical one called improving diversity, inclusion in senior leadership, which has got some of these things in there. And there’s some other interesting things that are out there. In terms of centering social media. If you’re on Twitter, I put down this list of public it should be a public place of people to follow. And these are the people that are sort of higher frequency tweeters.
Probably going to take you out of your comfort zone if it’s not already, who I use as my gauge, and have really sort of followed when I’ve started followings. When I’ve started following marginalised voices, I learned way more than I’ve learned anywhere else. But there’s a price to be paid. When I was talking about this to someone the other day, she said, Yeah, I’ve noticed that I’ve learned a lot more, but I’m way more sad than I was before.
Because a lot of these stories of marginalised people are, you know, they’re not, they’re not happy stories.
24:19 - But you have to go through that process to be able to come out the other end and say, Well, actually, it gives me motivation to keep doing these sorts of things to bring about change. So I think that is it. So I don’t know what happens now. You may leave this share on doing you want to turn it off, Yo Yehudi: and maybe turn it off that way we can send to some faces. A couple of questions, if anyone has any. If not, I do definitely have a backup question.
That actually can we have a quick round of applause and thank you for the powerful talk from Roland Unknown: Thanks.
25:02 - Yo Yehudi: So if anyone wants to add questions into the notes, there is a q&a session at section rather. And you’re also welcome to unmute if you wish.
25:17 - So I would just share. I have a note here about the Dulwich Centre in Australia, which is a centre for Narrative Therapy and social work, which is sensitised to marginalised groups, that a person is a what are the working principles is I’m going to get tongue tied, if I read this person is not a problem person is a person and a problem as a problem. I like the framing, although I did have some read it about three times to actually not get tongue tied on that one.
As beautiful as that may be fabienne. Unknown: Yeah, thank you, Roland. This was very, very powerful. And I really appreciate you sharing this and also being being so so honest and vulnerable about it, I think you, you taught a very important lesson, you know, you, you showed us that it’s okay to be uncomfortable that we need to be uncomfortable. And this is this is also part of, I think, what what would we need to do? I wanted to ask you, what, what are your thoughts on the attachment to the goal of being more diverse and inclusive, I mean, almost everybody is now opening up the inclusion and diversity task forces.
And I think that is very much driven by, you know, people want to help people aware that they should be doing something, but at the same time, they are so attached to stepping out of this comfort zone by doing x. And to me this particular attachment, sabotages the efforts? So what, what are your thoughts on that? Yeah, um, so I guess, my it depends how they step out of their comfort zone, or if they’re really stepping out of their comfort zone, if you know what I mean.
So stepping out of your comfort zone, if it means almost every time every day, you’re making a weighted decision of whether you decide to push back, or to grab an opportunity, or to give yourself a break. You know, I mean, and you’re sort of thinking, if I say this, will that ruin my chances of keeping my job? And if you’re not, if you’re not sort of happy, if that’s not sort of happening to you on a regular basis, then you’re probably you’re probably going down that path where you might not be, like you’re saying before, you might be fixated on something else.
It might you might still be out of your comfort zone, but it might be a comfort zone that you’re comfortable with. I don’t know, if that makes sense, right? But again, you know, it’s, I don’t say this to say, Oh, look, if you don’t do this, you know, you’re a bad person, and bla bla bla, bla bla, there’s plenty of times where I’ve kept my mouth shut, right. Um, you really have to be able to pick and choose a, I was in a meeting, I remember this really clearly.
Well, this is guy, he’s actually a really nice guy, his gang, okay, we need to be able to get this group, right. And I want to make sure we’ve got, you know, the right gender equity, and he was trying really hard to make sure he lined it up. He had an Excel spreadsheet where he was calculating, you know, but everyone was why was this completely and I was like, He’s such a nice guy. He’s trying really hard. The institution is wide Anyway, you know what, I’m just gonna, I’m just gonna let this one slide.
And you’re, you’re doing that every day. So my, my sort of gut feeling is, it’s really difficult to know where that is, but if if someone’s really pushing, they’re worried about the career they’re worried about the job, the worried about losing friends, they’re worried about, you know, that’s, that’s really difficult. That’s really difficult. And I think, but I think the only times that the big changes can happen, the the, the really powerful changes can happen is when you actually when you when you actually see What that means, right? you kind of know it.
When I first had to do this sort of stuff, I kind of knew it. Right? And I had to go, right. And it’s sort of like, in the middle of a meeting, I’ll say, look, you know, if you want to make a complaint to HR, I’m, I’m happy to act as your witness. And you know, I just go through this thing and be really upfront. And even behind closed doors, when someone comes to say, hey, do you think this is racist? And give me #, yeah, it was racist? Do you want me to? What would you like me to do? You know, you have to go through that thing.
And even then, Meantime, even if it’s my supervisor, ok shit, I don’t really want to do this. I really don’t want to do this. But we have to go through that process, whether we like it or not. And, you know, you have to decide if it’s going to be worth your while. Because the dirty secret is, if someone in power is doing something mad, and it’s subtle enough, the only way they’re going to get dislodged in most organisations is if things were to go public, and the victim would have to destroy their career.
If you’ve ever followed the lives of whistleblowers after the event, no whistleblower usually gets out of now gets gets gets treated like a hero from everybody. Like whistleblowers, you know, they’re not anyone’s favourite people. So it’s, it’s a real challenge. I don’t know if I’ve answered your question or not. I think I’ve just rambled around a little bit. Sorry about that.
31:42 - You’re giving us so much food for thought. I mean, this is this is nothing that can be answered really, or it can be can be solved. But thank you for bringing it up. It’s like I said, it’s really powerful. Thank you for setting an example.
31:55 - Thanks. Okay. Thank Yo Yehudi: you so much. I have I think we have time for one more question, if anyone has one, and then move on to the breakout rooms.
32:15 - Just checking in the notes. I don’t see any others. Okay, I’m going to ask this one quickly. So Rowland, I definitely thought a lot about what you’re saying it like even though I’ve read these slides beforehand, there’s a lot of thoughts that still came came through to me when you were presenting this. But I guess, I think you’re absolutely right, that centering the people who are affected is the most important thing. But that then leads me to question a someone.
So I had a conversation, I know six months or a year ago with a white person who said I’m not racist. And I remember thinking, Unknown: I doubt that, like, you might Yo Yehudi: not know that you’re racist. But I think that that’s a place where talking about unconscious bias, so people realise that it exists, and that they can act against it is important. And I’m curious how you would go about raising that sort of thing, whilst still keeping a victim centred central narrative.
33:12 - Unknown: Yeah, so I actually do that in the you know, increasing diversity inclusion in the senior workforce, where I start out with highlighting why I’m so sensitive, and talking about the subtle, the subtleties of racism, because a lot of people think of racism in very big, easy to see incidents. And actually, the subtle ones, the subtle ones are more difficult for me now, because people can get Oh, yeah, no, that was definitely racist, blah, blah, blah.
But it’s the ones where people are trying to adjudicate when there are grey areas that are the dangerous one. So the way I would sort of do that is to take them through that, especially those side by side examples, I really love this side by side examples. I wish I had more. But when you actually go, okay, you know, who’s being forgiven, and who’s being punished, and you go through these examples, it becomes really, really obvious. The other thing too, is I always say, I’m also an experiential kind of teacher.
So I like to take people plus I’m a bit of a What’s it? What’s a diplomatic way of saying, asshole Oh, I can’t remember. So I like to, I like to. Um, so I like to actually go well, what would you do in this situation? If you did this, this and there’s some really interesting videos now.
34:45 - And the difference now is that you can see when the subtle, the South East come through, because it’s like, but if you listen to the place, you wouldn’t have been in trouble. And then you actually show them videos of someone just standing the, and then getting tasered for no reason. And so I would, I would tend to go, Okay, if you don’t think you’re racist, or you don’t think there’s like subtle racism, you take them through these situations, okay, what would you do in this situation, I’d follow the police, right? If you followed what the police said you would have gotten tasered.
And, and, and getting them to understand that there are different rules for different people by by taking through that, I think that will make them understand this to understand because it’s not necessarily about whether they’re racist or not, it’s whether they actually even understand that these things are happening, which is why we want to centre those things. And once once they see that, and there, they have some level of empathy, because some people don’t.
And once they have some level of empathy, then then all of a sudden, you can change in an instant, how people view the world. And we can’t, we can’t make change unless we actually see that they have to go through that I have the needles sort of thing to actually be able to come out the other side. So I think I think that’s how you could send to the victims, but also bring that person along for a journey. But again, they have to be sort of ready for.
And the way that I’m setting things up is mainly going to talk to people who might be willing to listen. Because if someone’s not willing to listen, all it’s gonna do is cause me pain and waste their time. And I don’t have the energy for that. So pick and choose, as well, I guess I’m saying you got to pick and choose.
36:36 - Okay, thank Yo Yehudi: you so much, Rolwand. I think we’re going to wrap up on this bit and move on to our breakout rooms. So yeah, thanks again, Rowland. And this has been a really thought provoking and really, really useful talk. So for our breakout rooms, folks, we have Malvika Sharan: Anelda’s talk down before the breakout room.
36:59 - Yo Yehudi: Okay, that helps because I was just thinking, How can I scramble to get everyone into the breakout? Because I hadn’t started it yet. Amazing. Okay. In that case, I get to hand it over to Maya, who introduces our next talk. Thank you, Malvika.
37:15 - Unknown: Thank you, Yo, so great. We have Anelda van der Walt from South Africa. Who will expand the personas and pathways topic. Two key elements to design in your open project.
37:33 - And please Anelda tell me if you can share the screen.
37:42 - Thanks, Maya. I’m going to share my screen recently I’ve had some problems so if you just tell me what you are seeing shared scream that one. ##. Okay, that sounds good. Okay, now I must say I’m I just walked in at the end of that. Oh, and others up now because I had to be pretty open the door for my son to come in. He’s just back from school. So just getting myself really quickly, making sure I’ve got everything. Yeah. Okay. So thank you very much.
Malvika. Yo Berenice, and for the introduce speak here today about pathways and personas. And it’s a topic that I’m still learning about as much as you are. So I’m going to share with you my experiences and what I think about it. But there are lots of resources out there that you can follow to look at how to do it. I’m going to talk more about kind of the the whys and how to think about it. I really enjoyed Rowland’s talk now because the way that he used real people, and in my talk, you’ll see less of the real people.
But we can refer back to to think about Rowland’s photos of real people when we when we going through this talk as well. So I’m Anelda van der Walt. I’m a South African, the living in South Africa all my life, and many generations now. I live in a small coastal village, there’s a photo of what you can see when you climb the hill just behind my house. And I work with universities across South Africa, in Africa and an outside of Africa to help researchers adopt technology in their research.
What I want to talk to you about today, as we said was personas and pathways, which are two design elements that have different benefits in your project. It doesn’t only help you to Think about designing the right project. But it also helps you to communicate within the project and to your stakeholders about design decisions that you’ve made. And of course, it allows you to attract the right users, and contributors and help them to stay in your project.
So for many of you are doing very different projects, before this talk, I was actually looked at the list of projects. Again, it’s so diverse. And some of you might be thinking, well, personas and pathways aren’t really relevant to my project. But regardless of what kind of project you’re doing in Open Science, personas and pathways can really help you a lot. So I hope by the end of this project, you’ll see at the end of this talk, you’ll see a few ways in which you can use it.
So you will need personas and pathways if you want users, and all contributors. And for all the projects that is in # #, this is what we want, right. Just very quickly, what are personas. And very recently, I was going through the process of creating personas for a project, I was looking at various designers online various resources. And I was stunned to see how many personas seem to be created to tick boxes to, to really, really just not necessarily speaking to the people that might be coming to their projects.
According to Mozilla beside as an imaginary user based on real world observations and understandings of actual potential current users, and in our case, also contributors. But what’s really important is that you have to know your audience, you have to know the people that you’re working with, to be able to create an accurate persona. And that’s where data comes in. I think most of us in the school definitely in the OLS projects are aware of the importance of data to inform decisions.
And so maybe at the beginning of your project, you may not really know your users or your contributors. And we’ll, we’ll speak a little bit more about that later. So your your personas might not be that accurate. But as you go along, you can improve those personas as you get to know your users better. And as your project grows in terms of diversity and voices.
42:36 - pathways are ways for people to stay involved in your project.
42:44 - So you may you may have people coming in as developers, you may have people coming in as users, and what are the what are the things that will make them come into your project and stay involved. So not every project that can lead not every person that comes into your project will necessarily take on a leadership role in the future. But how can you help people to see how they can be involved regardless of what their what their resources, skill level, all motivations are, and we’ll talk a little bit more about that later on.
For me, a pathway is less about the picture on the left, where there’s this golden highway that takes you to where the sun shines behind the mountain. And it’s more about something like a treasure map where someone might look at the map and say, Oh, I want to go, you know, have a look at the river. And then someone else might say, I’m really fond of forests. And someone else might say, Well, I’m going to take the little boat that’s out there and go across the ocean to the other side of the peninsula.
So there are many different ways that people can can be involved and there’s no expectation of a leadership progression. Why are scientists and pathways important and the way that I see it is, besides will bring the right people to your project.
44:11 - And pathways will help them to stay there. Just getting back to when you develop them, it’s optimal to develop them at the beginning of your project. It might save you a lot of time if you are thinking about who you are developing this project for from the beginning, and also what you want them to do there.
44:34 - And thinking about your project in terms of how it will grow.
44:39 - You will need as the project go grow, and what you can offer your users and your contributors. So typically, you can develop personas and pathways beginning and then of course as I mentioned before, use the data that you gather as the project grows as new voices join your project to improve those The next slide is just an image of the design thinking process. And I really like this one, I think there’s a lot of questions here that might be useful to your projects beyond just thinking about process and personas.
And and what I wanted to show you is that projects, I sometimes get the feeling that in Open Science, every project will just work like it has to work, right, because we invest so much time and effort and emotion into it. But the reality is, sometimes projects when you can’t get past the prototype stage, you have to sit back and really think about whether this is the thing that was going to be, you know, do solve the problem that you set out to solve.
And just going back to the drawing board and looking again, at your users looking again, at your, at your contributors, who did you think you were going to attract? Who are you really attracting, and how you can edit that I really, I really like this one, I think I’m going to be using this just in thinking about our own projects as well. The personas typically fit into After gathering the data through your exploration, and emphasising. It was the state where you are defining what the specific needs are that a person has that is coming to your project.
One of the things that we’ve used in one of our projects that every map or project to think about who our users and contributors could be our mind map showing all the roles that they are in a project. And the reason why I’m showing you this mind map is because as you Google for information about developing personas, you might come across a lot of references, that speaks about developing personas, from a company’s point of point of view, to attract users and to get the right the right elements into a platform or a software or a project for the users.
So really mostly about users. But in Open Science projects, and very specifically in open communities and software development, we have not only have to think about our customer, the person that will be using our tool or platform or will be joining the community as a community member.
47:30 - But we also have to think about personas and pathways for people who are developing, I apologise for my dog barking in the background. And we have to think about our contributors, our community developers, and other roles, not only the users. So this kind of mind map has helped me a lot to think about personas from a user point of view, from the learners point of view. And then also how can we attract developers and what what are we giving to them? How are we motivating them to join the project? And what what reward are they getting here and how they are, they can use being involved in our project to grow their own skills and networks as well.
Another tool that I’ve used in a different project is the escalator project. Here, we used existing monitoring and evaluation evaluation tools to figure out who our target target audience may be, who are we developing this project for? I’m going to talk about the project a little bit later, or just in the next slide. But first, we started with using a fishbone diagram to define our problem very carefully. So asking a lot of why’s Why do we see this problem and the problem that we were seeing when I was in South Africa, we have several groups that are working in digital humanities and computational science, social sciences, but we don’t have a community of practice, we don’t have a community that together that speaks to each other, let’s share his knowledge in South Africa, in digital humanities, computational social sciences.
So that was our problem. And then we were saying, so what why do we have like, why do we care if we have a community or not a community? What are the benefits of having a community of practice? And needless to say, there are so many, many benefits of having that community of practice, it wasn’t hard to decide whether we should take this project. But then thinking about using the fishbone diagram, which I don’t have an image here, but you can Google for that.
And just to think about why are we seeing this problem, and and that really helped us to identify groups of People who could benefit from from this project. And then after developing the fishbone diagram, we use the theory of change, which is also a really, really good tool, especially for people who are developing community projects where they where you want to see a change in communities.
50:21 - It’s a really lovely tool to to consider using in your project.
50:25 - Because as you are going through asking these questions, you really also start to identify groups of people, which can inform your personas, because you’re asking questions in a different way. So just quickly a theory of change, you take your project your problem, and figure out what is the impact that you would like to see which will address that problem? And then you work backwards towards what are the long term outcomes that will lead to this impact? to have those long term outcomes? What are the short term outcomes that you should see? And then what are the outputs that you will need to see the short term outcomes? And then what are the activities that you have to do to create the outputs that relate to the short term outcomes and so forth? And then really, what do you need as inputs to be able to do the activities that will lead to that, but work backwards from the big problem, and the impact that you want to want to see.
And by doing that, it has helped us a lot to define groups of people. And very specific, I can see the personas now, who we are going to attract in this project, and supporting this project, and also who can help us help us help contribute and provide leadership in this project. Another thing that I want to point to you, for those of you who are involved in change projects in community change projects is just at the bottom of the slide, the time that it takes to see certain changes, just for us to be realistic.
I mean, the projects are only three months. And some of some of us expect to see changes that that really in communities takes many years to take place. So just to be realistic and a bit more softer on on yourself when you are not seeing the change that you would like to see the theory for the project called escalator and it’s and one of the one of the flagstone activities of this project is to develop a digital champions initiative. And what we realised initially, we thought we’ll just run one mentorship programme very much like oh, is there will be a there will be a mentorship programme, and we’re going to open it up to people doing research in digital humanities and computational sciences.
And we’re going to teach them digital and computational skills to do to use in the research. But as we work through the theory of change, and through the through the fishbone diagram, we realised but there are people who who are not very comfortable using technology even in day to day management of their their work. expecting someone to learn to code in Python when they haven’t really used something like Google Docs or some of the other tools like that your resume or other tools, which means online learning is probably a challenge and working alone, probably not part of many communities.
So we developed a different type of mentorship programme. And it’s also not necessarily mentorship in the way that you see here and is to address very specific needs. And in this slide, you can see that we now have six tracks, and revising developing content for those tracks and also partnering with existing mentorship programmes, to see how we can build on work that exists. And here’s just another speaking about pathways again, and I’m almost finished.
And I found this when I was thinking about pathways and this whole idea of not all pathways in not all participants in an open project goes to leadership. And I found this this lovely app by alltrails, which shows all kinds of different hiking routes in your area and then how difficult it is how long it is, how much innovation the time it will take to finish it and various other folders. I really liked it. I thought it was quite a good example of what I mean.
Just to give you some numbers in a recent study on open database servers in GitHub, they found that for the major open source database projects, More than 19,000 people have contributed to a project’s main repository at least once, which means like once in the entire life of the project, only about 30% of them have 30% people had contributed in the last year, which are called active contributors. And only about 20% of contributed more than three commits to a repo.
And you can imagine for for all of you working on your project, how many commits Have you made to your repo and how many other people have committed, and just realising that when people are coming to your project, they may only do one, one change. And that will be used, that will be useful to your project. And you should, you know, value them and make everyone feel that their contribution is valuable. Even if they don’t go on to become very, I just want to show you this image without which I found from in the Microsoft, what is called the Microsoft inclusive design manual, which I thought was really, really lovely.
And I do share a link there on the slide. And if you design for people who have the biggest challenges to contribute or to be part of your project, you are just reaching so many more people who, as you can see here, for example, if you design for someone who, who is blind, and you, you can all also support people who may have a temporary problem like a cataract, and also someone who have a situational problem like a distracted driver. So it’s really, really, really beneficial to your projects to think about the most difficult way, the biggest difficulty that someone will have to contribute.
And if you follow that, you really make it easy, easier, even for your most qualified contributors, or participants. So in summary, as you’ll see online, there are many ways to develop personas and pathways.
57:09 - And I do give a link just in the next slide to resources that’s provided by URL is as well that can make you think about your personas and pathways. There’s a lot of information that you can put in there. And there’s a lot of personas that you can develop for Be realistic. Remember that open, open projects often have limited resources, as long as I bring for the moment, and that you would like to be to do more as the project grows, that should be okay.
And of course, your inclusivity will grow as your project diversity grows. And most just the last quote respects the one value if we were all forced to pick one, that designers should have respect to users time, dignity, ability and means. And this was by a Facebook developer frederico Francioni. So now, what Malvika asked is that you think about how your favourite open source projects have probably use personas and pathways to attract and retain you in the project.
And then there’s also for this week, you’ll have to develop your personas and pathways for your project. And there’s a link there and the links are also in the document. And I think that’s not high. Time. Sorry. Yes.
58:37 - Thank you for your time. Oh, thank you so much. Anelda was very, I like to know, the images that you used the pathways and hiking. Do we have time for questions? YO, Malvika? Bérénice Batut: I think sorry. For that we are a bit so I think thanks a lot Anelda I think so if you have any questions and comments, please put them in the in the document and I read that you can answer them directly in the document. I think Yeah, I wanted to also you can put Yeah, thanks again.
And we will move to the next point that is the breakout discussions. So the question is about the value exchange. So we will have a 10 minutes breakout sessions where you need to refer you will reflect on what you are giving to your community organisation of project and what is it giving you back to you. And if there is any any gaps. how You might close them. So for for that we gave you some in some possible questions that could help you too.
To the with the discussions you wish you could choose two or three of them on that. And so each one will be assigned with three members. Please agree at the beginning, if you prefer to use the document or the chatroom if in are written in a written and you have each of you have. So it’s not five minutes, but probably two and a half minutes each to write down your answers.
60:31 - Two minutes, yeah, two and a half minutes to write on your answers. And then afterwards, you can discuss in the remaining time, and the next five minutes to now go through the notes and stuff. Yo, are the rooms ready. Okay, sounds good. So Yo will send you in the rooms, and we are back in 10 minutes, then Unknown: should we stop the recording? Emmy Tsang: I’m just saying that we Yeah, we’re a bit short on time today. So unfortunately, we don’t have time to sort of ask everyone to reflect out but the notes are there for you.
And co created by all of you. So I hope you can take some time after this call in your own time to read a bit sort of what other folks have thought about as well during this time. And I hope that was helpful to you. In this last bit of today, we are gonna try and put everything that you’ve learned and reflected on today together into some frameworks that and tips that will hopefully help you action on Yeah, some of those things that you thought about.
So I’m gonna start introducing sort of the first framework, and then Berenice will follow. And we’ll try and keep this nice and short and brief. But the slides are there, please do read it. If you want to find out more yourself, we’re going to go super fast. So apologies for this in advance.
62:21 - So mountain of engagement, this technique is introduced to me by our very own Malvika. And I since use it at least five to six times incredibly helpful for me to structure my thinking around community engagement and pathways that an elder also mentioned already. So I hope and I think we’re all aware of this kind of management levels within you know, your typical organisation, you have members and leaders with different responsibilities and tasks, and delegations and completion.
And there are also opportunities for people to be get appraisals, to get promoted to have more leadership ability and feel recognised for their work. Similarly, you can imagine in the community, this type of structure do exist implicitly or explicitly. And so it is important for us to think a little bit about, you know, how people interact within your community, the organisation, the project and its culture, discover how people can move between different types of interactions and develop pathways for people to move from sort of first contact, which is the lower level of engagement to sustained engagement to leadership.
So, speeding through this, you can construct your mountain of engagement in five steps, you start with a list of all the people’s interactions in your work, this could be things like, you know, following you on Twitter, to writing a blog post for your project, attending a community call, list everything, and then try and create bands of engagement. So think about, you know, whether how much time or how much effort this takes how engaged they are correspondingly.
And then group these interactions into your bands, and then give each of them a name. So it could be like first contact or sustained participation to like the top level five, there usually is leadership. And then look at how folks are moving between different levels, identify what works and what doesn’t work, this is going to be a lot the longest process, once you’ve sort of, I would say it never ends. Basically, once you’ve constructed your mountain, you constantly need to be asking your community and you know, sort of getting a sense of how you can modify these so that people can actually effectively climb up the mountain and use that insight to prioritise your work to create more opportunities.
So as I said, I’ve gone through this really, really quickly. The rest of the slide deck has a lot of questions that you can use to ask yourself and your community.
64:55 - So basically, do more of that step four, and step five time But that’s the gist. I hope I give you a quick overview of what’s happening here. And was this technique and was useful for and if you have further questions, you know, please approach any of us Malvika, Yo, Berenice and myself, and probably others in the cohort as well. And we’re all familiar with his technique, some sense of handing over to Berenice to talk about welcoming new contributors to projects.
65:27 - Bérénice Batut: Okay, thanks, me. So I will be also short trying to be short. So yeah, it’s more a practical way all you can welcome new contributors and engage them and empower them in your project. So I will share some things. So Anelda already discussed about. So the pathway here is more on the mentorship side. So you can mentor your contributors to build the pathways through their through your project, from the first interaction to leadership’s what Sorry, wrong.
So first things is how you attract contributors. So you created pathways. But also, you can also you need to document your project to learn about README, contributing five spec Code of Conduct licence, when maps are really good tips, or practical things you need to add to your project. One of the things that is really helpful to attract contributors is to create small tutorials on how to contribute to your project, low value issues on your GitHub repository share with GitHub or GitHub repository or any other to say which which issue should could be easily solved by new contributors.
So you can like label them newcomer friendly, I pointed first time, on me first timer only to be sure that this issue are done by people that are not not so much familiar with your project. Another thing that is really helpful is to organise collaboration events, or colFest, as to whether people can come and learn how to contribute to your project, and they they have people that can add them there. Then what is good also is to when you have new contributions is mentoring your contribution.
So when you’re new contributor comes, there needs to it’s good that they have support on how to get started, where to find the end of clear requirements in each of the issues. What are the requirements for solving these issues and point to relevant information when needed, so contributing guidelines and others. And so when a new contributor arrives, it’s really great if you could welcome them and point to these resources. So either you do it manually for each of the contribution, but you have also some welcome boards that you can link to your GitHub repository that could point that automatically to the people.
And one of the things that is make the commitment to respond to inquiries, so it, it requires at times, but it’s effort for the people that are not feeling that they are doing the work for nothing. And once they’re contributed are submitting pull requests on GitHub or on Gitlab, thank them for their work because they did something. And they take the time to learn how to do that.
68:27 - And it’s really yeah, I think it’s the most important things - give good, consistent and helpful feedback during the review. So both good. Positive also and also sometimes the negative feedbacks is also important, as question about what they have done guide them I like to work on your project. So put them on GitHub or social media, have a list of contributors is also useful when you where you can highlight the contributors, even if it’s just fixing a small issue, that’s more I mean, small mistakes or small out of say small things, bring them to a good next issue tasks that they can do further, that they can become more and more they can you can empower them.
And then you have you can go to the next step. So continuing mentoring. So you can conceive you can employ more and more your contributors. So being available, what are the time that when much time they have an hour they want to you can you need to learn from them that I will not go through the details here because we are really short in time but you have the detail there about what you can do. provide ongoing support. So monitor any channel or Slack channel that you have answered any newcomers questions, provide guidance and guidelines connect people with other members because you are not the only one that can guide them or mentor them.
For them, there is other contributors in your project, hopefully, and then they can help others, and organise really community events that are really, really great welcome support and mentor new contributors. For me, it was really the main things that I learned from the different projects I’m involved in.
70:19 - establish clear expectations, pathway and persona, I think it’s all really great. communicate regularly. So give feedback to the to your contributors, and, and yeah, involve them also in different in the different decision that can be taken, provides structure through the review process and grades constantly them and prove and give them some more and more leadership style and model best practices. And there are some questions. So is there an issue you can start mentoring today? And do you need to set up a chat channel? Or something where the people could ask a question? And should you mentor any of your current contributors to take more roles in your project? It was really quick, but I think you can learn a lot.
I mean, it’s really it was really helpful for me for my projects, to to to use to apply these practices this small trick there and get more people there. Thanks. I mean, Emmy Tsang: yeah. Thank you very much. Very nice. Yeah. Sorry, flew for that, folks. Lots to digest. And I’m also we’re also one minute over the hour already. So if you need to log off, please do now. And we have a couple of assignments for you one of them mentioned already by Anelda.
They are. You know, if ou can complete some personas nd pathways, ideally with your ommunity together, then that ould be awesome. Fantastic. If ot, you know, I guess the most mportant thing actually, we’d ike you to do is to think about our presentations and raduation. We have next week hree rehearsal calls, I think uesday, Wednesday and Thursday, he timezone in the calendar, ou need, you need to, I think ut your name down for one of hem.
And check your email. hank you. Malvika you can chec your emails for furthe instructions and details. I anything is unclear, just giv us a shout on slack. Lowe’s t read from this call. So I hop you can, you know, take the tim to do it. And again, we’re here So let us know if you have an questions or if there’s an # comments that you’d like to hare after. All right. Thank you Um, hope to see you all nex week. Thank you so much to our two guest speakers, and eve yone for attending. .