Values/2016 discussion/Transcripts/C

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1 == preliminaries ==
2 3: Are we going to replace the Values page on wmf.o?
3 F: Gain clarity, and replace/update
4 F: Why is transparency important?
5 2 : it’s important for us as a nonprofit
6 1: coming from the community, co-creation process, important to the communities and projects we support. Building out in open spaces so others can hack away and build open
7 3: +1. Allows for inclusiveness. If not transparent, then people within know what’s happening, people outside don’t.
8 2: it helps me get to the truth or the root of information. If there’s a block, a wall, you can’t get the information you need. Helps you gather everything you need to make an informed decision, to evaluate
9 1: we have pretty amazing experts at the foundation, but they rarely create the perfect first version of something. Transparency is a way to help other make it better.
10 Improvement that matches the needs of a larger group of people.
11 3: +1 and +1. Also helps establish trust. Whether it’s good or bad news, when you have transparency, people can trust you more, and feel more engaged if they have more information.
12 F: What does it mean?
13 1: showing the process so others can follow what I’m doing. “These are my steps”. Based on who needs to know, but most of the time it’s as open as possible.
14 F: sausage making
15 2: +1. Being able to see the process as well as the product. And also people volunteering information, what they’re working on, it helps a lot.
16 3: By default, being open and publishing and communicating information to the community and everyone else. Rather than saying at the end “oh we need to be transparent”. Transparency by design.
17 == your three values ==
18 === 1 ===
19 * inclusiveness
20 ** We design processes, ecosystems, tools, and other mechanism for bringing other groups into the project and spaces that we curate for others to participate -- in theory leaving the door open to the edit “button” draws inclusiveness, but in fact that is not full open -- we have to and I work towards a more radical inclusiveness, that invites, and design paths for folks who can participate to join
21 ** Because inclusiveness is dependent on a certain amount of calling individuals -- of appealing to folks, and showing them the path to entry -- inclusiveness also requires very deliberate, mindful invitation to participate -- and only certain values and paths for participation allow individuals to be included.
22 1: It’s about saying “you belong with us” and calling on others to join. Our goal is not just to serve the people that we currently have, but also others. Only some communities are ready and receptive for invitations.
23 * Deep abiding respect for communities of knowledge creators  and their workproduct
24 ** don’t have a single word for this one -- was looking for greek/latin origin words but wasn’t finding it
25 ** the concepts of attribution, verifiability, and deferring the actual expertise to something else beyond what we deliver folks, is very deeply ingrained in the tools that make us powerful as knowledge providers -- this also opens us up to being deep allies with those knowledge creation communities -- we are starting to see this deep connection growing in a lot of our communities, platforms and movement affiliates -- and it all comes back to that actual desire to include that knowledge, or tool, or material in our act of sharing
26 1: We’re building monuments to other people’s knowledge
27 3: Really good point. It’s easy to get “distracted” by readers, editors, etc. but the main goal is that this knowledge originates from people other than us. The knowledge was created through a  process. The fact that it exists, that someone researched it, is pretty important to our foundation’s mission.
28 2: +1. Also resonated with me. Almost the magic of what Wikipedia is. It shouldn’t work but it does.
29 F: Is it about celebrating the creation of knowledge, rather than just the consumption and access to it?
30 1: What a lot of people don’t quite get. App/Google culture. It’s the sum of other people’s work. Fascinating. We’re not trying to usurp what knowledge contributors create; we’re trying to support and spread it.
31 F: Related to cocreation? Honoring the process of knowledge collection and sharing, as well as the expertise
32 1: and the investment/energy that went into it.
33 * cocreation
34 ** Though we have lots of “experts” and “deep experienced” folks that contribute to the community, there is always space for others to participate and add layers on top of that work: to modify, and to help shape it in ways that help it emerge into something grander.
35 ** there is also broad space for people to work towards different ends on the same platform, but to benefit from the broad opportunity created by all those people to work towards different ends -- cocreation is dependent on the broad inclusiveness and diversity designed in this space
36 1: What makes our work valuable is that it can be connected to other things, and improved. Almost everything we do is working in parallel (and sometimes in contradiction) with the work of other people. What’s really interesting is when that work overlaps.
37 === 2 ===
38 Tact: an area of weakness on the projects and in the culture in my opinion - this is based on looking at many instances of communication gone awry in cases that have escalated to legal@. I think tact and honesty/transparency; tact and passion; tact and perception can all go together - the communication does take a bit more time and reflection to put together - few people do this automatically when communicating quickly or in a reactive way. I personally would contribute more to the projects if I saw more tact on the talk pages, etc.
39 2: Looking at the list of possible values, and looking at what influences my work at the foundation. I’m held back from contributing and being more involved as a volunteer because of the lack of tact. Within our workplace it’s strong, but on projects it’s a difficult area.
40 1: I wish people could see how tact works in workplaces.
41 Helpfulness: I think of the wonderful reference librarians I have met in my life who take the time to ask good questions to help you find what you are looking for; I think of the awesome communications of the attorneys on my team responding to trademark requests and legal queries with great information and questions. Service and education intertwined.
42 2: Wikipedia is incredibly helpful;
43 1: Librarians are our best allies and are our people. When talking to librarians, it’s impressive how quickly they get what we’re doing. It’s about empowering others to access and participate. They actively seek to …
44 2: Helpfulness was a starting point, but I agree it’s something larger.
45 Acceptance: I realize that this is also a stage of grief. A retired psychiatric nurse once told me that change or healing around an issue or condition does not come about until there is true acceptance of what is. Acceptance is the point at which things can change or become more whole/less fragmented. Acceptance to me is also tied in with tolerance and receptivity. These are subtle, vulnerable qualities maybe not so much a value.
46 2: Related to change. This is a fast changing movement and culture. It’s part of the tolerance piece.
47 3: Is it also about different point of views?
48 2: The word resonated with me. It’s central to processing change, and also interactions. If you’re automatically accepting of what the interaction is, you’ll be more present. It’s super important in all human experience.
49 3: Principles are a bit abstract sometimes, it’s hard to see how they relate to day to day interaction. But your values talk to that. It’s easier to see how to act on them. Specific and practical in a lot of ways.
50 === 3 ===
51 inclusiveness
52 Allows us to adhere to our mission of delivering free knowledge around the world, which is dependent on connecting things and people together.
53 Allow everyone from everywhere to participate
54 Allow all content to participate
55 Do not, by default, prioritize one thing over the other
56 3: Mission: connect the world together, exchange ideas, information with each other. It’s very important under this framework, if you’re not inclusive, it’s not gonna work.
57 non-commercialism
58 Community-based and free knowledge model only work if people is incentivized via mission rather monetary goals
59 Staff are more tight-knit and focused if they are driven via a mission rather than profit.
60 Many of our goals are cannot be met if we are distracted by commercial thinking.
61 3: we’re a nonprofit, and will remain hopefully. It generates a lot of good will, that’s how we’re able to bring people together. Pure and idealistic mission incentivizes people. Money ruins decision making for the thing we’re trying to achieve.
62 1: Not sure I completely understand. A lot of what our community … endeavors that… what we’re creating is benefiting many, and some of that is business, and some others gain from that. Because they have access to knowledge.
63 3: Directed about how we think about things. When we’re approaching our stuff, we’re not distracted by the fact that there’s money involved. We’re not too focused on that aspect.
64 F: purity and idealism generates good will from staff and from the general public. Fuels this sense of passion, authenticity of what happens.
65 3: Agreed. People motivated by something noncommercial achieve different kinds of goals
66 1: mission-driven, ideal-driven. Mission is the incentive, not necessarily money. We’re what makes Google valuable. What we do drives a whole industry.
67 good faith
68 Without assuming it, it is hard for far-flung communities to be able to always engage with each other given their possible opposing cultures.
69 Allows staff to better work together when setting goals and working on projects based on values that may be interpreted differently by different people.
70 Allow people to be more open about how they feel and feeds into our principles of transparency.
71 3: Everyone is going to have very different backgrounds and POVs, it’s really hard to connect to people. If you don’t AGF, it’s going to cause a lot of tension and conflict. It allows people to engage without being ostracized. More willing to work with each other.
72 == why are those good things? do they enable other good things? are they intrinsically good? ==
73 3: Inclusiveness. Important to engage everyone in this mission. To have free knowledge around the world. If you think about it’s limitless. There shouldn’t be any limits in terms of how much knowledge we collect, and where from.
74 F: Inclusiveness because it reduces the limits on the knowledge we collect and share, as well as on the connections we make with each other. Why are those things important?
75 3: Mission is hard to do if you have those limits.
76 F: this notion of not wanting to discriminate, or prioritize one group of people or one type of knowledge over another. Maybe something about power? Equalizing something?
77 3: If there’s a centralizing authority, they have a certain point of view. If you’re inclusive and open to things, you’re not reliant on a central authority. If you have a centralized point of view, it limits what you can do, even if it’s done in good faith and very well vetted. Avoid marginalization.
78 F: Why is it valuable not to marginalize people?
79 3: If our mission is unlimited knowledge, it’s unfair for someone to decide what to include.
80 F: Notion of fairness; inclusivity is about fairness and not marginalizing people. But also expanding the possibility of executing on the mission by having people involved.
81 3: The fact that our mission has no limits: marginalizing some goes against it.
82 1: One of the things you learn in race studies: Inclusiveness is rarely about being open, but rather about people feeling empowered to speak up. Give people invitations to participate.
83 3: Yes, people should be empowered. Providing environment where they can be heard if they choose to participate.
84 F: Arrived at fairness as one of the foundation aspects.
85 1: It’s also about “invitationalness”. Creating that welcomeness. I struggle with the ideas of being inclusive and open unless you add that caveat about invitations.
86 1: as a volunteer, I try to encourage people to participate. [audio loss] they don’t feel empowered to continue to participate. I struggle about how to invite people who have things to share and contribute.
87 F: obligation to be welcoming; duty to serve; empowerment
88 1: empowerment is very much tied to sustainability. …
89 1: Hope that it helps people make changes in their lives. (?) I want people to make strong, wise decisions, and knowledge is an integral part of that.
90 1: I’m fundamentally an optimist. I think people have the opportunity to do well in many different ways and better themselves. There’s a lot of opportunity that’s tied to access and empowerment.
91 F: We have the ability to support each others, and be better than we are. Value: to improve, evolve, make the world a better place?
92 1: agree.
93 2: +1; I like where that went.
94 2: Acceptance: Thinking about the vision statement (imagine a world…). Acceptance of where we are and how far away we are from that. Accepting that, accepting failures.
95 F: what allows us to see how far we are from where we want to be, and figure out
96 2: it’ll be hard to see the chasm otherwise.
97 F: it helps us see the potential path forward?
98 2: yes: we have far to go and it helps to have a road. Even if it’s for the short term. It helps to stop, accept where we are, and create the next step.
99 F: Something about the *action* of being able to take the next step?
100 2: Great things are achieved from tiny steps. Taking the next step is the only way forward.
101 F: Taking small steps to have big impact?
102 2: Beneath it, with the acceptance too, there’s a piece of it that involves… taking the time to…
103 N: component of serenity: taking your time before making decisions, not rushing. And a component of honesty with yourself, intellectual honesty, to make decisions
104 2: yes
105 F: Reflection, learning
106 3: Second value: “noncommercialism”. Allows people to be more mission-driven. Connects us towards a goal. It’s easy to be blinded, especially in Silicon Valley (“we’re changing the world”). It’s easy to think that you’re successful because you make a lot of money, or got funding, etc. Because we don’t focus on money, it’s easier to assess the change we’re actually making.
107 F: Taking the monetary aspect out of the equation means it’s easier to see the meaningful impact
108 3: yes. You do need concrete ideas about what you want to achieve. Have a better sense of where we’re going.
109 2: Vigilance? It takes vigilance to stay on track.
110 N: so noncommercialism is a means to meaningful impact, clarity of vision, purity of purpose
111 3: Agree
112 1: also a hearing a component of responsiveness. Respond not to money, but other things that motivate us. Other indicators
113 3: Agree. It’s also a reason for people who choose to work here, it’s what they’re responding to.
114 1: the-unnamed-value (second one). Respect for knowledge creator. Building monuments to other people’s knowledge. Tried being a knowledge creator in other context, but it didn’t really work. It wasn’t really visible. Something about avoiding that lost effort. Avoiding losing that component of …
115 F: Valuing the human investment in knowledge?
116 1: Last year, a lot of discussions about heritage. What does it mean for the Wikimedia movement to … heritage. WLM, but also aggregating data, and also documenting rare knowledge. Making sure that that knowledge heritage lives on, is accessible, doesn’t just disappear.
117 F: Why?
118 1: Part is its diversity. I don’t find a lot of value in specific pieces of heritage, but it’s fascinating how people do. Giving them the opportunity to feel that their life is more complete because they were able to access that.
119 F: Preservation of knowledge gives a sense of completion?
120 1: yes. And also gives people opportunity to evaluate.
121 F: Valuing human curiosity and how the preserved body of knowledge helps feed that.
122 1: Yes. Weird magical things happen when you allow that curiosity. People need to be empowered.
123 F: Providing a place for curiosity to go rampant
124 2: Something about the monuments. Living works, people editing all the time. Preserved, yet not static. Living monuments to other people’s knowledge.
125 == feedback on the discussion ==
126 F: Insights? Surprises?
127 2: Really enjoyed the exercise of keep asking, zeroing in on things, drilling down. It’s a beautiful thing to do. Inspiring.
128 1: +1. I bring a lot of movement baggage with me, and it’s always really interesting to see how people came to this and what values brought them here.
129 3: Enjoyed building on each other’s ideas, expanding on thoughts that we otherwise wouldn’t have had. Feedback made me think, reinforced my thinking on other directions, grateful to have had that opportunities.
130 3: Perhaps it could have been clearer that we were going to dive into the layers of why. So that we encapsulate better.
131 1: Push back a little bit. The little bit of why before primes you for the why later. Gives you a chance to build on other people’s thoughts.
132 F: Second group that I’ve been in where we’ve been able to to the why-diving. Different groups respond differently to discussion flows and structures.
133 1: appreciate  non-work but organizational discussions (all hands, strategy discussions). You realize that things are shared, or people come from different perspectives. Learn about people through how the organization works. Appreciates those (well-moderated) meta discussions.