Principles of Authentic Participation: continuing the Sustain conversation

Hi folks!

Chat #4: 2020-05-05 @ 17:00 UTC

Fireside Chat #4 on the Principles of Authentic Participation will be Tuesday, May 5th at 17:00 UTC . Time zone conversions below:

  • US PDT : 10:00am
  • US EDT : 1:00pm
  • London : 6:00pm
  • IST : 10:30pm

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Our focus

I’ll work on a more detailed agenda over the next week.

I could have sworn I accepted a calendar invite for this yet I don’t see it :thinking:

The meeting invitation I received was for 2020-05-05, not 2020-05-04.

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Your invite went to a Gmail address. Does that sound right?

I’m glad someone was paying attention :smile: I got the day of the week right, but I was off-by-one on the day. It will be Tuesday, May 5th. I edited my last reply in the thread to correct that.

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I searched and saw nothing. Can you try justindorfman at gmail?

I apologize, I had a last-minute personal conflict today. I am missing the last meeting. Happy to catch up async if there was some discussion. Otherwise I will follow up soon when I have more bandwidth. Thank you for your patience. :pray:


All good, we were worried but glad to hear you are ok =)

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I’d be curious to know what happens next! Now that the fireside chats are done, is there any plan to put the principles in a report that could be shared widely, or something similar?

To compensate for dropping the ball on the last call, I could create an “Advocate Kit” on the Principles of Authentic Participation. I would like some sort of affirmation from other current or past participants if this work could be practically useful for you before I embark on this though!

What’s inside an Advocate Kit?

Ideally, this Kit includes some simple examples to start with thinking through the Principles, and also helps the reader think about how to explain these ideas to different groups of people (e.g. upper-level management or to project communities).

I will start barebones and simple. But like how we rallied around @DuaneOBrien’s original six proposed principles in the first Fireside Chat, I want a shared resource we can all agree is “Good Enough” to encourage sharing this work more widely.

This enables the Principles of Authentic Participation to go forward and for us to shift energies to other Working Group topics. The Principles as they are written now live in GitHub. They can be improved and iterated on later. The site content is licensed freely under CC BY 4.0. If folks want to volunteer to help review future issues or changes to the Principles, we can drive discussion to the git forge.

How to wrap up Spring 2020 Principles Working Group meetings

Otherwise, the primary charge of this Working Group will be finished. It will be upon us, and anyone who reads through this thread in the future, to help carry the flame for this work by taking the Advocate Kit as a resource for starting conversations in your organization (and maybe submitting improvements back upstream occasionally).

But folks (mostly looking at @DuaneOBrien @kpfleming @awright @jdorfman @RichardLitt who have all been excellent co-conspirators), is a first draft “Advocate Kit” a potentially practical resource for you to take away from your participation in this Working Group?

(This Working Group will not live forever, but we want you to take away something worthwhile for riding the waves as this Working Group met! :wink: )

I think an advocate kit makes sense. I’m just aware that notes as notes don’t travel well, and the goal of disseminating information is to pass it on. A page on the website, like the Sustain Manifesto, would also work well, I think.

Good point. My initial thought was to publish this on the same site as the Principles so it all lives together. But I could also do an online article with an overview of the Principles and leave that as a descriptive resource for others in the future. This could go on my personal blog, the Sustain website,, or a number of other places…

I’m still sitting on this for a bit.

To give an update in this thread, I shared a first draft of the Advocate Kit here:

I split it out as a new thread from this one since the thread is months old and starting to get super long!

Going a bit off the wall here, and with full credit to Stormy Peters who mentioned this today in the Open Source Hallway Track videoconference…

We need to find a graphic artist who can use this as inspiration for a branding image for the Principles!


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Not sure if you are serious or joking, but this makes a good point! We could collaborate with the Design & UX Working Group. Or at least ask them for pointers:

I am joining a call for the Design Working Group tomorrow. If there is an open floor discussion, I’ll plug this as a discussion topic.

Completely serious, although I understand that this sort of vehicle sign/sticker tends to be a US thing :slight_smile:


Hey folks. My final action item for this Working Group is a blog post that talks about how this collaboration unfolded from February to May. I have a blog post draft done, but I am not really happy with it. I can’t put my finger on why though.

Any feedback is appreciated on my draft (this is not public yet):

I will probably end up publishing this sometime next week.

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The post is titled “A story about Principles of Authentic Participation”, but never defines what is this “authentic participation” instead referencing to which doesn’t define it either. Rather saying that this is the main page for these principles, and the purpose of principles is to define a core set of principles.

Maybe it is too high level for me, but in the end I don’t see how to check that the principles that the group drafted correspond to any measurable goals that the group had set in the first place. The story is not about principles or their goal, but about the process, and maybe because I didn’t get the definition of what “authentic participation principle” is I fail to see the value in describing the process in such detail.

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After reading the blog post, I understand it mainly reports on your experience as a facilitator for the working group. However, the starting paragraph is a bit misleading, as it includes a set of open questions not answered later (e.g., what are the principles). This is maybe what @abitrolly also comment. I think this issue can easily be fixed rephrasing that starting paragraphs.

The overview section is the main driver of the post. In my case, it encouraged me to read on :slight_smile:

While the first and third points are short and descriptive, I was expecting more content in the second point (i…e, “Facilitation, Roosevelt-style”), where you describe your experience. In particular, you shared your feelings about the first fireside chats, but I would like to know more about the other chats and how they evolved (and what you learned). I think this kind of information is precious for other facilitators (like me).

I believe these ideas could improve the article, but note that it is informative and useful per se. Thanks for sharing it!

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Thanks, the feedback is helpful. My goal is to document the process, especially for other facilitators, in this specific post. I’m going to work through the feedback today to reorganize the opening paragraph and expand on the second half of the post.

True. :smile: This is what happens when I decide to change focus of what I am writing halfway through.

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Hi folks! I published my blog post with edits this afternoon:

I think I was able to address the earlier feedback while also focusing on the “how we did it” aspect instead of “what are they”.

With this published, I do not have any future plans to facilitate or lead work on this Working Group. I will watch out on the GitHub repo for folks to bring their stories. I might also do some outreach and collection of my own too. But for now, we are going dormant.

It doesn’t mean we will never meet or never talk about these Principles again… but I am out of agenda items and topics. If anyone else wants to facilitate a follow-up conversation or raise other questions, I’m here for it! :raised_hands:

Thanks everyone who participated in the discussions and ideation process since February. I’m proud of what we pulled off, and I’m glad we could be a model for other Sustainers in the community too! :heart: