Sustain 2019 - Request for thoughts

Where to we go from here?

Now the million dollar question… Where to we go from here? The organizing team of the previous two Sustain events is putting forward an idea: What if instead of having another yearly event we organize a series of events during one week around the world? We want to extend the Sustain brand to all of you to take over and organize Sustain Community Events.

The goal is to decentralize the organization and enable folks to participate without having to travel / get visas. We’d put together facilitating guidelines as well as a kit to use the logo and branding.

We’d like to include the kit in the report, that’s why we’ve bene holding off on sending it.

This is one idea, we’d love to hear your thoughts on it and/or alternative suggestions if any.



I love the idea.
Since SustainOSS, I have been helping others OSS sustainability events to happen like and I am co-organizing The Maintainers III conference, October 6-9th in Washington, including a dedicated OSS track. Would love to discuss about be part of the Sustain event movement, or be associated with it

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I love the idea of scaling out the Sustain events, having them be easier for folks to get to, and decentralizing the organization. But I also think there’s real value in the intentional coming together that we’ve seen in the larger summits to date. But I don’t see it as an “either/or” decision. Enabling a series of smaller events or rolling meetups could support a less frequent anchor event.


I attended the first OSS and had a good time. I also really respect the people thinking hard about this difficult problem and spreading the word regarding what solutions may look like (Pia and Nadia rock!).

Now seems like a good time to take a step back and ask: what, exactly, are we trying to achieve? What does success look like?

My thinking is: rather than figuring out different ways of talking about possible ways to fund OSS that just might work, I’m more curious (1) what recent experiments people have done that actually have worked and (2) figuring out how to spread this expertise to the people who may act upon it in the cheapest and most effective way possible.

Therefore, I imagine that it would be quite valuable to conduct short(ish) video interviews via Google Hangouts (that are then posted to YouTube with minimal editing), as this would be a much faster, easier to produce, cheaper to produce, and more easily consumable way to spread our new ideas about what has worked and what just might work re: funding OSS than organizing a (centralized or decentralized) conference, then releasing a text report (which could be great for those looking for the deep dive, but not as the main output of all of our activity).

The incentive to be interviewed is to (1) pitch your project to a wider audience and to (2) feel a little famous – plenty strong enough to get people to volunteer, I suspect! Especially if it’s a success story or their OSS funding angle includes an exciting new idea.

Interviewees could also talk about what they’ve tried in the past that didn’t work very well so that we can all learn from unsuccessful funding strategies, too.



I also organize APIdays conferences (9 events worldwide) about APIs and the future of Software, and we had a"Open source software maintenance track + unconference" in our main event in Paris last december.

As the theme of our next event December 10-11th will be “Sustainable software” we could host an “Sustain” unconference in one of our track of the community feels to be there. Anyone interested to help us?

PS : we will talk about technical, economical, social and environmental sustainability, with a hackathon on refactoring “environmentally” open source projects :slight_smile: #Sustaineverything

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I love your point, I think you’ve made a great point here

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It’s a great idea… but it’ll be more creative and mind blowing if we all come together. Just like the previous events.

Hey, I know this is bumping an old thread, but it would be cool to see the idea of decentralized events be explored more at Sustain 2020. I think this is the future of getting these conversations started in more places, but I think there is still a lot of value in having a collaborative event focused on attracting people together from across regions. Almost like a global plenary of sustainability around the world…

Just a thought. It’s an ambitious idea and it might be easier to conceptualize such a thing in a small group setting.

Seems like there’s already interest and a foundation for decentralized events in NYC and Denver.

I think many regional Sustain chapters and meetup groups will form once something like this is readily available.

Is this something community members could help with?

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Like @medjawii I also organized an open source sustainability event at a tech conference - in my case it was a half day “maintainers summit” at PyCon 2019. I think there’s real value in making use of existing conferences as a way to bootstrap these discussions. What was missing for me with the maintainers summit was having an ongoing community/discussion space to follow up via once the conference was over. I’d love to have been able to point people here, but I didn’t know this discourse existed until a few days ago.

I’d also be interested in some kind of remote hangout, or something more formal but still online, like a live video podcast - something like Open Source Directions?

I am trying to travel less for environmental reasons so while I value getting to talk to folks face to face my personal vote is in favor of keeping “global” in person events to a minimum.


Welcome @shaunagm. Great you found your way here :blush:. And thank you for organizing the half day “maintainer summit”, I wish I could have been there.

this. I’m picking up similar over in 'Provided As Is' and Safe Spaces.

@shaunagm is there a way you could point those folks at this forum post-event? i.e. on social, in an edit on your presentation etc.?

I think this is a common problem for events related to Sustain (and really any community that produces just a few events during the year). The organizer kit would enable community run Sustain chapters, meetups, and hackathons.

Sustain working groups, something that was discussed at Sustain, Open Collective’s Slack, and over Twitter should provide several ways for community members and orgs to get involved online and in their local community. Glancing over the descriptions of categories in this forum, it looks like there’s already a foundation to organize them here?

Seems like this community category could evolve into a Community working group by creating some goals and reorganizing or updating previous disucussions.

That said, it would be great if more organizers and attendees of Sustain would chime in.

agreed with @gusaus here. we’re organizing working groups from topics that surfaced at the sustain brussels. and groups will determine the space it makes sense to continue the conversation and work.


@eric and i are looking to lead a back your stack working group discussion focused on making it easy for organizations and individuals to contribute financial support to their dependencies. (an evolution of the current work)

you can join that discussion on the open collective slack workspace, in a channel called (wait for it…) #backyourstack!