Openness Policy

Geek.Zone has been an Open Organisation since its inception. This is because,

  • We believe that openness promotes trust, as it allows everyone to see all that we do.
  • We believe that openness makes us all really useful, as it helps us to break down the barriers of geography, accessibility and exclusivity, so that we can all stand on the shoulders of giants.
  • We believe that openness helps to build Ubuntu by allowing us to work with each other, rather than against each other.

This stance was first officially decided by the putative Trustees before Geek.Zone attained CIO status. It was then reaffirmed by the Trustees shortly after our incorporation on 2019-05-11.

We ensure that we are a fully open organisation by adhering to the following in everything we do.

Transparency

In Geek.Zone, transparency reigns. As much as possible (and advisable) under applicable laws, we work to make our data and other materials easily accessible to both internal and external participants; we are open for anyone to review them when necessary. Decisions are transparent to the extent that everyone affected by them understands the processes and arguments that led to them; they are open to assessment. Work is transparent to the extent that anyone can monitor and assess a project’s progress throughout its development; it is open to observation and potential revision if necessary.

We do this by ensuring the following.

  • Individuals and teams make all non-sensitive materials broadly accessible to the public, according to clearly defined and shared formats and/or protocols
  • People feel like they are a part of a shared, standard process for collective decision-making that Geek.Zone endorses
  • Materials that are part of decision-making practices are available for review at the beginning of projects, and are easily and continuously accessible during work processes
  • Individuals and teams are comfortable sharing stories of successes and failures, and frequently engage in difficult conversations during project execution
  • Geek.Zone sponsors and promotes a robust and easily-accessible knowledge commons, and all teams and members make generous and unrestricted use of it
  • Individuals and teams who must withhold sensitive data and resources are clear about what they’re not sharing, and others understand why those materials are not available to them.
  • We publish everything possible via Open Source Initiative approved or endorsed licences. All our

Inclusivity

Geek.Zone is absolutely inclusive. We not only welcome diverse points of view but also implement specific mechanisms for inviting multiple perspectives into dialog wherever and whenever possible. Interested parties and newcomers can begin assisting Geek.Zone without seeking express permission from each of its stakeholders. Rules and protocols for participation are clear and operate according to vetted and common standards.

We do this by ensuring the following.

  • We have established internal guidelines and channels for encouraging and soliciting diverse points of view on team or decisions, has aligned these with people’s preferences for providing feedback, and has established a cross-functional team of members to help maintain them
  • Members share decision-making materials on collaborative platforms that come with clear usage guidelines, and receive encouragement in using open technical standards in their work
  • Leaders are open to receiving feedback and creating an environment where people feel safe providing it, and open feedback processes themselves to start discussions
  • Members feel empowered and enabled to share opinions constructively on any matter relevant to their work or about which they feel passionate
  • Members share materials openly via multiple channels and methods for feedback; leaders use those channels themselves, openly encourage others to use them, and maintain team-facing or public-facing records of the feedback they’ve received and/or the actions they’ve taken to address this feedback
  • Geek.Zone provides specific resources (training programs, access to content, etc.) to help both leaders and other members hone their strategies for forming inclusive teams

Adaptability

Geek.Zone is flexible and resilient. Our policies and technical apparatuses ensure that both positive and negative feedback loops have a genuine and material effect on our operation; participants can control and potentially alter the conditions under which they work. They report frequently and thoroughly on the outcomes of their endeavours and suggest adjustments to collective action based on assessments of these outcomes. In this way, we are fundamentally oriented toward continuous engagement and learning.

We do this by ensuring the following.

  • Members can share materials with external parties via methods that permit modification
  • We routinely solicit feedback, promote an obvious and accessible method for collecting it from both internal stakeholders and external parties, and expressly allocates resources for managing and acting on it
  • Geek.Zone not only provides opportunities for members to learn about other aspects of the organisation, but also offers clear and structured processes and/or platforms for facilitating participation
  • Members regularly discuss their roles in the Geek.Zone goals and strategies – and their progress on projects, key metrics and performance indicators – while feeling comfortable addressing challenges without oversight
  • Our decision-making and problem-solving frameworks and processes are collectively modifiable, and members feel comfortable adjusting their behaviours in response to changing conditions
  • Leaders cultivate a spirit of experimentation by spotlighting productive failures across the Geek.Zone community, and talk about their own failures as learning experiences

Collaboration

Work at Geek.Zone involves multiple parties by default. Participants believe that joint work produces better (more effective, more sustainable) outcomes, and specifically seek to involve others in their efforts. Products of our work afford additional enhancement and revision, even by those not affiliated with Geek.Zone.

We do this by ensuring the following.

  • Members share work by initiating projects in group settings, effectively connecting with additional project groups to form cross-functional teams
  • Cross-functional teams are commonplace and make their activities known broadly to the Geek.Zone community; in turn, Geek.Zone promotes best practices for working together
  • Outcomes of collaborative efforts are available across Geek.Zone and externally, and teams make these outcomes available by default
  • Working groups and cross-functional teams habitually seek diverse sets of viewpoints, members, experiences, and skills, and leverage this diversity effectively
  • Teams routinely discuss, revisit and debate the outcomes of their collaborative efforts, and share their learnings outside of Geek.Zone
  • Members collaborate both internally and externally in ways that benefit all involved

Community

Geek.Zone communal. Shared values and purpose guide participation, and these values—more so than arbitrary geographical locations or hierarchical positions—help determine our boundaries and conditions of participation. Core values are clear, but also subject to continual revision and critique, and are instrumental in defining conditions for our success or failure.

We do this by ensuring the following.

  • Shared values and principles inform decision-making, conflict resolution, and assessment processes among members of Geek.Zone, who reference these values and principles consistently in both verbal and written formats
  • Geek.Zone is proactive in telling members that it benefits from their contributions; as such, members demonstrate shared consciousness and empowered execution, and feel a sense of agency and responsibility to the community
  • Leaders understand that they grow by helping others grow, and they mentor junior members
  • A common language exists, such that members are not only fluent but can also articulate the Geek.Zone identity, formulate stories that attract new members, grow, and provide mentorship

This policy was adapted from,


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