Values/2016 discussion/Transcripts/F

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1 I am #1:
2 Preface: Wikimedia Foundation should have values slightly different to Wikimedia movement. We act as gatekeepers, have more structure and expectations are higher on us.
3 * Supportive - not being supportive of one another is detrimental to shared power; our ability to be transparent; free-speech; and freedom. No one likes to be told what they are doing is not useful or wrong. Our community tells us this often and sadly we tell it to each other often - usually on public mailing lists because we feel like we need to be transparent about absolutely everything. Our developer community is tiny. Our editor numbers are shrinking. We have to ask ourselves why. How can we support an environment that is encouraging and non-toxic?
4 * Accountability - our donors pay our salaries. Our community makes our content. It sometimes feels like we might be wasting that, missing deadlines for example.
5 * Open-mindedness[Wisdom] - new ideas are hard and sometimes controversial. We hire many people outside our community whose ideas sometimes need a little bit more thought, but could be great for our mission. Many people I know have left the foundation because they feel we are not open-minded about new ideas. We either accept that the project is done and in maintenance mode or that we need new ideas to make it even better. I think we are in the latter and we need to help make ideas better rather than shoot them down.
6 I am #2
7 * Wisdom: I see the idea of wisdom being a stand-in for thinking things through and taking thoughtful, considered action. This might be the most core value for me because it extends out to other things. We should be open and transparent because it’s the wise course of action, for example, but for me that idea of thoughtfully considering what to do is the core idea, rather than some of its specific conclusions.
8 * Integrity: I think this includes respecting diverse individuals and viewpoints, acting ethically, and dealing with people honestly. It’s the word I’d use for a baseline in which people can all be able to work together, trust one another, and understand that they’re collaborating in good faith.
9 * Creativity: I don’t mean just thinking outside the box, but more broadly offering people the opportunity to create things, to have control over the work they do and the process by how they do it. I think that when people are able to offer their particular expertise and see problems as something that they’re empowered to solve in the best way they can come up with to solve them, the results are better than what would be done by the same people who feel disempowered and unable to do what they think is best.
10 I am #3:
11 Preface: When coming up with these values, my lens was “what values should guide how we act while we do our work”, rather than “why are we doing this work at all”. For future sessions, clearer guidance would be helpful.
12 * Effectiveness (delivering value; responsible use of donor dollars, MVP/”good enough”, accountability, pragmatism)
13 * Respect (includes diversity, inclusivity, civility) and compassion
14 * Sustainability (includes FLOSS, independence)
15 Note: These related to the TPG work “5 whys”
16 Effectiveness
17
18 Respect.
19 Think also “humaneness.”  Be good humans, be good to humans.  That’s fundamental.
20 Sustainability
21 Related to effectiveness.  Though you could effective without being sustainable… we want to be lasting, permanent.  Not just effective now, but going forward.
22 FLOSS -- a lot of people (though not all) agree on the freedom aspect of it.  A proprietary owner can pull the rug out from under you.
23 I am #4:
24 * Openness
25 I see the Wikimedia projects as essentially liberatory in nature.  This is so because control of knowledge is a key component of the exercise of power.  We empower people to accomplish their aims and fulfill their desires and human potential -- in other words, we liberate them -- by making knowledge available to all*, and by empowering people to take ownership over the existing canon of “knowledge.”
26 * Accountability -
27 It’s vitally important that we live out our stated commitments.  Given the unique nature of the Wikimedia movement, this means being open in our own work so that we can be accountable to our audience (i.e., humanity as a whole).  This means acting transparently at all levels -- from high-level conceptual statements like our vision, mission, and guiding principles, to our day-to-day work in our individual roles.
28 * Collaboration -
29 Wikimedia is historic particularly in opening up ownership over knowledge.  In the middle ages, only a select few were permitted to publish (to spread ideas) by the king’s fiat.  Today, in principle, we’ve made the ability to do this available to anyone.  That’s revolutionary!
30 Just as we’ve opened up the canon of existing knowledge as a collaborative effort, we should endeavor to model strong collaboration -- both internally among ourselves and with the broader community.
31
32 FLOSS kind of goes to all 3 of my points. Important to do all of our work in the open. It’s important to me that the act of how we work day-to-day is open. Someone from outside could see something interesting; de-mystifies how these things are built. It’s always easier to do things in secret because people won’t ask questions. We’re unique in doing things in the open.
33 There’s something really special right now: the open and collaborative culture in the tech field in the US. From the homebrew computer club ethos. Contrast with the legal profession, with giant barriers to entry. Built around being closed. Software probably will become more closed eventually, as most professions do.
34 Openness: valuable because it’s better to have information, knowledge, and opportunity. And to be able to contribute. Helps people be freer? Empowers them.
35 Accountability: Just the right thing to do. On a practical level for goodwill, but also because it’s a respect thing.
36 ======================================================
37 * I picked the three values that best expressed the three values and why I feel lucky to work here. The liberatory mission. For knowledge to be open and collaborative and community property. Historically unique. By being open it’s vitally important… it’s always easy to close the ranks and take an oppositional view. We model our values by refusing to do that by being open about what we are trying to do and why. Openness and accountability are tied to that. Openness is a little bit a precondition of Accountability.  Collaboration. Inviting people in.
38 I don’t feel like these really address why we are doing this work (they were selected from the standpoint of how to do our work). Effectiveness. Why are we here if we are not using donor dollars effectively. Respect is a placeholder word that covers diversity, compassion (what he said above) and the golden rule. The third one is sustainability - something that will last forever.
39 General values that underlie everything. Wisdom is about thinking things through. Determining that we are in a better world because we’ve stuck to those values. The other two are critical in working at the foundation to work with other people and trying to work together and working in good faith. Creativity is particularly reflective of the newness and radicalness of the movement. We are doing something new. Look at problems that are out in the world and thinking about how to solve those problems and move the world toward a better place.
40 Supportive is the equivalent of respect. There are a lot of good ideas in the Foundation. Supportive seemed important cause our movement doesn’t have a structure. This opportunity to be more supportive. I see a lot of toxicity in our communities. It’s getting smaller (the community). Accountability - thinking about donors, we don’t know why they donate to us and there is a big responsibility to them. We’ve been working on Visual Editor for four years. Is that the right thing? Would donors like that? Open mindedness - new people from outside of the community and shooting down new people and new ideas.
41
42 Wisdom, I think that they are tied to open mindedness. In the creation of Wikipedia there was open mindedness in letting everyone edit even though that was against wisdom. They are both important and striking a balance between them. Is there something in between that is pulls from both. We talked about supportive and there is a more important value beneath it, like respect. When we are supportive we become stronger, we grow, more diverse. I still feel that accountability is super important.
43 I don’t think my values changed, but I was surprised that we could bring in different things to integrate with them like wisdom and open mindedness. That’s worth considering. It’s not like one is subordinate to others. They can work together. When we talked about supportive how many other issues came in , sustainability, growth, diverse, so many people making decisions and when that is good and when it is not.
44 Supportive leads to so many different good ends, that it shows how powerful it is. I could say the same with wisdom. It’s a nexus value.
45 The most interesting question around why is openness important - it’s better for people to see the full horizons of possibility than not. That might be a very cultural bound concern. I don’t know if it’s valid to assert this as a universal good.
46 There is so much overlap and interactions between these values. A lot of these are placeholders for ideas. I don’t care so much about what they’re called. Respect, it really gets to humane, humaneness, being good to human. That seems fundamental. Sustainability, there is the human side of let’s not work ourselves to death, but there is also the side of building something that lasts. I would stick with my values but better naming is possible.
47 Wisdom but having a hard time turning it into something tangible enough to work with. About process, wisdom is about thinking through problems, gaining more knowledge when you are not sure what the solution is, making better choices. The negatives of that is there often isn’t time to think through a problem holistically. The general idea was thinking things through, considering, reaching the best solution. Is this in the same ballpark as good judgment? Yes.
48 Wisdom and experience are closely linked. But there is not a perfect match. The experienced person drawing the wrong lessons. Heuristic. Experience can be a heuristic for experience. If you don’t have a lot of time you use the heuristic. Is there a value that trumps wisdom? No.