Values/2016 discussion/Transcripts/Z

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1 == preliminaries ==
2 3: Ground rules: let’s try to work together and focus on commonalities, not the divisions.
3 == Your three values ==
4 === 1 ===
5 When asked to come up with my values, I thought about why I came to the WMF. Related to a job from university
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11 “For human beings to be active agents in building free, equitable, secure societies, they must have access to ideas and innovations, as well as to the conditions whereby they can develop their own ideas, questions and criticisms to change the world in which they live.”
12 https://web.archive.org/web/20060202070213/http://ideaccess.org/
13 Security and access are the preconditions by which we foster a free and equitable society, none of which can be achieved without transparency.
14 === 2 ===
15 Inclusiveness (make sure to include everyone; different cultural backgrounds; different perspectives) will allow us to move forward, innovate and bring new ideas.
16 Coming from different cultures, I want to feel belonging.
17 Collaboration is an important part to achieve our mission; we need to collaborate and work together.
18 Working together with the communities, and staff, and projects
19 Transparency (to be able to speak out loud, create trust, build relationships, and meaningful conversations)
20 Can’t move forward without it.
21 === 3 ===
22 Truthfulness: Describe reality to the best of your ability (but acknowledge all of reality can’t be perceived by a single individual). Speak your mind. Truthfulness prevents bad behaviours (whereas lie is the source of all bad behaviour).
23 Expressing that you’re thinking to the best of your ability. Sincerity. Even acknowledging that you can’t perceive all of reality, make an effort to describe reality as best as you can, and acknowledge that other people have different perspectives and understanding of reality. Relates to the concept of transparency
24 Love-Kindness: sincere, deep appreciation for every other human being.
25 Precondition to establish a relationship with other human beings. From there we can create more detailed/ refined relationship. But love/kindness is the very starting point of every relationship, so we should keep it in our hearts.
26 Unity: feeling the connection with the whole of the human race, no exceptions. From that connection we can build something/anything together. Unity in diversity means we can all be, think, act different, while remaining connected, working on shared goals (uniformity is not the way to go). In the human body, a single set of DNA expresses itself in billions of cells with varying forms and functions, all harmonic with the whole: unity in diversity.
27 I feel connected to the whole of the human race. I can work with anyone, collaborate with anyone because I realize that this connection exists. Many people don’t like unity because they think of it as uniformity. The human race can work the same way as DNA, or music. You can put different notes or instruments together, but you can still feel the unity of the music.
28 == why are those good things? ==
29 F: Free: deeper level? How does freedom play out in conflict?
30 1: Free and equitable go together; that’s the society I want to live in. Freedom of thought, of expression, freedoms granted to us by human rights. It’s the society most people are comfortable in and want to live in.
31 The other day I was talking about why the WMF is legally based in the US, because of strong free speech laws. In other places…
32 Where do the limits of freedom exist. In the US you shouldn’t ban it at all because we’re not going to come to an agreement on it. Who decides where the limits of our freedom should exist?
33 3: This idea of freedom makes a lot of sense to me; about people deciding of their own volition. Coming through a process of education that we all need. Should give us the possibility to be freer. Make conscious decisions about how I am and the world around me, who I want to become. It’s not a frozen state, it’s always evolving.
34 3: As 1 described, in their country there’s a social agreement about what the limits are. Every generation probably has to rethink and decide for itself. I don’t think that freedom is absolute in that we’re not wandering animals in the forest. We are a society… there are people around us, and we have to define what those limits are, but we need to think about them consciously, not just follow what X (e.g. founding fathers) came up with.
35 1: Another value I listed is security. If people don’t feel secure, that’s a limit of freedom. People need to feel secure and safe to speak their mind in a society.
36 F: In the context of interacting with each other, and the work that we do every day to advance the mission?
37 2: It starts with the trust and building relationships. When you have trust, you can skeap your mind. Ability to move forward, collaborate on projects. For me it’s about building trust first.
38 3: Security is also a sub or byproduct of another set of values. It comes because we have created a number of conditions, and security is a result of that.
39 F: Security of the individual, or is the person also responsible for the security of others?
40 1: Also others. The security of the indoividual: if you’re not secure you’re not likely to think and criticize. But you also want to empower people and make sure they have that same security.
41 3: When each cell is connected to the rest of the body, it’s in a harmonic connection. Security is when the whole is ok and I’m ok individually. It comes to the relationship, the energy coming and going between the individual and the whole. For a couple of centuries some societies have emphasized the individuals with little place for the whole, and others the other way around, so maybe we need to discuss a balance between the two. Also freedom to develop my own capabilities.
42 1: As an org we’re still trying to figure that out. Trying to create a space where people feel secure. 2’s values about creating an inclusive, collaborative space. If we focus on those, security could be a byproduct of it.
43 F: Discussed in other sessions: What would the values be about improving communication, so that people can express themselves; how do we make sure to hear from the voices we don’t usually hear from.
44 F: Let’s talk about equitable as a value.
45 3: equitability is related to justice. Justice might be the same for everyone, equitability is also about the fact that acknowledges the differences in conditions, needs, and responding to those needs. Being equitable is not only about being just. Not everyone speaks from the same context. E.g. every Wikipedia can have slightly different rules acknowledging slightly different needs from different language communities. And at the same time, when talking with editors, it might be different if you’re talking with someone with 1 or 10,000 edits. So we need to be equitable when talking to those people. Talk in a way that acknowledges and understands those conditions.
46 2: Kinda speaks to the inclusiveness as well. The big goal of our mission.
47 F: Would justice be a value, or is it not the goal? Is justice limiting, and equitability would be the greater goal?
48 3: I think the goal of any administrative body, any org, is to managing justice. Managing resources, especially in the hierarchy. We need to reflect a lot more about how we are providing the engine for free knowledge for the world. When there is bad behavior, we shouldn’t address it directly, but we should make sure we provide the engine correctly for justice (?)
49 F: Access
50 1: A lot of these questions are unresolved; we don’t have answers. In order to reach an answer, access is the most important one. We’re all standing on the shoulder of giants. You can create your own ideas, but we’re not working in a vacuum, you need to work with others as well. Unless you have access (to information), you won’t have the information you need to get to a society you want to live in.
51 F: Is it in giving and receiving as well? What does it mean in the context of what we do every day to have access?
52 1: it’s a two way street. I try to imbue the values of participation and sharing.
53 3: Ignorance is one of the roots of evil. Access to information, education, is a way to diminish the level of evil and ignorance. The foundation has decided in its mission that it wants to spread knowledge. We’re guardians of that access. It’s something almost sacred, very special.
54 3: I’d like to follow up the two way street comment. Providing a platform for everyone to share information with everyone else. We want to guarantee that people have the power to share their information, not just guarantee the access to knowledge.
55 F: Transparency as empowering trust, access, etc.
56 1: As a species, we’ve evolved from a society that is a lot more autocratic, top-down, or maybe not. As a whole, people are gravitating more towards the idea of freedom and equitability. It’s not necessarily the only way, or the right way, but it’s the one we’re moving towards.
57 Transparency: people like to have this feeling of autonomy and self directedness.  Transparency moves back to the beginning of the cycle towards free and equitable.
58 3: Transparency is quite a novel idea. Organizations tended not to communicate what was happening within them. In the 21st century, because it’s easier to share information, it’s now about “why aren’t you sharing this”
59 2: (something about privacy, couldn’t record)
60 1: strong believer in privacy for the individual, and transparency for the organization. Embodied by the notion of security. If you don’t feel secure you’re not going to share your ideas.
61 3: within the community, a lot of the harassing behavior stems from privacy. If there was less talk about privacy and anonymity, there would be less privacy. In some spaces there shouldn’t be as much privacy, to make sure people behave better.
62 1: I’d like to push back on that a little. I think the privacy is really important in terms of coming up to talk about ideas. Not having privacy limits your freedom of thought. A problem with harassment is that the bad behavior is accepted, not the anonymity itself. If the bad behavior wasn’t accepted, your voice would be rejected, regardless of whether you’re anonymous.
63 F: Brings us back to what the norms are, the social contract
64 2: Inclusiveness, the feeling of belonging is very important, especially since we’re such a global organization and community, with so many different perspectives. It’s hard to talk about it. You want to include everyone, to have the same access and fairness.
65 3: To me it felt connected to unity. Everyone is welcome, and we want to make space for everyone. The more complex the organism, the better it can adapt to the conditions. The more diversity we can embrace, the more effective we can become.
66 F: Bringing diverse perspectives sometimes means bringing in the perspectives that we don’t want. How do we address that?
67 3: the system has to be able to put limits; conscious, willingly applied. There are some that we can accept as the whole, and others that are harming the whole, e.g. cancer cells harming the whole that have to be taken out. Some things are just not acceptable. Inclusiveness doesn’t mean free for all.
68 1: Cutting people out of the conversation might not be the best thing. You don’t want hate speech, but you also want to leave space for reform. Two perspectives on justice: punish people, or try to help them become part of the society. I’d like us to have a place where we can have difficult conversations. E.g. recent article on the wikimedia blog where people writing politics-related articles on Wikipedia have shifted their views gradually to build better articles.
69 F: what would the ground rules be in that space?
70 1: inclusivity, security; safe space where people can share
71 3: we should also decide what is intolerable and unacceptable. We put a red light on it and have to make decisions consciously. We have to stand for something.
72 2: Agree with you. Follow the guiding principles. If the behavior continues, follow the guiding principles about how much more we can tolerate.
73 F: Great reminder that those foundational documents play together.
74 F: Let’s move on to collaboration.
75 2: it’s the important part to achieve our mission and work together with staff and communities. Foundations of our mission and our organization as we’ve seen. We need to be in sync with our communities, with our teams. Brainstorming the ideas. IT’s the only way of moving forward and bounce back from each other.
76 3: I like how collaboration also alludes to this idea that we’re ready to work with each other. We are willing to work with others. We’re not on our own, isolated; we’re reaching out to connect.
77 2: Cooperation vs. Collaboration. Get to the goal. Collaboration is broader, more complex. Just not going along with everyone. Cooperation isn’t negative, but it’s not as broad as collaboration
78 3: collaboration more like dovetailing and gears working together, whereas cooperation is more like going in the same direction.
79 2: It goes back to security, transparency
80 3: going back to this idea of gears working with one another. Collaboration means agreeing on the process. Cooperation: we’ll reach the same goal eventually. Collaboration is going shoulder to shoulder.
81 3: Truthfulness: connected to transparency. Stating what you think, what you know, is a key element of trust. Can’t be trust if there’s a lack of truthfulness. Cornerstone of how relationships can grow. As an organization, we’re a complex set of relationships, truthfulness is the minimum requirement to work in a healthy way.
82 1: Do you mean honesty?
83 3: Honesty to me is more an action, truthfulness is more about what you’re thinking. Candor is also an expression of truthfulness, speaking about what you think or know to be true.
84 2: Relates to active responsibility and accountability?
85 3: To be honest, you have to be truthful, but you also have to take action.
86 F: Is truthfulness the state of being, or the action?
87 3: to me it’s about expressing what you know (or believe) to be true. Transparency is a better value for an organization, but truthfulness is better from the individual point of view.
88 F: Between truthfulness and transparency, which ones creates the greater good?
89 2: That can create a conflict.
90 F: You make choices in the way you communicate information, telling the truth, bumping against issues like privacy, truthfulness and anonymity.
91 3: You have to be as truthful as possible, but you also have to express love for the people you’re communicate with. To some people truthfulness can equate with being blunt, because there’s no good in lying. We need to excel at being truthful, and also at loving the other, when you’re expressing yourself.
92 1: An organization is just a collective of individuals, and the values would apply just as well there (?).
93 F: Let’s continue on love and kindness. Countering values that can be more radical, like free speech, independence, etc. Other words mentioned by people are empathy, civility, respect
94 3: One way to look at it is that love is not neutral. It imposes a certain form of relationship over others. If each individual decides that love is the primary emotion that drives the relationships, then we can achieve different goals than if fear or indifference are the driving emotions. Not as passion, not as sexuality, but the pure desire for the other’s well-being. Maybe a strong basis for relationships for individuals, teams, and the rest of the world. We’re not neutral to the world, we’re trying to improve the world, and wev’e chosen knowledge as the way to do that. And it’s not just a chosen few, but everyone who can participate.
95 2: Made me think of wikilove, that we now do at the end of metrics meetings. Just appreciating each other. Respecting each other. Appreciating the work that we’re all doing. Sometimes a value we miss, but it’s a very important one.
96 1: Want to thank 3 for bringing this up. I appreciate being part of an organization where we can discuss our values, and an org where my personal values can be expressed as well.
97 3: Unity: expression of this love. Idea that we’re connected, acknowledging that we’re connected. Working from the framework as a human collective. We’re not just isolated selves, but connected to a larger body. That means receive energy from the whole, and at the same time have a responsibility to the whole, an output that is useful to the whole. And like cells in a human body, that function changes over time. We refine and understand better how to serve the whole, and we willingly decide how to serve the whole better.
98 F: Unity related to humanness, collective humanity?
99 3: to me it’s kind of obvious. The issue we face as a human race is that we have to acknowledge this connection with the rest of the world. All parts of the human race are valuable and have something to teach us, and we have a responsibility to this whole. This is the truth about the human condition. Prejudice and other crap we’ve invented over the centuries has prevented this consciousness of the connection with the rest. Technology is there now but the mind isn’t yet acknowledging the connection.
100 F: the value in our humanity, what we talk about human rights, fundamental things we value as humanity, in the work that we do every day.
101 2: We’re all together in this one, to achieve this one goal. We have to work together to be able to do that.
102 3: So it’s also connected to collaboration.
103 F: violations of human rights might be violations of free speech, in some places of the world. Speaking about the boundaries that keep us from achieving free free knowledge, the full sense of their humanity; unity as a value might move towards that, towards valuing one as a human being.
104 1: There are fundamental human needs to feel part of an in-group, a family. The negative stuff that comes out in the world, the conflicts, arise from the divisions between those groups. So we need to see the bigger picture, transcend from the in-group to the larger one.
105 3: We all live on the same planet, and we need to work at a global level. Lack of unity is the common enemy, because it can lead to terrible decisions if we don’t realize we’re part of the same community on the same planet.
106 3: We’re all doing something for the larger organization. We’re also nonprofit and have a very social mission. Have an impact on the larger world. So it’s very easy to see the connection between our small tasks in the organization and its impact on the rest of the world. We have a large impact from wherever we’re working in the organization. I’m doing something for the whole world to benefit from, not just for this organization.
107 2: +1, love what you said. Also love the biological analogy of cells in the body.
108 == feedback on the discussion ==
109 What worked, what didn’t, how to make it better.
110 1: What are /your/ three values? (question to F and note taker)
111 F: we did a few rounds of this discussion, don’t remember exactly. A big one for me was civility; balance radical approaches. I knew the other ones were the most important. Respect some of assumes what you think about other people. Being open about someone else’s perspectives. Being able to have that discussion.
112 More comments about the discussion today:
113 3: approach very interesting, exploring what our ideas mean to us, and getting feedback from the rest. And also the discussion about what values mean for the individual, and the organization. It was interesting to have the space to share and reflect on other’s perspectives. Also the right pace, not rushed.
114 2: Thanks for organizing. Even if we had different values, there was commonalities. Liked the small group, made it easier to talk about it, see different perspectives
115 1: like the broad range of different groups from the org. Liked to see perspectives from the rest of the organizations, and also know people from across the organization. 3 people was a little too small for me, 5-6 would be more comfortable for me, I’m not used to speak that much, I prefer to sit back in the corner :)
116 F: There’s also a push to make sure we hear people we don’t usually hear, so thank you for participating even if it made you a bit uncomfortable.
117 NT: Feel free to sign up for more sessions if you’re not all values’d out
118 F: Yes, there are some repeating patterns, but each discussion