Core Organizing Principles
What is the minimum structure that allows us to collaborate on this effectively? How can we welcome each person’s potential contribution, inviting energy as it’s available, while still maintaining a coherent core?
ResourcesConnected Citizens: tips & tricks from Knight Foundation report
How to Get Involved
- Browse around the Patterns here. Look at Recent (link near top left of every page) to see what others have been working on lately.
- See work management for the current work plan.
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Authorship, Use & Distribution
We expect patterns to be written and edited by multiple people. No one "owns" any of the patterns. All content on this site is contributed and available under a very open license — see Copyrights.
We are committed to ensuring that the knowledge/wisdom gathered in development of this pattern language is publicly available and proactively distributed. With web tools the patterns and information gathered can be an evolving document that is stewarded by a community.
Those proactively working on the project can use information and insights arising from this project in diverse ways. In using the collaboratively created intellectual property, we are committed to staying in timely communication about these uses, and reuses, letting other people involved know what we are up to. We expect that in time a set of normative practices will be articulated by the community.
Decision-Making & Core Team
We aim to match power with responsibility. Thus the more concrete, productive contributions someone has made to the project, the more their input is likely to be considered in guiding future developments. The responsibility is on individuals who want to participate or give input into a decision to show up to the conversation on that topic. (Or, if you are not available at the scheduled time, to communicate your input in advance.) We generally move forward with whoever is present, without worrying too much about who is and isn't there.
At this time, we are essentially operating with consultative authority. That is, Tree and the core team have bottom-line authority to make decisions in what they perceive to be the best interest of this project. However, they attempt to consult others for input before decisions are made, and strive to be open to feedback on decisions, to the extent this is possible while maintaining effectiveness in moving forward. For base organizational documents (such as purposes, intentions, scope of the project, what a pattern is, and pattern template) the group early on chose to give Tree final editing privileges; but the reality is that much of the work gets done either in interactive sessions in person where we hash things out together, or online between meetings in an iterative process. The wiki makes it easy to change documents as needed. We are working management and authority out over time as the project evolves.
After Tree's initial leadership on this project, we are currently operating with a Core Team of Tree Bressen in Eugene, Sue Woehrlin in Seattle, and Dave Pollard in BC, Canada. We hold regular Meetings by phone to keep the project on track and moving forward, as well as convening in-person work sessions every few months. Please feel free to contact any of us with questions, ideas, or concerns.
Note from early development:
As we search for the balance between community and autonomy that best serves this project, one model we are considering borrowing some leadership and community practices from is the Open Source software movement, as it’s developed over the last 20 years to produce large complex software projects. In that modality, a core of key contributors develop around a founder, and the project moves forward to shipping a product by taking wide input from a community who contribute new bits of code and patches (fixes) to existing code. While these projects are not led by consensus or voting by all involved, we are also committed to growing a vibrant community around the development of this pattern language—we believe this will be facilitated by visible progress on the project. As in good meetings, process and product support each other in this effort.
While maintaining our focus on a pattern language for group process in face-to-face settings, we are happy to connect and exchange with people involved in other pattern language development that is either more broad (e.g. pattern language for social transformation), more specific (strategic planning event design), or in overlapping fields (online community practices) or different fields (permaculture, architecture, software).
Earlier working space: https://we.riseup.net/pattern_language