Category Archives: Ada Initiative events

Add a little bit of AdaCamp to your event: announcing the AdaCamp toolkit!

A group of AdaCamp Bangalore attendees

AdaCamp Bangalore attendees in 2014

Today we’re releasing the AdaCamp Toolkit, a series of howto guides to many of the things that were special about AdaCamp, and that we’d love to see spread to other events. And the entire Toolkit is freely usable and modifiable under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike licence so that you can improve on it too!

We’re still sad that we won’t be hosting any more AdaCamp events but we’re hoping we can help you fill the gap by adding a little bit — or a lot — of AdaCamp to your event, and to see lots of new events that are everything that AdaCamp tried to be! One of the goals of AdaCamp was to be a conference that spread its best ideas far and wide. We want to see the greatest hits of AdaCamp at as many events as possible.

Here’s some AdaCamp Toolkit ideas for your next event:

80 women cheering and wearing many different colors, CC BY-SA Jenna Saint Martin Photo

AdaCamp Portland attendees in 2014
CC BY-SA Jenna Saint Martin Photo

Many more guides are included in the AdaCamp Toolkit, from sample website content to a guide to managing challenging topics at a feminist unconference. What special sauce can you mix from the AdaCamp Toolkit for your event?

The AdaCamp Toolkit was edited and primarily written by Deputy Executive Director Mary Gardiner, with assistance from other AdaCamp staff and consultants, including Alex Bayley, Suki McCoy, and Valerie Aurora. We’d also like to thank many members of the advisory board for their help with reviewing the Toolkit over the last two weeks. Especial thanks to Mel Chua, lead author of the guide to support for d/Deaf people. Thanks also to Selena Deckelmann, Alicia Gibb, Amelia Greenhall, Leigh Honeywell, Andrea Horbinski, Sarah Sharp, Sara Smollett, and Andromeda Yelton for reviews and feedback as we worked to make this public.

Announcing the end of the AdaCamp program

AdaCamp logo

We are deeply sorry to announce that the Ada Initiative will no longer run any more AdaCamp unconferences for women in open technology and culture. The recent departure of several staff members has left us without the capacity to run any more AdaCamps in 2015. In addition, AdaCamp has always cost more to run than we could raise in sponsorships, and that shows no signs of changing.

As a result, we have decided the most effective way to support women in open technology and culture is to stop running AdaCamps ourselves and instead open source the AdaCamp Toolkit – a collection of very detailed planning documents that lay out how to run an event like AdaCamp. We’ve already shared our AdaCamp policies for free re-use and will release the rest of the materials in the next month.

This is an incredibly difficult decision to make because we know that AdaCamp was literally life-changing for so many women. As a result of AdaCamp, women expanded their professional networks, founded new companies, overcame their Impostor Syndrome, moved into better jobs, got raises, built lasting friendships, and came out reinvigorated and inspired to make open technology and culture a better place. We don’t want this kind of revolutionary change to stop, which is why we are working on the final touches of the AdaCamp Toolkit and will release it free for use by all in the next month. We are excited by conferences such as &:conf and Open Source Bridge and recommend that would-be AdaCampers go to them.

As we have run only one of our four promised AdaCamps in 2015, we have offered a 100% refund to all of the AdaCamp 2015 sponsors, including Puppet LabsGoogle Montreal and Chrome, the Linux Foundation, Red Hat, Simple, Etsy, MongoDB, Plotly, Shopify and Engine Yard. Any funds left over will be used to help open source the AdaCamp Toolkit and further our work to support women in open technology and culture, such as the Ally Skills Workshop and Impostor Syndrome Training. We thank our sponsors again for their support of women in open technology and culture!

80 women cheering and wearing many different colors, CC BY-SA Jenna Saint Martin Photo

AdaCamp Portland attendees in 2014
CC BY-SA Jenna Saint Martin Photo

Thank you so much to everyone who made AdaCamp possible, and especially the women who attended and took part in sessions. Together, we raised the bar for what to expect from a conference: explicit consent for photographs, designated access lanes, delicious food for everyone’s needs, quiet rooms, affordable accommodations, screening of attendees, speedy handling of harassment, and clearly stated expectations for respectful behavior. Dozens of conferences are more welcoming to people with disabilities, people with food restrictions, introverted people, and people who just want a more respectful environment. We hope AdaCampers will continue to be leaders in improving the conference experience for everyone!

AdaCamp Montreal report-out: "it was so exciting! I would totally go again if I can."

AdaCamp is an unconference for women in open technology and culture and the people who support them. AdaCamp brings women together to build community, discuss issues women have in common across open technology and culture fields and find ways to address them. AdaCamp is organized by the Ada Initiative, a nonprofit devoted to increasing the participation and status of women in open technology and culture, which includes open source software, Wikipedia and related projects, fan culture and more.

94 people who identified as women attended AdaCamp Montreal, held over two days on April 13th and 14th 2015 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

“AdaCamp was a tremendous experience. The energy in the room as we found common cause, discovered a new perspective, learned a new skill — it was so exciting! I would totally go again if I can.” — Marianne

A huge thank you to all of our sponsors who made AdaCamp Montreal possible: Puppet LabsGoogle Montreal and Chrome, Ada Initiative donors, the Linux Foundation, Red Hat, Simple, Etsy, MongoDB, Plotly and Shopify.

Impact of AdaCamp Montreal

Our post-event survey (45% response rate) indicated that 95% of respondents had improved their professional networks and feel more part of a community of women in open technology and culture. 67% also felt that they gained a better understanding of the issues facing women in open technology and culture. 67% agreed that AdaCamp increased their commitment to participating in open technology and culture in the future. 63% of respondents agreed that their experience at AdaCamp will benefit their job performance. 91% of respondents would recommend AdaCamp to others.

An overwhelming number of survey respondents said the highlight of the event was meeting inspiring, respectful attendees and sharing knowledge and stories. Other noted highlights include opening the event with the Imposter Syndrome workshop, the session on avoiding burnout and the organizers’ emphasis on the Code of Conduct for the event.

About the attendees

While a majority of the attendees came from the United States and Canada, we also had attendees from Singapore, Poland, Albania, India, Argentina and Australia.

27% of survey respondents listed their race or ethnicity as something other than white or Caucasian. Professions ranged from programmer, software and web developers to data scientist, law student, librarian and TV/film producer.

Travel scholarships

To make AdaCamp more accessible to students, non-profit employees and to increase the diversity of our attendees, we offered eight travel scholarships to AdaCamp Montreal. One of these went to an attendee from Argentina, and the others went to AdaCampers from the US and Canada.

What we did

As with previous AdaCamps, AdaCamp Montreal was primarily structured as an unconference, with attendee-organized and facilitated sessions largely around issues facing women in open technology and culture. We continued to provide some plenary sessions to help orient attendees, and session organization to make the two days flow more smoothly. Additionally, these sessions were broken up by a scheduled lunch, lightning talks and ending with a closing session.

For most attendees, the first session of AdaCamp was an Impostor Syndrome workshop, sponsored by Red Hat. Women’s socialization is often less confident and competitive than men’s, and women are therefore especially vulnerable to Impostor Syndrome — the belief that one’s work is inferior and one’s achievements and recognition are fraudulent — in open technology and culture endeavors where public scrutiny of their work is routine. Thank you to Red Hat for supporting this session.

This was followed by attendee-organized sessions occurring in different rooms throughout the day. The topics ranged from avoiding burnout, Wikipedia’s gender gap, linguistics, tech-related gender based violence, an intro to feminist video game development and an exploration of independent publishing and zines.

On Sunday, the round-table sessions moved towards topics ranging from nonprofit/community fundraising 101, intro to information science, anarchist and anti-capitalist approaches to open culture and working collectively/cooperatively in tech. The afternoon focused on skill-sharing and creation, which included a Wikipedia edit-a-thon, a robot workshop, Cryptoparty skills share and Code of Conduct creation, adoption and enforcement.

Lightning talks were held on both days of the main track. Any AdaCamper that wanted to share their knowledge, experience or passion—on a topic either in open technology and culture or not—was given the stage for 90 seconds. Among the twenty lightning talk topics, AdaCampers talked about linguistics as open source, a statistical snapshot of the women of Montreal, introversion, and recovering from losing one’s voice.

“I am surprised how much I got out of this event. The Ada Initiative brings a holistic approach to a lot of things that affect women in open tech and culture, and attending sessions on everything from workplace survival to info/tech skills to feminist issues made AdaCamp unique. The range of interests and skills among the participants meant that in pretty much every setting something interesting was going to happen.” — Sharon Hackett

Social events

On the evening of Sunday April 12, Google hosted an AdaCamp reception at their Montreal office featuring women employees working for Google locally. Thank you to Irmgard van der Krift and the Google Montreal office for their lovely reception.

Following the tradition established at many previous AdaCamps, instead of a large social event on Monday night, attendees had dinner in small groups at restaurants around Montreal. Attendees were invited to host dinners on behalf of their employers. Thank you to Automattic and Appian and their representatives for hosting dinners.

Reports from AdaCampers

“I highly recommend AdaCamp and unconferences. It was an empowering experience that gave me confidence in my work and myself. If you have the opportunity to go, do it.” — Allison Levine

Several AdaCampers wrote publicly about their experiences at the event. You can read some of those blogs posts here:

AdaCampers also wrote about talks they gave and sessions they ran:

Eva Blue’s extensive photography of the event can be viewed in her AdaCamp Montreal Flickr album.

Thank you!

Thank you to all of the AdaCamp Montreal attendees and AdaCamp sponsors for giving us the support we needed to run this event and make it what it is. You are what makes AdaCamp a success!


Thank you again to the AdaCamp 2015 platinum sponsors Puppet Labs and Google Montreal and Chrome; and gold sponsors The Linux Foundation and Red Hat.

Welcome to Google Montreal and Chrome, Platinum AdaCamp sponsor for 2015!

Google logo
The Ada Initiative welcomes our second Platinum sponsor of AdaCamp in 2015: Google Montreal and Chrome!

Google thrives on open source projects, like Chromium and Android, that are used by millions of people. We want those projects to be meaningful for the people who use them, so we need to include diverse perspectives in the community that builds them. We’re committed to bringing together people—in our workforce, our industry, and on the web—who have a broad range of attributes, experiences, and points of view. We believe our differences make us stronger, and produce better, more innovative work,” says Mark Larson, Engineering Director, Chrome. “Google is proud to support the work the Ada Initiative does: they help all open tech projects broaden the set of people who have a say in what we’re building.”

Google is the only sponsor who has supported every AdaCamp to date. In addition to the support of the Chrome team for the second year, AdaCamps in 2015 are supported by Google Montreal, who will host our AdaCamp Montreal reception on Sunday April 12. Thank you Google Montreal!

Note: We are deeply interested in the recent allegations of sexual harassment by a Google employee. After careful evaluation on our part, we believe that Google’s sponsorship of AdaCamp is compatible with our sponsorship policy at this time, and we welcome them as an AdaCamp sponsor. We support every Googler working for a welcoming and positive workplace.

About AdaCamp

Two women smiling

CC-BY-SA Adam Novak

AdaCamp is a conference dedicated to increasing women’s participation in open technology and culture: open source software, Wikipedia-related projects, open data, open geo, library technology, fan fiction, remix culture, and more. AdaCamp brings women together over two days to build community, share skills, discuss problems with open tech/culture communities that affect women, and find ways to address them.

AdaCamp is the world’s only event focusing on women in open technology and culture, and is a project of the Ada Initiative, a non-profit supporting women in open technology and culture. Both are named after Countess Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer. The first AdaCamp of 2015 will be held in Montreal on April 13–14, followed by events in New Zealand and in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow Ada Initiative announcements to learn about AdaCamps near you!

Sponsorship

Your organization has the opportunity to sponsor AdaCamps in 2015 and reach women leaders in open technology and culture in three countries. Contact us at sponsors@adainitiative.org for more information about becoming a sponsor.


Thank you to the AdaCamp 2015 platinum sponsors Puppet Labs and Google Montreal and Chrome; and gold sponsors The Linux Foundation and Red Hat.

Welcome to new AdaCamp 2015 sponsors: Linux Foundation, Red Hat, Simple, and Etsy

The Ada Initiative is pleased to welcome our first Gold sponsors of AdaCamp in 2015: The Linux Foundation and Red Hat!

Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation is the primary non-profit supporting the Linux community, including the Linux kernel, Linux conferences, and the Linux ecosystem overall. The Linux Foundation is a long-term supporter of the Ada Initiative’s work to make Linux more welcoming to women. This is the fourth year in a row that they have supported AdaCamp and we thank them for their renewed support.

Red HatRed Hat is the world’s leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to develop reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage, and virtualization technologies. The company has more than 7,100regular, full-time associates and 80 offices in 38 countries. About 25% of Red Hat associates work remotely, and Red Hat has job opportunities around the globe. In addition to being a four-time AdaCamp sponsor, Red Hat is sponsoring the Impostor Syndrome training that will be offered at each AdaCamp in 2015.

The Ada Initiative also welcomes Bronze sponsors Simple and Etsy as supporters of AdaCamp in 2015:

simple-small-applications-whitebg

Simple‘s about making managing your personal finances effortless; it is a bank that offers all-electronic consumer banking services integrated with budgeting and savings tools. The bank, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, was founded in 2009 and partners with Bancorp Bank, an FDIC insured bank, to hold account funds.

Etsy

Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods. Discover handmade items, vintage goods and craft supplies you can’t find anywhere else. Etsy is committed to promoting diversity in the workplace and is proud to be a B Corporation for their adherence to rigorous social and environmental standards. Etsy Engineering is also the authors of Code as Craft, a blog dedicated to writing about their craft and their collective experience building and running Etsy, the world’s most vibrant handmade marketplace.

Thank you to our four new sponsors for their support of women in open technology and culture!

About AdaCamp

Two women smiling

CC-BY-SA Adam Novak

AdaCamp is a conference dedicated to increasing women’s participation in open technology and culture: open source software, Wikipedia-related projects, open data, open geo, library technology, fan fiction, remix culture, and more. AdaCamp brings women together over two days to build community, share skills, discuss problems with open tech/culture communities that affect women, and find ways to address them.

AdaCamp is the world’s only event focusing on women in open technology and culture, and is a project of the Ada Initiative, a non-profit supporting women in open technology and culture. Both are named after Countess Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer. The first AdaCamp of 2015 will be held in Montreal on April 13–14, followed by events in New Zealand and in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow Ada Initiative announcements to learn about AdaCamps near you!

Sponsorship

Your organization has the opportunity to sponsor AdaCamps in 2015 and reach women leaders in open technology and culture in three countries. Contact us at sponsors@adainitiative.org for more information about becoming a sponsor.


Thank you to the AdaCamp 2015 platinum sponsor Puppet Labs and gold sponsors The Linux Foundation and Red Hat.

Welcome to Puppet Labs, our first Platinum AdaCamp sponsor for 2015!

Puppet Labs logo

The Ada Initiative is thrilled to welcome our first Platinum sponsor of AdaCamp in 2015: Puppet Labs! Puppet Labs is a leader in IT automation. Their software helps sysadmins automate configuration and management of machines and the software running on them.

“Ada Initiative’s mission of encouraging women to be involved with open source technology is helping to create better technology — and a better tech culture. This mission aligns with our commitment to increasing diversity and access for all, throughout the tech community. We’re proud to be Platinum sponsors of the Ada Initiative’s four AdaCamps this year.” – Luke Kanies, founder and CEO of Puppet Labs.

For our part, the Ada Initiative is proud to welcome Puppet Labs as a sponsor of AdaCamp for the third year running; their support of AdaCamp and of women in open technology and culture is crucial to our mission to change the culture for the better.

About AdaCamp

Two women smiling

CC-BY-SA Adam Novak

AdaCamp is a conference dedicated to increasing women’s participation in open technology and culture: open source software, Wikipedia-related projects, open data, open geo, library technology, fan fiction, remix culture, and more. AdaCamp brings women together over two days to build community, share skills, discuss problems with open tech/culture communities that affect women, and find ways to address them.

AdaCamp is the world’s only event focusing on women in open technology and culture, and is a project of the Ada Initiative, a non-profit supporting women in open technology and culture. Both are named after Countess Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer. The first AdaCamp of 2015 will be held in Montreal on April 13–14, followed by events in New Zealand and in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow Ada Initiative announcements to learn about AdaCamps near you!

Sponsorship

Your organization has the opportunity to sponsor AdaCamps in 2015 and reach women leaders in open technology and culture in three countries. Contact us at sponsors@adainitiative.org for more information about becoming a sponsor.


Thank you to the AdaCamp 2015 platinum sponsor Puppet Labs.

Support diversity in open source by attending an Ally Skills Workshop at PyCon 2015!

Do you think diversity in open source is important? Would you like to be part of changing the culture of open source to be more welcoming to women, newcomers, and marginalized people? You can help by attending the Ally Skills Workshop at the PyCon 2015 on Sunday April 12th, 2015 from 2pm until 5pm in room 513D at the PyCon 2015 venue in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

This workshop is provided free of charge to PyCon attendees, in conjunction with AdaCamp Montreal which is co-located with PyCon 2015.

A woman explains while a man listens

Ally Skills Workshop discussion

The Ally Skills Workshop teaches men how to support women in their workplaces and communities, by effectively speaking up when they see sexism, creating discussions that allow more voices to be heard, and learning how to prevent sexism and unwelcoming behavior in the first place. The changes that reduce sexism also make communities more welcoming, productive, and creative.

Attendance at the Ally Skills Workshop is free but limited, with applications open to all registered PyCon attendees. Apply now to have the best chance to attend by filling out this Google form (or just scroll down to the form at the end of this post). We welcome participants of all genders – the best workshops have at least 20% women and genderqueer folks. You will be notified via email if we cannot fit you into the workshop. Sign up now!

Recommendations

Here are a few things people have said after attending other Ally Skills Workshops:

“We’ve run the [Ally Skills Workshop] 4 times and the impact has been fantastic. This workshop has been the catalyst for many ‘a­ha’ moments. People who understood bias exists in a very logical way, were able to see, through the conversation with peers about the very relevant scenarios, and connect emotionally with the impact bias has on the colleagues they respect and interact with daily.” – Anonymous participant

“I’ve already witnessed a couple of incidents where coworkers who attended the workshop corrected themselves after saying something that could be misconstrued.” – Anonymous participant