Tag Archives: adacamp melbourne

Karen Sandler: "I was astounded by how many articulate amazing interesting women there were"

Yesterday, we posted an excerpt of an interview with Ada Initiative advisor Karen Sandler in March, focused on the GNOME Outreach Program for women, and the ways that women support each other and advocate for the GNOME community.

Today, a further excerpt in which Karen talks about her involvement in the Ada Initiative and her experiences at AdaCamp Melbourne in January, beginning at 15 minutes 41 seconds in the video:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.www.universalsubtitles.org/embed.js

Karen Sandler: So, I’ll skip to the Ada Initiative, which is ­— so I’ve just become an advisor to that because I went to a conference in Melbourne when I was there for Linux Conf Australia [linux.conf.au]. They had this — it’s called AdaCamp and I was astounded by how many articulate amazing interesting women there were who had so much more information about women in technology than I ever had.

I’ve been interviewed as a woman in Free Software in the past and [laughs] — following the old axiom that in order to be an expert about women in Free Software you just had to be one.

Jeremy Allison, interviewer: [laughs with Karen]

Karen: Yeah. So they — but these women had statistics and they had real knowledge and they had amazing recommendations of things that… Free Software projects and software companies can do to make sure that they’re actually encouraging women to participate.

And so that’s why I decided to affiliate with them, and to support them. Their work is incredible. They’ve helped create codes of conduct for conferences, they’ve helped deal with problems as they arise, they’ve helped draw attention to the issue in the field, so it’s great, the Ada Initiative.

Jeremy: That’s really good, so that’s the search term if people want to find out more about it. Because we could do with more women in engineering, and in the Free Software communities.

Thanks Karen, your help has been really valuable!

The transcribed part of Karen’s video has been subtitled using Amara. Help subtitle the rest of the video!

More about the Ada Initiative’s work

Karen introduced you to two of the Ada Initiative’s projects: AdaCamps and conference anti-harassment policies.

AdaCamp is a series of small unconferences bringing together people interested in women in open technology and culture from across many different communities. We hope it will spark new ideas, spread best practices, and be a catalyst for change. We have held two AdaCamps in 2012, in Melbourne and in Washington DC.

Inspired by multiple reports of groping, sexual assault, and pornography at open tech/culture conferences, the Ada Initiative co-founders helped write and promote an example conference anti-harassment policy for modification and reuse by conference organizers. See the Ada Initiative’s Conference policies page for more about our work supporting conferences in creating a safe environment for women and others.

The Ada Initiative relies on donations and sponsorship to fund our important work. Find out how to support us!

More from Karen

Karen’s keynote at linux.conf.au in January focused on her advocacy for available and freely licenced source code to life saving medical devices — like her pacemaker!

http://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.www.universalsubtitles.org/embed.js

Ada Initiative news, January 2012

Fundraising

Thank you to everyone who donated to our fund-raising drive ending January 31, 2012. Over December and January, we raised $30,463 in individual donations from over 250 donors, and about $15,000 in corporate donations, for a total of 4-5 months of operating expenses. Your donations make projects like AdaCamp, allies workshops, and Adas Advice possible – in fact, we continued work on all three of these projects while we were fundraising.

If you want to donate and missed the deadline, dont worry – you can still donate at our year-round donation page. We are also seeking corporate donations.We especially thank our corporate sponsors who donated and/or provided matching funds:

  • Ceph: Open source distributed file system
  • Dreamwidth: Full-featured blog hosting on open source platform
  • Puppet Labs: Open source systems management software
  • Singly: Open source platform for accessing social network data
  • Creative Contingencies: Open source solutions and event organization

Thank you to everyone who donated, spread the word, or helped! We appreciate it!

AdaCamp Melbourne

We were thrilled with the success of our first AdaCamp in Melbourne on January 14.

AdaCamp stood out for me from other conferences because everyone participated and seemed to really want to go beyond the conference and drive things out in the real world. (Cobi Smith.)

Several sessions produced new or improved documentation, often hosted on the Geek Feminism wiki: fighting Impostor Syndrome, valuing diverse skills and women-oriented hiring, and preventing volunteer burnout. We also learned more about each others communities, including success stories like the majority female development community behind open source software project Dreamwidth and challenges facing librarians fighting for open access to knowledge.

For a full report on AdaCamp Melbourne please see AdaCamp Melbourne 2012 full report.

Based on the success of AdaCamp Melbourne other AdaCamps are in planning. Please follow our blog or join our announcement list for information on future AdaCamps.

linux.conf.au and Haecksen miniconf

Valerie and Mary spent a week in January in Ballarat, Australia for linux.conf.au. At linux.conf.au they delivered three sessions:

She’s Geeky

Valerie Aurora attended She’s Geeky Bay Area in late January.

Awards

At linux.conf.au, Ada Initiative co-founder Mary Gardiner was awarded the Rusty Wrench award for services to the Australian Free Software community.

Anti-harassment

In July, Tim O’Reilly pledged to adopt a code of conduct for O’Reilly events. O’Reilly has now released their code of conduct, joining other adopters of similar policies. Thank you O’Reilly!

Other organisations wishing to consider a anti-harassment policy can find policy resources on the Geek Feminism wiki.

Upcoming events for women in open technology and culture

See our calendar for a full listing, and submit any additional events to share@adainitiative.org.

New sponsors

Ceph

This month Ceph joined us as our first major Ada Initiative sponsor. Ceph is a distributed open source file system whose development was primarily funded by DreamHost, the successful Los Angeles based web-hosting company. The Ceph project is becoming part of a newly created and growing soon to be named” business entity that will provide ongoing resources and support services to those adopting Ceph.

Learn more about Ceph in Valerie Aurora’s interview with Sage Weil and Bryan Bogensberger.

Thank you again to Ceph for their support of the Ada Initiative.

Sponsorship opportunities

The Ada Initiative’s Venture Philanthropist sponsorship program allows organisations to sponsor the Ada Initiative for sponsorship amounts between $2000 and $9999 (USD) with a minimum of hassle. Contact donors@adainitiative.org for larger sponsorship packages.

AdaCamp Melbourne 2012 full report

AdaCamp is an unconference for people interested in supporting women in open technology and culture, organized by the Ada Initiative. The first AdaCamp was held on January 14, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. “Adacamp was the first event of the Ada Initiative, and based on the calibre of the attendees, the quality of conversations, the extent of networking, and the amount that I learnt, I know I cant wait til the next one,said attendee Naomi C..

AdaCamp Melbourne attendees

AdaCamp Melbourne attendees

AdaCamp Melbourne brought together people interested in issues facing women in open technology and culture, to share their experiences and develop ways to support and promote women. People attended from all over open tech/culture: open source, libraries, open data, community radio, fan culture, Wikipedia, wikis, maker culture, researchers studying these topics, and more. Overall, the conference was rated a great success by the attendees, who asked that future AdaCamps to be two days long instead of just one.

AdaCamp Melbourne organization and topics

AdaCamp Melbourne was a one day unconference” in which the attendees decide what to discuss. This AdaCamp had 21 sessions across 7 time slots, as well as a group opening at the beginning of the day and a curated feedback session at the end of the day. The topics included fighting Impostor Syndrome, valuing more diverse skills when hiring in IT, sharing successful tactics for encouraging women from different areas of open “stuff,” preventing volunteer burnout, getting women involved in open source, creating mothering and caring friendly spaces, and teaching feminism in geek communities. The day ended with a Girl Geek Dinner open to all.

AdaCamp accomplishments

Google logo

Tier 1 AdaCamp sponsor

The most important accomplishment of AdaCamp was connecting people from different areas of open technology and culture so that they can share best practices and support each other. “AdaCamp stood out for me from other conferences because everyone participated and seemed to really want to go beyond the conference and drive things out in the real world,commented attendee Cobi Smith. We shared what works for supporting women in one field of open tech/culture with people in other fields. Many people felt validated, energized, and inspired to continue their work as a result of AdaCamp. Given the high burnout rate for women in open tech/culture, this is no small feat.

Several sessions produced new or improved documentation, often hosted on the Geek Feminism wiki: fighting Impostor Syndrome, valuing diverse skills and women-oriented hiring, and preventing volunteer burnout. We also learned more about each other’s communities, including success stories like the majority female development community behind open source software project Dreamwidth and challenges facing librarians fighting for open access to knowledge.

AdaCamp participants

Wikimedia Australia logo

Tier 1 AdaCamp sponsor

The AdaCamp target audience is people with experience and education in the area of supporting women in open technology and culture. We asked that people interested in attending send an application outlining their experience and interest in both feminism and open technology and culture, and appointed a program committee to review applications. We gave extra points for a history of collaboration, leadership, and enthusiasm. As attendee Selena Deckelmann wrote, “We all shared a context of feminism. With that point settled, it made getting into the depths of many other conversations much easier and interesting.

The result was a full house of 33 attendees of incredibly high caliber who shared ideals of equality opportunity for women and openness of software and data. They included:

  • Karen Sandler, executive director of the GNOME Foundation
  • Selena Deckelmann, PostgreSQL developer and founder of Open Source Bridge
  • Sky Croeser, Lecturer on Internet Studies at Curtin University and co-founder of the Bluestocking Institute
  • Brianna Laugher, Information Technology Officer at Bureau of Meteorology and co-founder/former President of Wikimedia Australia
  • Cobi Smith, Science in society facilitator, Royal Institution of Australia
  • Georgia Webster, RRR community radio
  • Sam Searle, Data Management Coordinator at Monash University Library
  • Athena Yao, Dreamwidth developer
  • Aimee Whitcroft, founder of Sciblogs and Wellington Nerd Nite
  • Brenda Moon, MakeHackVoid

And many more, including Ada Initiative co-founders Valerie Aurora and Mary Gardiner. Several people who were invited couldn’t come due to conflicting obligations and many more expressed great interest in attending but could not afford to travel to Melbourne. Thanks to our generous sponsors, we were able to provide limited travel grants to several participants. We expect that many more people will be able to attend an AdaCamp in North America with longer notice and more generous travel grants.

Publicity

Linux Australia logo

Tier 2 AdaCamp sponsor

We interviewed by press outlets about AdaCamp. Coverage of AdaCamp included:

AdaCamp aims to boost women’s participation in open tech
Breaking down the gender divide in open source and open culture
Ada Initiative to hold first camp in Melbourne
AdaCamp set to kick off in Melbourne

Several attendees wrote blog posts (and recorded one podcast) about their experience at AdaCamp:

http://riaus.org.au/articles/adacamp/
http://skycroeser.net/2012/01/19/adacamp-melbourne/
http://www.chesnok.com/daily/2012/01/20/i-am-a-feminist-hacker-reflections-on-the-first-adacamp/
http://blogs.gnome.org/danni/2012/01/17/adacamp-and-haecksen/
http://naomieve.tumblr.com/post/15979150280/adacamp-2012
http://sciblogs.co.nz/tosp/2012/01/16/tosp-episode-17-january-16th-2012/

Future AdaCamps

Atlassian logo

Tier 3 AdaCamp sponsor

Based on the success of the first AdaCamp, the Ada Initiative will continue holding AdaCamps in different areas of the world. Our next AdaCamp is tentatively scheduled to be held in July 2012 in Washington D.C., prior to the global Wikimania conference for Wikipedia and related projects. We expect a lot of overlap between attendees of Wikimania and AdaCamp and encourage people to attend both conferences.

Want to attend the next AdaCamp?

To get notified when applications open, watch this blog, our announcement email list, or our Twitter account. We are primarily looking for people with a track record of participating in open technology and culture, supporting women in these areas, and contributing positively to discussions. We strongly encourage people to nominate or suggest other people for attending AdaCamp, especially people with unique experience or knowledge. We will have a number of modest travel grants available so that a greater variety of people can attend.

Sponsoring AdaCamp

Sponsoring AdaCamp is an excellent way to show your organization’s commitment to bringing more women into open source, Wikipedia, and other other areas of open technology and culture. AdaCamp sponsors benefit from positive publicity, improved recruiting opportunities, and community good will. Sponsors of AdaCamp Melbourne received credit on the AdaCamp Melbourne web page, at the opening and closing sessions, and in AdaCamp announcements. We are considering new sponsor benefits for the next AdaCamp, including reserved attendance slots and access to attendees outside conference hours. Web sites for specific AdaCamps (with sponsor logo and information) will remain available after the event concludes. Contact adacamp@adainitiative.org for more information on sponsorship at any level.

Thank you

Thank you to our sponsors: Google Australia, Wikimedia Australia, Linux Australia, and Atlassian; to Alex Bayley for venue research and website content; to Danielle Madeley and Brianna Laugher for catering; and to the AdaCamp participants for making the event a success.

Ada Initiative news, December 2011

Fundraising

You’ve probably noticed that in December and January the Ada Initiative is running a major fundraising drive. We hope to fund several months of activity in 2012 through this drive. We deeply appreciate your support so far. Help us reach our goal in January 2012!

Donate now!

Supporting the fundraising drive has taken a lot of behind the scenes work, particularly configuring and customising CiviCRM, our donation management software, and associated donation workflows. CiviCRM is an open source project recommended to us by EFF staff as substantially outperforming proprietary software in the same space.

While this fundraising drive has again consumed a lot of staff time behind the scenes, unlike the rather one-off work we did on our Seed 100 drive, where we manually raised invoices, reconciled payments and assembled the mailouts, our work setting up this fundraising drive is extremely reusable. We’re thankful to be running a successful and this time repeatable fundraising campaign!

AdaCamp Melbourne

In addition to fundraising work, we’ve spent the last month completing the organisation of AdaCamp Melbourne. We expect more than 35 participants to join us at the CERES Environment Park for our first ever AdaCamp. Participants are joining us both from Melbourne communities, and from all over Australia, including several participants from Western Australia. We’re also thrilled to have two women from New Zealand and one from the Philippines flying in to join us for the event.

While some of the work of AdaCamp will need to be redone for future events—for example, venue research and hire, and recruiting and selecting AdaCampers themselves—we’ve learned a lot from this first event that we’re looking forward to use in hosting future AdaCamps.

Application for tax exempt status

We were advised in mid-December that our application for tax exemption in the United States awaits a fuller review in 2012. We are conferring with our legal and tax advisors on the likely review date and related matters, but are unlikely to have further news to report for some months.

Existing donors filing US taxes should seek advice from their tax professional regarding showing their donation to the Ada Initiative on their tax filings.

Upcoming appearances

Valerie and Mary are both attending the Ada Initiative’s own AdaCamp Melbourne on January 14. We’re looking forward to working with the Australian community on women’s open technology and culture participation.

We will also be at the Girl Geek Dinner that evening, open to all geek women and their guests.

Valerie and Mary will both be attending LCA 2012 in Ballarat, Australia from January 16 – 20, where we will give several talks:

  1. a main conference talk on Women in open technology and culture worldwide
  2. The Ada Initiative: achievements and plans” at the the Haecksen miniconference
  3. for the second year running, an allies workshop at the Haecksen miniconf, please register for the allies workshop if you are interested

Upcoming events for women in open technology and culture

See our calendar for a full listing, and submit any additional events to share@adainitiative.org.

New sponsor

In December, Dreamwidth Studios pledged 10% of their gross December revenues to the Ada Initiative. Their final donation amount means that they become the Ada Initiative’s third Venture Philanthropist sponsor!

Thank you once more to Denise Paolucci and Mark Smith, co-owners of Dreamwidth, for your generous support of the Ada Initiative.

Sponsorship opportunities

The Ada Initiative’s Venture Philanthropist sponsorship program allows organisations to sponsor the Ada Initiative for sponsorship amounts between $2000 and $9999 (USD) with a minimum of hassle. Contact donors@adainitiative.org for larger sponsorship packages.

Reminder: register now for Girl Geek Dinner Melbourne!

A reminder that AdaCampers and non-AdaCampers alike are all welcome to the Girl Geek Dinner taking place right after AdaCamp Melbourne, at the Merri Table & Bar at CERES Community Environment Park in Melbourne.

When: Saturday January 14 2012, from 6pm.

Where: Merri Table & Bar, CERES Community Environment Park
Cnr Roberts and Stewart Streets, Brunswick East, Melbourne, Australia.

Who: AdaCampers, geek women, partners, children and friends! (Adult men may only attend as the guest of a woman attending, in order to ensure that it is not a male-dominated event.)

Register and pay at EventBrite by January 7.

Thanks again to Brianna Laugher and the GGD Melbourne crew for organising this dinner.

Girl Geek Dinner Melbourne, right after AdaCamp!

AdaCampers and non-AdaCampers alike are all welcome to the Girl Geek Dinner taking place right after AdaCamp Melbourne, at the Merri Table & Bar at CERES Community Environment Park in Melbourne.

When: Saturday January 14 2012, from 6pm.

Where: Merri Table & Bar, CERES Community Environment Park
Cnr Roberts and Stewart Streets, Brunswick East, Melbourne, Australia.

Who: AdaCampers, geek women, partners, children and friends! (Adult men may only attend as the guest of a woman attending, in order to ensure that it is not a male-dominated event.)

Register and pay at EventBrite by January 7, unless sold out prior.

Note to AdaCampers: the GGD admission is not included in AdaCamp, please register and pay separately.

Thanks to Brianna Laugher and the GGD Melbourne crew for organising this dinner.

Join us at AdaCamp Melbourne

One month to go today! Confirmed AdaCamp Melbourne attendees include:

Valerie Aurora and Mary Gardiner, founders of the Ada Initiative, will both be attending AdaCamp as its hosts.

AdaCamp is an event that brings together people interested in issues facing women in open technology and culture, to share their experiences and develop ways to support and promote women in these fields. If this sounds exciting to you, apply today! Applications close very shortly.

Note to applicants: we have not yet finished reviewing all applications, so you may not yet have heard the result of your application. Please contact adacamp@adainitiative.org if you have any concerns.