# 2019-10-19 Brigade Congress, `#WeTheNorthCFA` :link: [`link.civictech.ca/we-the-north`](http://link.civictech.ca/we-the-northo) :speech_balloon: **Comments/Convo:** https://discourse.codeforamerica.org/t/we-the-north-civic-tech-organizing-in-toronto-origins-and-extrapolations-from-an-international-city-brigade-congress-2019/631 :::info :tada: Hello! If you're reading this, **you're welcome to contribute!** - Click top-left icon <i class="fa fa-pencil"></i> or press CTRL+ALT+E. - To subscribe to changes via minimal emails, sign-up and click <i class="fa fa-bell"></i> Watch. ::: :date: **Date:** Sat, Oct 19 @ 11:15-12:30pm ET / 15:15-16:30 UTC :round_pushpin: **Location:** Cleveland Public Library :hash: `#WeTheNorthCFA` :family: **Who's here?** <sup>(Add you Twitter handle or name if you feel like it!)</sup> - Alex, toronto :bird: [@dotorithoughts](https://twitter.com/dotorithoughts) - Emily, toronto :bird: [@emilyamacrae](https://twitter.com/emilyamacrae) - patcon, toronto :bird: [@patconnolly](https://twitter.com/patconnolly) - Ryan H, New Orleans :bird: [@CodeAndData](https://twitter.com/CodeAndData) - - Cyrus Sethna, [Code for DC](https://codefordc.org) :bird: [@c_sethna](https://twitter.com/c_sethna) - ... ~15 other attendees - you? **Note-taker:** - :pencil: Nick.floersch@codeforbtv.org (notepad) - :art: [@c_sethna](https://twitter.com/c_sethna) (pictures) - ... <sup>(but pls halp! all support welcome)</sup> | Nick noting | Cyrus' drawing | |---|---| | ![nick taking notes](https://i.imgur.com/m6EVi6X.png) | ![Visual notes created by @cyrus to capture session for visual learners](https://i.imgur.com/91Wd3cm.png) | :::info **Note:** `link.civictech.ca` shortlinks are generated from this master list :link: [`link.civictech.ca/shortlinks`](https://link.civictech.ca/shortlinks) using a schedule script :link: [`link.civictech.ca/about-gsheet2shortlinks`](https://link.civictech.ca/about-gsheet2shortlinks) ::: ## Links shared - Join our slack! :link: [`link.civictech.ca/chat`](https://link.civictech.ca/chat) - Organising channel: `#organizing-open` - minimally-used `#organizing-priv` - [name=patcon] One of the few formal proposals we've ever done (after months of unsuccessful casual convos) was for migrating from a totally private channel, to this more public strategy: [CivicTechTO: Usage Guidelines for Organizing Channels](https://docs.google.com/document/d/1St_5Ch4Yq9h2gUUTAqEUxPVs0avYuEy5IPw66rg1cWA/edit) - Google Drive (of everything) :link: [`link.civictech.ca/gdrive`](https://link.civictech.ca/gdrive) - Hacknight presentation - :link: [`link.civictech.ca/welcome-deck`](https://link.civictech.ca/welcome-deck) (newest) - :link: [`link.civictech.ca/welcome-decks`](https://link.civictech.ca/welcome-decks) (all) - Hacknight roles/runsheets :link: [`link.civictech.ca/roles`](https://link.civictech.ca/roles) - Civic Tech 101 presentations :link: [`link.civictech.ca/101s`](https://link.civictech.ca/101s) (directory with ALL) - [OG "Civic Tech 101": July 2015](https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1jtyMeQ1RIpSWg4ND4Hnp2Uu9kPiMYcZmRngm10zV_B4/edit#slide=id.p3) - Latest "Civic Tech 101": June 2019 :link: [`link.civictech.ca/101`](https://link.civictech.ca/101) (newest in ALL directory via :link: [`github.com/CivicTechTO/gdrive-whats-new-app`](https://github.com/CivicTechTO/gdrive-whats-new-app)) - CivicTechTO Community Toolkit http://toolkit.civictech.ca/ - h/t @rapicastillo of [Progressive Coders Network](https://toolkit.progcode.org/) for :1234: [code](https://github.com/CivicTechTO/civictechto-community-toolkit)/inspiration :tada: ## Collab Notes <sup>h/t Nick Floersch for live-noting :tada: (some formatting/additions by @patcon and mystery strangers) </sup> - History - Started 4 years ago; (one of) first groups in Canada (we don't call them Brigades) - First hacknight: "beta" - :link: [`link.civictech.ca/beta-hacknight`](https://link.civictech.ca/beta-hacknight) - Thoughtful list of people from many domains invited to first kick off [:link: invite list](https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ScMHaUbu8R30Rs3552UG6coKOMOwAxOpy53sZKJnv9o/edit#gid=0) - very intentional - participants were asked: is this interesting enough to do every week? - participants were offered: consider yourself a co-founder! - Inspired by Chicago, too - How the brigade works/is - General structure - Speaker at every meetup - [new] Attendees come for the speaker mostly - Philosophy of speakers - Important to welcome speakers in - Build them up in how we talk about them - How can we support them and not necessarily confrontational - We are holding hands with speakers, not pointing fingers - Roles - Roles switch up - The roles are identified and they change up monthly - MC - AV person - Welcomer/greeter - Sharing "generosity of leadership" - Positive pressure to change up roles - Not a virtue to keep doing the same role - Transfer of knowledge - Articulate values - Better understand the what and why - Use a spreadsheet for coordination - For each role there is a run sheet to let folks know what to do in that role - Mitigate burnout - Link to role sign-up sheet and descriptions of roles: :link: [`link.civictech.ca/roles`](https://link.civictech.ca/roles) or direct link to dir :link: [`link.civictech.ca/runsheets`](https://link.civictech.ca/roles) - Different assumptions of power for each role... we are all in charge, "we are all the government" - [name=patcon] Avoid merging small roles into larger ones; this creates more barrier to participation/leadership by removing opportunities for new leaders - New organizers may not even know the "old timers", but it is maybe a "good smell" in terms of participation and flows of leadership - Invites to grow - Try to do active invites to get more folks involved - Example: Person might start out livetweeting or door greeting, and continue into more challenging organizing roles - Reminders - Automated in Slack every week - :computer: [Screenshots](https://imgur.com/a/yOTaYJh?) - [name=patcon] Philosophy of community infra (WIP) :link: [`link.civictech.ca/infra-philosophy`](https://link.civictech.ca/infra-philosophy) - [name=patcon] some via simple Slack reminders, but many via CircleCI script-runner for scheduled tasks, that's kinda like a "public cronjob" :link: [`link.civictech.ca/scripts`](https://link.civictech.ca/scripts) - Depersonalize reminder process to avoid nagging - Pulls info from spreadsheets to determine who gets what reminder - Automation should be wanted by organizers... doesn't force itself on people in a bad way - Use emojis and symbols to keep things light - But also visual representation of topics/items (alternative learning types; information/text/data processing ≯ visual processing) - List of tools and resources for each role too - Automation doesn't do the real work! It focuses energy - Does not pretend to be a human or do emotion work like sending a real "thanks!" - Gratitude - Reminders automated to encourage offerings of gratitude ("what went well?") - Focus on sharing gratitude to avoid burnout - Thank you Chi Hacknight! - Gratitude runs in line with attribution - Thanks Cyrus for visual note taking! - Docs - Share docs and archive them over time - Keep docs accessible to all and avoid personal email/service/platform accounts that keep knowledge locked up - :link: [`link.civictech.ca/inventory`](https://link.civictech.ca/inventory) - Who is in what role - What are pitches each week - What are role needs - Venue choice/option ... - A philosophy of tools doc exists - [name=patcon] Philosophy of community infra (WIP) :link: [`link.civictech.ca/infra-philosophy`](https://link.civictech.ca/infra-philosophy) - Link to google drive w/ all docs (sorry, disorganized): https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/0B4jGklalvuvwfjhLekdZdUZKNTN6UlVvdGNjSUZjYU50YXlCMUh5emI1SmhxNWZKU3Q2MXc - Every week - All invited for pitch - all split after - Meet Tuesday nights - Post-hack-night huddle thread starts after every meetup - [name=patcon] used to organize in-person, but hard to do when some are leaving or coordinating post-hacknight social - Values - Rotate space - not focused on one space or sponsor - To avoid melding identity with sponsor - :link: [`link.civictech.ca/venue-map`](https://link.civictech.ca/venue-map) - Work in Progress / Process-orientation - "Just enough process to hold things we value in place" - Co-organizers talk a lot about what we value and why - Less project driven and collaborating - Generosity and gratitude are key values - :running: **Activity:** self-organized brigade measure via thermometer method - :bar_chart: [**Photos** of all activity results](https://imgur.com/a/9B4V2On) ![preview photo of activity](https://i.imgur.com/pUVAMdl.png) - Activity: thermometer (spread out along the wall, left side means very few, right side means a whole lot) :bar_chart: - How many people come to average gathering? - 30-40 - 25 - 8 - - Activity: how many "projects" (breakout groups) - 2 - 4 - 7 - Activity: how long have you been involved in your brigade? - 10yr - 6mo - Visual Note-taker invitation to help engage - Pictures etc. explained - Cyrus - :running: **Activity:** Breakout - 3 corners of room/ 3 pitches - Process - Dolphin Tank - Like shark tank but friendlier - Why did people show up? What first brought you in? - asks: 1) people who have ideas/topics they think might make good breakouts, and 2) people who want to help workshop those challenges/ideas - People see the "way things move" modeled, the flows of leadership and what we value. - [name=patcon] place to share tips-and-tricks for this weirdo "project management/stewardship" world of community projects, building on what previous breakout groups have learned/tried. - [name=patcon] place to help new/undecided people participate in informing future projects that might get pitched. - How to Invite from people outside the space - Reconsidering metrics. How do we measure success? - Consistency is important, but plenty of reason to "count" the number of people that pass through even if they don't commit long-term - [name=patcon] many people in city will say "i've heard good things, but haven't made it out _yet_" - *Inviting* really helps. - [name=patcon] "every tuesday" makes it as easy as possible for any community contributor to invite ppl they meet. Zero logistical overhead. - See someone who might make a great organiser? Let them know they'd be great at it, be friendly, and show them the ropes. - See someone who has a cool potential project? Be friendly, help grow the project, help them feel comfortable seeding something new. - weekly Civic Tech 101 breakout session is _essential_ - Set a baseline - Get folks on slack - Baseline is a moving target - In-depth volunteering opp for growing organizers! Everyone adds their own flavour and customizes (without discarding past versions wholesale) - :running: **Activity:** Mapping Sentimental Landscape - :bar_chart: [**Photos** of all activity results](https://imgur.com/a/9B4V2On) ![preview photo of activity](https://i.imgur.com/pi4B6mM.png) - move around room to measure what people feel about "subjective feeling statements" on a topic - PROMPT question for provoking feeling statements: **Should our communities grow? If so, how?** - 3 corners mean **Agree, Disagree, Pass/Unsure.** - [name=patcon] new feeling statements emerge from asking participants why they are in a specific corner, esp "unsure/pass" corner. - inspired by [pol.is](https://pol.is/home) tool and g0v.tw's [vTaiwan](https://info.vtaiwan.tw) community - Statement 1) _"I feel like more people that show up, the better."_ - _\*people shuffled\*_ - Some yes - #ask why UNSURE? Some that it is a false metric - #ask why DISAGREE? Sometimes the correct size is a sweet-spot number that is not big - Statement 2) _"I feel like growth is more diversity of expertise at the hack night."_ - _\*people shuffled\*_ - #ask why UNSURE? A diversity is best if it is relevant to what you do - Statement 3) _"I feel it's more important to have diverse backgrounds that are motivated toward the same goal."_ - _\*people shuffled\*_ - #ask why AGREE? Diversity of thought can bring value because you never thought "that way" - [name=patcon] had intended direction, but ran out of time: to consider whether growth is size of groups, or instead more hacknights acting as incubators for civic projects in different neighboods with different concerns/focii, rather than getting everyone to each city's one hacknight in one neighborhood. - out of time