Diversity and Inclusion BoF at GUADEC

Etherpad with original notes: https://etherpad.gnome.org/p/guadec_2019_iandd_bof


  • Introductions
  • Set and confirm agenda
  • Review of activities so far
  • Workshops at GUADEC
  • Inclusion at GUADEC
  • Newcomers workshop and dinner
  • Team goals / mission statement
  • How goals tie into Foundation/Project goals
  • Plans for next six months
  • Plans for next year



  • on diversity and inclusion team at Fedora and other community groups that she's part of
  • libre office membership committee, what are areas that aren't represented, how can we get more people on board, etc
  • workshop for imposter syndrome and unconsious bias here at GUADEC


  • has done D&I work in past work in higher education, worked with diverse communities and helping to make education equitable

  • new to the community


  • been around since 2015, part of the Engagement team
  • interested in learning more formally about D&I in order to


  • she/her pronouns
  • wanted to participate in a free software community
  • work at the foundation have been here since May, and is a newcomer


  • worked at GNOME since 2006
  • has been part of GNOME since the beginning and can see how the community feels when it's more diverse, it's better, it feels more like home and friendlier


  • from Kenya, been part of GNOME Engagement for about 1 year
  • the more diverse we are the better it will be and everyone has something to bring to the table


  • interested to define what diversity means
  • sees lots of women-led workshops, but not many people talk about black men. wants to bring that diversity to the table


  • one of the founders of GNOME
  • lots of reading about d&i and privilege

  • does a lot of work in Mexico and helps in showing students about free software
  • want to make it possible for people to make a living out of open source software. Is aware of how privilege plays into the ability to contribute to FOSS projects
  • Inkscape and GIMP have millions of users and no income, for example, how can we change that?


  • Program Coordinator for GNOME, part of the D&I team

  • very important for a healthy community. experience in a country that is still developing and have been aware of discrimination that occurs
  • also been part of local hacker space for about 6 years, lots of workshops and presentations about d&I


  • been part of GNOME for a while now, had a lot of free time and met some people who mentored him and helped hi a lot
  • wants to improve the newcomers experience and felt to welcome. want to help other people


  • Great quote: Diversity is being invited to the party, and Inclusion is being invited to dance
  • What we've done so far: We started off with low hanging fruit and trying to make GUADEC a more inclusive event.

Exercise: Newcomer's Events, How are we doing?

  • Newcomers initiatives
    • What was good
    • What can be improved


  • workshops that are geared towards soft skills and inclusion
  • Bingo was really good for networking
  • statement on important of D&I in the connfa app

  • seeing the Executive Director's talk explicitly mention D&I as a goal for the Foundation

  • mention of importance of D&I in the opening speech

  • Gender neutral restrooms!
  • womxn's dinner provided a space for womxn to meet and get to know each other
  • good to have the newcomers dinner in the same place as the pre-registration dinner / close by so that people could hang out with them
  • The Newcomer events and onboarding is a good idea.
  • Having a diverse set of speakers and topics
  • The social events are great for bringing people together


  • not everyone is around every day. may be good to have a newcomer's coffee/breakfast at the start of each day to touch base and help newcomer's figure out what they want to do/see at GUADEC that day
  • social media (telegram channel) needs to be shared better
  • feedback loops for people to report micro-aggressions
  • more thoughtful scheduling of the workshops to increase people being able to attend
  • more marketing for the workshops and events
  • prominence of D&I page / statement on the GUADEC website

  • women’s dinner during the conference days, so more women could join.
  • the way we approach / talk about relationships within the GNOME community (e.g. someone might become "X's girlfriend" instead of "janneth") -- this is part of a wider "precise language" thing too
  • making people aware of micro-agressions they might be making and how to prevent them (precise language)
  • hard to get to know more people because you're sitting only by a few people. great idea, but might help to hold events where you can get to know more people. icebreakers could be helpful, and to incorporate more ways for people to get to know each other. Might be good not to have it be a dinner or lunch.
  • To incorporate Diversity and Inclusion in beginning of conference to ensure that this is a safe space for all people at the conference, atleast go over this along with the code of conduct.
  • More Diversity and Inclusion trainings could include topics like non-violent communication and micro-aggressions so we’re aware of how to communicate inclusively.
  • Feedback surveys for each talk and how to improve them including metrics for diversity and inclusion.
  • Also overall survey about GUADEC conference experience for participants and one for newcomers as well.
  • Different avenues of participation other than speaking in workshops, incorporating writing or group work perhaps for those who may be more introverted.
  • Documents and schedule in different languages
  • how people are able to join social events (the wiki page and signing up was confusing), it's hard to know how to participate
    • people had to know which wiki pages to use
    • people cannot automatically sign up for the wiki - they need to be added by someone else to the TrustedEditors page

    • people were not aware of the Telegram groups
    • hard to know about events like the Day Trip without being aware of the wiki.
    • Publish conference schedule as early as possible so people can plan their trips.
    • newcomers have trouble with IRC - it's an uncommon medium these days. confusion about communication channels and how to talk with community
  • Have non-English talks, for the benefit of people who are more comfortable in other languages.
  • photo policy could be confusing for people since we have three choices not two
  • improve ways that non- technical contributions can be made -- this is good for newcomers (e.g. translations is low-hanging fruit. also, simplify the tools for contribution here)
  • Have a non-technical guide to contributing (we have a technical guide already)
  • hard for people to understand what "GNOME" actually is. Some of it is too technical, and there isn't a great description for non-technical people that is available
  • our official website is only in English
  • communcating and collaborating across time zones is still really difficult!!!!
  • burnout for the community (not sure this is D&I... but maybe?)

  • Discourse is not well-advertised. We should come up with a language strategy and make sure we are building for a multi-lingual community from the beginning. Might want to work with people who are already on the Translation team.


  • ice breakers
  • keynote on micro-aggressions and precise language, more awareness about this in the community in general
  • distribute guidelines on meeting people / interacting with people, right at the beginning of a conference/hackfest. @Sigu may have examples. ( here is the link https://devfest.withgoogle.com/code-of-conduct)

  • minority group dinner
  • Have an inclusion lounge in the conference as a safe space
  • more games and activites to encourage getting to know more members of the community
    • for example asking people to know how to say "hi" in other languages
    • "hi my name is ... and I speak these languages"
  • surveys and metrics to make sure that we are doing a good job
  • stickers for communication preference (green - talk to me, yellow - talk to me only if you know me, red - don't talk to me)
  • Suggest that conference badges have the person's name on both sides, so you can see it even if the badge flips over (do we have a badge template that confs can reuse?)
  • gender pronouns on name tags so we use correct pronouns for a person
  • demographics survey: gender, age, country, how many GUADECs have you attended, languages

Ideas for the mission statement and the goals of the team

  • increase social belonging outside of events
    • increase social / fun within the community online (off topic and also meet people outside their projects)
    • facilitate social interactions and relationship building within the community (especially at events)
  • Increase accessibility and engagement
    • Make it easier for people who speak languages other than English to contribute to GNOME
    • keep in mind different socio economic backgrounds
    • information awareness and social onboarding (access to tools)
  • Understand our community in order to better serve its needs
    • Define and gather metrics to measure our success, keeping in mind privacy concerns
  • Awareness and education of how to build inclusive environments

How to achieve the goals?

  • GNOME community survey
    • facilitate surveys for the community (Molly has experience creating surveys for many projects)
  • Best practises D&I Event Guidelines

  • Lectures/talks/workshops as keynote for the next GNOME conferences
    • cut copy paste workshop
    • ACTION: @nuritzi create a wiki page where people can add ideas for workshops and activities that they like
  • Create more thoughtful newcomer activities (icebreakers and other things like that)
  • Working on more inclusive events (code of conduct reading at beginning of conferences (key points and summary), etc)
  • Advertise Discourse more widely (check with Neil)
  • Change the website to include a D&I page and also start translating into other languages

  • Real time transcription of talks? (might be too expensive), translation of slides later? translate talks posted youtube?
  • Ask questions via an app or something (IRC? some app we create) to encourage more people to participate

Side Notes and Other

  • how do we implement successful surveys? don't want to ask people too much at beginning

GNOME Foundation Goals

1. Sustainable Project & Foundation

  • sustain and increase funding levels
  • increase number of contributors
  • create and sustain infrastructure for Foundation Staff

2. Increased User Base

  • Foster a vibrant Linux desktop
  • Uphold reputation as the most accessible desktop
  • Support improving the basic function of a desktop for everyone

3. Wider Awareness Through Leadership

  • Develop better marketing and outreach tactics
  • Become an exemplary FOSS community
  • Evaluate and adopt new technologies to stay competitive with proprietary desktops


InclusionAndDiversity/Meetings/Guadec-2019 (last edited 2019-09-24 18:33:43 by StellaMaris Njage)