OI has been inactive for the last few months due in part both to OI’s founder Jen Kotila’s worsening PTSD (a result of the brutal harassment, mobbing and character assassination she’s faced from those inside of Labitat and Biologigaragen (it is normal for those who have suffered harassment/bullying and whistleblowers to develop PTSD)) and also due to her fighting hard starting after landing back in Copenhagen in October to get a fair outcome in Labitat regarding the situation.
Labitat did finally issue a decision in November, which was to expel all of the involved parties– both Jen and the perpetrators Mathe Borch, Søren Borch and Emil Polny.
This is, of course, an unfair decision, but it IS better than what typically happens to harassment targets and whistleblowers. Normally ONLY the complainant/survivor/whistleblower is punished, not the perpetrators. (See here, here and here for more info.) We at OI want to acknowledge that there were some good, ethical people at Labitat who fought tooth and nail for justice but who were defeated by its wretchedly dysfunctional organizational structure and culture and the opposing side’s superior power and politicking skills.
Now that that’s done with and 2014 comes to a close, we at OI look forward to following up on the promising work that was done on the trip to the States in the fall in 2015. We want to prevent this kind of thing from every happening in hacking, citizen science or open knowledge again. This movement has the potential to be much better than the dominant paradigm and we’re committed to helping keep the organizations we intersect with healthy, thriving and, of course, inclusive.
Jen Kotila, who founded and is currently spearheading the project, toured a total of 12 hackerspaces/makerspaces/collaborative spaces starting in late July: NYC Resistor, Genspace, Alpha One Labs, Nordeastmakers, sudoroom, The Omni, Noisebridge, Biocurious, Liberating Ourselves Locally, Make Salt Lake, Montana Ethical Hackers and Bozeman Makers. Every single space was at least very interested in joining the project, which was a pleasant surprise! Several are in talks about formally joining the organization, pending board and/or consensus approval.
A select few were able to join on the spot due in part to them featuring responsive, non-traditional systems of governance. So far sudoroom, The Omni and Montana Ethical Hackers are the first official members! All three organizations already have written codes of conduct. However, all three are currently works in progress and will be evolving as time goes on, particularly that of The Omni’s which is still be constructed by a (very inspiring) working group via consensus decision making process. It is wonderful that we discovered three codes, as it will allow us to help other spaces build their own using these as models.
Speaking of, originally we weren’t quite sure how to sign up spaces that don’t currently have codes of conduct so we didn’t invite them into Phase One. We’ve now decided that a commitment to write a code, with or without our collaboration (which is provided 100% free of charge in accordance with the DIY/hacker ethos and always will be), is good enough for Phase One membership. We will be communicating this decision to spaces who wanted to sign on, but had no code of conduct ready to go shortly.
So stay tuned for more updates! Fall’s here and it’s time to get back to the business of bringing the hacking world closer together in an ethical, sustainable and inclusive manner. If you want to get involved, drop us a line at email@example.com , join our mailing list or the Facebook group.
One of the perks of being based in Denmark is that 47% of the country goes on holiday in July. Although our work is internationally focused, we’ve decided that before we achieve a major international presence we should take advantage of our Danishness and hit the beach for some sorely needed downtime. Jen especially needs a break to rest and recover after suffering months of harassment, bullying and mobbing. Life can’t all be a crusade to make the world a better place. As Audre Lorde said “caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
Although we are not actively reaching out right now, we still welcome you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get involved or to start ending the Wikia.
openinclusivity member Jen Kotila was granted a PR and communications officer pass to the Euroscience Open Forum conference due to her role in promoting the organization. ESOF also wanted to provide balance to the situation as the men who were harassing Jen were heading the Kopenlab Festival, which was a part of Science in the City. During her time at ESOF, Jen managed to peacefully Occupy Kopenlab while being observed by the team behind collaborativesociety.org (an upcoming documentary about the emerging new paradigm of open collaboration). Much constructive dialog happened as a direct result of ESOF and Science in the City valuing balance and open communication.
Due to being at ESOF and Science in the City, openinclusivity.org also was able to connect to many others in the open knowledge and academic worlds who are interested in forming partnerships to help share existing and write new codes of conduct to keep the movement healthy and growing. In fact, we’re very responsive and open to community feedback and over the course of the week it was decided that openinclusivity.org was a much better title than opendisrcimination.org as it is a broader and more positive term.
Our thanks go to both ESOF and Science in the City for granting us this opportunity to build bridges within our movement and to other more traditional institutions and to peacefully sound our voice against discriminatory practices. We greatly look forward to being a part of ESOF 2016 in Manchester when the theme will be “science as revolution”!
We were too busy at the Festival and conference to be actively blogging about it, but we’ll do some retrospecting over what happened over the next few days.