User Guide

The Open Knowledge Festival is a non-profit event hosted by Open Knowledge and co-created by the global open community at large, to meet, share, learn, and grow together.

This event is a space for our productive and agile community to meet. Together we create and welcome new ideas, improve processes, and foster collaboration between groups with very different needs, interests and skills.

We gain strength from diversity, and we actively seek participation from those who enhance it. This User Guide exists to ensure that diverse groups collaborate to mutual advantage and enjoyment. We will challenge prejudice that could jeopardise the participation of any person in the festival.

The User Guide encourages our behaviour at – and in relation to – the Open Knowledge Festival, both online and offline. We request that everyone who is affiliated with and participates in this shared experience honour it.

We strive to:

    • Be respectful

At an event the size of the Open Knowledge Festival, there will inevitably be people with whom some of us may disagree, or find it difficult to cooperate. Let's accept that, but even so, remain respectful. Disagreement is no excuse for poor behaviour or personal attacks, and a community in which people feel threatened is not a healthy community.

    • Assume good faith

Open Knowledge Festival participants have many ways of reaching our common goal of an open world. Let's assume that other people are working towards this goal too. Note that many of our participants are not native English speakers or may have different cultural backgrounds.

    • Take responsibility for our words and our actions

We can all make mistakes; when we do, we take responsibility for them. If someone has been harmed or offended, let's listen carefully and respectfully, and work to right the wrong.

    • Be collaborative

The Open Knowledge Festival is a large and complex event; there is always more to learn within it. It’s good to ask for help when you need it. Similarly, offers for help should be seen in the context of our shared goal of improving the Open Knowledge Festival.

When you make something for the benefit of the festival, please be willing to explain to others how it works, so that they can build on your work to make it even better.

    • Ask for help when unsure

Nobody is expected to know it all. Asking questions early avoids misunderstandings later, so questions are encouraged. Those who are asked should be responsive and helpful.

    • Try to be concise

Keep in mind that when you contribute to a session, others might also have precious experiences and thoughts to share too.

Being concise means people can understand the conversation as efficiently as possible. When a long explanation is necessary, consider proposing a follow up meeting after the session.

Try to bring new arguments to a conversation so that each contribution adds something unique to the discussion, keeping in mind that the rest of the conversation still contains the other messages with arguments that have already been made.

Try to stay on topic, especially in discussions that are already fairly large.

In case of problems

While this User Guide should be adhered to by festival participants, we recognize that we're all capable of having a bad day, and not everyone may be aware of the guidelines in this User Guide.

If you encounter problems with other participants, please reply and respectfully point out this User Guide. Such messages may be in public or in private, whatever is most appropriate. However, regardless of whether the message is public or not, it should still adhere to the relevant parts of this guide; in particular, it should not be abusive or disrespectful.

Assume good faith; it is more likely that participants are unaware of their bad behaviour than that they intentionally try to degrade the quality of the discussion.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact one of the organisers, a member of security, or one of the festival volunteers immediately. Volunteers can be identified by their “OKFestival” green t-shirts. Serious or persistent offenders will be temporarily or permanently sent out from sessions.

Further complaints should be made to the Open Knowledge Festival Team via e-mail at [email protected]. All reports will be handled in the strictest confidence.

Open Knowledge Festival Diversity Statement

The Open Knowledge Festival welcomes and encourages participation by everyone.

No matter how you identify yourself or how others perceive you: we welcome you. We welcome contributions from everyone as long as they interact constructively with our community as defined in our Code of Conduct guide for the festival.

We value and encourage contributions from people with expertise in any area and domain, and welcome them into our community.

Further reading

The links in this section do not refer to documents that are part of this User Guide, nor are they authoritative within the Open Knowledge Festival. However, they do contain useful information which you might find interesting about how to conduct oneself within the Open Knowledge Festival.

The Open Knowledge Festival User Guide is inspired, with respect and admiration, by the Ubuntu Code of Conduct 2.0 and Debian Code of Conduct.

The Open Knowledge Festival User Guide is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license. You may re-use it for your own project, and modify it as you wish, just please allow others to use your modifications and give credit to the Open Knowledge Festival.

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