[IAEP] Ombudswoman Requested (Sugar Labs volunteer position)
holt at laptop.org
Wed Oct 28 23:02:34 EDT 2009
As a newly elected member of Sugar Labs Oversight Board, I've been
reminded several people cannot get important answers they need in public
To this end, Bert Freudenberg (Sugar Labs' current Ombudsperson),
Michael Stone, Henry Hardy and I have talked by email/phone/in-person
over the past week about clarifying peacemaking channels, to convert a
sometimes pattern of anger and misunderstandings in our community, over
to what we all really want: Curiosity over assumptions/fear; building a
genuine Culture of Constructiv(ist!) Critique; Participation not just
from the Loud but also from the Shy, etc.
We refuse to be enemies! To this end, we propose a Co-Ombudsperson
(perhaps female) step up to this not-quite-judicial role ASAP, to assist
* responsiveness -- acknowledging receipt of substantive communications
(even if delusional in appearance) within two days of receipt, and
providing regular status updates at tempos similar to weekly for
long-running items, whenever possible.
* peacemaking -- vigorously pursue peacemaking with a speed and manner
which are not in-and-of-themselves threatening. Offline listening to
Voice/Tone can sometimes help.
* reporting/advertising -- quasimonthly email to iaep (at)
sugarlabs.org, very succinctly summarizing how many people approached
ombudsman (at) sugarlabs.org for roughly what reasons, carefully
preserving confidentiality. Or a more comprehensive quarterly report in
Walter's weekly Sugar Digest could also be fine.
Please apply/forward/nominate a friend if you can help fill this role!
Let's keep an informal antibureaucratic approach, with above checks &
balances. While Bert believes we'd benefit from a reflective/patient
Ombudswoman, we also encourage All to apply. This is not an activist
role and should Not require a heavy time commitment. You will however
have criticial fiduciary responsibilities, managing a very sensitive
channel, and will certainly be able to put this on your resume.
Finally, the recently elected Sugar Labs' Oversight Board
(http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Oversight_Board) will have the final say
on this decision and your appointment, thanks!
"[t]here never was a good war or a bad peace"
--Benjamin Franklin, Sept 11th 1783
PS read some Great Ombudsfolk Resources, if you are new to this key
Swedish invention from 200 years ago (trustbuilding privacy is not just
for whistleblowers, it also enhances enhancing participation _and_
institutional transparency if we get this right!)
1. http://ombuds-blog.blogspot.com eg. "confidentiality, independence,
2. http://mit.edu/ombud/publications eg. "neutral, confidential,
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