[IAEP] Ombudswoman Requested (Sugar Labs volunteer position)
walter.bender at gmail.com
Thu Oct 29 11:01:59 EDT 2009
walterbender> mchua: re defining the roles of the positions, I am a
bit surprised at the direction the ombudsman position is being
morphed. In my experience, ombundsmen are passive. Perhaps we need a
shadow board, but I am not sure we need a proactive ombudsman.
<mchua> walterbender: Ok - well, I'm just fulfilling my duty to
remind you of whatever discussion it was you wanted to have, so
wherever you want to take this is cool by me.
<walterbender> mchua: I think that the degree to which the ombudsman
is inserted into the middle of debates, he/she becomes ineffective as
an island of neutrality with whom a community member would feel
<mchua> walterbender: ombuds discussion probably better on existing ml thread?
<walterbender> mchua: true. I'll post my comments to the list.
On Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 11:02 PM, Adam Holt <holt at laptop.org> wrote:
> 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
> Bert with:
> * 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,
> independent, informal"
> 3. http://mit.edu/mediation/resources.html
> 4. http://mediate.com
> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
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