This month, our content and programming focused on organizing and implementing virtual events. With the global COVID-19 pandemic, virtual meetings, conferences, and other events have become part of everyday life for many people, and the task of planning, executing, and evaluating them in STEM often falls to community managers. So, for our July community call we invited three members of our community of practice to share their knowledge and start a conversation about best practices.
Watch the three presentations from July’s call in their entirety.
“It’s Dangerous To Go Alone, Take This – Non-Player Characters & Prepping For Your Virtual Event” – Tom Quigley, ConservationXLabs (slides)
“It’s All About Access: Planning Meetings for Wider Audiences” – Rebecca Carpenter, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Virtual Academic Community (slides)
“Evaluating Virtual Events” – Emily Lescak, Code for Science and Society (slides)
This is the third of three guest blog posts by Serah Rono, Lilly Winfree, Jo Barratt, Elaine Wong, Jess Hardwicke, John Chodacki, and Jonathan Cain, co-organizers of csv,conf (catch up on part 1 and part 2). In this final post, the authors look to the future (and explain the comma llama!).
It would not be csv,conf if it had not been for the #commallama. The comma llama first joined us for csv,conf,v3 in Portland and joined us again for csv,conf,v4. The experience of being around a llama is both relaxing and energising at the same time, and a good way to get people mixing. Taking the llama online was something we had to do and we were very pleased with how it worked. It was amazing to see how much joy people got out of the experience and also interesting to notice how well people adapted to the online environment. People naturally organised into a virtual queue and took turns coming on to the screen to screengrab a selfie. Thanks to our friends at Mtn Peaks Therapy Llamas & Alpacas for being so accommodating and helping us to make this possible.
With the COVID-19 pandemic came a global shift to remote working and virtual events. Because of this, over the last few months many members of the CSCCE community of practice have become experts in planning and facilitating a range of virtual event formats.
We wanted to celebrate this knowledge and make it more widely available, and so over the last few weeks we worked with several members of the community to consolidate our expertise into a freely-downloadable guidebook to virtual event formats.
This is the second of three guest blog posts by Serah Rono, Lilly Winfree, Jo Barratt, Elaine Wong, Jess Hardwicke, John Chodacki, and Jonathan Cain, co-organizers of csv,conf (check out part 1 and part 3). In this post, the authors share their process for planning an online conference.
Planning an online conference
Despite the obvious differences, much about organising a conference remains the same whether virtual or not. Indeed, by the time we made the shift to an online conference, much of this work had been done.
This is the first of three guest blog posts by Serah Rono, Lilly Winfree, Jo Barratt, Elaine Wong, Jess Hardwicke, John Chodacki, and Jonathan Cain, co-organizers of csv,conf. Here, the authors share their reflections on the challenges and opportunities of moving an international conference online.
A brief history
csv,conf is a community conference that brings diverse groups together to discuss data topics, and features stories about data sharing and data analysis from science, journalism, government, and open source. Over the years, we have had over a hundred different talks from a huge range of speakers, most of which you can watch on our YouTube Channel.
In this guest blog post, Arielle Bennett-Lovell (a 2019 CSCCE Community Engagement Fellow) reflects on the third Turing Way Book Dash event, which took place 20-21 February 2020 in London, UK.
What is the Turing Way?
Science today is moving at an incredible pace, but preventing people from building on your work by making it impossible to replicate has almost certainly cost us years of progress. The Turing Way book project addresses this reproducibility crisis by collating community resources around how to design and carry out robust analyses that can be reused by other researchers in the future.
Conceived by Kirstie Whitaker at The Alan Turing Institute, and managed by Malvika Sharan, the book itself is currently hosted online and built using Jupyter Books and GitHub. Over 80 contributors across the globe built the book, through remote collaboration, workshops, and in-person events. These Book Dashes bring participants together in person to work on pieces of the book simultaneously for a full day. The third Book Dash for the Turing Way was held on 20-21 February 2020 in London, UK, and I was lucky enough to go.
As we continue to grow our programming and the trainings that we provide to clients, CEFP fellows, and others interested in scientific community building, we’re now ready to recruit a Lead Trainer and Curriculum Development Specialist. If you’re interested (or know someone else who might be), read on!
In this role, you’ll lead the consolidation of existing materials and creation of new materials for CSCCE’s community engagement training curriculum. You’ll also be working closely with our Center Director to deliver a wide range of trainings for clients and CEFP fellows – both remotely and in-person. This is an exciting opportunity to shape the leading scientific community engagement curriculum and support many others in their vital community engagement work.
On Wednesday, 22 July 2020 at 2pm we’re hosting our next monthly community call. This month’s call will focus on virtual events, a topic that is likely on the minds of many scientific community managers at the moment.
We’ll cover three key aspects of organizing virtual events: planning and preparation, access and accessibility, and evaluation, both before and after your event. With three experts from our community of practice presenting, and ample time for discussion and Q&A, this month’s call promises to provide actionable information for you and your colleagues, so we hope to see you there!
This past year, Ellen Bechtol launched a brand new community as a brand new community manager. In this guest post she reflects on how that went.
This past year, I had the opportunity and privilege to launch a brand new community as a brand new community manager. And I think it went reasonably well! Here’s why:
Joining a Community of Practice
The Multimessenger Diversity Network (MDN) is a community of representatives from multimessenger astrophysics research collaborations focused on increasing diversity in the field. As a community of practice (CoP), the MDN is “a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” (Wenger-Trayner & Wenger-Trayner). I find it fitting that to run a CoP I joined a CoP for community managers, the Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP) and subsequent CSCCE CoP. Within weeks of starting in my new role as a community manager, I applied to the CEFP with a strong sense that being part of it would be crucial to successfully launching the MDN. After all, I was stepping into a new role for a new community and was feeling rather lost as to where to begin. Although much of the content from the early CEFP trainings felt out of scope for the MDN, connecting with other community managers (CMs) and getting introduced to the foundations of community management from the perspective of mature communities was unbelievably helpful. Even more helpful were continued interactions, online and at subsequent trainings, with other Fellows. The collective resource of experiences from so many CMs in so many different types of organizations has been most valuable.
In May, we published CSCCE’s core values, which were co-created with our Code of Conduct working group and participants on our May community call. In this blog post we dive a little deeper into our process, which we have made available for download in a new worksheet.
Why core values?
Successful communities have a shared purpose, but in order to convene around that purpose members need to agree on how they communicate and work together in order to ensure safer spaces and productive collaboration. By defining the core values of your community, you can get at what these collaborative norms are and set the tone for events, workshops, meetings, and other group activities.
As part of CEFP 2019, CSCCE director Lou Woodley developed a framework for creating authentic yet aspirational core values that are tailored to a community. The participants in the fellowship cohort used the framework to explore what might be helping and hindering the realization of core values in their own communities as part of their mid-year training in leading culture change efforts. This is also the framework we followed when creating the CSCCE core values.
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