Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Building innovation nodes through Free Software Communities (VII): activities

This is the seventh post of the Building innovation nodes through Free Software Communities series. In order to fully understand this one, please consider reading the previous ones.



There are several kind of activities that can be very productive and aligned with the goals of the project. We can group them in several ways. Maybe the most general one is:
  • Promotion activities.
  • Training sessions.
  • Discussion/reflexion.
  • Networking activities.
  • Demonstrations.
  • Administrative/coordination meetings.
Some of the activities will be organized directly by communities. At the beginning of the project they would be the majority. But the project must be open to organize activities proposed by local agents and non members that are aligned with the project goals. Cross-community actions should be also promoted.

Opening a call for activities is a very good thing to do. There has to be also flexibility to allow activities that do not need a lot of effort to organize so they can be proposed with not much time in advance.

Some of the most common activities could be:
  • Promotion events (talks, lightning talks, keynotes, etc).
  • Demo events.
  • Workshops and training sessions.
  • Cross-community events.
  • Announcements and press conferences.
  • Sprints and hackfests.
  • Communities Assemblies and board meetings.
  • International events.
  • Internal meetings:
    • General Assembly and Board meetings.
    • Other internal meetings.
  • Interviews.
  • Video and audio conferences. Streamming.

As explained in the Organization section, there should be a comitte that takes care of coordinating the activities so they make sure that there is a variety of them in terms of goals, participants and achievements. This Activities Coordination Group will make also sure that the activities schedule satisfy both, current project members and local agents.

It is desired that every member celebrates in the project facilities at least one activity every year. A good goal could be to celebrate every member annual event each three or four years, so they make sure a relevant one takes place at least once a year. 

It is a good practice not just to generate local critic mass but also to ensure that the project is attractive enough in terms of sponsorship.
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