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S02 E01 – Unframeworks

Doug and Laura get into the weeds talking about various frameworks and un-frameworks. They also talk about uncamping, whatever that means.


Find all of our guests’ reading recommendations at our The Tao of WAO book club.

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Important note: this is a lightly-edited AI transcription of the conversation. If you require verbatim quotations, please double-check against the audio!

Laura Hilliger: [00:00:27] Welcome to the Tao of WAO, a podcast about the intersection of technology, society and internet culture with a dash of philosophy and art for good measure. I am Laura Hilliger.

Doug Belshaw: [00:00:39] And I’m Doug Belshaw. Laura, welcome to Season two. This podcast, everyone is currently unfunded, but you can support it and other We are open projects and products at that’s

Laura Hilliger: [00:00:57] Yeah so today I am excited that we are going to talk about frameworks which actually we might rant a little bit. Doug will definitely rant, I might rant, but I think it’s really good timing because we are actually recording this podcast the day after. I, along with a community of practitioners, published a brand spanking new framework. So I just feel like the timing is really good. I got my framework hat on and I guess we’re going to say stuff.

Doug Belshaw: [00:01:27] I think we should start with brass tacks as sometimes people say, What are we talking about when we’re talking about frameworks? What would like be an example of a framework that people might know?

Laura Hilliger: [00:01:40] Well, I think one that most people know is the SDGs, the Sustainable Development Goals, or at least I think maybe not most people in the world, but most people who might be listening to this podcast. So the SDGs, I don’t know. Do you think that’s a framework? I think it’s a framework. The 17 goals.

Doug Belshaw: [00:01:59] They’re framed as goals, aren’t they? But like there’s something that you can align with. I think that’s the main thing. Like it’s a framework, it’s a way of organising, It’s a way of it’s a it’s a, it’s a tool for thinking. Yeah, it’s a tool for organising. So other frameworks might be, I don’t know, like a curriculum might be a framework or like my, my doctoral thesis work was on digital literacy. Like there’s lots of digital literacy frameworks or information literacy frameworks or something, media.

Laura Hilliger: [00:02:32] Literacy, gender literacy, anything. Literacy really.

Doug Belshaw: [00:02:35] Absolutely. I was doing some stuff the other day and they were talking about climate literacy. Um, and yeah, I can get into the literacy stuff because the way that people outline stuff is, is quite interesting. But yeah, that’s the kind of stuff that we want to talk about, um, frameworks, tools for thinking, organising, thought, biasing towards some kind of action.

Laura Hilliger: [00:02:59] I think the, I think the thing I like about the SDGs is that it’s one of the most successful frameworks that I know. And by successful I mean a lot of people are aligning their work towards those 17 goals. And I think that, you know, a framework developed in darkness dies in darkness. I think I might have just plagiarised somebody. The Washington Post, I think you just did.

Doug Belshaw: [00:03:23] Jeff Bezos is going to sue you. Yeah. Anyway, it’s interesting that you talk about darkness, right? So SDGs great. Most people I don’t think anyone really says that they’re terrible or anything like that, but I don’t really know how that particular sausage was made. And by that I mean. I don’t know, like the process behind which they decided on those particular goals. I don’t know particularly who was involved. I think that if I dig enough, I’ll probably be able to find that out. That’s exactly at the end of the day, the reason why people are willing to align is because it’s the UN. Yeah.

Laura Hilliger: [00:04:06] Yeah, yeah. It’s a it’s brand, right? Like the brand is helping, helping to make that framework a quote unquote, successful framework. Yes.

Doug Belshaw: [00:04:14] But anyway, I feel like you’re itching to tell us about the framework which you’ve come up with with other people. So why don’t you tell us about that and then we can talk about the ones as well?

Laura Hilliger: [00:04:24] Yeah, well, I mentioned it at the beginning, the open leadership definition, and I guess I’m itching to talk about it because I was thinking about what makes a open leader an open leader. Back when I was at Mozilla, like six, seven, eight years ago, you and I were working together. We developed the web literacy map. And like the the next intellectual, intellectual jump for me was, you know, I was the teaching and learning lead. And I was working a lot with adults. I was working with people who were implementing the frameworks that we were coming out with. So they were people who were taking the web literacy map and using it in the classroom, in nonprofits, in learning events. And my next intellectual step way back then was, who are these people who are showing these open behaviours and practices? What what sort of aligns them? What do they have in common? And Mozilla continued that work actually there. When we developed the open leadership definition, which came out yesterday, we were piggybacking off work I did years ago and of that work being continued in the Mozilla community. So this culmination is really looking at things that other open source communities have have said leadership is in open source. And so I feel like it’s it’s sort of a meta analysis which I quite like because it’s not it’s not trying to replace anybody else’s. It’s trying trying to extend and in some cases simplify. And so the open leadership definition is really outlining the the mindsets and the behaviours that distinguish open leaders from other types of leaders.

Doug Belshaw: [00:06:10] And so this came out yesterday. So I haven’t had a chance really to to go through it yet. But even just going to the page on the Open Organisation website, there’s two things that I really like about this and they’re right at the end. So the first, the first of them is a very American thing, which is a colophon. I don’t know anyone in British English who uses that word, but it’s a thing and it says at the end this document builds on several openly licensed resources, including the Red Hat multiplier and the open leadership framework from Mozilla. We are indebted to these projects. So straight away you can see the influence. You can see like the the genealogy of this particular document. So that’s the first thing, like knowing where it’s come from. The second thing, which if you and I always do, Laura, with clients and in the projects that we run and the products and stuff is have a revision history and this one says Version 1.0 Updated August 20th, 21. And even at the bottom it says Suggested revision, which takes you to GitHub. And the importance of doing that is that these things develop over time and if you can’t see a version number of it, then how do you know which version that people are aligning with? And that’s really, really important I think.

Laura Hilliger: [00:07:26] Yeah. Yeah. And I actually wanted to talk to you a little bit about when we were kind of planning this episode and we were talking about the fact that if you can’t go back in time and see where a framework came from, then how can you apply it to your own context? And I think I think in the open source community, certainly we’re quite good at documenting our our path to something. And and so I’m kind of wondering, given that you participate in the open source community or work openly and you you trace things back, maybe you want to talk a little bit about the the opposite of that and what happens when a framework is just released into the world and, you know, people are expected to somehow care.

Doug Belshaw: [00:08:16] Absolutely right. So let’s start from and I put this into a number of presentations, so maybe I’ll link to some of the slides so people can kind of follow this through visually. Um, so one of my favourite tweets of all time was by an account which I think is now dormant called EdTech Hulk. An EdTech Hulk would put everything in capitals all of the time. And this particular tweet from literally a decade ago said, Hulk, think you can put literacy after anything and make people take it more serious. Digital literacy, mobile literacy, hulk, literacy. And that’s true, isn’t it? People use the word literacy after pretty much anything. And a friend of ours, Greg, sent us this particular one, which is a book called Vegetable Literacy. Like literally you can put the word literacy after anything. And the reason that people do that is because when you’re using the word literacy, it’s really about power. And what you’re saying is these are the things that you should pay attention to if you want to know about this, according to me. So, for example, before I said climate literacy, well, there’s lots of different ways in which you could respond to the climate emergency. But if you say, well, this is being climate literate, you’re defining what that means and therefore you’re exerting power in the world. So there’s an example which I often give, and this is from the, and it’s this very pretty kind of looks like a pie chart or a colour wheel or something like that. And I’ve seen it on so many slides and so many documents and it’s like a collection of stuff that when you look at it, you’re like, Oh, it kind of goes together.

Doug Belshaw: [00:09:57] Yeah. But when you kind of look at it a bit more, you’re like, Why is that? Why is empathy in with digital footprints? Like it’s just a collection of words. So when you look at that a bit more closely and you kind of think, well, if this wasn’t pretty, if this was kind of just black and white and grey and stuff, would I like it as much? Would it would it appeal to me so much? And I think the reason being is because we’re just seeing the finished product here. We’re seeing something which looks like, you know, Brian Mathers from our COBE talks about cognitive ease. It looks like it fits into our life or our brain really nicely and easily. But if you imagine this being a bit like an artist studio and they’re giving you the finished bit of work, you kind of need to go into the artist studio and to see what materials that he or she is been painting with. So like what, what materials have they used? Who was involved in painting it, What decisions did they make when they were painting it? What did they reject, What did they leave out? All this kind of stuff. And that’s the things that get left out, you know? Um, and I feel like when we dig into the stuff that we’ve done, we’ve documented this openly, like with the web literacy map, with the open organisation, like all of this stuff, you can look through the minutes of things and you can see what’s been left out.

Laura Hilliger: [00:11:24] Can you think of an example of a framework that is widely used that is just like a, you know, a black door to us. We don’t really know where it comes from, but everybody uses it.

Doug Belshaw: [00:11:36] Well, this one like so this one pretty much any curriculum which is used on a on a national basis. Those conversations happen behind locked doors. I’ll give you a perfect example. I used to be a history teacher. Um, and the ten years ago when the Conservative government came in, they changed the history curriculum and people were questioning like who was involved because some names were kind of mentioned. But when they were interviewed, they said they didn’t have that much input. And it turns out that the the Education Minister, who had a penchant for history, actually wrote most of the history curriculum himself. But nobody found that out until later because it was behind locked doors. Yeah. So, well, what’s the opposite of that? The opposite of that is working openly and used to use a metaphor. If you right click on most web pages, you can view source and you can see the HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etcetera, which makes up that web page. And most people won’t do that, but it’s kind of important that we can it’s important that we can see what a page is made up of so that you can learn and also so you can see if there’s anything kind of malicious. And that’s the way that I learned HTML. And it’s a way that lots of people learned HTML as well. So if you think about it, if you’re taking a framework, if you’re taking something which other people have made or even something which you’ve had a part in and you want to take that kind of quite abstract thing and you want to apply it to your context, Everyone’s context is different. So you know, the context that I know best are kind of. Like nonprofits, formal education, institution, charities, those kinds of things. They are all very different kinds of organisation and even within the same context. You know, when I was working in higher education, different universities would be more different between themselves than like a university in a for profit business. So you can’t just take the framework off the shelf because it looks pretty. So this is turning into a round.

Laura Hilliger: [00:13:39] It’s totally a round. I’m just letting you go on and on and on. You’re totally I mean.

Doug Belshaw: [00:13:46] You can’t just take a framework off the shelf and do no work and apply it and expect good things to happen. Like you have to do the work of contextualising the framework. And if you know how that particular sausage was made, how that painting was painted, it makes it easier for you to be able to contextualise it because you can see that it was designed by people like you for situations like this.

Laura Hilliger: [00:14:14] So I think that I am just going to interrupt you right now because you have been ranting for a good 12 minutes straight. So I’m just going to and I almost had a transition point right there where I could actually say something. So I’m just going to do it. I forgot what it was. No, but this idea of contextualising. So I wanted to make a little bit of a leap from frameworks into like the way that you work with digital tech agencies or the way that nonprofits and others work with digital tech agencies. One of the things that I’ve noticed in our work is that often people come into the non-profit space or into spaces where we’re working and they have a framework that they’re going to apply to nonprofits. So techie people coming in and saying, Oh, I know exactly what you need. You’re a non-profit and I have this tech framework or I have this technical standard or I have this digital strategy and I’ve done it before. So it’ll definitely work for you. And I don’t find anything more annoying than people like especially, you know, tech savvy digital agencies that are giving advice around digital transformation that come in and try to apply something, a framework or a piece of software or whatever in the non-profit space without having the proper context of not only that particular non-profit, but also the, the, the topic that that non-profit is dealing with. And what I’m saying here is I don’t think you should be walking into a climate non-profit and trying to apply a framework that you happen to use for a, I don’t know, a poverty non-profit or something like that. Right? And you see it all the time, especially coming out of tech tech, people think, Oh, I’ve seen this work before, so let me just apply it without even thinking about the context. And I think it’s the same problem that that happens with a lot of frameworks happens in the tech space.

Doug Belshaw: [00:16:15] There’s diffrent kinds of frameworks though, right? And I think what you’re talking about there is very specific frameworks like almost, almost a template like I’m cookie cutter kind of, Oh, I’ve seen this before. Like you say, I’m just going to apply it without even thinking about it. And there are different ways of doing that. There are frameworks which we use, I would say, which we don’t call frameworks like there’s one which we call an architecture of participation, which is a framework, but it’s more of a invitation to. Think about to co-create a framework based on an architecture. So it’s it’s a bit like some of the work that I did with my thesis, which we’ll talk about in a minute, where you could call it like an UN framework. It’s a, it’s a tool to get people to come up with their own frameworks. Yeah.

Laura Hilliger: [00:17:08] Yeah, absolutely. And every time that we’ve used the architecture of participation, we’ve it’s been the outputs have been completely different because it is UN framework. It’s not a it’s not a kind of fill in the blank. Uh, yeah. It’s, it has to be applied contextually, otherwise it’s completely pointless. Right. Yeah. Yeah.

Doug Belshaw: [00:17:29] I agree. So shall we go through what those things are? Because people might be thinking, okay, well, what is that the URL for this? Should you be interested as we are opencore forward slash AOP for architecture.

Laura Hilliger: [00:17:43] Participation, correct?

Doug Belshaw: [00:17:44] Indeed, yes. So the eight things we.

Laura Hilliger: [00:17:47] Actually call it a framework on, we do call the framework on this page, maybe we should call it a UN framework on this page and we should basically make a note to edit this.

Doug Belshaw: [00:18:00] A friend of ours said on Sunday night that he went uncamping.

Laura Hilliger: [00:18:05] So maybe is that like glamping? No.

Laura Hilliger: [00:18:10] Is uncamping glamping.

Doug Belshaw: [00:18:11] No. It was getting rid of all of the annoying things from camping, like, you know people drinking loads of beer and making loads of noise and not being able to get to sleep. To me, it just sounded like camping. But I think sometimes when you put the word un in front, it’s like trying to get back to basics in some ways. So maybe it’s that.

Doug Belshaw: [00:18:29] Um. So what are these?

Laura Hilliger: [00:18:31] I still can’t really imagine what uncamping is. So un camping is camping without beer?

Doug Belshaw: [00:18:39] Yeah. That doesn’t sound awesome, does it?

Laura Hilliger: [00:18:41] Well, it doesn’t really sound like an UN camping, as far as I can tell.

Doug Belshaw: [00:18:46] Would be staying at home, wouldn’t it?

Laura Hilliger: [00:18:49] Or like in a hotel in the wild. You know, like those Treehouse hotels. I don’t. I mean, I’ve only ever seen one treehouse.

Doug Belshaw: [00:18:58] Not using a tent. Camping lying naked in front of the stars. Which I don’t think is something I want to.

Laura Hilliger: [00:19:05] I don’t really think that’s a really good idea, because everywhere you go, at least, I don’t know. I feel like every time I’ve ever been camping, then there’s been a lot of mosquitoes. But it might just be because.

Laura Hilliger: [00:19:18] What are we doing right? We’re talking about frameworks. Let’s talk about camping frameworks.

Doug Belshaw: [00:19:23] No, lets not okay. So I’ll do the first four from the architecture of participation, the first four that we’ve kind of identified, and this came from, you know, Tim O’Reilly saying some stuff about Larry Lessig’s book code and other laws of cyberspace. So the things we’ve identified from that the people need, we’re not saying what these things are. We’re saying that you need something like this. So, number one, you need a clear mission. You need a big idea that people can rally around. Secondly, you need to invite people to participate, not just say it’s open to everyone, but invite specific people who you’re going to invite. Thirdly, you need to be able to onboard people easily. What’s that going to look like in your particular context? And then fourth, you need a modular approach. And that means that people, if they’re volunteering, for example, don’t just have to say that they’re signing up to everything and basically signing their life over to your project, but they can get involved in little bits of it and it all kind of works together.

Laura Hilliger: [00:20:22] Yeah. And then there’s four other elements. And if you go to the the web page, then you’ll see a very pretty graphic that summarises all of this. The fifth one is strong leadership, which ties back to the open leadership definition. If you’re wondering about the the mindsets and the behaviours, what we mean by strong leadership, there’s a secondary framework that is quite complex, complex. It’s simple and complex. You can have a look at that, but basically, you know, you need people who embody the mission, who respect the volunteers, who, you know, can carry forward the project in a way that makes it successful. And you need ways of working openly and transparency. So we’ve talked about this all the time on this podcast, but basically trying to figure out where on the continuum of open your particular project falls. So openness is not a binary, it is a continuum. Some projects can be more open than others, but actually being able to document where are the secret areas of a particular project? Is everything out in the open? How how are you being transparent and how are you, you know, being adaptable to the context of the project? And you need backchannels and water coolers. Everybody needs a little bit of a social space. So no matter what the project is, people need to be able to interact with each other because it’s, you know, a sense of community is the thing that’s going to help a project move itself forward. People need to belong. And then the final the final one is celebration of milestones. And it’s really important to recognise the contribute, the contributors and the contributions of people who are working together on a project.

Doug Belshaw: [00:22:11] Cool. So what what they the point of doing this is to have well are we going to use UN framework. It’s an architecture isn’t it. It’s a it’s a way, it’s an invitation to come up with your own framework. Um, and interestingly, this, this work that we’ve done over the last decade where we’re trying to get people to, to think and to come up with their own frameworks has happened in parallel with the work that we’ve done around, for example, open badges and you can think about them running in parallel. So one is you need to come up with your own frameworks so they fit in your context. And the second one is you need to come up with your own credentials or recognition so that you are giving people ways in which they can represent themselves at a distance to other people. And those two things go together. And what I find really interesting is that there’s certain people who don’t want to do that, like they are very resistant to it. And if you run workshops they like literally just want to take things and be told what to do. And I find that a little bit sad. Um, and it’s particularly happened with the work that I’ve done around the eight essential elements of digital literacy, as I call them. So you mentioned before, Laura, that the open leadership definition is kind of a meta definition or a meta framework or whatever you want to call it. That’s when I did my doctoral thesis.

Doug Belshaw: [00:23:35] I kind of accidentally did it. I stumbled into it and I ended up doing this kind of meta analysis of all these different digital literacy frameworks and approaches and definitions, and this was like a decade ago, so it definitely needs updating. But at Doug, it’s got a Ted talk that I did. It’s got the book that I wrote of my thesis and the thesis itself. But there’s an image which I think is more useful and the image is this one which I’m just going to make sure is in the show notes. So someone kind of remixed it, a guy who on Twitter was Mr. Ted P and I think he worked in like a private school in America, and he took these eight elements of digital literacy and kind of put them into four skill sets and four mindsets. And the skill sets were cultural, creative, constructive and communicative. So thinking about, well, in order to be digitally literate or to exhibit qualities of digital literacy, well, these are the skills that you’re going to need to be able to do. You’re going to need to understand how to work within a particular culture. And that doesn’t have to be high culture like opera and all that kind of stuff. It can literally be how to share cat memes that are funny. That’s a culture being creative. Well, we all know what that means, but it means different things in slightly different contexts, being constructive, like building stuff rather than just consuming things communicating.

Doug Belshaw: [00:25:04] There’s different rhetorics of communication in different spaces. It kind of fits with the cultural definition. But then there’s these four mindsets as well. There’s confidence in a digital realm. Even just being able to press Ctrl Z to undo something blows people’s minds when they learn it for the first time. Cognitive Like what it means to reflect on you being a digital avatar or reflecting on the tools that you use in a digital space. Same with kind of the critical element. So thinking about why you’d use one tool or one approach rather than another. And then the civic dimension, which ironically ten years ago when I first came up with this was the most contentious of all of these. Why would you have a civic definition of digital literacy? And I think we’ve seen over the last ten years Brexit trump all the stuff that’s happened with Wikipedia. I think we’ve seen why. I think we’ve seen why that’s important. So mindsets and skill sets. But instead of saying like, this is exactly what you should do, which is what people kind of want sometimes this was an invitation to come up with your own framework based on these elements like chemical elements. Um, and it’s been interesting to see the reception of that and kind of the stuff that you talked about with the architecture of participation as well and to some degree the web literacy map over time.

Laura Hilliger: [00:26:24] Yes. I also did a meta analysis. That’s actually how I know you, because I found your doctoral thesis when I was writing my thesis a long time ago, years ago. Um, and one of the things that you had written. Yes, I read your entire thesis. It was very long, just FYI.

Doug Belshaw: [00:26:47] And my mother have read that. Thank you.Laura.

Laura Hilliger: [00:26:49] Yeah, you’re welcome. We’re the only ones. Right. And you made a book out of it, though, right? Don’t you have a book?

Doug Belshaw: [00:26:53] And to be fair, it was a wiki at one point. And almost a million people. A million. A million views of that wiki, which is a lot.

Laura Hilliger: [00:27:00] Well, one of the things that you said was somewhere in your thesis, you were talking about all of the literacies, information literacy, digital literacy, technological literacy, computer literacy, media literacy, communication, literacy, internet literacy and other ambiguous terms. Ambiguity also comes out quite a bit in your thesis, and one of the things that you said is that these terms quote, Do not have the necessary exploratory power or they become stuck in a potentially endless cycle of umbrella terms and micro literacies. Um, which I yes, which is in my thesis I quoted you in my thesis. That’s what I’m reading from. It’s also on my website. Um.

Doug Belshaw: [00:27:44] But let me just explain what I meant by umbrella terms. Um, people instead of saying that this is a brick in the wall of a wider picture, they want their thing to be. The entire wall of that metaphor makes sense. So they, they want their thing to be like the one thing to rule them all a bit like Lord of the Rings, like the one ring to rule them all. Um, like their definition is going to be the one that’s going to fit for all time. And that’s where I started when I was doing my my work then realised that actually people need to come up with their own definitions and kind of apply it to their own situation and I guess.

Laura Hilliger: [00:28:21] Exactly.

Doug Belshaw: [00:28:22] And, and went into the web literacy map as well

Laura Hilliger: [00:28:25] Exactly.

Laura Hilliger: [00:28:26] And that’s exactly where I was going to go with this is is it wasn’t just it wasn’t just your thesis that I was looking at back then before the Web literacy map was started. Um, you know, we started at Mozilla. I was working at Mozilla at the time. I was also working on my master’s in media and education, and I started to look at literacy through the lens of what does it actually mean when it’s applied to the context of the web. And your eight Essential Elements was only one of the various things that I looked at. I also looked at like scratch computational thinking characteristics. I looked at common sense media strands, I looked at computational computational thinking characteristics from Jeannette Wing and a couple of other frameworks, and then did a meta analysis and I learned exactly the same thing doing my master’s around literacies and digital literacies in particular, that when regardless of what space you try to apply them to, you’re going to have to take into account the context of that particular space. So we are not just talking about web literacy. Um, you know, with, without a context. Like at that time we were in the open source community, we were in the EdTech community or still are in both of those communities. And the context is different from what it might be to say a media educator who is working in the public school system in Germany. Web literacy to them might be slightly different because Germany has some problems with their computers in school rooms.

Doug Belshaw: [00:30:00] The thing which I find really interesting about all of these these frameworks or approaches is that for me, what you’re aiming at when you come up with anything like this, the web literacy map, the eight elements, the open organisation definition, whatever it is, is you’re trying to make it specific enough that it can do work like you can. You can say, okay, I can now do something as a result of reading that or understanding it, but it can’t be so specific that it doesn’t have any wiggle room. Yeah. Like you have to be able to, to apply it as well. Um, and I haven’t really talked, I don’t think, apart from over beers at a bar about the work that happened on web literacy after you and I left Mozilla. I’m not a fan. I have to say. And it’s not just me with sour grapes or whatever, I’m very happy that that work continued. But it seemed to be then, like I know for a fact some of it was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and ended up with these 21st century skills, and it seems to have taken quite a sharp left turn towards kind of libraries and, and that particular information literacy kind of stuff. And it where it’s probably more useful and more specifically useful for libraries now and information literacy professionals, I think it’s probably less useful for everyone else.

Laura Hilliger: [00:31:24] Yeah.

Laura Hilliger: [00:31:25] So I think they really did sort of focus on the, the glam area galleries, libraries, archives and museums. If I remember correctly. Yeah. Um, yeah, but you just said something about the practicality of a framework and whether or not it’s like practically implement like you can actually use it. And that’s actually why I wanted to have the conversation today and why I keep bringing up the open leadership definition and stuff because I feel like, I mean, okay, I’m biased because I put a lot of thought and energy and did a lot of the, you know, community corralling around that definition. So I’m obviously biased, but I feel like it’s quite practical to be able to see what are the specific behaviours that a quote unquote open leader has listed as bullet points. And it’s, you know, it’s really easy stuff that we talk about all the time, like, you know, listening and giving critical feedback and these kind of.

Doug Belshaw: [00:32:23] But do you do you feel like. So one of the things I spoke about earlier was that when you’re coming up with a definition, you are exerting power or you’re trying to claim power. Do you feel that with the with open with like the open community, Do you feel that kind of.

Laura Hilliger: [00:32:39] Yeah, well, I definitely do because I think that the open org project has quite a high profile because it’s it’s not financially supported by Red Hat. But you know, Red Hat is one of the biggest for profit open source companies in the world. And you know, it is like the open Org project, which is community driven, not funded by Red Hat, but we are supported by the Open source Program office, which essentially means that we have people that check in on us to see how we’re doing and they’re paid by Red Hat, right? And so there is you know, there is some some power around the like the cultural implementation of open source or the behaviours of open source. However, because I am like a part of that community, I know how much work the community does and they are not funded by Red Hat, right? So it’s like, yes, there is. You know, there’s some tricky power around because it looks good for Red Hat, right, to support a community of intellectuals.

Doug Belshaw: [00:33:41] So yeah, money, money can be power as well. But I guess I meant in terms of the. Claiming that this is the definition of an open organisation. Like do you do you was, were there any discussions? Because I can’t remember those kinds of discussions when we were developing the Web literacy map. I can’t remember the kinds of discussions about maybe there were like about who was representing the community and what kind of power relations there were and that kind of stuff. Have there. So too long ago for me to remember. Have there been those kinds of conversations within the open organisation community as well?

Laura Hilliger: [00:34:20] Yes, definitely. And you can actually see examples of this on our GitHub where there are issues filed against the open leadership definition that say things like we need to make this accessible for outside of this kind of wildly contextual audience of open source intellectuals. Because the conversation and the community that did develop the open leadership definition, all open source experts, all people who have been working in this field for a really long time and people who are able to have this conversation quite far removed from people who are not experts in open source. Right? So how do you apply open leadership mindsets or behaviours if you can’t understand the terminology being used and defining what those things are? And this is this is work that we still have to do. We have to take a look at the at the definitions that we’ve created and think about if you were if you were somebody coming from a completely different industry or a completely different educational background, would would these still be accessible to you? Are they written in a way that is like, you know, a bit removed from the academic intellectual conversation? Because if you want to be able to implement open leadership in your, I don’t know, your mechanic shop, then you should be able to do that if that’s what you want to do. But if the document that should help you do that is completely inaccessible from its language, then it’s not really it’s yeah, it’s just not accessible. Okay. So I think the I think the conversations are there, but I think it’s know it’s quite tricky, especially in open source communities that are, you know, maybe completely run by contributors and volunteers. This kind of work takes time and is difficult because it’s, you know, it’s people’s like passion project side project kind of thing, right? So who has, you know, who has time to think or think around all of the possible contexts that this could be used in and making sure that the document or the framework is accessible for all of those different contexts.

Doug Belshaw: [00:36:31] Right, Right. So it’s not just accessibility in terms of we as a group of people have thought about the accessibility and thrown over the fence for the people, but inviting those in the architecture participation stuff. Yeah, we should probably wrap this up because.

Laura Hilliger: [00:36:46] I know this one went really nerdy.

Doug Belshaw: [00:36:48] I know, I know.

Doug Belshaw: [00:36:49] The last podcast that I did started as a half hour podcast and end up as a two hour podcast per episode. So and I listened to one by Dan Carlin from Hardcore History and they’re like four hours per episode. So let’s not go there and let’s, let’s wrap this up now. What what would you say would be from your point of view, the main takeaways for people from this episode, if they if they’ve kind of fallen asleep in the middle and they’ve just woken back up like what? What are the main takeaways from your point of view Laura from this episode?

Laura Hilliger: [00:37:24] I think, number one, that frameworks can be useful if they are put into context and that you can’t just pick a framework up off the shelf and then, you know, throw it at whatever problem you’re dealing with. Rather you need to think, you know, think about how it needs to be applied and the people involved in the community that you’re trying to help with this framework. I think that’s number one, two and three.

Doug Belshaw: [00:37:50] I don’t know. What do you think? Yeah. I mean, when I do my ranty talk about this stuff, I talk about kind of people needing to talk to each other about their context because I think we assume that just because we’re, I don’t know, share a same physical space with someone and or do the same job as someone or work in the same organisation, that we automatically have the same way of thinking about our context. And I don’t think that’s true. So we need to talk about our context a lot. And sometimes these kind of frameworks that we’ve talked about, architectural participation, central elements, open org definition, that kind of stuff can help with that. The other thing to remember and I don’t think we’ve spoken about this, is that people love case studies, right? And the reason that they love case studies is that it gives them an excuse to go to their boss to say, Look, this other organisation in this industry did this thing and it all turned out really well. So let’s. To do that. But all case studies are marketing, so we need to make sure that we’re not just thinking that this organisation or this group of people are exactly the same as us because they’re not. And before we finish off, I do want to remind people that we are currently unfunded and that if they go to open and open forward slash, we are open that you can support this and any amount would be very much appreciated because you don’t get a lot of feedback on podcasts. You get the occasional kind of tweet. But one way in which you can kind of show that you want this to continue is to give us a dollar, a dollar a month. A dollar ever would be fantastic. Um, not because we’re greedy, but because we want that energy from you to keep this podcast going. Yeah.

Laura Hilliger: [00:39:42] And that’s the one thing about the podcast that I find really hard is that you don’t really hear whether or not people have enjoyed the conversation. Every once in a while you get a little something. But I would I would love to hear from all of our listeners about what they think about frameworks or what their favourite framework is, or if they’re disappointed that we didn’t mention a particular framework like. Yeah, we’d love to hear what they what those are.

Doug Belshaw: [00:40:09] Season two will also be six episodes long, just like the first season. And we have some guests, so every other episode we’re aiming to have a guest and we’re not going to tell you who those are yet. It’s going to be a surprise, but we’ve got them lined up. And so next episode should have a guest and you’ll find out who that is when we release episode two. Cheers for now!

Laura Hilliger: [00:40:31] Okay, bye!