Introducing The Carpentries Core Values

Thanks to our community's input, we are excited to share The Carpentries' nine core values

In January 2019, at The Carpentries in-person team meeting, the Values project was earmarked as one of the team’s top priorities for the year. Towards the end of the second quarter, on the week of June 18, 2019, the project was green-lighted and work on it began.

We have spent five months in consultation with The Carpentries community about their perceptions of each other, our community culture, and the nature of interactions in spaces where our community members convene. We have developed a better understanding of our community’s expectations, and had time to interrogate some of our assumptions and reflect on what is currently working well and what is not. From community recommendations, The Carpentries has also identified some of the ways we need to shift our approach in the future so as to remain responsive and relevant to our community as its composition and needs evolve.

To that end, our four-person Task Force has prepared this long-form report expounding on why and how we set out to do this work, what we heard from you along the way and what you can expect going forward.

Today, we are equal parts humbled and delighted to share The Carpentries Values with you. As we reviewed feedback to the questions we posed, we realised that your responses spoke to three main points:

  1. what we do,

    The first three value statements reflect this.
    At the Carpentries, we…

  2. our demeanour,

    The next two value statements expound on our attitude and approach to all that we do in The Carpentries.
    We are…

  3. and what we uphold.

    The final set of four value statements elaborate on what we boldly stand and advocate for.
    We champion…

The Nine Core Values of The Carpentries

At The Carpentries we…

Act Openly

We believe that transparency, honesty, and fairness are keys to fostering trust within an open community.

Empower One Another

We help people build knowledge by creating a conducive environment for the exchange of skills, perspectives and experiences that empower people and enable them to reach their potential.

Value All Contributions

We value all contributions by individuals and entities to our community, code, lessons and broader ecosystem as long as those contributions adhere to The Carpentries Code of Conduct.

We are…

Always Learning

We value a growth mindset in all that we do and strive for continuous improvement, evolving ourselves and our methodologies, being responsive, curious, receptive to feedback, and eager to learn.

Inclusive of All

We advocate for inclusivity - welcoming and extending empathy and kindness - to leverage contributions from all community members, regardless of their identity or expression.

We champion…

People First

We believe that the individuals who make up our community are the most important part of our organisation and our strongest resource. We strive to make decisions that lower barriers for individual participation.

Access for All

We value accessibility as core, and create multiple avenues for participation where all people can learn and contribute.

Community Collaboration

Our curricula and programs are developed by and with community members. We see collaboration across borders, domains and initiatives as a pathway to empower people and realise shared goals.

Strength through Diversity

Appreciating that identities are complex and individual, we believe in empowering a diverse group of people to work with data and code to answer the questions important to them and address challenges in science and society.


A big thank you to The Carpentries community, who are the embodiment of the values outlined above, and who responded to our call for input, providing invaluable insight and elaborating on recommendations that made it possible for us to pinpoint these nine values for The Carpentries.

We are also indebted to The Carpentries Team and Executive Council for interrogating our process, reviewing our progress, editing our content and keeping the Task Force accountable for the duration of this project.

This project came together thanks to the tireless efforts of Amy Hodge from The Executive Council, Kari L. Jordan and Tracy Teal who served with me on the Values Project Task Force in Q3 and Q4 2019.

We are also grateful to Lou Woodley, Director of the Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement, whose expertise and resources provided guidance as we worked on this project.

Dialogue & Discussion

Comments must follow our Code of Conduct.

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