Extending Gratitude to the Executive Council for Governance in 2019

Thank you to the Executive Council

The Executive Council is the governing body of The Carpentries responsible for its strategy and sustainability. As a community council, they are the true stewards of the organisation, guiding the project, listening to, reflecting on and making decisions on behalf of the community. That is a big responsibility!

The Carpentries Executive Council established in 2018 with the formation of the project. From the onset, it had community-elected and council-elected positions to both represent the community and ensure a set of diverse perspectives and skills necessary for the functioning of this council.

Previously, Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry had Steering Committees and Library Carpentry had a governance group who provided the same function, guiding those projects in strategy and planning for sustainability, based on the Software Carpentry Foundation’s original governance model.

Through the years, all of these governance groups have had extremely committed people who volunteered their time to literally keep these projects going, doing everything from looking for funding, to creating bylaws, to managing Executive Directors, and encouraging and supporting so many in our community and team who do the day to day work. They are the true stewards of the organisation, which is saying a lot in an organisation whose values reflect the power and importance of stewardship as a way of leading.

This year the Executive Council has achieved some significant milestones with The Carpentries vision and community values, and a strong draft toward a strategic plan. They developed Task Forces and adopted Requests for Comments (RFCs) as a way of working to both get feedback from the community and collaborate towards solutions. And now, with our current voting, we are going through our third round of elections for this group. As an organisation, we are still young, and this group has been doing the work to define its roles and responsibilities and embody our value of always learning.

In addition to decision making, taking part in regular discussions, sitting in for meetings and attending to GitHub issues, serving on the Executive Council is an opportunity to connect people from different places and communities and create community. The Executive Council in-person meeting ice breaker this year had people organise themselves in order of their birthdays and without consultation for hints. There was the usual type of spread, but with 9 people, two actually had their birthday on the same day! Of course we had to pause and reflect on the birthday fallacy and calculate the statistics, so even an intro ice breaker brought together their love of data, analysis and community.

The Executive Council and Tracy teal. Not in the picture: Mesfin Diro
The Executive Council and Tracy Teal. Not in the picture: Mesfin Diro

Mesfin Diro
Mesfin Diro (photo credit Peter van Heusden)

My role as Executive Director puts me in close proximity with the Executive Council’s undertakings and I want to acknowledge and deeply thank all of our current and past governance group members, those for The Carpentries now as well as those who have been on the Software, Data and Library Carpentry governance groups that have led to this. You paved the way for this council, and I have had the honour and privilege of being able to work with you. I still see your work, ideas and enthusiasm everywhere we look in The Carpentries.

We are highly appreciative of the time and work that Amy Hodge, Kate Hertweck, Mesfin Diro Chaka, Raniere Silva, Elizabeth Wickes, Karen Cranston, Joslynn Lee, Lex Nederbragt and Juan Steyn have put in as members of 2019’s Executive Council and the work of the Library Carpentry Advisory Group Yared Abera Ergu, John Chodacki, Ariel Deardorff, Chris Erdmann, Konrad Foerstner, Julie Goldman, David Kane, Jeff Oliver, Tim Ribaric, Birgit Schmidt and Liz Stokes.

As well as all those previously involved in governance: Jenny Bryan, John Chodacki, Neil Chue Hong, Jez Cope, Karen Cranston, Matt Davis, Tim Dennis, Chris Erdmann, Carole Goble, Josh Greenberg, Rayna Harris, Adina Howe, Katy Huff, Damien Irving, Christina Koch, Mateusz Kuzak, Karin Lagesen, Hilmar Lapp, Kayleigh Lino, Cam Macdonell, Sue McClatchy, Bill Mills, Aleksandra Pawlik, Karthik Ram, Juliane Schneider, Adam Stone, Kaitlin Thaney, Belinda Weaver, Ethan White, Jason Williams and Greg Wilson.

You can find out more about the roles and responsibilities of the Executive Council here, and the minutes from all Executive Council meetings here. Importantly, you can vote for currently nominated members for 2020’s Executive Council!

Even if you are not running for the Executive Council, you can vote, and stay involved by sharing feedback with the Executive Council, being involved in RFCs or volunteering or participating in Task Forces. This is your organisation and engaging with, supporting or being on the EC is an important way to demonstrate that.

You can get in touch with the Executive Council by filling this form, by filing a GitHub issue here or by emailing individual members.

Thank you to the Executive Council, who as a group stewards The Carpentries, and to each of the current and past members as individuals for the time, energy and heart they have brought to the Carpentries and our community.

Dialogue & Discussion