The Carpentries Strategic Plan: Three Years and Counting

Community recognition and appreciation, automation, lesson development training, and improved accessibility. Progress towards The Carpentries Strategic Plan for 2020-2025

Last week our Team Leads and Executive Council met to discuss progress towards our strategic plan for 2020-2025. The last update we shared with the community was in May of 2022. If you missed it, read our Strategic Plan Year Two in Review. During the hybrid meeting, our Team Leads shared significant milestones we have achieved in the last year related to the following six strategic goals:

  1. Build regional and local capacity to empower sustainable communities
  2. Intentionally incorporate equity, inclusion, and accessibility to support a diverse community.
  3. Provide opportunities for our volunteers’ and Core Team’s growth and professional development.
  4. Facilitate creating and maintaining relevant, high-quality, community-curated curricula.
  5. Strengthen organisational structure and capacity to be strategic and responsive.
  6. Advocate for our values and vision to empower more people to work with data and software.

Each of these goals carries its specific objectives and rationale to aid us in implementing them. In our third year of work toward the Strategic Plan, we have made significant progress on each of the six goals. Read on to learn about our work on each goal, and follow the Strategic Plan GitHub repository for quarterly updates.

Goal 1: Build regional and local capacity to empower sustainable communities

For us to empower our regional and local communities, we need to know who leads those efforts. As part of our Community Development Program, we opened a subcommunity registry. By registering your sub-community, help us raise awareness about the wonderful Carpentries activities happening worldwide. Your registration will also help guide how we recognise and appreciate you for your work in advancing our mission. Are you following the Carpentries activities across Africa? Check out this retrospective 2022 highlighting Glosario, monthly meetups, and other achievements to build regional capacity in our African communities.

Goal 2: Intentionally incorporate equity, inclusion, and accessibility to support a diverse community.

One of the ways we are incorporating equity, inclusion, and accessibility is by making the Instructor checkout process more accessible and inclusive across our global community (see changes we are working to implement). We have also designated funds in our fiscal year budget to translate key resources like the Code of Conduct. We are in our final round of functionality updates for our website ( and will soon move into community review and launch. And finally, in an effort to improve the accessibility of our workshops and community spaces, we developed an Accessibility Accommodation Form and released an Accessibility Statement

Goal 3: Provide opportunities for growth and professional development of our volunteers and Core Team.

We learned so much implementing CarpentryCon 2022, including how beneficial skill-up sessions are for our community. We are excited to share that we’ll provide ongoing programming similar to what you’d see at CarpentryCon, throughout the year to develop our community members’ skills in teaching, lesson development, and community building. Within the Core Team, we also launched a Supervisor Pilot Program for Core Team members interested in growing their supervisory skills.

Goal 4: Facilitate the creation and maintenance of relevant, high-quality, community-curated curricula.

The Carpentries Workbench, to be rolled out in May, greatly simplifies the process of contributing to lessons. Additionally, we are piloting a new curriculum for Collaborative Lesson Development Training, meeting demand from the community. We’ve also updated and expanded our Maintainer onboarding program to support this essential role in the community better, and established Curriculum Advisory Committees to guide the development of all official curricula. In case you missed it, we recently published a new Data Carpentry curriculum: Image Processing with Python!

Goal 5: Strengthen organisational structure and capacity to be strategic and responsive.

Our Core Team has worked to establish documentation for the roles and responsibilities of our programmatic teams to strengthen our Core Team structure. We have also received approval on our trademarks and appreciate the community feedback on our logo policy. We’ve made updates to core data privacy and security practices, including our Privacy Policy and online accounts safety. To strengthen our governance, we have onboarded governance committees for all official lesson programs. These committees are responsible for overseeing the strategy of their lesson programs, advocating for it, and communicating with Executive Council, Core Team, and community. Routine emails to existing Members, including benefit usage reports, are now automated, reducing administration time for this program. And lastly, we have implemented a simplified process for Memberships with Trainers.

Goal 6: Advocate for our values and vision to empower more people to work with data and software.

We are proud to announce we are coordinating with the HPC Carpentry community on their application to become an official lesson program within The Carpentries. Additionally, we have presented lesson infrastructure and lesson development pathways at conferences and other events. We are collaborating with several partners, including 2i2c and MetaDocencia on a CZI-funded project to empower research communities in the Global South to use open science cloud technologies. Lastly, several of our Core Team and community members serve on advisory boards of other organisations to provide guidance and advocacy in areas key to The Carpentries mission and vision. Examples include the Education Committee for Ecological Society of America, AG2PI Scientific Advisory Board, and NASA’s Transform to Open Science (TOPS) panel.

What is next?

We will continue to monitor and improve services, tools and virtual infrastructure to enhance reliability, efficiency and safety and security for our community. The Strategic Plan is the plan! Watch this short video of Dr. Kari L. Jordan and Tara Robertson discussing The Carpentries’ Strategic Plan for 2020-2025 and how it aligns with our efforts in equity, inclusion, and accessibility. We also encourage you to follow updates in our Strategic Plan GitHub repository.

Dialogue & Discussion

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