I don’t think many people have heard of the Shuttleworth Foundation. Yet the Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowship is perhhaps the most prestigious social enterprise fellowship in the world, if the metric of evaluation is the funding provided. Is there any other Fellowship that provides $360k for one year?
As a Shuttleworth Fellow, I have an opportunity to attend 2 gatherings per year with the rest of the Foundation. I just got back from the Shuttleworth Fellows gathering in Berlin. Being surrounded by Open culture was invigorating. While for the past few months I have not felt good regarding my lack of communication – due to growing pains of organizational scaling – I think I may now be emerging for the next level of work/life integration – with a larger support team on-site at Factor e Farm and with remote collaborators.
Some highlights include meeeting Adam Hyde, where we are proceeding on utilizing Booktype for producing remixable documentation. This means that as changes are made to GVCS machines, the documentation can be updated almost automatically. This not only makes sense, but also, it will enable us to scale Civilization Starter Kit publishing. Adam Hyde started Booktype.
(see rest of Shuttleworth Foundation playlist for more videos)
Another highlight is finding out about the Open Design group of the Open Knowlege Foundation. I am invited to the Open Knowledge Festival in Helsinki later this year. Rufus Pollock, Shuttleworth Fellow, is the founder of the Foundation.
Another major highlight is Mark Shuttleworth’s project for Responsible Development on Principe Island off Africa. This could be the first authentic success in Responsible Development – an enthusiastic effort balancing the legacy of colonialism on this former slave trade island. This parallels much of the context of our small island in the middle of the American heartland – Factor e Farm.
Jose Gil Duarte of Essentia is the lead developer on the project, and we shared profound discussion on the practical and transformative aspects of this endeavor. Here’s a conversation from party time.
Personally, my revelation from the Shuttleworth Gathering was that there are so many tools available, many of which I have not previously considered – that are relevant to moving the GVCS forward. I think we could use P2P University as a platform for developing our educational curriculum materials. I think we can utilize the Pybossa platform for crowd sourcing GVCS development microtasks. I think that Booktype and book sprints will be critical to our success. I think that Harmony Agreements will be a way to propagate our user agreements. Other tools such as Codecademy or Mozilla Thimble can help one to learn programming, and useful tools like Annotator can help make sense of online content.
Personally, Jose Gil Duarte taught me that I should focus more energy on inspiring rather than working. This means, giving people more responsibility at FeF by teaching them skills, rather than continuing to do many tasks myself. That is a natural part of scaling an organization. To help me manage a large list of tasks, I now look at my work as a list of core tasks – where I strategically insert high-risk tasks to my list – but only if I pass off more established tasks on to others. This way, I continue to inject a high level of innovation, while core duties are not neglected.
You can see my playlist of other videos from the Shuttleworth Gathering here. ***
Directly connected to the world of Open – we have $70k from a Schumaker Family Fund + Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation grants that we would like to spend to reach the next level of documentation quality. Here is an initial allocation concept:
*Recruiting Full Time Factor e Farm documenter, 3 months x2, $12k – Skills required: video capture and editing, graphic design, creative writing, journalism, writing copy. Tasks: Developing ongoing documentation, script writing, video editing. as described under FeF Documenter on the wiki (***)
*Recruiting a Full Time blogger/vlogger, 6 months, $12k – Skills required – script writing, technical writing
*Recruiting a Full Time CAD Director, 6 months, $12k. Skills required: Working knowledge of professional CAD solutions. Organizational skills towards defining the problem statement for the open source CAD or Cloud CAD solution. Strategy development for CAD Sprints. Ability to organize and lead CAD Sprints.
*Hiring Adam Hyde for a Book Sprint to republish Civilization Starter Kit v0.01 PDF in re-mixable format utilizing Booktype platform – $5k. This will be our step to building a documentation community – to scale our ability to produce high quality documentation – indispensable to our long term success, See Adam Hyde video (***)
*Organize a Book Sprint on site with 12 documenters including 2 graphic designers on site. $10k.
*Recruiting a Full Time Documentation Community Manager – $12k. Responsibility: Developing a community of documentation developers. Working with Adam Hyde to document and publish Book Sprint methodology. Leading Book Sprints. Working with CAD Director to integrate CAD Sprints with Book Sprints.
*2 HD cameras, tripod, 2 lavaliers, mike, camera LED light system, and dedicated nonlinear editing laptop – $5k