Please match this $15,000 donation by December 29th!

This is a guest post by Sumana Harihareswara, Open Source Bridge speaker 2010-2014

Sumana at Open Source Bridge. Photo by @reidab.

Sumana at Open Source Bridge. Photo by @reidab.

I’m donating up to $15,000 to the Stumptown Syndicate — depending on how much you are willing to match by December 29th. Please join me by donating today and doubling your impact!

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Stumptown Syndicate works to create resilient, radically inclusive tech and maker communities that empower positive change. Open Source Bridge, one of its core programs, is the tech conference that has imprinted itself on my heart — informative technical talks, inspiring ideas that help me improve how I do my work, and belly laughs and great food. I love that I can tell friends “Come to OSB!” without having to add “but watch out for…” the way I do with so many other conferences. Hospitality lives in the DNA of Open Source Bridge, so it’s a place where people from different projects and backgrounds can share their experiences as equals. I especially appreciate that it’s an inclusive all-genders tech conference where I’m never the only woman in the room; in fact, in 2014, half the speakers were women.

Liene Verzemnieks at BarCamp Portland. Image by @reidab.

Liene Verzemnieks at BarCamp Portland. Image by @reidab.

Stumptown demonstrates its values before, during, and after OSBridge, and documents them to make a playbook other event planners can reuse. The Syndicate encourages volunteers to help make Open Source Bridge happen (showing appreciation by giving them free access to the conference), encourages them with a reassuring form and clear expectations, and mentors them with structured orientations. The Code of Conduct, accessible venues, clearly labelled food, cheap or free admissions, and open source conferenceware all model effective and ethical collaboration.

But, until now, Stumptown Syndicate hasn’t had the money to host childcare at its events, to offer travel scholarships to OSBridge speakers from other countries, or improve the audiovisual experience (with faster video processing or transcripts/captioning). And it’s had to host its events at borrowed or rented venues, which reduces the Syndicate’s ability to nurture new events and communities; more money in the bank opens the possibility of a more permanent event space.

Amber Case at Open Source Bridge. Photo by @reidab.

Amber Case at Open Source Bridge. Photo by @reidab.

Still, the Syndicate’s done a lot since its founding in December 2010. Every year, Stumptown Syndicate supports or directly hosts 2-4 events in Portland. Hundreds of participants have grown, personally and professionally, via OSBridge, WhereCampPDX, Ignite Portland, BarCamp Portland, and the user groups it supports. Its work on Calagator keeps the community connected, and its focus on inclusion and diversity has helped everyone in Portland’s tech scene benefit. Including, probably, you, if you’re reading this. And it’s done that with about $110,000 each year, a mix of donations and sponsorships.

With your help, the Syndicate can plan further in advance and make the events you already love even better. And if Stumptown Syndicate volunteers don’t have to worry as much about fundraising, they can concentrate more on revamping Calagator, mentoring newer developers, and enriching Portland’s tech scene — and documenting their successes so people like me can copy them.

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That’s why I’m willing to give up to $15,000 to Stumptown Syndicate. I’ll match donations starting today and ending on December 29th, whether corporate or individual, one-time or recurring memberships. Please donate now to help raise $30,000 for the infrastructure of inclusivity!

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Stumptown Syndicate is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Contributions to Stumptown Syndicate are tax-deductible in the U.S.

Syndicate update: Events, software, finance, and our board

Hi all! Here’s an update on Stumptown Syndicate’s program work, finances, board membership, and upcoming activities.

  • Programs
  • Finances
    • Assets: Stumptown Syndicate currently holds $23,246 in assets. This puts us in a confident position regarding our upcoming event planning, including planning for Open Source Bridge 2015. However, we are interested in growing our revenue stream so as to provide a better buffer and open up possibilities for a wider variety of program work (such as supporting more community-led events). For comparison, our position on Oct 31, 2013 was $26,054.
    • OSBridge: To better understand a facet of our income and spending, check out these OSBridge charts:
      Open Source Bridge 2014 Income (as of Oct 16, 2014)

      OS Bridge 2014 Income (as of Oct 16, 2014)

      Open Source Bridge 2014 Expenses (as of Oct 16, 2014)

      OS Bridge 2014 Expenses (as of Oct 16, 2014)

      As the charts illustrate, the bulk of Open Source Bridge’s expenses are for the venue and for food and drink, and the bulk of revenue comes from its sponsors.

  • Our board
    • Departure: We’d like to thank Melissa Chavez for her longtime service to the Stumptown Syndicate board of directors. She decided to step down in September, but is still helping make Open Source Bridge 2015 happen and contributing to other Stumptown Syndicate events. Thank you Melissa!
    • Currently: With Melissa’s departure, the Stumptown Syndicate board of directors is now Christie Koehler, Kirsten Comandich, and Reid Beels.
  • Upcoming
    • Early days: We’re in the initial planning stages for the next BarCamp Portland and Ignite Portland.
    • OSBridge: Stumptown Syndicate is supporting the planning of next year’s Open Source Bridge, which will be June 23–26, 2015, and is discussing the possibility of adding another OSBridge 2015 in another North American city. You can volunteer now to help with next year’s event.

That’s it for now! To keep up on our events and plans, you can always follow us on Twitter and join our announcement mailing list.

And to support us, please consider becoming a supporting member or sponsoring a program year or an individual event, or volunteering (whether you’re in Portland or not!).

Stumptown Syndicate logo

Ignite videos are up!

In case you missed Ignite Portland in November, you can now watch all the videos of the presenters on our YouTube channel.

If you want to further the conversation about anything you see, tweet at us or use the #ip12 hashtag.

We’d also like to thank all the sponsors of Ignite Portland 12 once again: 32 digital, brytCAST, Hollywood Theatre, Maids by Trade, PDX Pop Now, and Social Venture Society.

  brytCAST  Hollywood Theatre

Maids by Trade  PDX POP NOW  Social Venture Society

If you or your company would like to sponsor any of our events in the future, please contact us at sponsor@stumptownsyndicate.org.

Regarding Michael Schwern

Michael Schwern has reached out to us regarding an incident that occurred in September of this year where his actions harmed another community member.

The Stumptown Syndicate Board has concluded that the safety and well-being of our community is best served by not allowing Schwern to attend our events or other activities until such time as we indicate it is appropriate for him to resume involvement. We have communicated this to Schwern.

The board continues to discuss the matter, and we seek ways to collectively restore the health and peace of our community through communication, education, and accountability.

Please contact us with questions/concerns: board@stumptownsyndicate.org.

Welcome Melissa Chavez, our newest Board member!

Effective September 1, Melissa Chavez joins our Board of Directors. Melissa is a long-time contributor to Syndicate activities, most recently serving as Chair of our Communications Committee.

Melissa Chavez gets a surprising amount done without caffeine. She is a web developer and data journalist who utilizes open source technology in her designs, research, mapping, and reporting. In her free time, Melissa documents street art, records locations of unisex and gendered restrooms in the metro area, reads sci-fi, and contemplates world domination.

Welcome, Melissa!

Volunteer Appreciation Party – August 24, 2013

Have you volunteered at one of our events? Want to help out in the future? Come party!

To celebrate all of the amazing volunteers come together to make Stumptown Syndicate events successful, we’re throwing a little shindig. Join us on Saturday, August 24 for a picnic in the park with roller skating!

We’ll be providing some party trays from Nicholas Restaurant, picking up some beverages, and securing an alcohol permit for the park. Feel free to bring food or drinks to share (vegan/vegetarian preferred) or games to play.

The Details

When:
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Picnic starts at 1:30pm
Skating starts at 3:30pm
View on Calagator

Where:
Mt. Scott Park & Roller Rink
View Map

Thanks again for all your help making our tech community better. We hope to see you at the party!

Announcing Monthly Happy Hour Socials

Photo by reidab

Photo by reidab

Beginning in August, the Stumptown Syndicate will be hosting a monthly happy hour on the fourth Friday of every month. This is a great opportunity to hang out and mingle with other amazing members of the tech community as well as to meet members of the Stumptown Syndicate.

This month, we’ll be at the Green Dragon (928 SE 9th Ave) from 4-6pm on Friday, August 23rd. Come join us!

Calagator link.

OSCON is next week and we’ll be there! (volunteers needed)

We’ll be at O’Reilly’s OSCON next week. Not only are we running a booth in the non-profit pavilion of the expo hall, but we’re also giving a tutorial called Community-Driven Event Planning. So, please stop by and say hi!

The Expo hall is open during the following times:

  • Tuesday, 7/17: 5:00pm – 6:00pm (Opening Reception)
  • Wednesday, 7/18: 10:00am 4:30pm, 5:40pm – 7:00pm (Booth Crawl)
  • Thursday, 7/19: 10:00am – 5:00pm

If you don’t already have a ticket for OSCON, use the code OS13FOS for a 20% discount, or register for an Expo hall pass (free with code PDXEXPO).

Also, we’re looking for a few volunteers to help staff our booth. If you’re interested in helping for an hour or two, let us know.

Reflecting on Five Years of Open Source Bridge

While Stumptown Syndicate is younger than Open Source Bridge, our annual open source technology conference, many of the same people have been involved in both efforts from their beginnings. As we celebrate our fifth Open Source Bridge, we reflect upon what we have learned so far.

Creating inclusive spaces enables attendees to focus on what matters.

When we feel welcome and safe, we create space to have all sorts of conversations that we wouldn’t be able to have otherwise. We’re able to talk about technology as well as culture and how the two are interrelated. We have the energy to focus on the things that brought us to Open Source Bridge, like wanting to learn a new programming language, or finding out about tools and techniques that will help us do our jobs.

Inclusion is in the details: food, t-shirts, social activities, and more.

The details matter. Over the last 5 years, in response to attendee feedback, we’ve learned that the following ensures everyone feels welcome and is able to participate:

  • enacting a comprehensive Code of Conduct
  • providing food everyone can eat
  • hosting social events where the focus is not on alcohol
  • creating areas of respite away from high-energy social interaction
  • providing event t-shirts in a full range of fits and sizes

And we’re constantly learning and applying more by listening to our community.

Positive change in our community is carried forward.

What we do enables others to go out and use these tools in their own communities, events, and workspaces. Open Source Bridge attendees take what they’ve learned from our event, and they apply this knowledge elsewhere. Our efforts help minorities and allies make the case for the things they need in order to participate everywhere.

The end result is that a more diverse set of people are able to join and contribute, and even people who contributed before have a better experience. We’re still learning and improving, but this is the practice that matters to us, and we’re excited to continue in the future.

We end every conference with a wrap-up and feedback session, where we solicit feedback that shapes future conferences. If you have thoughts on our five years of Open Source Bridge, please share them in the comments!