Thanks for ten great years of Open Source Bridge

Originally posted on the Open Source Bridge blog

On June 29 we came together to acknowledge all that the Open Source Bridge community has built over the last ten years. Christie Koehler started the day with a look back at the history of the conference and our local tech community.

Together we created an amazing body of work that will continue to influence others. We should all be proud of this.

Kronda Adair followed with a personal history of her experiences at Open Source Bridge, and of building her business. She offered these take-aways on the work we still need to do to create a truly inclusive and equitable industry.

Listen the Startup podcast series about Arlan Hamilton, the founder of Backstage capital. You’ll learn what radical wealth redistribution looks like. You’ll upgrade your definition of hustle. Hint: it’s not taking a summer off and flying around the country to get 50 of your rich friends to give you 5 million dollars and then starting a VC fund.

If there’s one theme that pervades my experience in tech, it’s that the people who have traditionally have the least access to money and resources are the best at sharing what they do have with others. But as Arlan likes to say, we’re done settling for crumbs. We’re here for the cake.

Make a list of the products and services you regularly use and recommend to others and then find some black and brown entrepreneurs who provide those services and start using them and recommending them to your networks.

Ask your boss if the women and people of color in your company are being paid the same as their white colleagues for the same work.  If you’re white, tell colleagues how much YOU make.

Check out the Ascend Project repo and run your own version of it.

If you have the skills and the free time, make a website for a business owner who doesn’t have one.

Pay someone who’s given you free advice that helped you grow your business or advance your career. In cash.

Stop looking for underrepresented people to be your junior developers and start looking for us to be your CEOs, CTOs, and CFOs. I’m tired of watching companies hire us for VP of diversity positions and then blocking real change. There’s a lot of white people out here talking about they want to help but you don’t want to give up any of YOUR privilege. That’s not how it works.

These are just a few suggestions that I’ll leave you with as you go and consider your unconference topics for the day.

Lastly, I want to give you an easy metric to measure by so you know if your efforts are making real change:

Find ways to transfer MONEY, ACCESS, NETWORKS and POWER to those who have the least of those things.

If you’re not doing that, then you need to work harder.

We had a full set of unconference sessions, spanning the breadth of our community’s interests.

We collaborated and created things in the Hacker Lounge, including buttons.

And we talked about what comes next. You’re welcome to join us on our new Zulip Chat and be a part of this conversation.

Audrey shared her thoughts on Open Source Bridge ending in a blog post, Saying Goodbye to Open Source Bridge.

Do you have photos or reflections you’d like to share from our final conference? Leave a comment or let us know on Twitter or in Zulip.

Thank you everyone for being a part of this community and the work we did together! We’re excited to see what all of you create next.

Safety First PDX Office Hours — July 25

Update: unfortunately, due to technical issues, we’ve had to cancel this office hour. Apologies for any inconvenience!

Safety First PDX (which operates as a program of Stumptown Syndicate) has held two trainings recently. We’re also holding our third online office hours session on Tuesday, July 25 from 4 PM to 6 PM Pacific. This month’s focus is how to introduce a new code of conduct to your community.

Safety First PDX is a program to help people create safer and more welcoming communities through good policies and actions. We teach people how to implement and enforce a code of conduct.

This office hours session is focused on answering questions you might have encountered in our trainings or in the communities you organize. Come ask us questions and find out about our workshops and online materials.

Please join us online in our Google Hangout on July 25 at 4 PM!

Safety First PDX Office Hours: June 27

Safety First PDX (which operates as a program of Stumptown Syndicate) has held two trainings recently. We’re also holding our second online office hours session on Tuesday, June 27 from 4 PM to 6 PM Pacific.

Safety First PDX is a program to help people create safer and more welcoming communities through good policies and actions. We teach people how to implement and enforce a code of conduct.

This office hours session is focused on answering questions you might have encountered in our trainings or in the communities you organize. Come ask us questions and find out about our workshops and online materials.

Please join us online in our Google Hangout on June 27 at 4 PM!

Give your talk at Open Source Bridge!

It’s your time! Open Source Bridge is an annual 4-day community conference in its ninth year, hosting 500 open source developers, hardware hackers, and community organizers. OSB is well known for being 100% volunteer run and fostering an in-person community in the open source world right here in Portland, OR. And we want you to submit a proposal.

The power of open source software is in the commitment, ambition, and vision of real people working individually and collaboratively to create tools that shape how the future is built — with no strings attached. To cover a variety of ways that power is demonstrated, we aim to provide an innovative track structure at OSB. The 2017 Open Source Bridge tracks are:

  • Activism | Demonstrate how you’re making change
  • Culture | What makes open technology and culture communities effective?
  • Hacks | It doesn’t have to be elegant, it just has to work 😉
  • Practice | How do you get a project to work
  • Theory | Explain the components of a project and how they interact

While you’re welcome to submit a proposal to speak on anything open source, here are a few topics that we thought would be compelling in 2017.

  • Open source tools for game development
  • Security: tools that make it easier for non-technical audiences to manage their own security / privacy
  • Git for open source, version control, and other tools for working together
  • Fun hardware hacks
  • Information Technology Operations (Devops)
  • The social and physical dangers of the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • An introduction to Threat Modeling

See what others have proposed already, for inspiration.

Submit a proposal to be considered to speak at Open Source Bridge this year!

P.S. There’s plenty of other ways to get involved. OSB is 100% volunteer-run, so your help would be 100% appreciated, and 8 hours of volunteering gets you a free ticket to the conference. Let’s meet up at Open Source Bridge 2017!


Open Source Bridge is crowdfunding!

Open Source Bridge does amazing things with very little. Companies running conferences on this scale often need a budget of half a million dollars. We run Open Source Bridge on about twenty percent of that — less than $100K. This tight budget means that every year, we start from scratch on fundraising for the conference.

We cover part of our costs by selling tickets to attendees like you. We also offer sponsorships to organizations wanting to reach Open Source Bridge attendees. We already have a venue and an amazing batch of speakers. But there are other costs of running a conference that are harder to cover through sponsorship. We’re asking for your help to cover those costs and to help us make Open Source Bridge more sustainable.

What Does $8,000 Get Us?

With this campaign, we’re focused on covering some specific costs. If we raise the full $8,000 we’re asking for, we’ll use the money to pay for the following:

  • The Open Source Citizenship Award ($100): We’ll be able to present the Open Source Citizenship Award to a member of the open source community.
  • Honorariums for Our Keynote Speakers ($1,500): We’ll pay our keynote speakers an honorarium for their hard work.
  • Child Care ($3,500): We’ll provide childcare free of charge for all our attendees, in order to make the conference more accessible to parents.
  • Scholarships for Food and Travel ($2,900): In addition to covering the cost of a ticket for scholarship attendees, we’ll provide a stipend to cover the other expenses of coming to Open Source Bridge.

Raising this money for Open Source Bridge also helps us move toward more sustainable funding. As part of preparing for this year’s conference, we’re making things easier to continue to run for years to come. Click here to support OSB!

You can use the discount code “osbgenerosity” until May 20th to get $42 off your OSB16 pass!

New OSB Chairs and 2016 Tickets

After 5 years of building proverbial bridges in the open source community, Reid Beels and Christie Koehler have stepped down as Open Source Bridge Chairs. Please welcome Thursday Bram and Shawna Scott, our co-chairs for 2016!

Thursday Bram
Thursday Bram writes about technology, design, and inclusivity. She organizes PyDX and other events in Portland, Oregon. You can find Thursday online at or @thursdayb.

Shawna Scott
Shawna is a software engineer in Portland, Oregon. She works at 38 Zeros in Ruby on Rails and to increase empathy through software. Shawna strives toward social justice and creating spaces and communities that are affirming and accessible to all. To that end, she is a member of the Calagator core team, co-organizer for Women Who Hack, and a sometimes-responsible member of the PDX Ruby Brigade anarchist ghost pirate ship.

And: tickets are now available for Open Source Bridge 2016! Get those early bird cheap ones!

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