Everyday Opportunities for Inclusion and Collaboration

A presentation at Open Source Summit Europe in in Prague, Czechia by erik riedel

New York Times article about Men & Women

New York Times article about Men & Women

Do you feel left out or uncomfortable at the company Christmas Party? Do you avoid the water cooler and limit interactions to “business only”? Do you find many such business-social interactions are fraught with potential landmines and opportunities for exclusion or misunderstanding? Do you see colleagues excluded or unable to participate when activities are informal, under-structured, or ill-organized?

This session will present a set of specific examples and stories from our direct experience of some of the less obvious opportunities for networking, learning, mentoring, and collaboration that are presented by ongoing day-job activities as well as thru outside events and forums.

Since much of successful mentoring and collaboration occurs informally, there are many unidentified or difficult-to-see barriers that can create missed opportunities. We believe that the desire to assist each other and collaborate is often present but unrealized. We will provide some examples of lowering the activation energy for such positive interactions and creating an equality of opportunity for colleagues and team members.

The examples we discuss are applicable to individual contributor employees, to leaders and managers, and to anyone with a job description OR a personal passion that includes mentoring or collaboration. These issues are not limited to technology workers or open source projects, but we believe that there are unique opportunities in these realms that are sometimes hidden or easily missed.