Sept - Dec 2016
Global Digital Innovation
Edu Tech 

GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY TRENDS

Rails Girls’ Code inspires creativity

A primary goal of Rails Girls Summer of Code is to be inclusive to the all of our part-takers – participants, coaches, mentors, supervisors and everyone in the organising team, with the most varied and diverse backgrounds possible. As such, we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religion (or lack thereof).

This code of conduct outlines our expectations for all those who participate in our community, as well as the consequences for unacceptable behaviour.

We invite all those who participate in Rails Girls Summer of Code to help us create safe and positive experiences for everyone.

Welcoming environment

A supplemental goal of this Code of Conduct is to increase an open and welcoming environment by encouraging community participants to recognise and strengthen the relationships between our actions and their effects on our community.

Communities mirror the societies in which they exist and positive action is essential to counteract the many forms of inequality and abuses of power that exist in society.

Expected Behaviour

  • Participate in any supporting and active way. In doing so, you contribute to the health and longevity of this community.
  • Exercise consideration and respect in your speech and actions.
  • Attempt collaboration before conflict.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behaviour and speech.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert the Organisers or anyone nearby if you notice a dangerous situation, someone in distress, or violations of this Code of Conduct, even if they seem inconsequential.

Unacceptable Behaviour

Unacceptable behaviours include: intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory or demeaning speech or actions by any participant in our community online, at all related events and in one-on-one communications carried out in the context of team work. Community event venues may be shared with members of the public; please be respectful to all patrons of these locations.

Harassment includes: harmful or prejudicial verbal or written comments related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability; inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces (including presentation slides); deliberate intimidation, stalking or following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Consequences of Unacceptable Behaviour

Unacceptable behaviour from any community member, including sponsors and those with decision-making authority, will not be tolerated.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behaviour is expected to comply immediately.

If a community member engages in unacceptable behaviour, the community organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including a temporary ban or permanent expulsion from the community.

If You Witness or Are Subject to Unacceptable Behaviour

If you are subject to or witness unacceptable behaviour, or have any other concerns, please notify a member of the trust committee as soon as possible.

Additionally, members of the trust committee are available to help community members engage with local law enforcement or to otherwise help those experiencing unacceptable behaviour feel safe. In the context of in-person events, organizers will also provide escorts as desired by the person experiencing distress.

Scope

We expect all community participants (contributors, paid or otherwise; sponsors; and other guests) to abide by this Code of Conduct in all community venues – online and in-person – as well as in all one-on-one communications during all things and activities related to Rails Girls Summer of Code.

Contact and Trust Committee

We have set up a trust committee at railsgirls.com. You can contact the person you feel most comfortable reaching out to. By offering external contacts that are not involved in the project we want to make sure that if you have problems with people involved in the organization, you have a safe contact to turn to. They will act as a mediator. The trust committee will leave your request anonymous (unless this is not an issue for you) and devote their time to fixing any issue you might have. This covers everything from feeling uncomfortable with somebody, having personal issues in your life you need help with, feeling bullied, misunderstood, discriminated against, disrespected.

 

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Creator Spaces   Designing Innovation Economics

 


Ayesha Dawood


I liked this when I came across it “Thinking is a kind of making, and making is a kind of thinking" says Jessie Shefrin former Provost of The Rhode Island School of Design and past Dean of Graduate Studies of The Rhode Island School of Design.

I like this too, alot 'design thinking ... is the expression of communication – the form itself...' that is the response I got when I asked John Maeda, at a talk at MIT this year what design thinking is -- Is it the form, is it the way it is presented .. and how does it impact international affairs? His response has got me mulling on innovation economics – and a very 21st century focus. The innovation economics idea was introduced to me by Professor William Fisher of Harvard Law School, Wilmer Hale Professor of Intellectual Property. And so Professor Fisher I take the liberty to propel this idea to designing innovation economics in the 21st century. So here I am positing Creator Spaces as innovation economics in action. And yes, Prof Fisher, Intellectual Property is important and as you say, only and only if it creatively engages with culture. So I take the creative engaging with the culture of a people, the culture of counties ... to a culture of creation. So, I am building and creating and designing too. Is this Ronald Dworkin`s chain novel theory playing itself out – a step by step building of things.

In particular I focus on Creator and Maker spaces which I call Creator Spaces. It is a movement rapidly gaining traction – and pioneering new pedagogies – tinkering, creator and playful learning pedagogies. No doubt this is influencing and will continue to improve a whole new wave – tinkering, playful learning and learning through play and exploration heralding novel creations as well as iterations in the new edu- tech era.

This is innovation economics birthed. A world of tinkering, software and hardware creation including an immersive engagement with technology and with materials –that is what empowers us to be courageous and creative. To make, to create – the art of playful learning and innovator spirit is boldly borne.

In seeing what we create – both online with immersive engaging of technology to building with our minds and hands to creating with materials to embracing the realm of possibilities and yes frameworks ( the lawyer in me screams legal frameworks as much computational thinking calls for system frameworks ). That is the power of Creator Space. They energise, motivate, uplift and propel growth in ones own sense of self, in creativity, in making, in building, in designing and cognition and critical thinking. And this is why it makes sense – it is innovation economics in both the digital and physical – a new form of a connected world – a world of immersive technology made simple – a world of creative making and a world of design and designing new things – software, new hardware, new things and while the search for new hardware forms and hardware materials is increasingly opening up new possibilities in materials.... Creator Spaces are about working with what is available as well making new from afresh and in that process new forms are birthed – New software creation is Creator Space and open source learning and remixing also lend impetus to this. See what amazing creations Scratch, an open source computer programme inspiring community learning and inspiring kids to create stories, animations and games - initiated at the MIT Media Lab Lifelong Kindergarden Group - is doing for kids globally here https://scratch.mit.edu

Designing Creator Spaces is about inspiring people to take charge of their minds and ideas. I marvelled at watching the excitement and agility of the kids at MIT `s Scratch Day this May. Boundless enthusiasm and fun creations – and such confidence.

A new creator pedagogy in the making – yes – but maybe not so new in Africa and emerging economies where creator crafts and tinkering necessities were birthed. It is this staple that will take the shift to tinkering and artful play in emerging economies to levels unparalleled and a boon for innovation economics. Now that is design thinking innovation economics.  Creator Spaces is innovation economics. And yes, Intellectual Property matters.

Ayesha Dawood is a lawyer, writer and artist and educator. She is a Harvard and South African educated lawyer (@ConsultAyesha) She has an LL.M from Harvard Law School and is a recent Fellow of the Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs, Harvard University.