Two great articles on running more effective, inclusive meetings

I really like these two articles on making remote meetings, and meetings in general, more participatory.

and this follow up:

I bet @Zsailer or maybe @trallard and @KirstieJane would be interested in these! (I’d love to brainstorm how we could think about these articles in the context of the jupyterhub meetings)

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Heya! I’m sorry I didn’t reply to this @choldgraf!! I love the second post - effective facilitation is awesome. What I took from the post is that someone paying attention to the power dynamics in the “room” and being in a position to do something about them! is super important.

For the JupyterHub meetings, I think I’d recommend doing a few iterations of trying to follow a really strict agenda. Building the agenda is tough and requires the majority of the community to be on the same page about the point of the call!

For example, some may think that the calls are to celebrate what’s been done (achievements) and who did them (members of the community). Some may think that the goal is to agree on what steps to take next (roadmapping) or to break a tie in a distributed discussion. Still others may think that they are to provide support and answer questions.

When you look at that list, you start to realise quite quickly how little can be done in a 1 hour remote meeting :scream_cat: :sob: :weary: Once the problem of the goal of the meeting is figured out, then an agenda can be built more easily and THEN the facilitator can keep folks on track.

Super happy to keep discussing this!!

My 2 cents is that these sorts of remote calls should have just one goal of making people feel welcome and supported, and confident enough to explore meeting the other goals at other times and in other ways. Most of the other goals need so much more time and also need a selected group of people to work on developing them, that (in my opinion) you’re always set up to fail if you try to achieve them in the meeting!

I think there’s space in my suggestion of “making people feel welcome and supported” to also have transparent decision making. That could mean that there’s a run down of key decisions that have been made, and potentially votes in the meeting if necessary…I just think big discussions can’t be done…


That’s a great point about figuring out “what is the point of the call”. To me, there are a few roles that these calls serve (not saying they should serve these roles, just that this is what I’ve noticed in the past)

  • Giving people a chance to talk face-to-face (which I think is inherently valuable)
  • Highlighting important events / releases / etc in the community
  • An opportunity for “non-core” people to share their thoughts, concerns, ideas, etc
  • A way for team members to highlight particular issues/PRs/ideas that they’d like to escalate in priority
  • A way to give general updates on what has changed since the last meeting

…probably other stuff too, if you can think of other things please feel free to add them!

I think no matter what ends up being the topic having a good structure is going to help make it better. I really like the “raise your hand and you join the list and will get called on” setup we used last week. We need to experiment a bit on how to implement that for video.

As we figure out which purposes we want to serve we should remember that we can always split the meeting into two meetings (or three …) so that each one has a clear purpose.

From my side it started as a way to coordinate development, deployment, and financing of the tech behind Binder and JupyterHub. One goal is to open up a door for people to join that process.

Maybe with the revived all Jupyter community call we can have the welcoming and showing off community work happen in that call and have a second call to focus on the other things?

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