Welcome to Sustain WP, a limited podcast series about digital sustainability and WordPress. I’m your host Nahuai Badiola and in this episode I will be talking about the social pillar of sustainability with 8 amazing guests.
In the previous episode we introduced the environmental pillar of sustainability from different points of view and we will do something similar for the social part.
Some of the guests were already introduced on the previous episode so I’ll just mention their name and I will give a bit more of context to the ones that are new for the podcast series.
I start talking with Hari Shanker, who is Open Source Program Manager at Automattic, Full-time WordPress Contributor, currently leads the WordPress Contributor Working Group and works on improving Five for the Future. He uses a nice example to explain what social sustainability means to him. He also mentions the importance accessibility, privacy and DEIB.
I was nice to see how Tim Frick also touched on accessibility, inclusion and privacy. He also reflects on how digital products impact people, so if we are creators we should have it in mind.
Continuing with things that people don’t usually link to sustainability, Tom Greenwood talks about creating a humane web and share some ideas, that could go against the mainstream trends, but that could help to make meaningful connections.
The next guest, Nora Ferreirós, who is a responsible UX/UI Designer, also thinks we should keep humans in the center. She talks about using best practices (like avoiding deceptive patterns), thinking about humans instead of users, so we create digital products that find a balance between business success and social sustainability.
Then Nora goes an extra mile to explain why the social part is so relevant inside the sustainability.
In the same direction Juan Hernando also mentions the importance of having a diverse group of people in all the positions. He also reflects on the convenience to stop sometimes so you can re-think some processes.
We also talk about how to improve process with our next guest, Courtney Robertson. She is Open Source Developer Advocate and WP Training Team Faculty Member, sponsored by GoDaddy. She talks about the importance of the project health and what we can learn from the CHAOSS community. Then I ask her about the metrics dashboard proposal, which can help improving, among other things, the accountability of the people that pledge their time on the 5 for the future project.
Now we go back to Tim Frick so he can explain what a B Corp is and also how going through the B impact assessment, even if you don’t end up certified, can be an eye opener experience.
In the last part of the episode we will see more clear than ever how the 3 pillars are intertwined, specially the social and economic parts.
We start this last part with, Birgit Olzem, WordPress Professional and DEIB advocate. She mentions how the 3 pillars are vital, the importance of DEIB, how intertwined are the social and economical parts and the importance of getting underrepresented groups founded.
She talks about some bottle necks on key parts of the project, which have few people maintaining them and the importance of having the maintainers well supported.
Next we hear Courtney referring to the same topic and talking about a recent example.
We close the guest participation with Julia Golomb who stresses out how intertwined are the 3 pillars.
Those we pretty interesting ideas, don’t you think?
You will be hearing more opinions of these guests and some others in the next episodes.
Taking about the guests, I feel like they were, again, really on point. They covered a lot of ground so I’ll try to summarize the main points.
A common point was the importance of paying attention to accessibility, privacy and inclusion. Expanding in this last point we talked about DEIB, that stands for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. All of them are important specially if we want to have a healthy WordPress community.
We should treat each other with respect and create a culture were everybody feels welcome and part of it.
I guess this is common sense, but sometimes we have to say obvious things, that happens quite a lot on sustainability area too.
There were also some reflections on how software transforms society and how, as creators, we should build digital products to serve humans using best practices. And ideally strike the balance between profit and been ethical.
We also touched on how having community health metrics could help us with the sustainability of the project and a new proposal on WordPress that aims to bring more transparency.
We ended up reflecting on how intertwined are the social and economical parts and the importance of having the maintainers of the project well supported.
I’m sure that we will continue talking about this topic in the next episode.
- CHAOSS community
- CHAOSS community podcast
- Bus factor (Wikipedia) (CHAOSS)
- Elephant factor (CHAOSS)
- Pony factor (Bitergia)
- WordPress Make/Teams dashboard proposal
- Proposal for establishing a DEIB Team on WordPress community
00:00:13 Nahuai Badiola
Welcome to Sustain WP, a limited podcast series about digital sustainability and WordPress. I’m your host Nahuai Badiola and in this episode I will be talking about the social pillar of sustainability with 8 amazing guests.
00:00:27 Nahuai Badiola
In the previous episode, we introduced the environmental Pillar of Sustainability with different points of view and we will do something similar for the social part. Some of the guests were already introduced on the previous episode, so I will just mention their name and I will give a bit more of context to the ones that are new.
00:00:47 Nahuai Badiola
For the podcast.
00:00:48 Nahuai Badiola
Serious. I start talking with Hari Shanker, who is open source program manager and automatic full time workers contributor currently leads the workers Contributor Working Group and works on improving 5 for the future. He uses an example to explain what social sustainability.
00:01:08 Nahuai Badiola
Means to him. He also mentions the importance of accessibility, privacy and Deb. Let’s hear it.
00:01:17 Hari Shanker
That’s a great question. So.
00:01:20 Hari Shanker
Well, I have a very interesting matter for this. So if the world is a big playground with a lot of schemes, the social sustainability, social sustainability means everyone in this playground gets a chance to play, feel safe to have fun no matter who they are. I think that’s what.
00:01:40 Hari Shanker
Sorry, social sustainability is so.
00:01:44 Hari Shanker
But in terms of how it looks like in the world of digital sustainability, it means fair access, which means everybody gets equal access irrespective of who they are, where what part of the way they are from? Definitely privacy. Privacy is extremely important in this very complicated world where we are all interconnected and absolutely inclusion and belonging.
00:02:05 Hari Shanker
Deeb Diversity, equity inclusion and blogging, that’s a key part to social sustainability.
00:02:10 Hari Shanker
We live in a world where everyone is different, but everyone is connected and everyone should be equally considered as well. So there’s so many pillars that you know are part of social sustainability. But if I were to summarize, as I mentioned, fair access, privacy and inclusion, those are the three important points that come to mind. So.
00:02:30 Hari Shanker
Those should really that’s I think that’s what social sustainability is all about at the end.
00:02:35 Nahuai Badiola
It was nice to hear how Tim Frick also touched on accessibility, inclusion and privacy. He also reflects on how digital products impact people. So if we are creators, we should have it in mind.
00:02:50 Tim Frick
I think if you’re talking specifically through the lens of digital, like if you’re really looking, you know, specifically through digital.
00:02:57 Tim Frick
That to me, that’s things like prioritizing, you know, accessibility, prioritizing inclusion, inclusive language and say, websites and stuff like that and really thinking about like, all right, well, how do the digital products and services I either use or create impact people.
00:03:17 Tim Frick
Where are we and where are the? Where are the things that that we’re weak on or what are the things that we’re not doing very well?
00:03:24 Tim Frick
I think on the same in the same regard like data privacy is another thing that to me that is a social aspect of digital that you know, people’s personal data being spread across the Internet or being released to people who maybe shouldn’t have it. I think I think about those kinds of things when I’m thinking about what the social aspect or social pillar of sustainability.
00:03:47 Tim Frick
Needs and you know, to many people, I think still even in 2023 when when we’re recording this.
00:03:53 Tim Frick
That data, privacy, accessibility, are are not front of mind when they think of sustainability. You know they’re still really thinking about energy and and and environmental impact. And so I think we have a lot of work to.
00:04:02 Nahuai Badiola
00:04:06 Tim Frick
Do to kind.
00:04:06 Tim Frick
Of help bring people along to the fact that it is much more than just, you know, the.
00:04:11 Tim Frick
Things that we just talked about.
00:04:13 Nahuai Badiola
Continuing with things that people don’t usually link to sustainability, Tom Greenwoodtalks about creating a humane web and search some ideas that could go against mainstream trends, but that could help to make meaningful connect.
00:04:30 Tom Greenwood
Yeah. So my colleague, marketer and I have been talking a lot in recent months about.
00:04:36 Tom Greenwood
Like trying to create a more humane web and and that’s really us trying to kind of shift our thinking into the the social side of things. But in a more holistic way. So there’s lots of.
00:04:47 Tom Greenwood
There’s a lot of topics within the digital space that are really important, kind of individually, things like privacy and accessibility and inclusivity, but they’re often kind of talked about separately and then you’ve got the environmental piece separately.
00:05:03 Tom Greenwood
And actually, I think increasingly as we’re seeing.
00:05:08 Tom Greenwood
We’re just seeing digital technology transform society in profound ways, and some of it’s fantastic and some of it is is really worrying, particularly in terms of like the impact on mental health and and.
00:05:19 Tom Greenwood
And how in in many ways it sort of disconnects us as much as it connects us and and actually we’ve been sort of doing this thought experiment in the idea of what would a what would a web that was truly like built to serve the best interests of humans look like and it and it’s it’s kind of nice because then you you you pull yourself away from like individual.
00:05:41 Tom Greenwood
Topics like privacy and the.
00:05:43 Tom Greenwood
Environment and just start thinking like, OK, I’m a human. You’re a human. Like, if we if we weren’t designing the web to maximize clicks and conversion funnels and search rankings and and all of these things, what would it be like? And actually it might be quite different. It might like we for example.
00:06:03 Tom Greenwood
We all think that speed is good on the Internet. Everything’s got to be fast and I think, yeah, it.
00:06:08 Tom Greenwood
Speed is good in terms of not making people wait for the.
00:06:11 Tom Greenwood
00:06:13 Tom Greenwood
We don’t want to be hyper stimulated all the time. It would be nice if the web was a relaxing place where we could.
00:06:18 Tom Greenwood
00:06:19 Tom Greenwood
And take our time to like, you know, meander through important, you know, information is really important to us and.
00:06:28 Tom Greenwood
And we want it to be beautiful.
00:06:29 Tom Greenwood
And we want.
00:06:30 Tom Greenwood
To make real meaningful connections with people.
00:06:32 Tom Greenwood
And we want we want to increasingly we’re going to want to know like.
00:06:38 Tom Greenwood
What’s what’s really human and what’s generated by AI and things like this. So I think it.
00:06:46 Tom Greenwood
The social side is getting increasingly interesting for me because I think it’s it’s how we pull all these things together in one holistic view and say actually like, let’s just try and create things that are good for humans and and actually serve our needs kind of.
00:07:00 Tom Greenwood
Not just physically, but also kind of mentally and emotionally as well.
00:07:05 Nahuai Badiola
Yeah, it’s super nice to hear that. At least someone is thinking with this frame.
00:07:10 Nahuai Badiola
00:07:11 Nahuai Badiola
Because if not, you have the feeling that we are. Yeah, go going in a hurry and trying to convince the robots that our website is the best things. Like if you step up for a bit it’s like are we really going in the right direction or are we just going mad and trying to arrive to whatever?
00:07:31 Nahuai Badiola
We think we have to arrive so and I think there is a lot of space in the design part to change the. Yeah, let’s say the, the, the mainstream.
00:07:42 Nahuai Badiola
The same pattern, so it’s nice to see that there is a group of people thinking, OK, how would we be design this if we don’t have these factors into account and we have these others that maybe are more humane and maybe less in a hurry, more calm. So yeah, it’s it’s super nice to hear.
00:08:02 Nahuai Badiola
Yeah. And there is a lot of space. So it’s I think it’s quite interesting to to do some research of course.
00:08:10 Nahuai Badiola
One of the nice things you do in in whole grain digital is that you share part of the process. So other people that are interested can also, yeah, yeah, jump in and say OK, then that makes sense. Maybe I start applying this ideas to my assignment.
00:08:25 Tom Greenwood
Yeah. Yeah. And and equally, if it doesn’t make sense, like let’s have some discussion and some put put ideas on the table and share.
00:08:33 Nahuai Badiola
Them. Yeah. Yeah, that’s true too.
00:08:36 Nahuai Badiola
Yeah, having feedback in general is a good a good thing, yeah.
00:08:40 Nahuai Badiola
Our next guest, Nora Ferreirós, who is a responsible UX UI designer, also thinks we should keep humans in the center. She talks about using best practices like avoiding deceptive patterns, thinking about humans instead of users. So we create digital products.
00:09:00 Nahuai Badiola
That find a balance between business success and social sustainability. Then Nora goes an extra mile to explain why the social part is so relevant inside the sustainability.
00:09:13 Nora Ferreirós
Yeah, about this matter.
00:09:14 Nora Ferreirós
I I I think I’m really influenced.
00:09:18 Nora Ferreirós
Because I am a designer, so the most interesting part for me or the most important part for me about social sustainability intake is working on.
00:09:30 Nora Ferreirós
What I feel are best practices about how we make people consume through our digital products in websites, in whatever, even in communication.
00:09:43 Nora Ferreirós
So in social power are really concerned about privacy, about that patterns about.
00:09:52 Nora Ferreirós
I don’t know. I feel we professional.
00:09:54 Nora Ferreirós
Have to make the change to make consumers change to.
00:10:00 Nora Ferreirós
Towards detail sustainability, anything is important because with this social power, with thinking on people as people, as human and not users, we are contributing in a social sustainability, but also in consequence we are improving in sustainability.
00:10:21 Nora Ferreirós
Or in financial fees or in diversity. So I am really interested in this.
00:10:27 Nora Ferreirós
Part of it all.
00:10:28 Nora Ferreirós
So touches the accessibility part. I mean I am really concerned about how I create digital products, how I design it and how we create strategies in order to to make business succeed.
00:10:48 Nora Ferreirós
I feel we can, uh, reach balance between business, succeed and social.
00:11:00 Nora Ferreirós
Sustainability. I I know it’s really a topic, but it’s my motivation in working in in social stability.
00:11:10 Nahuai Badiola
Yeah, that sounds really great indeed. So I think we both are idealist. So we really think we can strike that balance between profit and being an ethic human and treat the other human as another human. Yeah, and not only money or whatever it is. So.
00:11:29 Nahuai Badiola
It’s really great to hear that there is designers that have still that pure spirit and they want to change some some.
00:11:39 Nahuai Badiola
Yeah, let’s say.
00:11:39 Nora Ferreirós
Not, not not many, but.
00:11:42 Nora Ferreirós
I suppose I am a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
00:11:45 Nora Ferreirós
I’m one tipping.
00:11:47 Nora Ferreirós
This this way.
00:11:48 Nahuai Badiola
And this is the extra mile I was referring earlier.
00:11:52 Nora Ferreirós
Yeah. I just wanted to say something. I always say in any.
00:11:57 Nora Ferreirós
Activism. I am part of.
00:12:00 Nora Ferreirós
It’s a message to people that are already.
00:12:05 Nora Ferreirós
Involved in sustainability or concern about it, it is that you have you, you cannot.
00:12:13 Nora Ferreirós
UM, forget the social bar. It’s OK to try to be as sustainable as possible in an environmental way, but sometimes people cannot because system does not allow them to be. So be patient. Let go step by step.
00:12:33 Nora Ferreirós
Don’t try to be perfect and don’t blame on people for not being sustainable. Each of us has our own realities and we have to we have to make people confident about this and and not.
00:12:41 Nahuai Badiola
00:12:52 Nora Ferreirós
You know, blame on them because they are not sustainable. So please take have your mind always the social part and remember, not everybody have as not everyone is as lucky as you are. Not everyone has the time. Not everyone.
00:13:11 Nora Ferreirós
That’s the the education. So be patient and we want everybody to join this sustainable party. So think in a social way.
00:13:21 Nora Ferreirós
When you you propose everything, anything or whatever.
00:13:26 Nahuai Badiola
In the same direction, Juan Hernando also mentions the importance of having a diverse group of people in all the positions.
00:13:34 Nahuai Badiola
He also reflects on the convenience to stop sometimes, so you can rethink some processes.
00:13:42 Juan Hernando
Well, I think it’s.
00:13:44 Juan Hernando
All about opportunities and and trying to to get the.
00:13:50 Juan Hernando
Diverse equity and and.
00:13:55 Juan Hernando
All these terms that are surfacing like like you said right now.
00:14:01 Juan Hernando
And translate it to to the people who are around us that don’t have the opportunities that many of us have. So I think it’s important that that any project we do.
00:14:18 Juan Hernando
Is we have to take care of who is there, who’s making decisions, who is represented?
00:14:28 Juan Hernando
And sometimes we just go ahead doing what it’s been done forever and and you’re not looking, who’s not in the room. So I think it’s important for us to to stop and think about this.
00:14:44 Nahuai Badiola
Yeah, this this is the second time that you bring up the.
00:14:48 Nahuai Badiola
Stopping and thinking idea and I really love it. I I mean, I feel like we.
00:14:53 Nahuai Badiola
Are with yeah in a hamster wheel that we used to say in the day daily work and also it also happens sometimes in the projects that they carry on with the synetic, which is good because it goes forward. But sometimes we have like we are in a hurry to arrive to some point.
00:15:13 Nahuai Badiola
And sometimes it’s good to just stop and think about how we want to the yeah, choose the direction we want to.
00:15:23 Juan Hernando
Yeah, I I see it. Just one thing just for keep talking about that. But I I I really see it when when organizing events or organizing teams that many people just want to do what they know it works and and it’s cool and I’ve I’ve been.
00:15:43 Juan Hernando
Guilty of that because it’s nice it, you know, it works. You know, it’s going to happen.
00:15:49 Juan Hernando
But you’re probably missing something, so that’s why you need to to stop there and say hey, who can help us or who we are. We are not reaching everyone, of course. So how can we bring more people in here and you need to have.
00:16:08 Juan Hernando
Other inputs and and it’s very important to listen to everyone.
00:16:13 Nahuai Badiola
Yeah, yeah. In this sense, I think we could also learn more about other projects, open source projects that they have a thriving community like, I don’t know Drupal or maybe Joomla in some sense.
00:16:25 Nahuai Badiola
So and I I’ve been thinking about it also because sometimes we are doing what we know what we do and we need new impact, new input let’s say to yeah, to try to change things. So we also talk about how to improve processes with our next guest, Courtney Robertson.
00:16:45 Nahuai Badiola
She is open source developer advocate and WordPress training team faculty member sponsored by GoDaddy. She talks about the importance of the project health and what we can learn from the cows comma.
00:17:01 Nahuai Badiola
Then I asked her about the metrics dashboard proposal, which can help improving, among other things, the accountability of the people that pledge their time on the fight for the future initiative.
00:17:14 Courtney Robertson
Yeah. So I would like him into project health and go over, for instance, ideas like the bus factor when.
00:17:23 Courtney Robertson
00:17:24 Nahuai Badiola
Can can you explain the best factor? I I know about it and it’s. Yeah, I mean, it’s funny. The term is not the the concept, but yeah.
00:17:24 Courtney Robertson
00:17:32 Courtney Robertson
Yeah. So I think this actually goes back to the 90s or early 2000s at the best and I believe it was in the Python community that the term came up. It basically means that if you were to get hit.
00:17:44 Courtney Robertson
By a bus.
00:17:45 Courtney Robertson
Which we wish nobody has happened, but if you.
00:17:47 Courtney Robertson
Were to get.
00:17:48 Courtney Robertson
Hit by a bus, what would be the impact upon the things that you were giving yourself?
00:17:52 Courtney Robertson
Into before that. So you’re incapacity incapacitated in some capacity, right in some amount. You are no longer able to do this.
00:18:04 Courtney Robertson
We don’t want to be in a position where all of the knowledge of how to do the thing rides on one person or all of the work. Expectations rides on one person. We want to have redundancy so that if you need to go on vacation, just take some time off right that that you can do that, that we like that for each other.
00:18:25 Courtney Robertson
Gosh, as an American, I think often about how the European culture is 6 weeks in the summer time and and craziness for for the American brain to process, but.
00:18:36 Nahuai Badiola
00:18:37 Nahuai Badiola
For me it’s the other way around. It’s craziness.
00:18:40 Courtney Robertson
There have to be so dependent upon, yes, but yes, that idea of project health. And so there are other factors similar to this. I had attended open source summit.
00:18:52 Courtney Robertson
In May, which is put on by the Linux.
00:18:54 Courtney Robertson
Foundation and within that there are many projects, not just Linux itself, that use the Linux Foundation as kind of their host foundation.
00:19:03 Courtney Robertson
For these little or.
00:19:05 Courtney Robertson
Open source projects and littler compared to the size and.
00:19:09 Courtney Robertson
Say Linux or the size and scale of WordPress, even one of those groups that I came across was chaos, which stands for community.
00:19:16 Courtney Robertson
Health analytics, open source software and this group has everything from metrics about events to sustainability to all sorts of things. But they have.
00:19:28 Courtney Robertson
Three that I.
00:19:29 Courtney Robertson
Thought really interesting. That might be fun to to.
00:19:31 Courtney Robertson
Test with some of our teams.
00:19:33 Courtney Robertson
Bust factor, which I’ve explained.
00:19:36 Courtney Robertson
Pony Factor, which means that we’re riding on one person to do.
00:19:42 Courtney Robertson
Often they liken it to commits. Now, if you’re in other teams, that might be something.
00:19:45 Courtney Robertson
Else so the pony factor that we might see is that over in the core team we’ve got an amazing contributor, Sergei who emerges nearly everything that comes in now. Sergei is amazing at this and we have other people that are capable, but we just need to be aware because a pony could quickly turn into a bus.
00:20:06 Courtney Robertson
Is is the catch and.
00:20:07 Courtney Robertson
Also have another one called an elephant.
00:20:09 Courtney Robertson
Factor in the elephant in the room would be in the WordPress space. I love my friends at automatic, but it would be automatic. One company that has the bulk of the work of sponsored contributors and what is good for the.
00:20:25 Courtney Robertson
And all of those things, and I would say that no one would argue that we would like more contributors and to diversify so that we don’t have an elephant in.
00:20:34 Courtney Robertson
The room, but.
00:20:35 Courtney Robertson
That is an actual metric, and they’ve got great documentation about that over in chaos dot communities website. So there are some different ones that are out there.
00:20:45 Courtney Robertson
And I think a lot of those relate to the health overall of a project, yeah.
00:20:50 Nahuai Badiola
Yeah. That, that’s. Yeah, I knew about the bus factor. I didn’t hear about the other two. Yeah, that’s. But I think that they are really. Yeah. Visual. And also it’s easy to understand the the problem. So. So thanks for for sharing that. I will leave the the link to to to this resource in the in.
00:21:08 Nahuai Badiola
Have not, and I’ve been listening to the podcast of cows community since you were. Yeah, you came up with the proposal of the dashboards that we can tackle after if you want. And it’s really interesting knowing how other open source projects are already trying to manage.
00:21:28 Nahuai Badiola
Those metrics. So if if you want you can yeah explain a little bit what’s the idea behind the the metrics. I think I fear that the proposal.
00:21:39 Nahuai Badiola
It’s going to be close for comments, but I’m sure that it’s going to be ongoing conversation. So if you could just explain the idea behind it and how we can take examples from other communities.
00:21:51 Courtney Robertson
Yeah, so originally this kind of came out from the Meta team. Ian was a driver for that one in 2021.
00:22:00 Courtney Robertson
Steve and I had actually been serving as a team Rep on the training team at that time and was in a conversation with Andrea about the administrative overhead that I was facing simultaneously running meetings, doing the work, opening coffee hours for the team so they could get to know each other. So it’s community building, it is administrative things and now on.
00:22:21 Courtney Robertson
Top of that, how can I possibly track?
00:22:24 Courtney Robertson
Every little nuance of how the whole team has been contributing that was problematic, and from that conversation later we see this dashboards type of proposal because it wasn’t just a unique thing to the training team, it’s to all the teams. We’re all struggling with what more could be automated in an elegant manner so we don’t have all of this manual.
00:22:44 Courtney Robertson
Work and we don’t want anyone to get overlooked if they have contributed, they should be recognized for their contribution. So some of the ideas that kicked off in early 21 about this were around simplifying some of that activity. And where would we, what would we measure?
00:23:00 Courtney Robertson
Later conversation began on firming up a little bit more of five for the future. So as a team Rep.
00:23:06 Courtney Robertson
If I were to look on make.wordpress.org/training on the right hand sidebar, there’s this thing that says so many people have pledged to this team. It’s supposed to be like 1500 people or something right now, where are these people? I haven’t seen them. How do I reach out if they said that they wanted to contribute a specific thing so anyone could go and pledge that they’re contributing to whatever.
00:23:26 Courtney Robertson
Team they would like.
00:23:27 Courtney Robertson
But there’s no accountability for that, and there’s no way for a team to call in and say you said that you would like to be somebody to proofread our content before it publishes. Would you come do that? We have this right waiting not to nag people, but to really match them with their specific interests. Right. And to stay in.
00:23:44 Courtney Robertson
Touch with them.
00:23:45 Courtney Robertson
So there’s a lot of that data that just it’s it’s sort of there, but it’s on the honor system and it it’s spammy and we need to clean it up. Some people are contributing more than.
00:23:55 Courtney Robertson
40 hours a week to.
00:23:56 Courtney Robertson
The project it just.
00:23:57 Courtney Robertson
Doesn’t add up in any way.
00:24:00 Courtney Robertson
So out of that.
00:24:04 Courtney Robertson
Flash forward a little bit since the support team and the community teams have looked at maybe some of the metrics that they would like to see some data.
00:24:11 Courtney Robertson
That that team.
00:24:12 Courtney Robertson
Would like to have so we have a.
00:24:14 Courtney Robertson
Request from the teams.
00:24:17 Courtney Robertson
That has been surfaced multiple times and I have brought it up again at word camp Europe this past year I asked Matt during the Q&A.
00:24:26 Courtney Robertson
That I had heard from some folks that work in the agency space, in particular someone that works for American Eagle, not the clothing company, but a very large web agency that they would like to bring in their staff between, say, US Thanksgiving and Christmas, because that tends to be a low in the North American.
00:24:46 Courtney Robertson
Agency space in terms of client project work and a great opportunity to contribute, but the problem is.
00:24:53 Courtney Robertson
Just getting through onboarding and figuring out what needs to be done is confusing for them.
00:24:58 Courtney Robertson
And my question to Matt was largely around.
00:25:01 Courtney Robertson
How could we set?
00:25:02 Courtney Robertson
Up sprints and a Sprint in the agile environment is often tied to scrum. It it just basically means like during this chunk of time, whatever you decide, that chunk of time to be, we’re going to go do this thing and by the end here is the outcome that we will get and then we’ll talk about what worked and didn’t work.
00:25:19 Courtney Robertson
After that I asked Matt, could we set up things like that?
00:25:24 Courtney Robertson
On behalf of the teams so that when we have groups that would like to swing in for a set period of time, they could pick up the thing, do it and be done. And we know that they’ll come back later, but that they’re not going to be in every week situation because that would make more sense in many agency type of places and even honestly in the the extender system. So our plugins.
00:25:44 Courtney Robertson
Themes, folks, they face different lulls and so that that would be amazing times for them. How could they maybe intertwine? Those was basically my question to that and he resurfaced the stats dashboards initiative. And so we saw another post hit meta about this.
00:25:59 Courtney Robertson
And I love my folks in the Meta team. In fact, these days I’ve been helping facilitate their meetings because they need someone to facilitate.
00:26:06 Courtney Robertson
Meetings so I.
00:26:07 Courtney Robertson
00:26:10 Courtney Robertson
Engineers will engineer.
00:26:12 Courtney Robertson
And again, I deeply appreciate it. Meta is like DevOps, they they take care of the servers that keep all of wordpress.org’s websites and so much more running behind the scenes, do great work and we depend upon them. But I think that the idea of identifying what are the key metrics that the teams need.
00:26:32 Courtney Robertson
That perhaps the organizations that wish to sponsor people to contribute would want from this.
00:26:38 Courtney Robertson
This is a question I faced internally at GoDaddy. What’s the value of sponsor and contributors? What’s our ROI? Because we have board members and shareholders and these other things that smaller companies can just say, oh, we understand this. But when we have to go to a board and say the value of contributing is that we are able to help influence the project.
00:26:58 Courtney Robertson
And we have intimate first hand knowledge of things before they come to the surface.
00:27:05 Courtney Robertson
Sometimes that even no matter.
00:27:06 Courtney Robertson
What you do, it’s just it’s hard to grasp the concept of funding open source. So what kind of data can we provide? What kind of data can we provide about the teams that need work to happen? What kind of data would organizations wishing to help either send staff or sponsor non staff members to do that work?
00:27:25 Courtney Robertson
What kind of data would benefit the team reps, right. There’s a lot of different stakeholders in this. What kind of data would benefit our top WordPress project leadership? What do they need?
00:27:36 Courtney Robertson
And so how do we look at that holistically?
00:27:40 Courtney Robertson
Becomes, I think, a challenge that might be unique for us. So things that we could automate would be, you know, GitHub activity.
00:27:48 Courtney Robertson
We could, it’s.
00:27:49 Courtney Robertson
Already slightly automated, not so much comments, but if you open an issue that will get tracked to your.org profile, as does track TR AC itself.
00:28:00 Courtney Robertson
Activity publishing a post that’s easy to track. What’s harder is in docs and training. We have people editing and revising the actual WordPress website.
00:28:11 Courtney Robertson
That becomes a little blurry. They didn’t write it originally. They’re revising it.
00:28:15 Courtney Robertson
So how do we account for all of?
00:28:17 Courtney Robertson
These little individual bits along the way, and then how do we turn it into something meaningful and who needs which information? And rather than debating this endlessly, where do we even just begin a small pilot?
00:28:28 Courtney Robertson
Test so a lot that that we’re sort of chewing on and I’ll say that.
00:28:36 Courtney Robertson
I’m in conversations closely with Hari Shankar about a lot.
00:28:39 Courtney Robertson
Of this as well.
00:28:41 Courtney Robertson
Collaborating together on some of these idea.
00:28:44 Nahuai Badiola
Now we go back to Tim Frick so he can explain what a Big Corp is and also how going through the big impact assessment even if you don’t end up certified can be an eye opener experience.
00:28:58 Tim Frick
For mighty bites, especially being AB Corp has been a real key driver to so many of the things that we’ve done in digital sustain.
00:29:07 Tim Frick
Ability and for any of your audience that isn’t familiar, a certified B Corp is a company that essentially adheres to very high levels of standards for, you know, accountability, transparency, environmental and social, you know, performance, that kind of thing. So you know, we go through a rigorous.
00:29:28 Tim Frick
Assessment every three years.
00:29:31 Tim Frick
And then you know that that’s to recertify. So mighty bites has been a certified B Corp since 2011. We’ve recertified five times the goal with each certification is to kind of help us bump up in points to be a better company. And so it’s a a really good system for, you know, incorporating innovation and sustainability and.
00:29:52 Tim Frick
And better product management and especially better organizational governance into your business. And and it’s really it’s really useful. I found it to be a.
00:30:01 Tim Frick
Really good creative tool as well for for thinking creatively and and so much of the work that we’ve done in digital sustainability has really kind of blossomed from our B Corp assessment. It is important to note that you know you don’t have to become a certified B Corp to use the B impact assessment, the B impact assessment is free. All you have to do is.
00:30:22 Tim Frick
Sign up for an account and in any organization, even a nonprofit, could use it to measure and manage their.
00:30:29 Tim Frick
Impact. And so if you’re working for instance in, you know on a, on A at an agency, let’s use that because that’s that’s something I have experienced with and I know there are literally hundreds of thousands of agencies that use WordPress as part of their toolkit. You know they can use the B impact assessment to go through and and at the very least.
00:30:50 Tim Frick
I can pretty much guarantee the first time you go through that, not only are you going to be a little bit overwhelmed because it is rigorous and it is challenging.
00:30:57 Tim Frick
However, your your eyes.
00:30:58 Tim Frick
Are also going to be opened up to the fact that there’s a lot.
00:31:01 Tim Frick
Of things that you could be doing and and which of those things do you want to prioritize. And that’s to me, the whole recertification process is really helpful to kind of understand that there’s been some use that we’ve recertified and we focused specifically on digital sustainability, whereas in other other years, we focused on improving employee benefits or improving.
00:31:22 Tim Frick
Our philanthropy practices or or whatever that you know as a as an organization. And the nice thing about it is that you report on that every year. And so we have on our website we have public facing.
00:31:33 Tim Frick
Benefit reports of our social and environmental impact that we publish every single year based on what we’re focusing on at the moment. So those have definitely evolved over the years that we, you know, the 12 years or whatever since we certified.
00:31:46 Tim Frick
The first time.
00:31:47 Tim Frick
Those have definitely evolved and and changed as our you know focus changes and as our priorities.
00:31:54 Nahuai Badiola
In the last part of the episode, we will see more clear than ever how the three pillars are intertwined, especially the social and economic parts. We start this last part with Birgit Olzem workers, professional and DB advocate.
00:32:11 Nahuai Badiola
She mentions how the three pillars are vital, the importance of the IV, how intertwined are the social and economic parts and the importance of getting underrepresented groups funded.
00:32:25 Nahuai Badiola
She also talks about some bottlenecks on the key parts of the project, which have few people maintaining them and the importance of having maintainers well supported.
00:32:37 Birgit Olzem
All three pillars of sustainability are really crucial, and but I’m particularly more drawn to the social pillar because it also aligns closely to my accuracy advocacy for DIB diversity, equity inclusion and belonging, especially in the WordPress community.
00:32:57 Birgit Olzem
And it’s really close to my heart. As I mentioned sustainability and and being more.
00:33:06 Birgit Olzem
Aware and and and about.
00:33:09 Birgit Olzem
How we use?
00:33:10 Birgit Olzem
Our vital but I’m also a coach for me, is that what really important to.
00:33:18 Birgit Olzem
Have a balanced communication for instance, and that we treat each other with respect, not only our nature treating with respect, but also every individual treating with respect and.
00:33:33 Birgit Olzem
For the DIB, is the belonging part. For me, something? It’s not just opening doors, but also making sure that people feel valued and included once they’re inside and community community and it’s more about creating a culture where everyone.
00:33:53 Birgit Olzem
Fields. They have a seat at the table and that their contributions are generally also appreciated and but also talking about the financial aspect.
00:34:08 Birgit Olzem
Of sustainability, especially repress communities close to my heart, and it is really important for me that this open source is well maintained, but also it relies heavily on volunteers who contribute to the system and the ecosystem, and not everyone has the luxury to contribute.
00:34:28 Birgit Olzem
To that in their free time or for free, and so.
00:34:35 Birgit Olzem
That is my my approach into making sure that underrepresented groups get better financial or access to financial resources, and that is why I’m also focusing on working with the five for the future initiatives.
00:34:55 Birgit Olzem
In WordPress as part of.
00:34:57 Birgit Olzem
This whole concept to.
00:35:02 Birgit Olzem
Strengthen the pillar of social sustainability. Yeah. Yeah. Especially I just like to add this. We have some parts in the workforce ecosystem, for instance, they where are some kind of bottlenecks because there are only two or three people.
00:35:22 Birgit Olzem
Maintaining A component or a part of the whiteness ecosystem, and when they fell down because they’re burned out or life changes every every time and those people are not, uh.
00:35:37 Birgit Olzem
Funded well or get enough support if it by resources, by financial resources, by more support, more volunteering support, then this cripples down. It’s like when you see an A clock work.
00:35:57 Birgit Olzem
And every little gear in the in the clock is relatable to the whole picture, and if some of the parts fell apart, then the whole system can fell apart. So we really need to make sure that our main.
00:36:14 Birgit Olzem
Trainers are well supported in any best way we can support them.
00:36:21 Nahuai Badiola
Next, we hear Courtney referring to the same topic and talking about a recent example.
00:36:29 Courtney Robertson
I really drill in on the social corollary economic when it comes to ensuring that the project meets the budget that it has and the contributors.
00:36:43 Courtney Robertson
Right. So so it comes from the lens of social impact. First, how is the health of do we have enough contributors for what we’re trying to do? Do we have critical points in the project? How can we better reinforce these areas where we might depend upon one or two people more than we should?
00:37:04 Courtney Robertson
And how can we elevate the opportunities?
00:37:06 Courtney Robertson
To alleviate maybe some stress off of them while they simultaneously can help bring in more contributors and at the time of this recording, I would say the plug and review team has really undergone a lot of that reinforcement on social health. As we would say many in in the WordPress community really depended upon.
00:37:27 Courtney Robertson
One person to manage all the plug in repo and that was needing some massive attention and I think that they’re they’re starting to reach a critical mass point where they’ll see that particular part of the WordPress project really improve. So yes, social health.
00:37:43 Nahuai Badiola
We closed the guest participation with Julia Golomb, who stressed out how intertwined are the three pillars.
00:37:52 Julia Golomb
Yeah, I care deeply about the integration of the three of them. I think 1 without the other.
00:37:57 Julia Golomb
One without the other two is not in fact sustainable.
00:38:03 Julia Golomb
UMI tend to be most drawn to social and and environmental.
00:38:11 Julia Golomb
Components of sustainability.
00:38:13 Julia Golomb
When I was in college, I studied sociology. That’s what my major was. So I I’m always interested in the ways in which humans interact with each other and with systems. And then my graduate work was in environmental science and policy. So I’m also deeply care deeply about the the environmental component. But they’re just so intertwined.
00:38:34 Julia Golomb
00:38:34 Nahuai Badiola
Think. Yeah. Yeah. In the in. In other interviews with, with other people.
00:38:40 Nahuai Badiola
I think that the pillar term, it’s not the best one. Indeed, I was talking with Hannahs like they are so intertwined that more than pillars, it’s like, yeah, I don’t know. Yes.
00:38:52 Nahuai Badiola
Put it in.
00:38:53 Julia Golomb
We’re both. We’re both holding our hands up to the camera, intertwining our fingers. I’m thinking of like braiding.
00:38:56 Nahuai Badiola
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
00:39:00 Julia Golomb
Like a rope that’s braided. Yeah. And they’re. They’re braided together.
00:39:05 Nahuai Badiola
Those were pretty interesting ideas, don’t you think you will be hearing more opinions of this guest and some others in the next episodes talking about guests. I feel that they were again really on point. They covered a lot of ground. So I will try to summarize the main points. A common point was the importance.
00:39:25 Nahuai Badiola
Of paying attention to accessibility, privacy, and incur.
00:39:29 Nahuai Badiola
Expanding on this last point, we talk about the IB that stands for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. All of them are important, especially if we want to have a healthy workers community.
00:39:46 Nahuai Badiola
We should treat each other with respect and create a culture where everybody feels welcome and part of it. I guess this is common sense, but sometimes we have to say obvious things. That happens quite a lot on sustainability area too. There were also some reflections on how software transforms society.
00:40:07 Nahuai Badiola
And how as creators, we should build digital products that serve humans using best practices and ideally strike the balance between profit and being ethical. We also touch on how having community health metrics could help us with the sustainability of the project.
00:40:28 Nahuai Badiola
And a new proposal in WordPress that aims to bring more transparency. We ended up reflecting on how intertwined are the social and economic parts and the importance of having the maintenance of the project well supported.
00:40:45 Nahuai Badiola
I’m sure that we will continue talking about this topic in the next episode. Thanks for listening. I hope you found the episode and our guest opinions as interesting as I did. You can find all the resources mentioned during the episode.
00:41:04 Nahuai Badiola
Show notes. You will also find more information about this episode guests.
00:41:09 Nahuai Badiola
I would love to hear your opinions on this topic.
00:41:12 Nahuai Badiola
For that you can leave a comment on the website. You can go to sustainwp.com/three the number or share it in the social media platform that you are more comfortable. And if you think that the episode could be interesting to our colleague, please share it.
00:41:30 Nahuai Badiola
In the next episode, we will be talking about the economic pillar. I hope you join me there. Bye bye.
Role: President, Mightybytes
Bio: Tim Frick is the founder and President of Mightybytes, a digital agency and Certified B Corp located in Chicago. He is also a speaker, community organizer, and author of four books, including, Designing for Sustainability: A Guide to Building Greener Digital Products and Services, from O’Reilly Media.
Role: WordPress Professional and DEIB advocate
Bio: Birgit Olzem, a WordPress enthusiast extraordinaire, juggles diverse roles and advocates for mental health awareness, diversity, and unsung contributors. A proud mother and grandmother, she also consults on personal branding and explores surface pattern design. Birgit embodies the WordPress spirit, champions community, and connects humanity with humor and warmth.
Role: Open Source Program Manager at Automattic, Full-time WordPress Contributor, Currently leading the WordPress Contributor Working Group, and working on improving Five for the Future.
Bio: Hari is an Open Source Program Manager at Automattic, and is also a full-time WordPress Contributor. A Global Community Deputy on the WordPress Community Team, his current focus is on making the contributor experience in WordPress the best it can be. Hari is currently leading the WordPress Contributor Working Group, and is working with the same to launch a projectwide Contributor Mentorship Program for WordPress. Needless to say, WordPress is one of the biggest passions in Hari’s life, and he has been tinkering with it since 2007. Hari has had a rather diverse career with significant experience in the domains of Retail Banking, Print & Web Journalism, Web Development, Entrepreneurship, Event Management, Professional Blogging, and Education. Outside of work, he enjoy writing (blogging) as a hobby, and is also a compulsive bibliophile. He lives in the beautiful coastal city of Kochi, in Kerala, India with his wife and their three cats.
Role: (Weglot sponsored) Community Team Program Manager / WCEU 2024 lead organiser
Bio: I’m Juan Hernando, Program Manager of the WordPress.org global community team, one of the lead organizers of WordCamp Europe 2024, sponsored by Weglot within the Five for the Future initiative and a very active member of the WordPress community in Spain and in Pontevedra, Galicia in particular.
Role: Open Source Developer Advocate, WP Training Team Faculty Member
Bio: Courtney Robertson, an accomplished Open Source Developer Advocate at GoDaddy, a dedicated WordPress Training Team Faculty Member, and a co-founding board member of The WP Community Collective, effortlessly engages audiences with her relatable insights on getting involved and supporting contributors in the open source community. Staying true to her roots as a professional educator, Courtney seamlessly merges her teaching expertise with her passion for technology, both on and off the stage. Serving developers, website creators, and open-source enthusiasts, Courtney delivers immense value by drawing from her rich background as a computer science educator and full-stack developer. She is driven by a strong commitment to onboarding the next generation of contributors and advocating for sustainable funding solutions for open-source developers. Away from the screen, Courtney embraces her creative side, whether by playing her 7-string electric violin, exploring the possibilities of 3D printing, hiking through nature with a camera in hand, or tending to her abundant vegetable garden. Her multifaceted interests and genuine enthusiasm make Courtney a truly inspiring speaker in the open-source community.
Role: Wholegrain Co-founder
Bio: Purpose driven digital agency on a mission to help create a sustainable and equitable world. We work with positive organisations including private sector, non-profits and public sector to deliver low carbon, high performance and accessible web solutions that deliver real value. Since 2007 we have been working with environmentally and socially responsible organisations to help them maximise impact online. We were the first specialist WordPress agency in London many moons ago and develop custom WordPress solutions for organisations including Ecover, Network Rail, UNICEF and Article 19.
Role: WordPress Community Team Program Manager, sponsored by Automattic
Bio: Julia Golomb is a full-time contributor to the WordPress Community team, sponsored by Automattic. She delights in bringing people together around a shared love of WordPress, and is dedicated to promoting the open source values of transparency, collaboration, inclusiveness and community. With a background in conflict resolution and mediation, Julia helps WordPress meetup and WordCamp organizers worldwide build inspiring and inclusive WordPress communities. Julia has a masters degree in Environmental Management from the Yale School of the Environment. Before coming to WordPress, she worked for 8 years as an environmental mediator, facilitating multistakeholder collaboration on complex social and environmental projects. When Julia’s not busy with WordPress, you’ll find her biking, befriending dogs, and spending time in the forest.