Improving Diversity At UDS

The Ubuntu Developer Summit is our twice-yearly event in which the Ubuntu community gets together to discuss, design, and plan the work for the next release of Ubuntu. It is an important staple in the Ubuntu calendar, and we meet next in May in Budapest, Hungary.

We always try to make UDS a welcome and inviting environment to meet people, engage in enjoyable discussions, and work together to improve Free Software. We also try to make UDS a diverse environment, and welcoming to everyone. This diversity has formed in a rather ad-hoc way though – we have not explicitly tried to reach out and encourage diversity and we can do better. As such, I just wanted to share some work that is going on and encourage those of you who are interested in this topic to participate.

These include:

  • We now have an anti-harassment policy. This work was led by Charles Profitt and thanks to Matt Zimmerman and Valerie Aurora for their skillful guidance. We still have some event-specific contact details still to add there, but Marianna is getting this information and it will be updated soon.
  • Matt Zimmerman is also working on a diversity statement. While this will encompass the wider Ubuntu project, it will also be added to the UDS website.
  • A few weeks ago I reached out to the Ubuntu Women team to ask for their guidance on how we can encourage a more diverse environment at UDS. A number of interesting efforts are going on in this area:
    • Elizabeth Krumbach posted that she has created a page on the Ubuntu Women site for UDS which provides some basic information and the beginning of a FAQ. More feedback and content is welcome.
    • Elizabeth also created a UDS stories page which which provides some useful context for prospective women attendees interested to learn more about the event.
    • The team is also discussing how to provide support and guidance for filling sponsorship requests and including all the relevant information. I think this is a wonderful idea. :-)
    • We are keen to work on a big outreach campaign to use these resources to raise the visibility of diversity at UDS and encourage more women to apply for sponsorship and participate. This is going to be the next phase of the discussion.

I just want to say a huge thankyou to the Ubuntu Women team for their contributions and guidance in this project, and I would like to encourage you to join in the discussion. I think we have a fantastic opportunity here to help UDS be wonderful example of how diversity should be core to the values of the event and offer a more reflective experience of great community working on interesting problems together.

  • Marius

    Sorry Jono, I didn’t mean to harass you, I was just happy to see you.

  • Rolandixor

    Hey Jono Rolandixor here,

    My 2cents on improving diversity is to not single out particular groups. What I mean is for example how most of the time people single out women or ethic groups and try so hard to push the fact that they have the “group” present or acknowledged, that the “group” feels like something foreign.

    That kills diversity :)!

    Anyways! Keep up the good work ;)