3 min read

🌿 The Spore

Brought to you by the team at Organizational Mycology

Welcome to The Spore, our re-launching and re-branding of the Organizational Mycology newsletter. We're coming back at a bit of a different cadence this year. Expect to hear from us about every two weeks. We're going to do pop-up Oblique Thinking Hours as ideas come up. So if you're interested in those, drop us a line at [email protected] and we'll add you to that special announcement list for those interested in the Oblique Thinking Hour.

🔨 Some things we’ve been working on

Astropy Community Report

We've been working with the amazing community at Astropy over the past few months to help their new community manager get started. We've developed support and coaching resources, built engagement tracking tooling, surveyed the community and conducted a community research project around diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) and how the community sees itself.

The first report from that work is now available publicly at and we invite you to take a look at how we highlight the voice of the community in our research. We'd be happy to work with you and your team if you need this kind of inquiry done in or across your organization. Astropy's software is an amazing piece of infrastructure that is well-respected across the astronomy community, and we're excited to see how they take the collective wisdom and insights of their community to new impacts in the future. Please also feel free to take whatever you learn back to your own community in whatever ways are useful!

Data and Society Affiliate

Beth has been doing some work with the AI Risk and Vulnerability Alliance and she has been a project co-lead on the Red Teaming in the Public Interest Project with Data and Society. As a result, she's pleased to share that she's just become an affiliate at Data and Society, which is a fantastic connection to a community of researchers and thought leadership on public conversations around AI, tech development and emerging technology. She's excited to make the connections between folks at the think tank and our work at Org Mycology.

🤔 Something we found interesting

How many breakthroughs and discoveries have been made by accident? It sure seems like a lot. In science, technology, business, and just about all other domains, people stumble upon interesting and useful things while looking for something else. Such was the case this past summer, when a wetlands specialist for the World Wildlife Fund went on a trip into the field in search of reptiles and amphibians. They found what they were looking for and more:

"Dozens of Rao’s intermediate golden-backed frogs were in a roadside pond. But the crew noticed something different about one of the frogs perched on a twig — a curious growth. Upon closer inspection, they realized it was a tiny mushroom erupting from the roughly thumb-size frog’s flank, like an itty-bitty fungal limb. In other words, a mushroom sprouting from a living frog." -Jude Coleman for The New York Times

While it's unknown what the relationship is between the mushroom and the frog–and whether it's even a mushroom to begin with–this example is as informative as it is interesting. These scientists looked a little closer at something they had seen many times before, finding a new and amazing connection worthy of further study. That mindset is part of our approach to organizations here at OrgMycology, based on a belief that finding and fostering connections (old and new!) among work teams can have a transformative impact on the form and function of organizations.

You can read the full New York Times article on this neat little discovery here.

Oblique Thinking Hour

We've put the oblique thinking hour on hold as our consulting work has ramped up, but we're always open to holding sessions for individual teams. We'll be sure to let you know when we hold another free and open OTH! Find out more about OTH and our other offerings on our Services page.

Contact us at [email protected]