2 min read

🌿 The Spore

Welcome to The Spore, our re-launching and re-branding of the Organizational Mycology newsletter.

Brought to you by the team at Organizational Mycology

🔨 Some things we’ve been working on

We just wrapped up an application for the Ford Foundation’s Open Digital Infrastructure Insights Fund, and so we’ve been doing a lot of thinking about… what “open digital infrastructure” even means! At our last Oblique Thinking Hour we talked about this topic in the context of group concept mapping, where we asked attendees what infrastructure pieces and components empower and enable people. When we pitched the question, we wanted to know what people thought of when they thought of the base-layers of enablement that open tech provides. 

The nerd in Jonah thinks of dry and specific IETF protocol documents (DNS, SMTP, HTTP, Gopher) which form the alphabet soup of the base operating layer of the Internet. The stuff that makes it all come together. Dan thinks of arrangements of various technologies–everything from electronic medical records to open source software ecosystems to social media platforms, all of which could be considered “digital infrastructure” but require vastly different professional expertise to build and maintain. Beth recalls her research in green building standards and wonders what the parallels are between digital and physical infrastructure and how standard setting is a part of – or not a part of – new paths. 

The question for us is: now that funding and attention are pouring into digital infrastructure, are we making everyone feel welcome and capable of contributing their ideas and expertise to this conversation so that they can engage with these infrastructures, and generally thrive in an increasingly-digital world?

One of the words that gets thrown around in discussions of digital infrastructure, and perhaps the one that interests us the most, is “open” - what does it mean for an infrastructure to be “open”? Given that most infrastructures have some “closed” components, what is considered “open enough”? We’ll explore some of these questions in our next newsletter.

Short updates 

OM at CZI Open Science Grantee Meeting in Boston June 11-15th – The OM team will join other Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative Open Science grantees, community members, funders, and leaders in Boston for a few days of conversation and collaboration. We’ll be on the lookout for members of the OSS community who are interested in shaping our work on open source software leadership via qualitative interviews, co-development of resources, and other forms of engagement. We’ll also be hosting a workshop session to gather ideas for CZI’s EOSS Community Calls - more on that below! Are you going to be there as well, or know someone we should talk to at the meeting? Let us know!

Beth will be at the XOXO Festival  in Portland August 22-24th –If you’re going to be at this one-of-a-kind festival celebrating arts, culture, gaming, tech and all things digital, send a note and Beth will grab a drink with you. 

OM is facilitating CZI’s Essential Open Source Science Community Calls! – We’re excited to let the open source community know that we’ll be facilitating community calls for the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative’s Essential Open Source Software for Science (EOSS) program beginning in July! The calls will aim to foster peer-to-peer learning among current and former program grantees on a variety of community-defined topics. Check out CZI’s newsletter for more info.

Contact us at [email protected]