Open Governance done right: creating rules without ruling

Speaker

When building up a community, governance is something to think about. Should there be rules? What rules? Who should be in charge, or should nobody be in charge? The answers to these questions have far reaching consequences on the future of a project. You can stifle progress with too many rules and committees, while a lack of those can stifle progress just as much. Being too strict on behavior can be off-putting and discouraging to potential participants, being to lenient can allow a poisonous person to do damage unchecked. Leaving decisions to a committee of experienced and respected community members can discourage and dis-empower new community members; leaving decisions to opaque 'community processes' can leave new participants wondering if anything ever gets decided at all.

How do you make these choices, where do you draw the line, what do you need and when? The presenter will go over some choices and their consequences, as well as the effect of cultural differences and the size of communities on the outcome. He will argue that one should exercise restraint in introducing rules and rather rely on guidelines and shared visions; but at the same time be conscious of the fact that 'rules' always emerge and if not made explicit can not be properly scrutinized and challenged.