Individual to Team to Community to Movement

If you dream about fostering change, it’s important to find and collaborate with the right people. Chances are that you alone won’t be able to shift a whole system in the direction you care about. You need a team and a community. We hope that our communities can come together as a successful open scholarship movement that can affect lasting and sweeping change.

“We need to become the systems we need, step outside the comfort of the current and lean into the unknown, together.” – Adrienne Maree Brown – Emergent Strategy

The problems we face as a human society are complicated and require complex solutions. Humans often react to such complexity in counterproductive ways. We compete when it is not necessary, when collaboration would be much more sustainable. We too often use our intelligence to smash others -- to suppress and oppress – and to gather power for ourselves. Sometimes we do so inadvertently even when our intentions are good.

We need to learn how to prioritize impact over intention, how to depend on each other, and how to work as individuals in a group. This means truly listening to each other, creating systems in which everyone is important, and organizing our actions to be the most effective.

So the question becomes: How do we grow a truly decentralized, inclusive, and resilient movement?

One answer is to be intentional in decentralizing our idea of who identifies problems and where, and who makes decisions about how to address them.

During the OSAOS Open Handbook July meeting, the “people group” tried to answer this important and complex question by breaking the high-level concept of “people” down into four sub-sections: individual, team, community, movement. They then brainstormed a list of questions, how-to’s, resources, and personal stories for each of these sub-sections. The brainstorming included anything that can be useful to individuals and teams who are currently working within the open source and open science communities, as well as to newcomers who are willing to explore this world and find out how they can be part of it.

The ideas in this section are by no means the result of a decentralized and inclusive brainstorming session -- for the most part, they came from the biased minds of a small and privileged group of people.

What we hope will happen is that this document will exist as a living and evolving document. We planted the seed for this tree to grow, and we tried in a few days to give it fertile soil and water. Now it is up to us all to ensure this tree grows straight, influenced by winds coming from all directions.

Individuals become teams, teams become groups, groups become communities, communities become a movement. Without community, we don’t have a life.