VET Meeting 28th October 2019
Participants: Jaz Parkyn, Chris Keen, Vikas Pisal, Marco Dings, Brian Mitchell, Daniel Dubois, Rowan Hoskyns Abrahall, Justin Michallek
Apologies: Wilco Alsemgeest, Eric Lamy, Luca Marzo, Niels Braczek
Welcome to our new team members - Marco, Brian, Daniel and Eric.
Jaz started the meeting off by welcoming the new team members and shared her vision of the restructured team. The aim is to re-ignite the team by having at least one member from each department acting as a representative within the Volunteer Engagement Team (VET), alongside the other members and contributors. The team now has 4 of the 6 department representatives, and will soon hopefully have a full house.
In the vision, a department representative is someone who knows Joomla and its community, someone who is engaging, committed, positive, and can share their knowledge and experience. This will then hopefully better position the team in its main areas of involvement: recognition, retention, and recruitment. All members agreed on the importance of the team and its activities, especially given the current situation where volunteers are being stretched to their breaking points because new volunteers are unfortunately few in number.
Rowan then explained how the team started and what her original visions for the team were. The team then discussed a number of principals and ideas that will be shared in more detail as they continue to be formulated. One focus of the discussion was how Joomla can be more positive in its image. Another was how to address the negativity that creeps in on various platforms.
The team discussed how some conflicts can be handled by the Conflict Resolution Team successfully by using the steps outlined in the Code of Conduct. There was also some discussion about posts or conversations on social media or other public channels. The concern is that implied or backhanded criticisms of individual volunteers or Joomla operations in general is damaging to public perception of the community and discouraging to new and existing volunteers. These public comments are some of the most difficult to handle. They often skirt the particulars of the code of conduct while clearly violating the spirit of Joomla’s core values. There is a great deal of frustration around creating the impression of an ‘inner-circle’ that is both off-putting and negative to people inside and outside of our community.
Vikas then shared a number of documents that he has been working on during the past few months: VET Mission, Strategy, On-boarding, and FAQ. The members agreed to provide commentary on these documents ahead of the next meeting.
Daniel shared his vision on how Joomla can present itself to and engage with other communities by crossing barriers of language, culture, skills, timezone, location, and more.
Brian expressed his thoughts on Joomla’s current situation and its values - Joomla is a community first with an amazing CMS as one of its most important outputs. He explained how and why we need to go where there is life and affirm it. Brian shared a document evaluating his thoughts on Joomla and invited the team to read it ahead of the next meeting.
Marco shared ideas about working with the natural influencers that we already have in our community to find and develop new talent outside of our networks, especially outside of the UK, EU and US. He stressed the importance of better acknowledging contributions and the better handling of negativity.
All attendees agreed to the importance of increasing Joomla’s reach to find new volunteers.
Vikas reminded everyone that our discussion had now gone on past the end of the scheduled meeting time and was revolving back to topics that had already been covered, and invited Jaz to conclude the meeting.