H&D Code of Conduct


Contributors: Anja Groten, Margarita Osipian, Loes Bogers, Juliette Lizotte, André Fincato, Karl Moubarak

About the H&D community

Since 2013 Hackers & Designers (H&D) has grown from an informal meetup series into a large community of international designers, artists, coders, students and practitioners. H&D activities cater towards active participation, mutual exchange, learning and unlearning. H&D likes to approach the organization of such activities as 'horizontally' as possible. That is, the way our events are organized is up for discussion, and we try to incorporate as many voices in the process of organizing as possible.

Why a Code of Conduct for H&D?

We are committed to provide an environment of mutual respect that is safe and welcoming for all participants. We therefore wrote (and will continue writing, reviewing, and incorporating new insights into) this document to make explicit what it takes for us as a community to create such a safer environment. This document is written for the organization of H&D itself, to remind ourselves of our position as hosts who invite people. But it is also written for our participants and guests and functions as a point of reference for accepted and unaccepted behaviour in the spaces where we encounter each other. We hope this document can serve as a guideline for collaboration. If you have suggestions, please let us know. (find contact details at the bottom of the document)

How it was written

This Code of Conduct is a living document, written as a collaborative effort, informed by previous experiences and the references listed below, and being updated as we go.

Expected behaviour

  • Dedication and commitment: People put a lot of energy and thought into organizing. Therefore: if you say you would like to come, please show up and be present. If you can't come after all, try to write to us or the workshop leaders in advance.
  • Rythm of learning: Respect everyone's rythm of learning. If things go too fast for someone, they should always be able to address it and feel encouraged to ask for help. We consider helping others learn (when they are asking for it) a core activity in sustaining an inclusive community.
  • Different practices: We celebrate different sets of skills and disciplinary and educational backgrounds. Learn from each other and embrace the fact that you might learn something else than you expected.
  • Experimentation: We like to nourish a space for experimentation and collaboration, so manage your expectations accordingly!
  • Listen to others: You are great at what you do but there's always an opportunity to learn something new from someone else.
  • Language: We use English as a main language of communication. Be mindful that it may not be everyone's native language and speaking in another language might exclude other people. Using simple language and avoiding jargon helps to keep things accessible for everyone. If you use jargon, explain what you mean by it.
  • Shared response-abilty: We expect and encourage all participants to take and share the responsibility for enacting and sustaining a safer and inspirational space, to be open to different perspectives and encourage each other to make our voices heard. Understand that no space is ever a safe space for everyone; claiming a space to be safe, and actively creating a space that is welcoming and engaging are two different things. Try to aim for the latter.
  • Individual response-ability: Don't assume. Ask questions, speak out about your needs (nobody can read minds), and accept that your needs might not always be met. If you feel you cannot express yourself in a group, please know you can always reach out to an H&D member.
  • Tools: We don't shame people who do not solely use open source and libre tools. However we strongly encourage you to consider using open source over – often more convenient – corporate and proprietary tools. Free, libre and open source software allows us to look inside, learn from, contribute to and critique. The open character of the tools we use is crucial to a self-determined learning experience.
  • Adopt an open source, libre, collaborative spirit, which includes giving credit to original authors and sources. Maybe you could consider putting the work you do in the context of HDSA2020 explicitly in the open domain so others can build on it? Other licensing options are discussed below.
  • Asking permission: We record some of our sessions for people to learn from at a later stage. We announce when we do so to give you the opportunity to turn off your camera if you wish. Are you hosting a workshop? Please also announce recordings and screengrabs and give people a chance to opt-out.
  • Introductions and pronouns: When introducing yourself, please also indicate your preferred pronouns. It's a good idea to add your preferred pronouns after your screenname on Jitsi and other platforms (e.g. "Margarita she/her") for easy reference.
  • General video conferencing etiquette: having your camera on is not a must. But if possible, it is definitely nice for facilitators to see you all so they don't feel like they're speaking into a void. Keep your mic muted unless you want to say something to the group. Using the chat is a good option to ask questions and make comments without interrupting the flow of the session. (see also https://etherpad.hackersanddesigners.nl/p/hdsa2020-tool-ecology for more recommendations)

Unacceptable abusive behaviour

  • Hatred or violence in any form is not tolerated. There is no space for racism, sexism, queer/transphobia, ageism, ableism or classism here.
  • No exclusionary social behaviors in the form of well-actually's, feigned surprise, backseat driving and subtle-isms. We borrow these social rules from Recurse and find they are very helpful in communities that engage in technical practices and learning. Feigned surprise for example: Dan: "What’s the command line?" Carol: "Wait, you’ve never used the command line?". For more examples see also: https://www.recurse.com/social-rules#no-subtle-ism .
  • No trolling, no harassment of any kind.
  • No bullying, no making fun of.

Reporting & Intervening

  • If you feel unsafe: make yourself heard and address people's behavior if you feel like you can. (E.g. "there's subtle sexism in that comment, it equates being a woman with being ignorant")
  • If someone calls you out on something: listen, pause, apologize and thank them for pointing them out. Take responsibility to educate yourself first if you weren't aware and are hearing something new (borrowed from Recurse and Feminist Club Amsterdam)
  • In case of harassment, abusive behavior, or if there's something else you don't feel comfortable addressing yourself: contact Karl or Anja, your H&D contact persons are happy to help: karl@hackersanddesigners.nl anja@hackersanddesigners.nl.
  • If we receive a report about abusive behaviour we will will contact the person(s) involved to have a conversation with them.
  • We will revoke access to workshops, activities and physical or digital collaboration spaces if an individual's unacceptable behavior persists.