A talk about Self-directed and community learning and DIVERSITY

Hello! I am speaking at a [Geek Girls Carrots Berlin meetup][1] about self-directed learning and community education along with Hackership alumni @chaupois.

There are a 100 women attending atm and I think it is a nice chance to tell people about OTS and HS initiatives, and how they can keep learning, no matter what their job/life situation is. I will also include a message about diversity and am interested to get feedback beforehand on this

SO the plan atm:

  • explain Hackership and OTS initiatives and our values about the importance of self-directed and life long learning, show examples from both of how open community and having a safe learning environment can accelerate learning

  • info from @chaupois alumni from this batch on what she built and learnt and how to apply to upcoming batches, also for a Diversity Grant.

  • Info on OTS co-learning groups and beginner workshops, etc, encouragement to join the Community. Maybe also the upcoming OTS Conf in Dortmund?

  • A message on what diversity means: I also want to encourage people to be ambassadors for diversity where they can and one thing among many that this includes is branching out of “women only” spaces. These are great at encouraging new women into a welcoming environment and important, but if they become the only space where women interact and are profiled, the danger is that that they can take women out of other, mixed environments and actually decrease diversity as a result


  • On behalf of OTS, is there anything in particular about self-directed and community learning that you would like me to include, or the OTS Conf?
  • I think this message about diveristy is very consistent with OTS values, and the learning environment we strive to create. But I can also communicate it more as just a personal opinion. What do you think about this point? Does it ‘feel right’ ? It should be encouraging rather than criticising. Thanks for your time!

@ben @anouk @robert @rachel @ramin @staeff @xMartin @mamhoff @anaketa @ellen @ezmiller @bettina @amelie @coderinheels @Danila @beanmind @stefanwille @Brookejury @hylynyiv @ezmiller @starkcoffee @letsleaveitempty @joe @vikki @niccokunzmann @nobilelucifero @Ola @Leif [1]: http://www.meetup.com/Geek-Girls-Carrots-Berlin/events/221156730/

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never criticise, always encourage!
have fun with it
best of luck:)

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Most active OTS members are passionate about diversity, i.e. they do OTS partly to do something about diversity. OTS has many goals and values but improving diversity is definitely an important one for many of us. I remember the first review meeting where most of the participants expressed reaching other parts of society and making the tech field more diverse being a main motivation to be with OTS. Our events in general have a much more equal gender ration than most tech events. Historically the “open” in OTS is because we loved RailsGirls but we wanted to be more open, regarding gender, technologies, etc.

On a more critical note, we’ve never done anything about the “other parts of society” bit.

I agree we’re very good in terms of male/female ratio even though I never figured out why, as we don’t seem to do anything special. The one thing you mention is a very laissez-faire attitude about female participation — it’s not like we say “this is for women only” but we rather act like having women on our premises is the most normal thing to have (which it is, and should always be.) Maybe that’s the secret.

As for active diversity (encouraging other parts of the society to attend, eg. less-educated ones) we could certainly do better.

Administrative note: If you produce any slides/video, feel free to upload them to slides.opentechschool.org (ping me or team.tech@ for help.)

Totally agree.