The Value of Welcome, part 2: How to prepare 40 new community members for an unconference

  Stefanie Butland   | DECEMBER 1, 2017

I’ve raved about the value of extending a personalized welcome to new community members and I recently shared six tips for running a successful hackathon-flavoured unconference. Building on these, I’d like to share the specific approach and (free!) tools I used to help prepare new rOpenSci community members to be productive at our unconference. My approach was inspired directly by my AAAS Community Engagement Fellowship Program (AAAS-CEFP) training. Specifically, 1) one mentor said that the most successful conference they ever ran involved having one-to-one meetings with all participants prior to the event, and 2) prior to our in-person AAAS-CEFP training, we completed an intake questionnaire that forced us to consider things like “what do you hope to get out of this” and “what do you hope to contribute”.

Six tips for running a successful unconference

  Stefanie Butland   | NOVEMBER 17, 2017

Attendees at the May 2017 rOpenSci unconference. Photo credit: Nistara Randhawa In May 2017, I helped run a wildly successful “unconference” that had a huge positive impact on the community I serve. rOpenSci is a non-profit initiative enabling open and reproducible research by creating technical infrastructure in the form of staff- and community-contributed software tools in the R programming language that lower barriers to working with scientific data sources on the web, and creating social infrastructure through a welcoming and diverse community of software users and developers.

The Value of #Welcome

  Stefanie Butland   | JULY 18, 2017

I’m participating in the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The inaugural cohort of Fellows is made up of 17 community managers working in a wide range of scientific communities. This is cross-posted from the Trellis blog as part of a series of reflections that the CEFP Fellows are sharing. In my training as a AAAS Community Engagement Fellow, I hear repeatedly about the value of extending a personal welcome to your community members.

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