Collaboration work continues on bringing together sustainability awareness for the project, particularly for WordPress events. Many of the planned items have not been able to happen due to the COVID-19 situation. Thanks to everyone continuing to work towards the various items and explore ways forward together.
- A sustainability working group / informal network came together in the project. This was facilitated by a number of WordCamps and Make Teams wanting to share resources and make it easier for organizers, and thanks to advice from the Community Team. This effort is co-ordinated by the marketing team in terms of internal communications and the WordCamps which have been able to give time to this area. It also works with the Community Team and the community-events channel on Slack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/..
- Its focus has been to:
- promote sustainability at events and raise awareness
- collect good practice and examples to share
- gather input from sponsors
- encourage discussion and understanding of options for reducing the environmental impact of WordPress events
- provide help and knowledge sharing through the assistance of contributors who had experience of implementing sustainability measures and setting up arrangements
- run desk research and two surveys in 2019. Further surveys and interviews/ content were planned for 2020 including at a number of WordCamps and Meetups. This has had to be rearranged due to the restrictions during the global pandemic and a cancellation of a number of camps and contributor events
- produce a toolkit initially for WordPress events, which contributors may also be able to adapt for their own working environments. Much work has been done on this with the input of the community team and identified gaps are being addressed. This includes getting more global input and exploration of how the word ‘sustainability’ can mean different things
- be a cross-team informal way to help events globally share knowledge and learning in this area more effectively. The working group is co-ordinated out of marketing with the help of some WordCamps, and it works with community. A number of WordCamps have focused on this area and contributed to the sharing of knowledge and learning
A place to bring people together globally to be able to collaborate on this area has been raised at a number of WordCamps including London, Brighton, Bristol, Bordeaux, Zurich, Stuttgart and Rotterdam, and has been discussed at other camps before and since.
Interim measures included:
- a place on Slack where people could share ideas, capture working models to use, ask questions and help build resources to help others. As an interim step, a slack channel was set up on the UK WP Slack, which other countries were able to join. It has contributors from other countries. It has been used to help the:
- collation of examples of good practice from events
- sharing ideas for reducing the carbon footprint in WordPress
- exploring ways extra stock can be shared economically and environmentally with other camps in nearby locations
- fostering of discussions about improving WordPress’ environmental sustainability through change requests as part of the release process
- identifying what could be potentially needed to help people collaborate across the community
- wider discussions on sustainability in general of WordPress events and reducing burnout/ stress on organizers
There have been previous requests to add a sustainability channel or an area on the Make WordPress channel. This or a dedicated meeting time on the global Slack could make it easier for interested contributors to collaborate more easily and cover the areas above across the whole community. This area would also make it easier to explore how WordPress as a platform and hosting services related to it could become more environmentally sustainable too. This would be particularly relevant in terms of feature requests through the release process.
The three main reasonings for this have been to:
- help people to come together to work on sustainability change requests for the release cycle
- improve collaboration. It is currently hard for individuals to work on this in isolation or small groups, and be able to get enough traction for bringing it into the release cycle
- improve access and knowledge sharing. Earlier this year there were requests for sustainability working group meetings to take place in one of the Make Slack channels, for example, in core Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress., and to welcome contributors from cross teams. This was further discussed by a number of contributors at WCEU‘s Contributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of https://make.wordpress.org/ There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. https://2017.us.wordcamp.org/contributor-day/ https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/getting-started/getting-started-at-a-contributor-day/.. It was felt they would avoid the existing barriers from using a non global Slack, enable more people from different countries and experiences to take part, and reduce the loss of key learnings when the free Slack periodically deletes content
The use of the community-events channel on Make and the UK Slack have seen some positive results including:
- gaining feedback (formal and informal) from camps and meetups
- helping identify the challenges and issues on awareness / global differences
- noting where there is other interest (eg working to improve sustainability of WP and encourage hosts and users) which has and continue to be reported back to community and other teams
- discussions about whether there could be training videos created and how appropriate this would be. Also discussions on identifying potential WPTV videos on the theme of sustainability to encourage events and WordPress users
There is ongoing work on creating a sustainability guide (focused on environmental impact) for community which will update the WordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. handbook. With COVID and change to online events, this has been put on a lower priority, but work continues to complete this.
There have been informal briefings and talks on the topic of sustainability, reducing WordCamp waste at events, and wider ways of reducing the environmental impact associated with the use of WordPress/ websites. Meetups and WordCamps have also been encouraged to think about how they could learn from others who have put in sustainability measures.
In the work to promote online WordPress Meetups and gaining feedback from organizers, information on sustainability has been a regular comment or request.
If you would like to get involved with this area, help gather more examples of sustainability measures in WordPress events, or join the existing discussions, join the Sustainability channel in the UK WordPress Slack or add your comments below.