At WCEU 2022, Nora Ferreirós from the Spanish WordPress community, asked Matt and Josepha about their thoughts on supporting sustainability concerns within the community. Matt suggested setting up a new sustainability channel in the Making WordPress SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. group, and there are now over 100 people in that channel! Josepha is open to discuss suggestions of specific issues that can be addressed.
This is fantastic progress! It demonstrates a growing interest in the WordPress community to come together and discuss sustainability concerns, both at leadership and community level.
There are many questions worth addressing around this, especially as sustainability and maintaining the WordPress project are complex topics.
But before we dive into the specifics, perhaps it is best to take a moment to visualise what a sustainable WordPress community might actually be?
What are the tools, behaviours and systems we could co-create? What does being a member of a sustainable WordPress community feel like? What do other communities looking into ours observe? What are the things we want to move away from that hamper our progress to becoming more sustainable?
We wish to ignite a conversation about the art of the possible.
In the words of William Arthur Ward “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it”.
We invite contributors from the whole WordPress community to share their visions for what we could do together: what does a truly sustainable WordPress community look like to you?
Let’s allow ourselves to dream big!
What can I do?
Start by being part of a WordPress community who openly discusses and actively works on sustainability issues.
Leave a comment on this post to share or link to your thoughts on what a truly sustainable WordPress community looks like to YOU,
If you want to do more, join the sustainability Slack channel to take the conversation within the community further:
- build on and discuss the visions shared by others;
- contribute ideas on what we should do next;
- share other sustainability work in the WordPress space that you find interesting.
Here’s how to sign up to WordPress Slack.
You could also contribute to the on-going work of the performance team.
A few prompts to help you think about your vision
If you’re new to considering what a sustainable future might be like for WordPress, that’s ok. You’re not alone. We’re all exploring new possibilities here, and that’s the point. As a person new to this realm you are the perfect person to bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table! Everyone is welcome to share their vision for what the future could be.
Here are a few prompts to get you going.
How can we help people understand what sustainability truly is?
- Decarbonisation is often described interchangeably with sustainability. But decarbonisation is only one aspect of what needs to happen to create a truly sustainable future. This confusion leads many people to believe the only way you can make digital technologies more sustainable is by focusing on performance gains that reduce electricity consumption. The reality is this is just one aspect of what is possible. What else is possible?
- There are many approaches to improving sustainability, some of which can be done in a way that respects the rights of people to thrive, and some of which abuse those. How can we communicate these ideas?
- Many people still do not see sustainability as a positive move and may feel it would compromise their ability to grow a business effectively or innovate and push WordPress forward. How can we change perceptions of how a greener future for WordPress will benefit all of us?
How can we embrace the diversity of the WordPress community?
A sustainable future is one that embraces everyone’s differences and similarities.
- The people that make up the WordPress community are multi-national, multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary. Sustainability will mean different things in different contexts. For example sustainability in the Global South might feel very different for someone in the Global North. How can we embrace a diversity of viewpoints and celebrate that?
- The WordPress community manifests both physically, through WordCamps and meetups, as well as digitally through the software and documentation we produce. What are the tools we might build, the resources we could create and the conversations we could start that would benefit all our different manifestations?
The WordPress community isn’t new to working on sustainability issues. In fact Josepha mentioned that back in 2019 a group of people came to talk to her about the topic.
We’d like to acknowledge the work done by Abha Thakor, for leading an informal sustainability group, and the recently created performance team for working hard at optimizing the software. These are great pillars to build on.
We look forward to seeing what a truly sustainable WordPress community looks like to YOU. Share your thoughts below.