Enabling local subteams

Registered by Daniel Holbach on 2013-05-14

In the Ubuntu community we have teams of contributors on the country, state and city level and mixtures of these. It'd be good for us to find out what we can do to enable them in an organised fashion.

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Undefined
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Direction:
Needs approval
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Definition:
New
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[rrnwexec] Rather than current blueprint title, let's use "Enabling Teams at any Geographical Level" instead. This construct omits the "sub" from team, which empowers teams to operate autonomously. It also removes geographical limitations outright. We can have teams at the block, neighbourhood, village, town, city, province/state, region, country, super-country (continent), or even planetary level. We already have teams that operate super-country, and others that want to but are discouraged from doing so. I can also envision teams smaller than city teams that could flourish if encouraged.

[Pablorubianes-uy] I think we need to think about this and be aware that the pros and cons of all this topic, because is really cool to say "Ok do whatever group you want" but this will bring cool and not so cool consecuenses if all the teams divide people will feel alone in some ocations, we need to mantain the 1 country = 1 LoCo policy, then inside a LoCo get sub-teams that depend of that LoCo if they want to have them, not everyone is happy to divide everything, in fact division is tearing us apart. we need to unite the community not divide it. I am +1 with subteams but with some sort of control, I think Brazil is the best example of a LoCo with Subteams funcionality that should be followed.

[cprofitt us-ny] I agree with both rrnwexec and Pablorubianes-uy. I think that restricting teams to arbitrary boundaries can inhibit growth, but I also agree that unfettered team structure could lead to teams being formed for 'wrong reasons' (ie., personal disputes). At the same time the current structure does not take in to account the needs of the people it is aiming to serve -- Ubuntu users. In some cases large geographic areas are covered by one team which leaves people essentially uncovered. In other cases there are pre-existing teams that violate 'the rules'. (ie. Chicago - http://loco.ubuntu.com/teams/ubuntu-chicago/ - this is a city loco - a very active and good one too.) In my state the most active group is in Rochester, NY while the 8th largest city in the world is in the same state, but 342 miles away (New York City). It would be a positive thing for New York City to be able to have its own team structure due to population and the fact that there are different propblems to overcome in New York City vs. any of the other cities in the state. Another situation I am aware of is in Washington State. The southern part of the state would be better served by either its own loco or being able to participate with Portland due to the inability to get to Seattle due distance and the inability to get to Seattle at certain times of the year. I am sure that other areas have similar issues.

summary: I think the goal should be to reduce the roadblocks to building a community without the situation resulting in chaos.

[rrnwexec] We (briefly) discussed moving toward the "at any geographical level" team structure today at UDS during the Community Roundtable session. I tabled the idea of moving to this model on a *trial* basis to see what (if any) chaos ensues. For an initial trial period , we could try it for a single UDS cycle and then measure the result. My guess is that we are being too fearful of an outcome that would not manifest itself. The best way to overcome that fear is with a controlled experiment that results in data. Generally speaking, I propose that we eliminate any artificial barriers to team creation that are not based on data. Any person in a place that has no existing team would be able to form one, or to join another team. Any person not satisfied with a team in their geography would be free, empowered, and encouraged to set up another team, even if the geography overlaps with the existing team. One team in one geography might not be the best thing for Ubuntu, especially if/when that team is out of alignment with Ubuntu. I say let a thousand flowers bloom!

[skellat] After a last minute change I was notified of after UDS ended for the second day, I will in fact be present for this session. A must-read background to the Ohio experience with sub-state teams can be read here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/skellat/Enabling_local_subteams

In short, based upon the Ohio experience having had sub-state teams, I am already looking at phasing them out due to a lack of continuing existence for all but one group. Currently we're going to have to re-group at the state level with computer-mediated communications to bring members together. I need to get our member map updated but right now we've got people distant enough from each other that the sub-state paradigm is not likely to be revived here (see http://ohio.ubuntu-us.org/map/user ).

[costales] I think this is a very complicate question. Please, think in these cases:
  - Countries with 1 language.
  - Countries with several languages.
  - Countries with 1 culture.
  - Countries with several cultures.
  - Countries with several languages/cultures.
We shouldn't set a rule for all of them.
By example, in my LoCo: Ubuntu Spain (multiple languages/cultures), I created this page for encouraging city/autonomous communities LoCos http://ubuntu-españa.org/content/cerca The result after a year is really bad.

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