Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

27 Jun 2012, 3:57 a.m.

Be Bold: An Origin Story

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2012 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I'm getting very positive reviews for my opening keynote from Open Source Bridge.

Video (starts around 6:00), speaker's notes (text that needs updating to match the audio).


Jeremy Penner
27 Jun 2012, 15:02 p.m.

As a parent, obsessive nerd, and someone who runs a web community, this talk had a lot to say to me. So, thanks.

01 Jul 2012, 7:59 a.m.

I'll talk to you about this more when I see you, but at points I wondered if what you were saying is "Feel for these kids, they didn't have cool, white, upper-middle class parents with spare computers like you did!" without asking those kids of the cool, white, upper-middle class parents to look at themselves and the communities they've been instrumental in building in any real way and think about the barriers to inclusion that they've intentionally or (usually) unintentionally put up. On one hand, I feel like a discussion about institutional racism, sexism, classism, nationalism can often just cause people get their hackles up and not listen, but on the other hand I feel like the idea of hospitality ("Welcome outsider to our home, which will always be our home and not yours." is not really what I think of when I think of open source. Rather, in an ideal situation, open source should be about orientation and empowerment and a sense of ownership ("Welcome newcomer to your new home. Here is everything you're going to need to be comfortable here. If you don't find what you need, don't hesitate to talk to people who were here before you about how we can make things better or better yet, just get started on making things better for people who come after you.")<br/>