Re: Sugar Labs introduction
David Farning <dfarning <at> sugarlabs.org>
2008-12-02 17:23:25 GMT
On Tue, Dec 2, 2008 at 4:17 PM, Sebastian Silva
<sebastian <at> fuentelibre.org> wrote:
> I realize I should have jumped into this discussion earlier. Please
> excuse me, I've just put myself thru an intense matrixesque
> self-learning weeks around learning communities, communities of
> practice, community learning, critical pedagogy, radical pedagogy,
> network logics (economies, brains, forests, evolution, the internet),
> network economics, ecology, emergent control, beekeeping, and
> de-centralized governance... it's been fascinating.
> My research question has been "¿how to jumpstart an ecosystem?"
Pretty fascinating stuff. My background is in economics so this stuff
is right up my alley:)
> The reason for my research is because I've been looking for a
> sustainability model for our FuenteLibre.Org grassroots initiative.
> I'll briefly relate our story: Born peruvian, raised in Chile,
> came to Lima where I have familiy a year ago to volunteer for OLPC.
> Got into suport-gang, eek,
> support for G1G1? So Walter comes, brings me an XO laptop, I meet
> Hernan Pachas from the ministry, and I offer to organize volunteers
> for support and training, etc. At the time, they had their hands full
> (and their heads), so they informed me they would not be working with
> volunteers, "they would handle it" and that "I should not worry about
"If you want it done right, you must do it yourself." This mindset
still the biggest hurdle at OLPC and we are suffering from it at SL.
Slowly we are trying to build the trust back with the community.
> I understood immediately that for this project to succeed, it needed
> community involvement and transparency. I rallied for volunteers and
> got over 150 emails from educators, techies and all sorts of people
> accross Perú interested in helping out. I tailored a Xubuntu+Sugar
> LiveCD in spanish for download. Alas, as yama puts it, I was "nobody",
> so we were left out of helping out in the deployment and were pointed
> to "boring" (but important) stuff like translating the wiki. This was
> very frustrating and I will not make this mistake again. This is not
> to say we wont translate - its part of our mission too.
I apologize for that. If you are still interested, we are very
interested in setting up a Local Lab in Peru. Setting up a local labs
seems slightly less boring than translating:)
> Now back to the point, Regional SugarLabs. I investigated the Ubuntu
> LoCoTeam "model" if there is such a thing. I found none, sorry to say,
> only a Howto describing very crude "how to run a team" and "what a
> team can do". It does not go into the relation to the mission a local
> group should have, the relationship it would have with SL central
> ("explicit connections outside" mantra). It also does not touch into
> the organizational principles or the strategies or goals of a
Here I think we are having a miss communication. LoCo teams are a
pretty good starting point for how to administratively set up and
monitor Local Labs from an upstream point of view. I am, necessarily,
looking at the Sugar Labs/Local Labs relationship from the upstream
point of view.
There is nothing in the LoCo team documentation about how to run a
successful Local Lab. Because, no one know how yet:) It is still an
unsolved problem. Hence, my approach to Local Labs is to make them as
autonomous as possible. Over the next several months and years a set
of best pratices, adjusted for cultural differences, will develop.
> The ubuntu LoCo team is explicitly compared to Linux user groups, that
> is, interest groups, fan clubs. That is what it is, basically, a fan
> club. Now I know sugar has fans, I'm one of them, but ubuntu has a
> large user base and great momentum, neither of which sugar has. In the
> spirit of the message being the medium, nobody is getting the message.
> Regional SugarLabs should be highly autonomous, carry their own
> identity and mission (which should significantly overlap or include
> central sugarlabs's mission). They should agree on similar set of
> values / principles and also joint set of goals. We just want to be
> "community centers", nodes in a network, not "Regional Offices".
> Basically this means recognition as local partners and ability to
> collect donations for our efforts. The reason for this perhaps is
> obvious: ¿How are we to expect peer recognition if our own structure
> is vertical?
Yes, I agree and am pushing for autonomy! My goal is for Local Labs
to become the key component of Sugar Labs. Once we get the initial
Local Labs setup. I am guessing that the Local Labs will have 10
times as many activate participants as the upstream Sugar Labs.
> I'm thinking the problem is the underlying model of "aid" - developed
> countries helping developing countries. How are we hoping to bridge
> the divide with this mental model?
> I suggest a diffent approach, an education project aproach for
> de-centralized massive collaboration for learning communities.
> FuenteLibre leverages Sugar fot this and hopes to explore the realm of
> libre social networking (integrating Elgg with the schoolserver for
> instance). This way the medium is the message. For supporting this
> model I'll point you to some strategies in this book:
> http://www.kk.org/newrules/ "New Rules for the New Economy" by Kevin
> Kelly, in summary:
> 1) Embrace the Swarm.
> 2) Increasing Returns.
> 3) Plentitude, Not Scarcity.
> 4) Follow the Free.
> 5) Feed the Web First.
> 6) Let Go at the Top.
> 7) From Places to Spaces
> 8) No Harmony, All Flux.
> 9) Relationship Tech.
> 10) Opportunities Before Efficiencies.
> So paraphrasing NN, regional sugarlabs Are Educations Projects, not
> Software development projects. This is important, because as such, we
> will be more involved in deployment / integration / training.
> FuenteLibre, is currently involved in a potential deployment of 2300
> desktop computers with Sugar and Ubuntu, and will be offering a
> community learning workshop model for the regional education direction
> tech team that will be deploying and supporting these 200 computer
> We would be more like a community managed education technology
> consultant non profit, community partner of sugarlabs and working
> closely in accordance to whatever we agree. One of FuenteLibre's goals
> is also to explore replicable / scalable governance model for learning
> communities, so we would encourage more local groups with diverse
> models / missions, and support and incubate them, provided they agree
> to the givene set of principles.
Here we are back to the idea of autonomy:) I don't care _how_ an
individual local lab is set up or run:) Anyone is able to set up a
Local Lab however they want, as long as we agree on the basics of
mission, vision, and values.
> This brings us to the principles, which I'm currently working on very
> heavily for FuenteLibre, for to quote Greg again, in large
> de-centralized projects, the values are the organization. One point
> here where FuenteLibre has a strong commitment is with free software
> and once our discourse and our legal personality (in the works) are in
> place, we will lauch a campaign for rejecting propietary software in
> education (this is also an example of why we shuold keep our own
Would you mind also documenting some of your thoughts on the Sugar Labs wiki?
> I'll preparing the principles for FuenteLiber and our new site at
> Thanks for walking with me thru this, and thank you for your support
> of our efforts!
> I'll add my comments to the other stuff bellow.
> 2008/11/28 Rafael Enrique Ortiz Guerrero <dirakx <at> gmail.com>:
>> For example here in Colombia, OLPC/Sugar pilots are beginning to get
>> managed by Companies or Foundations, with needs for money but not with needs
>> for doing things well or loving what they are doing ;).
>> Barely they are beginning to understand the project, but they are
>> truly advanced in relation to contracts.($$$).
>> In addition to this, they are not even remotely interested in free software
>> communities...and in some way the liberties are getting compromised.
> In our economies, there is not much meritorcracy. Contracts are gained
> by influence. We grassroots geeks have no influence. You re our only
> point of refernce for influence and we expect your full support
> because we locally represent our shared principles that are being
> compromised by these incumbents.
Please keep bugging us about this!
>> So as David says there are two schemes, and people in countries can begin to
>> adjust to one or another.
> I'm very interested in this "company partner" scheme. Will be
> monitoring and figuring how to make it work here as well.
>>> > On Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 1:13 PM, Yamandu Ploskonka
>>> > <yamaplos <at> bolinux.org> wrote:
>>> >> One thing that we need to see is about giving legitimacy to volunteers
>>> >> in
>>> >> countries where only if you have an "official" piece of paper you are
>>> >> to be
>>> >> taken into account. Right now I have an active, enthusiastic, capable
>>> >> volunteer in Uruguay who is not taken into account by higher
>>> >> authorities
>>> >> because he basically is "nobody".
> He must be my twin brother then! Please put us in touch.
> PS: I'd like to have my blog on planet too, tags OLPC and Sugar... Thanks!!
> Sebastian Silva
> Iniciativa FuenteLibre
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