[Squeakfoundation]Chaordic Purpose

Paul Fernhout squeakfoundation@lists.cdegroot.com
Wed, 25 Apr 2001 21:15:32 -0400

This thread is intended to discuss the purpose of the Squeak Foundation
along the lines of the chaordic design process described at: 
(and which Cees has participated in related to Sun's JINI).

>From that page: "The first step is to define, with absolute clarity and
deep conviction, the purpose of the community. An effective statement of
purpose will be a clear, commonly understood statement of that which
identifies and binds the community together as worthy of pursuit. When
properly done, it can usually be expressed in a single sentence.
Participants will say about the purpose, 'If we could achieve that, my
life would have meaning.' "

A good reason to work from the point of purpose rather than projects is
to encourage the broadest support for the foundation. Also, needs change
over time, so a purpose linked too closely to a specific project may
turn obsolete quickly. A good purpose will be one that twenty years from
now will still make sense and be worth supporting. To an extent, a
really good purpose is more like a process than a goal. [For anyone with
real experience with chaordic processes, like Cees, feel free to chime
in with corrections and/or more process suggestions.]

Here are some examples to distinguish "purpose" from "project":
"Stable Squeak" is a project. 
"Better Documentation" is a project. 
"Hosting Conferences" is a project. 

"Ensuring Reliable Technology" is a purpose.
"Advancing Computer Literacy" is a purpose.
"Encouraging Collaboration" is a purpose.
"Enabling Humane Technology" is a purpose.
"Supporting Transparent Computing" is a purpose.
"Promoting World Peace" is a purpose. 

If no one proposes a purpose in a few of days, I will post my own one
sentence suggestion.

If you can only think of projects right now, try to think of what that
project really accomplishes. For example, what would having better
documentation accomplish? Purpose related ideas mentioned already in
other threads either directly or indirectly (derived from asking what
projects accomplish) could be "harvested" and put here. 

Here are some examples of purposes from chaordic groups taken from:

"To restore and enhance an enduring Marine System supporting a healthy
diversity and abundance of marine life and human uses through a
self-organizing and self-governing organization."

"To discover, integrate and implement theories and practices for the
interdependent development of people and their institutions."

"To promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, end
religiously-motivated violence and create cultures of peace, justice,
and healing for the Earth and all living beings."

"To effect and enable constructive, systemic change leading to a more
just, equitable, sustainable society."

"To enable people to create food and farming systems which improve and
sustain ecological, economic and social health through systemic,
community-based, self-organizing governance."

"To enable the effective, equitable flow and ethical use of accurate,
accessible geographic information to improve the health of the Earth and
of our economies and communities."

Rather than suggest a purpose myself, I'd be curious to see other
people's comments first. Please use this thread to post one sentence
statements of purpose and related discussion. Hopefully these purpose
proposals can then be further refined further (into other one sentence
statements). I think it is a good idea to discuss projects and other
issues too, just in other threads. This process is supposed to be
iterative in terms of later steps (detailed at the first URL). As people
come up with suggestions for projects or other ideas in other threads,
the purpose may need to be revisited to include them.

Or, if you can't come up with a whole sentence, then post an idea or
sentence fragment that should go into such a one sentence purpose.

They don't have to be completely Squeak related if they Squeak as part
of a larger picture.

Proposing silly or funny or overly grandiose purposes for a Squeak
Foundation are OK to get everyone's mental juices flowing. 

-Paul Fernhout
Kurtz-Fernhout Software 
Developers of custom software and educational simulations
Creators of the Garden with Insight(TM) garden simulator