Multiculturalism and Diversity
My last two blog posts were about why I want to serve on the Board and how my experiences make me a good choice for the position. This one is about my belief in diversity and a commitment to multiculturalism and recruiting youth. A couple of weeks ago I was writing on the Marketing of Drupal about the current cultural fabric of the Association.
We must put a focus on helping internationalise the project (do-ocracy or not) in order to fuel sustainable growth across the globe. And we must understand and embrace the cultural differences of how different peoples approach contributions and participation in the project. This will allow us to nurture future leaders that would never have come to the surface in the current environment greatly enhancing and enriching who we are as a community. We must not simply say that we're a do-ocracy so those that do things will lead - if we don't make a conscious decision to move beyond this mind set, the squeakiest wheels will continue to be oiled and we will live in an unintended never intended circle of hegemony.
My background isn't as cut and dried as many people who live in the United States. I was born and grew up in Canada. My mother is Danish and my father is British. This meant spending quite a bit of time abroad as I grew to adulthood. I moved to the U.S. in 1995 to take an MFA at Virginia Tech and became rooted in the States marrying here and starting a family. This has given me an interesting outlook on the world. I live in the U.S. and I understand America well. I have a strong Canadian identity. I also identify with Europe. This has left me with a strong empathy and understanding of cultural diversity. With a project like Drupal, I see that as a strength. It also provides me with a strong commitment to seeing our community grow in new and emerging markets. The truth is, Drupal is already multicultural. We just need to embrace it.
We're Getting Older
I attended Drupalcon in 2007 in Barcelona. It seemed that the average age of the convention go-er was about 28 years old. We had some attendees that were a bit older (like me) some that were younger. 5 years later, the average age seems to be around 36-37ish. Again, some younger and some older, but the fascinating thing is that we seem to be aging faster than a year for a year. This seems to indicate that we are attracting professionals that are further along in their careers.
Older community members bring stability and wisdom to the project. Still, like any population, you want enough young folks coming into the fold to replace those that leave. Attrition kills. Open source software projects like ours can suffer from the equivalent of "HR attrition".
If we are attracting more mature people to our community, we need to do more to attract younger people into the community. This is critical for the sustainability of the project as a whole.
I hope that you plan on voting in the elections and that you'll consider me as someone that can represent your interests. Please tweet, FaceBook, and Google+ these posts. I need as much help as I can get to spread the word! I also need your vote.