Digital Infrastructure: Labor, Roles and Incentives

Digital Infrastructure: Labor, Roles and Incentives

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Online event

Header Caption: Title: Digital Infrastructure: Labor Roles and Incentives in white text on green background.

About this event

Virtual Event (Zoom)

2:30 - 3:45 PM EDT | Thursday, August 20, 2020

You will be emailed a Zoom link with instructions to join 24 hours before the event.

Missed the last two events? View the recording, read the pre-read materials & more here.

The Ford Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, in partnership with the Mozilla and Open Society Foundation, invite you to join us on Thursday, August 20th to explore labor, roles and incentives.

This webinar will feature a panel discussion and Q&A with researchers from our 2019 grantee cohort: Kaylea Champion, University of Washington, Stuart Geiger, UC Berkeley Institute for Data Science, UC San Diego, & UCONN, Stephen Jacobs, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Mathiew O’Neil, University of Canberra.

We will also continue the conversation around our 2020 call for proposals to further this field of work and hold a Q&A for interested applicants.

About the Speakers:

Kaylea Champion, University of Washington: How can we measure, model, and reduce underproduction in open-source software infrastructure projects?

Stuart Geiger, UC Berkeley Institute for Data Science, UC San Diego, & UCONN: In community-based open-source software projects, what is the visible and invisible work of maintaining trusted, functioning software infrastructure—especially as projects grow and transition from volunteer-based to various sustainability models?

Stephen Jacobs, Rochester Institute of Technology: How do mismatched conceptualizations between maintainers and users of a FOSS digital infrastructure project interact to affect the community health and thus sustainability of such projects?

Mathiew O’Neil, University of Canberra: To what extent are digital infrastructure projects supported by waged labor, and how does this affect project cohesion and sustainability?

Everything in our modern society, from hospitals to banks to social media platforms, runs on software. Nearly all of this software is built on “digital infrastructure,” a foundation of free and public code that is designed to solve common challenges. But this free, public code—which we refer to as open source software—needs regular upkeep and maintenance, just as physical infrastructure does, and because it doesn’t belong to any one person or party, it is no one person’s job to maintain it.

We believe that preserving this sustainable, open digital infrastructure is a critical public interest issue. We hope you will join us in building toward a more diverse and well-funded ecosystem for digital infrastructure.

How can we help you fully participate?

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