In the organisation of this conference, we have been honoured to receive interest from all around the world. Such diversity is an immense opportunity to expand each other’s perspectives and horizons, but this opportunity does not come without some challenges.
We want to foster a positive and safe environment for the cultivation and exchange of our experiences and perspectives. These guidelines aim to support a community where all people should feel safe to participate, introduce new ideas and inspire others.
The following behaviours are expected of all those who attend and participate in the doctoral workshop on 27 March 2019 and the conference on 28 - 29 March 2019:
Value each other’s ideas, styles and viewpoints. We may not always agree, but disagreement is no excuse for poor manners. Be open to different possibilities and to being wrong. Be kind in all interactions and communications, especially when debating the merits of different options. Be aware of your impact and how intense interactions may be affecting people. Be direct, constructive and positive. Take responsibility for your impact and your mistakes – if someone says they have been harmed through your words or actions, listen carefully, apologize sincerely, and correct the behaviour going forward.
Be Direct, but Professional
We are likely to have some discussions about if and when criticism is respectful and when it’s not. We must be able to speak directly when we disagree and when we think we need to improve. We cannot withhold hard truths. Doing so respectfully is hard, doing so when others don’t seem to be listening is harder, and hearing such comments when one is the recipient can be even harder still. We need to be honest and direct, as well as respectful.
Seek diverse perspectives. Diversity of views and of people on teams powers innovation, even if it is not always comfortable. Encourage all voices. Help new perspectives be heard and listen actively. If you find yourself dominating a discussion, it is especially important to step back and encourage other voices to join in. Be aware of how much time is taken up by dominant members of the group. Provide alternative ways to contribute or participate when possible.
Be inclusive of everyone in an interaction, respecting and facilitating people’s participation whether they are:
- Remote (i.e., unable to physically attend the conference)
- Not native language speakers
- Coming from a different culture
- Using pronouns other than “he” or “she”
- Facing other challenges to participate
Think about how you might facilitate alternative ways to contribute or participate. If you find yourself dominating a discussion, step back. Make way for other voices and listen actively to them.
Understand Different Perspectives
Our goal should not be to “win” every disagreement or argument. A more productive goal is to be open to ideas that make our own ideas better. Strive to be an example for inclusive thinking. “Winning” is when different perspectives make our work richer and stronger.
Appreciate and Accommodate Our Similarities and Differences
Our attendees come from many cultures and backgrounds. Cultural differences can encompass everything from official religious observances to personal habits to clothing. Be respectful of people with different cultural practices, attitudes and beliefs. Work to eliminate your own biases, prejudices and discriminatory practices. Think of others’ needs from their point of view. Use preferred titles (including pronouns) and the appropriate tone of voice. Respect people’s right to privacy and confidentiality. Be open to learning from and educating others as well as educating yourself; it is unrealistic to expect people to know the cultural practices of every ethnic and cultural group, but everyone needs to recognize one’s native culture is only part of positive interactions.
Lead by Example
By matching your actions with your words, you become a person others want to follow. Your actions influence others to behave and respond in ways that are valuable and appropriate for our organizational outcomes. Design your community and your work for inclusion. Hold yourself and others accountable for inclusive behaviours.
BEHAVIOUR THAT WILL NOT BE TOLERATED
The following behaviours are considered to be unacceptable:
Violence and Threats of Violence
Violence and threats of violence are not acceptable. This includes incitement of violence toward any individual, including encouraging a person to commit self-harm.
Conflicts will inevitably arise, but frustration should never turn into a personal attack. It is not okay to insult, demean or belittle others. Attacking someone for their opinions, beliefs and ideas is not acceptable. It is important to speak directly when we disagree and when we think we need to improve, but such discussions must be conducted respectfully and professionally, remaining focused on the issue at hand.
Hurtful or harmful language related to:
- Family status
- Gender identity or expression
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
- Native language
- Race and/or ethnicity
- National origin
- Socioeconomic status
- Geographic location
- Other attributes
is not acceptable. This includes deliberately referring to someone by a gender that they do not identify with, and/or questioning the legitimacy of an individual’s gender identity. If you’re unsure if a word is derogatory, don’t use it. This also includes repeated subtle and/or indirect discrimination; when asked to stop, stop the behaviour in question.
Unwelcome Sexual Attention or Physical Contact
Unwelcome sexual attention or unwelcome physical contact is not acceptable. This includes sexualized comments, jokes or imagery in interactions, communications or presentation materials, as well as inappropriate touching, groping, or sexual advances. This includes touching a person without permission, including sensitive areas such as their hair, pregnant stomach, mobility device (wheelchair, scooter, etc.) or tattoos. This also includes physically blocking or intimidating another person. Physical contact or simulated physical contact (such as emojis like “kiss”) without affirmative consent is not acceptable. This includes sharing or distribution of sexualized images or text.
Sustained disruption of events, forums, or meetings, including talks and presentations, will not be tolerated. This includes:
- ‘Talking over’ or ‘heckling’ speakers.
- Drinking alcohol to excess or using recreational drugs to excess, or pushing others to do so.
- Making derogatory comments about those who abstain from alcohol or other substances, pushing people to drink, talking about their abstinence or preferences to others, or pressuring them to drink - physically or through jeering.
Otherwise influencing crowd actions that cause hostility in the session.
Influencing Unacceptable Behaviour
We will treat influencing or leading such activities the same way we treat the activities themselves, and thus the same consequences apply.
CONSEQUENCES OF UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR
Bad behaviour from any conference attendees, including those among the conference organisation and coordination, will not be tolerated. Intentional efforts to exclude people (except as part of a consequence of the guidelines or other official action) from the workshop or conference activities are not acceptable and will be dealt with appropriately.
Reports of harassment/discrimination will be promptly and thoroughly investigated by the people responsible for the safety of the space, event or activity. Appropriate measures will be taken to address the situation.
Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behaviour is expected to comply immediately. Violation of these guidelines can result in you being asked to leave the event, either temporarily or for the duration of the event.
In addition, any participants who abuse the reporting process will be considered to be in violation of these guidelines and subject to the same consequences. False reporting, especially to retaliate or exclude, will not be accepted or tolerated.
If you believe you’re experiencing unacceptable behaviour that will not be tolerated as outlined above, please contact us via our email email@example.com or, for very urgent cases which require immediate action, please contact Ashika Singh (member of the OC), +32 471 26 98 46.
For cases in which a police report will need to be made, we recommend that you also contact the Belgian Police, 112. Of course, this can be done with a member of the OC with you.
License and attribution
These guidelines are distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. These guidelines have been adapted with modifications from Mozilla’s Community Participation Guidelines, who have in turn adapted them from: the Ubuntu Code of Conduct, Mozilla’s View Source Conference Code of Conduct, and the Rust Language Code of Conduct, which are based on Stumptown Syndicate’s Citizen Code of Conduct. Additional text from the LGBTQ in Technology Code of Conduct and the WisCon code of conduct.
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