Why are we disbanding roundtables?
- Not enough volunteers. We are not enthusiastic about begging people to present, and we would not want to put any of our beloved community members in the compromising position of declining.
- We believe that working groups can do this job better AND have been since they've come about. (yay! working groups!)
How will this change working groups?
We're so glad you asked!
Many working groups have regular weekly or monthly meetings now to catch up on progress, discuss issues, and share their successes. These meetings are essential to progressing on our community goals. For example, if you have a specific backend find, question, discussion, or humble brag, the proper avenue for that is the backend working group meeting. Since a lot of what used to take place in roundtables is happening in working group meetings already, not much has to change.
We only make two suggestions of working group organization:
1. Pre-defined agendas with time slots
A lot of working groups already operate using a pre-defined agenda -- which is a great first step. Next, allowing members to add items to the agenda is an essential part of making sure everybody finds a place for their voice. The key piece here is to add time slots. This will help meetings to be more organized and members will feel like the time they've requested will be used for their contribution.
Does this mean more work for working group leads? Not necessarily. It means you'll have to prepare the shell of the meeting agenda a little bit earlier to allow for members to contribute, and that you'll want to check that agenda occasionally, leading up the meeting, to ensure that everything fits in.
2. Special Topic Meetings
Some topics are so special or important that they need more time or their own platform, so that many voices can be heard. For this, we suggest working groups create special topic meetings. These can be broadcast more widely, so that members who are not usually in attendance of working groups meetings, but may be interested in the special topic, can attend. This is the avenue for a proposal to change something widespread or for folks to share their work on a new major component of the Galaxy Community.
These would take place at a separate date/time than the usual working group meeting, and would need to be advertised a bit to bring in a broader audience.
By adding time slots to working group meeting agendas and highlighting specialized topics as standalone meetings, we can disband roundtables (goodbye to meeting fatigue!) and more fully utilize the power of working groups.