If you’re in the CAT Slack, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to keep up with all the links and learnings shared in the myriad channels.
So, in 2020, we’re setting up a longer form, companion to the slack space, the Climate Action Discourse Forum, otherwise known as Disco CAT.
Where slack is good for quick, ephemeral chatter, this forum exists to provide a more permanent place to store links, summarise the things we learn, and provide a gentle on-ramp to new CATS trying to work out what they can do as a tech professionals in the climate emergency.
And if you’re a part of CAT, you should be able to can post to it and edit pages right away.
How you can take part
If you have access to the ClimateAction.tech slack, you should be able to sign into this ClimateAction.tech’s Discourse instance with the same credentials.
Disclaimer: this is all a work in progress, and having some content folks help shepherd this process over the coming weeks would really, help. Hit up Chris Adams in the slack if you’re up for helping.)
The discussion forum
Within the CAT slack, there are currently smaller sub communities:
Communities of practice
Groups where CATS have the goal of developing an area of competence. They might want to incorporate into their professional life, or just fill gaps in knowledge out of curiosity.
Examples: #greener-events, #greener-webperf, #greener-webperf, #employee-action
Communities of geography
Groups where the main thing members share is a local context. Members share events, local news, and generally establish connections This might form the basis enabling the creation of local groups.
Examples: #local-india, #local-germany, #local-spain, #local-london
Communities of purpose
Groups who have a specific concrete, project they are working on, often with milestones, and explicit targets. These rely on contributions from current and new CATS.
Examples: the monthly CAT newsletter, the omg-climate unconferences, the aws letter, and meetups, the 2019 CAT cohort
As mentioned before, slack is fine for ephemeral content, but less so for getting up to speed for new members. Links and content also disappear over time.
So to address this, we use discourse, and specifically, it’s wiki feature to allow any CAT member to add content worth sharing onto a “onboarding post” for that community, as longer lived content.
this means if you’re in a channel, that’s useful and there’s no onboarding post, please try to make one
This creates a space for the sub communities to share content without waiting for it to go onto a bigger central, curated website, and give new and prospective members an idea of what to expect, as well as identify actions in this more limited context.
It also lowers the barrier to contribution - if you are in slack, you already are able to sign up, as it uses the same credentials. You can add to an existing post, or create a new one.
If a subject in a community warrants its own post, we have a way to expand this, without needing to learn how to use a wiki.
Relating this a wider task of capturing and sharing what we learn
Creating space like this also allows for a progression of content to end up on public facing channels (the public website, the twitter account, any kind of video tool we use, and events) and eventually create some much more curated guides which collate information across a set of the communities, to end up with content like the stuff we’ve post on medium previously.
So, this is rough plan, it’s not set in stone, but having a longer lasting home for what we share, and having some kind of way to support the growing sub-communities seems like a win.