GOAT 2024 Conference + Community Organizing - MEGATHREAD

Hi folks,

We’re thrilled to announce that GOAT 2024 is officially on!

We are grateful to have received support via a grant from the 11th Hour Project, a program of the Schmidt Family Foundation.

We have a set of things we’d like to accomplish on the road to a GOAT 20224 conference. Here’s a subset that I hope provides some insights into what may come next. You can read the full GOAT 2024 proposal proposal here.

GOAT 2024 Goals

We seek funding to meet the 1-year goal of preparing for and hosting the GOAT 2024 conference. In the time leading up to this event, we’ll build out the technological, community stewardship, and governance infrastructures that foster long-term community organizing. Our proposed GOAT 2024 goals are detailed below.

GOAL 1: Co-create a GOAT governance plan: In the past, a core group of 4-8 volunteer organizers have performed all GOAT functions, with volunteers solicited in the immediate run up to and during the event itself. While we have managed to host and maintain the GOAT community since 2018, this is not sustainable or inclusive. We seek to establish a governance plan drawing on strategies proposed during the GOAT 2022 conference and community member discussions since.

GOAL 2: Co-create a community stewardship strategy: Prior GOAT stewardship involved ad-hoc outreach and organizing efforts to support non-conference efforts, performed by a loose network of volunteers. These efforts require significant coordination and collaboration among GOAT volunteers, and we anticipate the need to develop a strategic plan for community stewardship to share the burden and joys of organizing and outreach. Missing from our community stewardship efforts, and often discussed during community events, is the lack of capacity for concerted outreach and engagement with underrepresented groups. Through a more deliberate approach to outreach, engagement, and community stewardship, we hope to bridge the gap and improve representation within GOAT, including from underrepresented and historically excluded communities. In his reflections on attending GOAT 2022, John Bliss, a Maine farmer aptly describes this issue: “GOAT faces an uphill battle in bridging the divide between the farmer and the developer. Trust, the baseline for all relationships, will have to be a primary focus if the open technology community and that of sustainable agriculture are to find solidarity into the future.” (The Main Organic Farmer & Gardner, 2023)

Goal 3: Co-create a GOAT roadmap: Much of the feedback from folks who have been involved in GOAT over the years is that they have found community and connection through participation in our events. People and their organizations have found allies, friends, and even collaborators resulting in large-scale funded projects. However, there has also been an overwhelming call for action, coordination, and mechanism to work together. Taking inspiration from allied communities, we seek to develop a set of concrete actions to foster co-creation of trusted, people-centered, ecologically-oriented, and open technologies for resilient agriculture and food systems. Inspired by the notion of designing for the pluriverse (Arturo Escobar, 2018), we acknowledge that our community is not a monolith and our roadmap must make space for our members to converge on different actions.An initial GOAT roadmap and manifesto was drafted at the GOAT 2022 and revised in subsequent community calls.

Implementation Plan

Please note: this is a working draft to be updated as we move through the process.

March

April

  • Conduct community needs assessment and mapping to inform the design of GOAT 2024. Develop a community stewardship plan, including outreach for the GOAT conference.
  • GOAT 2024 organizing committee (re)formed. Review the GOAT application form. Enact community stewardship plan, including outreach to underrepresented communities.
  • Host virtual community convenings re: GOAT governance plan & community stewardship.

May

  • Set up GOAT documentation infrastructure. Update GOAT website, prepare conference management documents and other materials.
  • Publish a community needs assessment report, ongoing documentation and artifacts re: GOAT community engagements as living documents.
  • Open for GOAT applicants, conduct ongoing review of applicants, inviting up to 100 participants.

June

  • Host community convening re: GOAT 2024 programming and sessions. Continue community outreach with focus on GOAT 2024 applicants and supporters.
  • Rolling notifications for successful GOAT applicants and attendees.
  • Host community convening re: GOAT 2024 programming and sessions.

July

  • Host community convenings re: GOAT Roadmap.
  • Rolling notifications for successful GOAT applicants and attendees.

August

  • Host community reveiw re: GOAT 2024 programming and sessions.

September / October

  • Host GOAT 2024 Conference

November

  • Host virtual community convenings re: GOAT 2024 output synthesis and documentation.

December

  • Publish GOAT roadmap and next steps
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Curated list of community conversation around governance, community stewardship, and GOAT roadmap (please add to this, its a wiki!):

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Hi everyone! Conference planning is officially in full swing and before we finalize the location, I’d like to give the community a chance to weigh in. We have identified Paicines Ranch in Paicines, California as a potential host site for the 2024 gathering - the only available dates for them are September 18th - 23rd (potentially also the 16th + 17th but need to get confirmation on this). The venue checks MANY boxes (and then some) with onsite lodging (indoor + camping) and food. If you have any objections with this location/these dates - speak now :slight_smile:

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