For ten years, the Public Lab staff and community have collaborated and worked remotely to support each other in solving environmental questions. There are lots of resources being shared on remote work culture and communication, so we've put together a quick list of articles from colleagues and suggestions from our own team.
Virtual Presence at Work
- From our friend Willow at Trussworks, a team that's been fully distributed since 2018: Being Human Together Online
- From the Glitch community, a guide to working together virtually. We can't wait to try the Slackbot "Coffeetime!"
- A couple great reads from our friend Erin Argyle Barnes at Ioby, How to be good at video meetings and How to get your distributed team to burst with culture.
General Team Communication
- The Public Lab nonprofit staff have a Slack channel just for #morninghello where we talk about what we're focused on for the day. We also like to say see ya later at the end of the day before heading out.
- Our code community has a chat where all are welcome!
- To keep timely information flowing about COVID-19, we've designated a specific Slack channel for this to share relevant resources and keep staff up to date.
Online event formats offered by Public Lab
Public Lab has several virtual event formats that we use throughout the year. Next Tuesday, March 24 at 3 pm ET, we'll use our Open Call to field questions and discuss formats for virtual events and gatherings.
You can also find more information about each format at:
OpenHour: Once per month virtual interactive seminar with a topical focus scheduled in advance. It's a public event, but we also invite people who are connected with the topic to share with those who are attending. We rotate the time of the event each month to account for those in different time zones. Each OpenHour is also recorded and archived here.
OpenCalls: Every Tuesday we host a 15-minute "newcomer" call starting at 2:45 ET to help orient new people to Public Lab. Immediately following, we begin our OpenCall at 3 ET. Although the call is hosted by a facilitator, there is usually no set agenda. This is so that people can come to discuss current projects and challenges. To handle the volume of individual or staff requests we get, we also direct people to use this time to connect with our team.
Live Builds: We've used this format several times in the past, most recently in fall 2019, to live broadcast DIY science kit build sessions. It's a great format to try out with students or youth groups as an alternative to in-person work. With our recent switch to all virtual work, Public Lab will be scheduling live builds in the near future. Keep your eyes out for additional information!
There are numerous groups organizing remotely. Here are a few places to find strategies, ideas, and projects to get involved in.
Coronavirus Tech Handbook: A crowdsourced resource for technologists building things related to the coronavirus outbreak. Data, infographics, tools, resources, papers, etc, as well as a section for best practices around remote working and event alternatives.
Open Source COVID-19: A collection of active open source projects during COVID-19.
CrisisMappers Slack: Join the Crisis Mappers group on Slack where they are discussing approaches to addressing COVID-19.
Principles for an Equitable and Effective Crisis Response: From 2018 Crisis Convening and Public Lab Barnraising participants, check out these principals and contribute your thoughts and suggestions.
Model for mutual aid networks: This is an NYC-specific example that could be implemented in your own neighborhood.
Project Open Air: Slack organizing for engineers (and others) working on medical devices to be reproduced and assembled worldwide.