[OSList] Issues of access and privilege

Judith Stemerdink-Herret j.herret at icloud.com
Mon Jan 11 05:42:27 PST 2021

Hi everybody,

I would like to reply on James’ comment about access and privilege in an online world. I experience and observe that there are still enough problems and inequalities to participate for many people:

First of all access to a device (computer, smart phone). Many have smart phones but not all have a computer to use all possibilities of interacting like working in break-out sessions together on Google doc or virtual collaboration tools. 
Second a strong and stable bandwidth. This depends on the region/country you live in but also on your personal budget.
Third to be able to fully connect with others you need also a camera that everybody can see you too, which definitely adds on to the personal connection. 
Forth is connected with the 3rd point because a camera allows to sneak into “your home” and shows a lot about your personal living standard and enables/hinders you to concentrate on the participation (e.g. if family members are in the same room, noise from the neighbourhood/street etc.). Even offices can be difficult surroundings if you share the same room with several colleagues.
Fifth, to participate from home is for many people a challenge because they have children or other family members to care for and get interrupted.

Some of the above mentioned points might be mitigated easily. For instance we don’t have to show where we are and can choose in some video tools the background. Some limitations like local bandwidth is less in your control.

Regarding the background of our personal video, I prefer to see the “reality” people are seated and understand a bit better the challenges around them. I smile if a toddler wants to be on the lap of the daddy, or a colleague appears unknowingly on the screen, or a cat hijacks the keyboard. It gives me a feeling that we are all humans and not only nice and neat little computer screen windows. 

How is your experience regarding access and privilege?

Kind regards from sunny Vienna,

JuSt-Her e.U.
Judith Stemerdink-Herret

Consultant in organisational development, Facilitator for multistakeholder participation, Trainer
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Phone: +43 699 8171 2134
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From: James Sheldon <queerpedagogue at gmail.com <mailto:queerpedagogue at gmail.com>>
Subject: Re: [OSList] feedback on virtual meetings using open space technology
Date: 10. January 2021 at 04:25:14 CET
To: World wide Open Space Technology email list <oslist at lists.openspacetech.org <mailto:oslist at lists.openspacetech.org>>

I know we say whoever comes are the right people... but that has always come down to issues of access and privilege, which can be somewhat mitigated by technology, even if there's still issues of bandwidth or Internet access.  It will be interesting to see how OS unfolds in this brave new world we live in...

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