Talk:Providence Planning 07 11 2006

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Future FG Exercise

A little bit about this: it was an exercise i thought of that might help people think about ways in which free geek will be different due to changes brought on by Providence-fueled expansion, and whose it might influence in what ways. The "roles" that i wrote down, which are probably far from exhaustive and could certainly be subdivided, were

Inexhaustive list of roles
build volunteer adoption volunteer granting organization
curbside donor Providence computer freekbox recipient
neighbor staff member store customer
donated widget build teacher

And some questions, which might be more or less relevant to the people or objects on this list, were supposed to be considered with the participant's understanding of what Free Geek would be like after the most ideal, functional relationship with Providence had come about (and i didn't mention it, but assumed stabilized):

  • who do they interact with?
  • what's the "life cycle" of this person/thing?
  • what do they do? what's done to them?
  • how do they move through the building?
  • what are the good things they perceive?
  • what are the negative things they perceive?
  • how long do they stick around?
  • do they want to stay/come back?
  • what about these questions in the dystopian, negative future, where the transition isn't working out well?

At this meeting, each person got a role and wrote (or didn't write) their responses, and then shared them without discussion, to sort of help us understand a shared vision. The sense that i got from the responses was that in general people feel that the rising specs in computers will be the most important change, and that greater income may lead to alleviation of some of our problems by allowing more staffing. I also collected some of the key elements on the white board, which Seamus was kind enough to copy down.

I suspect this exercise might be useful in other forms, in order to think about potential problems and solutions, and in order to help people understand how free geek may change in a (relatively) very short time. It could work in a one-on-one interview, or a larger group focusing on one role, like the experience of a Freekbox adopter through receiving the computer and post-reception, or the experience of a potential volunteer who comes to take a tour. --Ideath 15:47, 12 Jul 2006 (PDT)

Space Plan

I came into the meeting somewhat wary of this plan, not based on any inherent flaws in the plan itself, but because of three things:

  1. there was only one plan being proposed. (Dave's Low-Impact Warehouse Floor Plan)
  2. i hadn't seen much evidence of it being revised with input from a variety of sources.
  3. it only covers the warehouse, while the volume of Providence material seems like it will necessitate programmatic (and space use) changes throughout the building.

However, my mind was changed, and i later proposed that we recommend the staff move forward with implementing the design, in stages, as feasible. This is why:

  1. This plan does not supercede other plans, but makes the warehouse space more flexible and (theoretically) our materials handling more efficient, regardless of whether we move ahead with the Providence relationship. It can be seen as a first step that will allow us more leeway and time to develop systems in the rest of the building that will work.
  2. Dave had checked in with some core volunteers and all staff who work in recycling. I'm still not entirely convinced that enough groundwork has been done with the volunteers who work in the warehouse, but as it will need to be implemented in phases (figure out how to do burn in on a small scale, move monitors, cull systems, expand workspace, remove shelving, get storage container, not in that order), there will be more opportunity for input, especially if the vision for the future warehouse space and flow is publicized.
  3. Like #1 - this would be step 1 (or maybe step 0) of making the space work with a greater flow of computers. Any large, building-wide change will be difficult to impossible if we do not have a system in place that can facilitate the flow of computers already. This plan allows for bulk sales to be an "overflow outlet" that can release pressure on the system as we increase our capacity to process and give away a greater number of computers by modifying our activities in the rest of the building.

--Ideath 15:47, 12 Jul 2006 (PDT)