Laure D. 2021 Q&A: OTW Mission/Goals

[Note: There will be 3 Q&A posts total, covering all the topics brought up during the user-submitted Q&A period. Candidates were limited to 300 words per answer.]

Where would you like to see the OTW in five years? How would you like to set the stage for that over your Board term?

First I’d like to see the OTW still here and stable, that would be a good base. For the more ambitious goals, a lot has already been discussed and planned for the coming years. It’s a collective process, that involves all committees and relies a lot on our Strategic Planning team, and if I become a member of the board, I’ll naturally both adapt to what’s in place and try to bring what I can to the table.

What I’d encourage efforts towards would be to continue making the OTW projects as accessible as possible, notably through translation and by supporting the efforts of the Accessibility, Design & Technology committee. I’d also like to see how cooperation and understanding between committees can be improved, to have overall smoother processes.

What measurable steps are you going to take to further the OTW agenda?

A good start will be to keep in mind our mission statement for sure.

I’ll also make sure I’m as available as possible for Board reflection and decision making.

There will also be a lot to learn about the different committees to support them the best, and I will of course continue being involved in the Translation committee.

What are you currently doing to address racism in AO3 and in the larger OTW?

I’ve been staying informed about activism against racism and oppression mainly in my own country, France, but also more widely when possible.
The OTW as an organisation is very international, and it’s important to be aware that racism won’t take the same shape depending on many parameters, location being one of them.

In the Translation committee, we’ve been striving to foster an atmosphere where kindness and open-mindedness are key. And also where everyone can come to the volunteer managers if they ever encounter a problem, so that we can react to it quickly and appropriately.

Concerning AO3, staying relevant and reactive on those kinds of topics is important and can always be improved. The current Board and several committees have been working towards improvements. Some have already been rolled out, like the possibility to freeze comment threads, and some are still in reflection, like blocking and muting features.

If you were elected, what steps would you implement in combating racism within fannish and transformative work space?

On an individual scale, the first step is staying informed of course. I’ve been reading and listening to activists for a long time, and I don’t plan on stopping. I also try to discuss and raise awareness about racism whenever possible.

On the scale of the OTW, there are two main goals for me: externally, to continue developing AO3’s features that allow users to curate their own experience ; internally, to make sure that volunteers are listened to and that any problem they might raise is dealt with accordingly.

There’s work to be done on all scales, and I’d be glad to bring my help to the Board to tackle any issues that are within our reach.

How are you planning to update the way OTW communicates, both internally and externally (not all details, but general outline)?

I have a few ideas for internal communication, but I’ll need to know a lot more about the other committees to make sure these ideas are doable and not just daydreams. My last job had one interesting feature, a “live my life” exchange where you spent a few moments with someone from another team to see how they worked. It could be interesting, but we are all volunteers who work for the OTW in our free time, so we’d have to see how compatible it is with this.

For external communication, there have been several changes over the past year that I find interesting, like the OTW Signal posts. Our Communication committee has been making efforts towards including in those posts more content from outside the United States for example, and I’d like to encourage this trend.

[Note: All questions from members and candidate responses appear in the form they were submitted and represent only the views of the individual who wrote them. Questions and responses are not endorsed by the Organization for Transformative Works.]

At the request of the candidate, this post has been edited to remove personally identifiable information.