This module introduces you to the basic concepts of working open.

Read and watch videos on this topic


Have read the Series README file



Welcome! And a Look at Working Open IRL (In Real Life)

Welcome! We’re excited that you’re here. In this training series, you’ll learn a specific set of practices which we’re calling “working open.”

  • When you are “working open” you use the power, knowledge, and skills of a diverse community of volunteers (called “contributors”) to accomplish something that a single person or a small team couldn’t do alone.
  • When your project is “open” you share knowledge and information generated by the project widely and freely, allow others to build on your project, and maximize its usefulness for everyone.

The Open Leadership Training Series is designed for those who want to work together with others to create, build, and make amazing stuff– anything from software projects to learning materials to organizations or advocacy campaigns. As we mentioned in the Series README– it doesn’t matter if your project aims to teach kids to code in Cleveland or build mobile apps with taxi drivers in Bangladesh, this is a one-size-fits-all resource. Here is one example of how people are working open, in real life, on real projects.

A Working Open Example - STEMM Role Models, Kirstie Whitaker

The Ingredients of an Open Project

Very different projects can be open, but there are some commonalities to open projects, a list of basic ingredients for working open:

  • A great idea of something amazing to make or build

  • A clear intention to share your idea, project and process widely

  • A group of contributors, which form a community to shape and drive your project

  • The world wide web to connect and collaborate

  • A project leader (this is you!)

  • A series of open practices and tools for planning, project management, mentorship, growing a community and running events, which we’ll cover in this training.

By working open, we can often get far more done (and often done better) than we could working alone. And the knowledge, resources, and tools we generate in our work are more useful and powerful because they’re shared widely. Now that you’ve seen how working open happens in real life, and have a better sense of what’s a project needs to be open, it’s time to explore what it means to actually lead an open project. Continue to the next module to learn more.

next: The Project Lead Role  

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