Enabling people power: the Planet 4 Community Strategy

How P4 users and contributors can learn, share, onboard, and find access to P4 sub-communities

Luca Tiralongo
Jul 2, 2020 · 7 min read

Planet 4 is now powering over 80% of Greenpeace institutional websites, marking the implementation phase as “finished”. It is the perfect time to find new ways to engage with the community to improve the product in an open, collaborative and inclusive way.

The 2019 feedback made it clear that a multitude of sub-communities related to Planet 4 are revolving around the general space and are now ready to self-generate content, ideas and innovation. This new community strategy* aims to enable these specialised tracks. Membership is voluntary and not bound to one space (e.g. someone could very well be an active member of 2 or more tracks). The primary purpose is to maximize the groups’ creativity, the discussions’ focus and the shared accountability.

*this is only V1 — please add your thoughts directly to the Community Strategy or at the bottom of this post and help make it better!

While keeping the general Planet 4 community as the main discussion space, enabling a bunch of specialised groups will ensure greater collaboration across areas that de facto impact P4 as a whole. The P4 team is calling these spaces “Tracks, and believes that integrating openness in each of them will help not only removing complexities and repetition, but as well maximising coordination, enabling distributed leadership and facilitating open contributions.

The Planet 4 community space system — Image by WeAreOpen

Why Community Tracks?

In the Community Strategy, the team identified three overarching goals as the key reasons to invest time and energy in distributed leadership through sub-communities.

😺 Leverage open-source contributions

Bridging non-profits and the open source community can help the global network of Greenpeace organisations achieve a variety of goals, in tech and beyond. Expanding our cross-community collaboration will benefit everyone by providing innovative solutions and inspiring people around Greenpeace work. We can all learn a lot from the open source community, and help showcase Fully Open Source Softwares (FOSS) work and best practices.

💡 Increase knowledge and opportunities for collaboration

These “subspaces” of the ever-growing P4 community will facilitate the access to all the great people that work with (and improve) P4, allowing connections between specialised folks. Distributed innovation and product improvement are much more likely to arise in a sub-communities-based environment, while overlaps will inspire cross-NRO projects and shared improvements to the P4 technology. All together we can create and update documentation, learn from each other and grow as professionals and as humans.

✍️ Contribute to improving a true engagement platform

Tracks” will give the P4 Product team the ability to listen better to the community’s needs and wants and increase the shared ownership of the platform. We will also have more targeted ways to leverage practitioners’ skills and hands-on experience.

Colleagues of the Planet 4 Team will be active members of each track and facilitate these spaces, acting as “track leads” to make sure relevant information is shared between spaces. With this approach, we aim to redistribute power dynamics, and make the project more egalitarian and inclusive (which we know is important for open source contribution as well as for internal motivation). Each track will do community engagement within itself because different groups should have the power to design their own processes.

Which Tracks and how they work

We have identified five overarching tracks to start with. Each track has or will have two communication mechanisms — a dedicated Slack channel and a regular community call for folks to coordinate and have a friendly face when new to the project.

To increase open contribution and transparency to the P4 project, we’re putting issues of each track into our new Github repository. During calls and meetings, we’ll discover and file new issues suitable for contribution (from both inside and outside Greenpeace). Then, as people choose to work on those issues, we’ll update the repository and community spaces. Issues will be labeled with track names (Design, Dev, Data, etc), and we’ll work to make each issue as descriptive as possible, so that they’re easy to pick up and start working on.

A snapshot of the P4 github repo for contributors

General P4 space 🌎🌍🌏

Every open project needs a “catchall” space to interact, share, engage and galvanize new and old members and contributors. The “general” community will be the space for everyone to learn about Planet 4, share, onboard new folks, access to all members and all other sub-communities, stay abreast of urgent news, case studies or big milestones.

This will be our “international space station”, where opportunities (including jobs) will turn into reality, where news and product upgrades will be shared, where ideas for new features will be generated, submitted and voted.

🗣️ #p4-general | ℹ️ P4 Handbook

Developers community 👷🚀

Each FOSS project needs a space for all technical people to come together to contribute, get and receive support and share ideas, code and knowledge.

This track will allow all developers (Greenpeace employees and non) working on or willing to learn about or contribute to P4 to get started, access work that can be easily picked up, or just ask a question to other tech-skilled folks.

Pull Requests, Community calls, hackathons and new code tricks are just some of the great things that will arise from this space, which will count on the active participation of the P4 development team.

🗣️ #p4-dev | ℹ️ Gitbook | 😍 Github

Designers community 🎨🦄

Design-thinking contributions are a huge opportunity for Planet 4 and the Greenpeace network, since most of the outputs on campaigns, technology or engagement require UX / UI design and visual design.

Just as the “doers” (aka devs), this space for “creators”, and any people interested in design issues, will be supported and enabled, to provide ways for design-skilled minds to exchange ideas, align P4 design with the Greenpeace brand (and vice-versa), test visuals and prototypes and contribute to each other’s work.

🗣️ #p4-design | ℹ️ P4 Handbook | 😍 Style Guide

Data and Web analytics community 🤸 📊

Data unites us, that’s why this track is the most “non-P4-bounded” group of this multiverse. By bringing together all data analysts (mostly from P4, but also from other tools) in one space, we will foster knowledge-sharing and improve our capacities to turn data into trustworthy knowledge.

Co-facilitated with the Insights team, this will be the ideal place to improve existing tracking setups, share testing scenarios and results and encourage a data-driven mindset supporting Greenpeace’s work around the network.

🗣️ #web-analytics | ℹ️ Gitbook | 😍 Smartsheet

P4 Council 🎩🦸

Just as the ‘Jedis council’, this is the place where the vision meets the senior members of the P4 galaxy. A consultative body where users’ hopes and dreams for the platform (also coming from the other tracks!) will make their way into the roadmap, a group that will match the P4 vision with business priorities, align on technology goals and collaborate on solutions to achieve our goals.

Programme Stakeholders 🧙

A responsive space for P4 discussions at strategic level and campaign strategy is also needed, whose focus would be less on tech and more on how the product can support campaigns’ engagement strategies. This track would aim to support campaigners in unpacking engagement opportunities into the Planet 4 package.

However, with a variety of teams across the entire Greenpeace network, we haven’t quite figured out what this segment of the community should look like. We hope to facilitate this group as with the other tracks, with a community call and a slack channel, as well as a designated lead to help coordinate.

Comms, calls and events

Once established, all tracks will be able to rely on a dedicated onboarding journey, events (community calls, training, conferences…), track updates and opportunities to join projects and initiatives.

The representatives of the community team will be responsible for the engagement of their tracks, making sure those sub-groups activities are coordinated using an engagement community calendar. We will work together so that community members don’t always have to reach out to the different people, reducing stress and increasing the value of community membership.

The idea is to always keep the message and the outreach related to each specific track, unless it’s relevant to everyone and therefore requires the firepower of the general community and its channels.

This is V1 of the strategy!

The community strategy was built based on the P4 community feedback, individual feedback and benchmarking on other big networks, but it’s absolutely not final! We’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas and feedback on these tracks.

Do you see any space missing? Do you think the tracks’ expectations should be different? Do you think another model would be appropriate? Awesome! Please comment directly in the Community Strategy, or below this post, shout via email or tweet at #Planet4 and let’s enable each other!

Special thanks to the whole Planet 4 community for inspiring this piece of work and to Andrada, Gabor, Julia, Laura, Magali, Nikos and Suzi for their help in making it real. Oh, and to Brian for the visuals.

Planet 4

Planet 4 is the codename for the complete redesign of…

Planet 4

Planet 4 is the codename for the complete redesign of Greenpeace.org. This project is developed using open principles, and this Medium Publication will be the central hub for news and updates pertaining to the Planet 4 project. Learn more at www.greenpeace.org/p4

Luca Tiralongo

Written by

Grey-haired since 14. Bike rider. Sea diver. Peperonata maker. Greenpeacer.

Planet 4

Planet 4 is the codename for the complete redesign of Greenpeace.org. This project is developed using open principles, and this Medium Publication will be the central hub for news and updates pertaining to the Planet 4 project. Learn more at www.greenpeace.org/p4

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