Organisation/2013 Trustees Election/Candidates

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Ben Blundell (oni)

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I've been a member of the hackspace for over 4 years (5 in February). In that time I've gone from watching Russ getting angry at our first ever maker-bot, whilst freezing cold above an archery range, to helping Charles run the laser cutter training and maintenance. I’m also the idiot behind the “Chairman Jonty” meme, the recent “Charles Rendentor” mural and the chap who looks after the first aid kits.

I joined the space having moved to London, knowing no-one. Thanks to the people at the space, I run my own tech company around the corner. I live and work locally so I’m always on hand, in person.

I've seen the space grow from a handful of individuals to the organisation it is today and I think I've just about got a handle on how things work. I care about the space, despite the eventful road we've travelled and I figure this is one of the best ways I can help the space get even better.

Aden Bos (aden)

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I've been a hackspace member for over 4 years, and in that time I've drunk a lot of beer and talked a lot of nonsense. As a trustee I wish to promote the drinking of beer and the brewing of beer, and encourage freedom of speech and new ideas.

Martin Dittus (martind)

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I was one of the first members of the organisation in 2009, and have been trustee since 2011. I think the main role of a trustee (besides the bare legal requirements) is to support and strengthen our community. As a mediator and facilitator I think I'm calm and even-handed, and I tend to listen first rather than jump to conclusions. I think one of our greatest current challenges is to learn how to gently introduce many new members to our community culture. Over the years we've developed fairly intricate norms and we're not always good at teaching them. (I'm generally fascinated with this semi-structured character of the London Hackspace, and I've started documenting some of its less obvious aspects on my wiki user page.)

In previous years I organised a number of events: our first ever server hardware auction, a Young Hackspace series for young kids, an IoT meetup, a Bitcoin weekend, and others. I was one of the organisers of EMFCamp 2012, and was quite involved with Hack the Barbican in 2013 which had a strong Hackspace presence. Together with others I initiated a monthly "hack the space" day earlier in the year, and was happy to see that others are starting to pick it up now…

Dean Forbes (ndovlu)

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With the space growing in size I feel a need for the leadership to grow with this, I feel that this still needs to happen and would like to play a role in this, I have been a trustee of two large housing organisations as well as both an executive and non-exec director, I feel that these roles equip me to support the growth that I perceive the will go through I would like to see the silent majority get a voice, I would like to see the Hackspace become a safe and inclusive environment that includes all genres of hackers and is not dominated by sub sets, I would like to build a culture of support and respect, I believe that some boundaries and structure do need to be implemented due to our size and these will be helpful but need to be carefully thought out …. I hope to play a role in implementing what we can to address these issues for you and have fun making whilst doing this

Russ Garrett (russss)

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I've been a trustee of London Hackspace since founding it back in 2009, and I currently serve as treasurer and secretary of the organisation. One of my motivations behind starting Hackspace was because I wanted to use tools that I wouldn't otherwise have access to, and recently I've been involved with such various pursuits as welding, brewing, knitting, and electronics. But mostly accounting.

I've learned a lot about organisations like Hackspace over the last few years, and I'd like to continue applying that knowledge towards making us successful in the future. It seems that we're pushing the limits of what "do-ocracy" can cope with, so I want to work to build a more appropriate structure for us to deal with the massive increase in members and size we've seen, while preserving the great culture we've built over the last nearly five years. I'd like to make sure we make Hackspace as good an experience for new members as it has been for those of us who've been around since the beginning.

I'd also like to increase the automation of Hackspace's accounts so we can try and make them as transparent to our members as we managed in the old days, despite the rather larger amount of work that's needed now.

It's been a great journey so far and I'd love to stick around and help London Hackspace prosper over the next five years.

Thomas Greer (tgreer)

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I¹m tgreer, an active member of the hackspace. I run an IT Consultancy, and in my spare time I do lots of work between my land rover, the hackspace and other things I¹m involved in, such as volunteering and circus skills.

I¹ve been involved in a many things at the hackspace, I help run the amateur radio group. I¹m one of the keepers of the internet and general infrastructure at the space. I was there building the new space for our members, making it as usable as we could. I always help out with the general goings on with the space, ranging from power to networking to being the designated driver. My experience of sorting the crap out and keeping the place usable for others inspired me to take this further and become a trustee.

I¹m very passionate about things I care for. As we grow as a community we need to come together and assess how Hackspace deals with the new challenges this brings. I want to encourage some good input from the members of the space so we can make the place more usable. How can we all benefit from this greater pool of knowledge? I also want us to think about how to make the experience better for potential new members, as the first impression needs to be the best impression.

As an active and involved member of Hackspace I will be around to listen to and react to members say. I believe that trustees are not just there to deal with complaints and disputes but can guide and help to provide a sense of direction for the future.

Nick Large (vetraskr)

I don't want to write a huge piece, so I'll try and keep this short for everyone. One of the most important things about the hackspace for me has been the community that has grown around it, and it's diversity. I see this as something that is crucial to maintain and grow, despite difficulties that we encounter along the way.

In addition I think that one of the unspoken responsibilities of a trustee is to act as a voice of reason. We have many enthusiastic and passionate members, and we want to keep focusing that enthusiasm for positive ends.

Eugene Nadyrshin (mentar)

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Hello everyone! If you don't know me then you may have seen me tinkering around with the robot arms or doing tours on tuesdays every now and then. Having been a member for about a year and a half I would like to think I've been involved with the space quite a bit, be it with the above mentioned robots, helping with the move, helping maintain/repair equipment, working on the backend for the ACnode or a few other things.

I’m a proud member of the hackspace and I think what’s been achieved so far is amazing! I want to help continue that trend and that’s why I’ve decided to stand for this trustee position. If elected I'd like to find ways of increasing member involvement in the running of the hackspace. When I joined we had about three hundred or so members and there was a strong sense of community, but with over 800 members now it’s getting harder to maintain that without active facilitation from the trustees. I’d also like to work on making better use of our new space, helping educate new members on how we do things and much more.

Ninki Maskell (Nin-lil-izi)

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My reason for standing is very simple. London Hackspace has allowed me to try and learn many things I'd never had have the opportunity too otherwise. Particularly making friends and learning to socialise with people outside of my small and closed community. A knowledge of electrical engineering much greater than I ever managed to acquire by googling alone. Thanx to the patience and willingness to share of other members. Most recently, learning to sow and make my own clothes. (See purple fleece in photo) Something that would never have been possible without access to such prohibitively expense kit such as sowing machines. And all the other little things that have been onhand over the past few years since I joined. All boosting my confidence, and helping rain in my formally insurmountable social anxiety. In a 'mostly' trouble free, friendly and non-judgemental environment, My reason for standing. Is simply because I am unable to contribute much financially. To give back to the organisation that has already given me so much in return. ^^

Tim Reynolds (TimRTerrible)

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I'm Tim and I'm standing for trustee because I want to share some of the load in helping to guide our organisation through it's current period of transition. I can often be found tinkering in the caravan or with lasers/lights/speakers on Tuesday nights. My day job is in IT and I'm also a sound engineer on the side.

I believe that our current low-hierarchy system is worth preserving, but it needs some tweaking to account for the growing pains we're experiencing. I believe I have experienced enough of the ups and the downs of the space to make a meaningful contribution to this. Some of our new members are used to having defined management and ownership of communities and find it hard to adjust to our way of doing things. I want us to work on the new member experience and look at modifying the way we do some core things (examples: storage of projects, loans of equipment, deliveries to the space, communicating between subgroups, donations) to fit better with our new membership count and massively expanded facilities and square footage. We're no longer a place where everyone knows everyone else, and that is a hard transition to make. I do not intend to propose more rules, I want to enable more communication. The trustees have been forced to the foreground more and more as we've expanded and that needs to be reversed. The space should be managed by members and I want to help to enable that.

Jon Russell (JonRussell)

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I've run my own company for 20+ years and have a wealth of experience I feel would benefit the HackSpace, I come from a technical and marketing background and have a good mix of both. I've only been a member for about a year, but I've been a geek since birth. My experience with the space, since joining, has been a mixed one. The IRC channel and email list can be a hugely valuable resource but they are also very toxic at times. I feel strongly about the preserving the ethos of the space and about recruiting new members, but as the number of members continues to grow, I feel we need some subtle changes in the way the space is managed; to reduce the toxicity of some of the channels, improve the experience of new members as they join and find their feet, and improve the space itself by amplifying the communal, friendly atmosphere and drowning out the abusive and shouty background noise. As a Trustee, I think I would learn more about how the space is currently run and get to know the founders better, and be able to improve the space from within. I'm already involved in the Robotics group, and I'm in the space every Tuesday, as part of that group meet. So, I already spend a few hours in the space every week. Hopefully I'll get to know more people, and more people will get to know me ...

Sarah Simmonds (chixors)

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You may recognise me from such activities as making loud beeping noises with the knitting machine, having a laugh at the couches in the social space or running week night classes in the classroom or quiet room. I'm the curious lass who's hell bent on turning our knitting machine into a network printer, and progress is good. Very good :)

I come from Melbourne Hackspace, Australia. I know what it's like to be a new member on Hackney Rd. It's exciting yet intimidating at the same time and getting to know people isn't easy.

I'm standing for the trustee elections because I believe I can help improve processes to ease the way from hackspace newbie to pro. I've been part of growing hackspaces before and have some experience I can share. With a background in User Experience I'm especially keen to improve the pain points that bother you most. I'm always up for a beer and a chat, I don't bite (much) ;)

Heather Sullivan (Akki14)

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I want to be a trustee because I want to make the Hackspace a more friendly and welcoming place. Being a member of Hackspace for the last two years or so, I still remember my first solo journey post-membership. I felt horribly nervous and awkward but someone across the table from me decided it was a little too quiet and we should have some light music and kindly asked me what my favourite band was and put on a song from them. It's the little things that can add up to making a place welcoming, beginning with our attitudes to new people.

I'd like to be an advocate for people who feel unable to speak up personally on matters that are important to the structure of Hackspace. I hope this makes people feel more empowered to make common sense decisions on more minor matters in the space. I also wish to clarify the role of trustees as guardians and less “head teachers” to new members and remind current members of this, while stepping in to help whenever appropriate.