OT Equity Webinar
5:30PM Feb 3, 2022
all along that way if you need Hello, everybody
all right. Thank you Sienna and I think we can get started. Yeah, go for it. All right. Well, thanks again everyone for joining. I think we're gonna start in the way that we start some of our equity convenings and that is just with a bit of a a minute of just breath and relaxation. So if you would like join us, feel free to close your eyes for a moment. Take a deep breath continue to just take some deep breaths and as you do feel, feel your feet on the ground below you. And as you take those breaths, feel where there might be any tension you're holding in your body. Feel free to just release that tension can move your neck from scientists side maybe roll your shoulders back
with all of the things that you've been holding and focused on today, feel free to just release them for the next hour. Make space
in your brain.
For the topic at hand today, and make space for another conversation we can engage in maybe a couple more breaths
when you're ready,
feel free to join me back here. Well, again, welcome everyone. This is a fourth session in a series of webinars this been on our equity work and learning around equity at OpenTEAM. And I'll mention that if you're missing some context throughout today's conversation, please feel free to revisit any of our other webinars. Next week's final webinar also will be on the 10th of February on how open teams community driven approach to its tech ecosystem is cultivating true authentic community and breaking down silos. I also want to mention that immediately following this we'll have a short coffee hour for anyone on the webinar wanting to ask questions of the panelists or staff or of each other. So feel free to stick around for that again, welcome. I'm Laura Demmel. Gilmer supporting our global community and operations that OpenTEAM I'm signing on from rural Virginia and Appalachia, where agriculture is a big part of my everyday life. Open team or open technology ecosystem for agricultural management is a collaborative community of farmers, ranchers, scientists, researchers, technologists, farm service providers and food companies supporting the emergence and continued viability of a global food system. That is a resilient driver of healthy soil healthy food for all and racial equity to support thriving communities facilitated by Wolfe's Neck Center for Agriculture. & the Environment in Freeport, Maine OpenTEAM uses an open source approach that holds tremendous power for supporting the pre competitive collaboration that is essential to supporting all farmers and ranchers to move from where they are to where they want to be in transitioning to more regenerative or agro or sustainable agricultural practices. Today's discussion will step further into what OpenTEAM is doing and the mindset we have, as we approach embedding equity into every facet of our work. First, I'd like to share some comments from our Secretariat, on racial equity in agriculture. We acknowledge that agriculture has a troubled history of colonisation, desertification, slavery and extraction. In the US, less than 2% of farmers are owned by farmers who identify as black and similarly under 2% of farms are owned by indigenous land stewards. Our future agriculture must be liberating, not confining, and we must consciously work to undo both the historical and ongoing institutional and justices that have limited our shared potential and disproportionately affected communities of black, Indigenous and People of Color. In order to harness the shared innovation that happens every day on every farm, and realize the vast potential for sharing across a rich and diverse global network. We must democratize the code for agriculture. And the knowledge it takes to farm regeneratively.
At OpenTEAM, we define equity as achieving fairness and treatment and outcomes by striving to provide varying needs of support and assistance with regard to race, class, gender, or other defining identities. Equity in practice is everyday engagement that ensures equity is upheld in our system. We recognize that any project or initiative must have equitable foundations and begin and continue with an equitable perspective and address the historical and current perpetuation of harm towards people of color. To avoid using the label of equity only to satisfy societal expectations to benefit us all in this ag space we work in, we must have equity and trust. We must provide access to the most current localized acknowledge because together with all land stewards, we have the capacity to improve soil health faster than we thought past possible, and thus improve all livelihoods that depend on it. With this in mind, I also must acknowledge that our work is never done, and also acknowledged that's diversity you see today on this panel. Myself moderating this panel is a clear sign of imperfection and our work toward more equitable outcomes. We desire to increase the level of diversity across our organization and in leadership positions, to embed more diverse perspectives into our processes of building a community and a tech ecosystem and to provide higher levels of support for those who may need it to participate. You can call this an open invitation. All right, before we kick off this panel, I I want to highlight a few things OpenTEAM has been doing in the last year. On the collaboration side over a year ago we began a working group on equity and ag and technology and also what we like to call our equity huddle. These regular convenings have supported amplifying the work of our members around racial justice and inclusion. They have also served as a safe place for addressing barriers and internalized erroneous perspectives and for collaborating on solutions or on ways to support racial justice, inclusion and equity in our sector. And I believe our panelists today we'll get into all of this a bit more. This fall we hosted an open team equity and Practice and Technology multi series workshop. We like to call a collab a thon led by Tara ethics, open rivers consulting and blue ship strategies. The group explored topics such as positionality intrinsic Valley value the history of racism and agriculture and applying leadership and management frameworks to equity work in agriculture. On the tech side, our approach is driven by the possibility and the necessity for democratizing access to the best knowledge around soil health, and our members are thus co creating a technological ecosystem. built on open source principles that can enable community driven development in bridge between public, private and nonprofit entities. The next year we'll be focused on ground truthing this work with our hub farm and ranch networks, and testing a concept called the Ag data wallet, a place where farm and field level data stored and under the control of the farmer to be shared securely for their benefit and at their will. Data driven opportunities are growing for farmers and we want to harness the potential and the opportunity to support farmers and ranchers. And those aspiring to become land stewards in transitioning their practices and operations to become more sustainable. As the last year and a half has progressed I'll share for myself that I learned to equity really is a practice and it's a continual process. One that takes time, patience and consistency on a personal, institutional and systemic level. So enough of me sharing, it's time to dive in to our panel discussion. We have three members of OpenTEAM joining us today and I would love to turn it over to each of you and share who you are your organization and how you've connected into OpenTEAM. So maybe we'll start with Nedjma
Thanks, Laura. That was a fantastic introduction. And like Laura said at all. My name is Nazma Barbie I'm joining you from Vancouver Island in Canada, located in unseeded territories. I am North African by the scent and I'm an ethno botanist which I hear is not a very common term, I guess that it's the study of the relationships of people and ecology essentially, and ecosystems. I'm also the founder and co director of Terra ethics. We're a consultancy organization, social enterprise and we do a lot of work in supporting equity in practice, often through ecosystems lens or systems lens and we work through concepts like ethics, sustainability to support dialogue and collaboratively designing pathways to shift systemic inequities, inner systems and I was invited to participate in OpenTEAM Very gratefully on this subject and have been working in facilities, facilitating dialogue and supporting already established processes and in many cases that address and explore equitable perspectives and pathways. Yeah, awesome. Thank you for having me.
Thank you. We'll kick it to Andrew.
Yeah, thanks. Thanks, Laura. And thanks for that awesome introduction. totally great. And as right here, you kind of said it all but well, I'm Andrew Lyons. I'm the policy director for the ecosystem services market Consortium. We are a nonprofit public private partnership, seeking to establish a ecosystem services market for agriculture, sub creating carbon market and but also including cogeneration for not only just carbon and greenhouse gas, reductions in renewables, but also water improvements in water quality improvements in water retention, and we actually just launched a pilot project to measure biodiversity as well and hopefully generate some credits doing that as well in the future. I'm coming to live from Washington DC, rainy Washington, DC this morning. And yeah, I lead our engagement in the policy sector, you know, policy sphere, both at the federal and state levels. But I also am a co lead for SMCs Working Group on inclusion, racial justice, which we set up in 2020 and have been establishing milestones and goals for our internal esmc team to improve equitable outcomes and, and really participation in our market program. It's it's been really a fantastic opportunity to work with OpenTEAM to help inform our own organizational processes and approaches to how we do this work. And so just being part of OpenTEAM and the equity huddle and in Klamath ons and everything like that has just been really informed our process has been a huge, a huge boon to our own efforts, especially within a smaller organization, which I'll talk about a little bit later, but really happy to be here. Thank you so much for the invite, and really looking forward to this conversation. Thank you.
Thanks, Andrew. And Patti Thanks, Laura.
Thank you for having me. I'm Patty Shar. I am the founder and president of blue ship strategy. I would be calling you from very snowy and icy Cleveland, Ohio I'm like Erie but I escaped yesterday to Florida. So joining you from sunny southern Florida. I do work with mid market organizations on growth strategy and more and more of those organizations are needing support in thinking through how they approach diversity, equity and inclusion. My connection to OpenTEAM came through being a co facilitator as part of the collaboration that Laura mentioned earlier and particularly bringing some of the the leadership and mindsets and behavior skills that I've used over the past 20 years with clients on large scale transformations. And so we'll talk a little bit about the outcomes of the collab AThon in a minute, but I'm super happy to be here and like Andrew najman very excited for the conversation today. Awesome.
All right. Well, let's let's dig in. So I think what we want to start with is is when we talk about equity in practice, what does that actually mean to us? I think I've started to talk about what it means to me, but I'd love to hear from each of you and maybe provide some examples of how you've seen it come to life and practice within the context of OpenTEAM or within your own organizations, starting with Nedjma.
Yeah, equity in practice. It's, I mean, it's not an easy concept as we know, because as Laura explained to us, we are faced with a system that has inherently been inequitable and continues to to be in that way. And it's very hard to be able to see some of the barriers when we haven't experienced them. And so you know, we've been talking a lot about equity in practice in the work that we've been doing collaboratively and understanding the sort of steps that we have to go through mainly a an understanding, you know, of the foundations of historically and currently problematic perspectives that are inequity, inequitable, and then of course, doing the work of understanding positionality systemic inequities, social conditioning, centralized perspectives, all these types of things. And I think, you know, it's important to note that it's a State Equity practice is a state of constant adjustment, right? Because we are all working in this process and we're all up against, you know, a conditioning and education that obfuscates you know, inequitable processes and lack of access and so on. And so equity practice is doing the work of finding out what that is and understanding, you know, grasping a better understanding of concepts like intrinsic value that we've talked about, and equality and so on. And I think that for it is a multi pronged approach. And you know, I often say that every individual in position in any sector has a unique perspective. And understanding especially when we start to elucidate the issues of access globally, you know, essentially and locally, and even within our own relationships in the way that we even perceive, you know, concepts of value of ourselves and how we are with others and so on and, and the way that we do at our ethics is really trying to establish more of a symbiotic relationship perspective, that sort of mimics you know, the reality of the ecosystems that we're part of, rather than, you know, consistently being entrenched in like a human systems without that, you know, greater perspective. Um, I think that you know, in, in practice, some examples could look like and again, you know, I, it's really important to understand that, you know, again, each individual and organization and experience, you know, will have the tools to be able to practice equity in practice within their own sector, and position and then from there if everybody's doing that, then we have a greater system shift. Right. But I think that, you know, we've definitely recognized that early assessment, you know, where barriers are, you know, are systemically right, and you know, looking at who is affected by a project was is what the span is looking, having a greater understanding of diversity of knowledge, and diversifying participation of different types of knowledge that are affected and also are you know, participating essentially, in the work that we're doing, although they may not, you know, have they're forgotten, often right. I, you know, and of course, actively initiating collaboration, which is really important, we talk a lot about collaborative design. And so it's breaking these barriers have sort of centralized
silos, essentially, right of where the work is being done. And one of the things that we talk about often is to look at it through, you know, equity in practice as a collaboration rather than an inclusion or hindsight and we talk about equity as being fundamentally part of any process, that it's not something that is, you know, an outside process, that it's in every project dialogues narrative, so on and so forth. So I think, and to not be afraid to go back to the drawing board. I think that that's one of the biggest problems in equity and practices, because so very focused in a project and then, you know, we're afraid to make mistakes or we're afraid to go back and readjust. Right and so that's why I say it's, it's a mindset, there's a lot of learning in it. And it's a collective experience, essentially, in incremental steps consistently where we see them, so that's our perspective on it. Yeah.
I'm smiling because I think it's safe to say that this group right here, we've definitely learned together last year, and have taken missteps and recalibrated our process and how to really embed what, what we want to see into into how we're working together. And yeah, that's great. Any anyone want to add to that, of what equity in practice you've seen or in the last year with our work here? Yeah, I think
we're, I think, you know, the question Yeah, equity in practice, I think actually practice really is sort of the key word there and, and to me, as I've tried to lead some of these efforts within my organization, and also with OpenTEAM is his practice requires, I think, perseverance and recognizing that, you know, and you kind of alluded to this, too, is that, you know, we make mistakes sometimes. And also, this work is really hard. You know, it's not like, I mean, I think a lot of people, everyone agrees that this work needs to be done, but then when the rubber really kind of meets the road, we're all pulled in so many different directions and it's easy to sort of silo out like, oh, well, this is equity work. And then I need to do these are my daily tasks and you sort of, sort of de prioritize some things over what needs to get done that day. And that's natural and that's, you know, that happens, you know, I think for me, it's, it's recognizing that this word may be hard. Sometimes you just, you know, don't feel like doing I mean, it's, it's like, the discrimination and systems of oppression of not affected, you know, white cisgender males, you know, straight white cisgender males like myself, like it has other people on so it's not necessarily directly affecting my day to day and so for me, it's just a reminder, sort of reaffirmation of the efforts that I'm doing that if if I think this is hard, just imagine how much more difficult this would be for somebody who is systematically oppressed in the in these types of these types of in society and the types of systems so, for me, it's really about perseverance and really just like rededicating yourself to this work, you know, you're not gonna be perfect all the time. But you know, keeping things in perspective and understanding that, you know, we've got none of us really, truly have equity until we all do and so. So that's really, I would say, like, the biggest takeaway from this work for me has just been that dedication, perseverance, sticking with it, even when it becomes hard, and when resources are really strapped.
Yeah, Laura, I'll just add, briefly, a couple thoughts. I feel like you know, research shows that change does not happen if you just put a system in place like you've got to have the right mindsets and behaviors and knowledge and skills. And I myself am kind of at the early end of my exploration of what equity practice even means. And I kind of go use that the ladder of competence right from unconsciously unskilled where you don't even know what you don't know, to really like understanding and doing it by memory, and I'm somewhere in that. I know what I know, I don't know, but it's still just really being very humble and authentic and really curious and and learning and asking questions. And really leaning in and I think you know, the resilience word is hits home for me because it is it is hard and like I said humbling, but it kind of has to start with you. First. You being an individual right before we can really make systemic change. Great
thanks, everyone, for sharing. Um, let's talk about some of the things that we've done. In community. I think all of the work that we've been doing as learners together has been strengthened through the work of open teams community and through our working group and huddle. So I'm thinking about, yeah, some things that we've done that have resulted from that convening. Andrew, would you like to tell us a bit about some of the work that you do as a policy director? That's I intersected with open teams? Smaller equity working group?
Yeah, no, I'd love to. Um, so yeah, so we obviously, you know, in my sort of day to day role for esmc I'm not really engaging a lot with various, you know, federal agencies. liaising a lot with Capitol Hill, and obviously with sort of state state officials and policymakers throughout the entire spectrum of the policy realm. And so, you know, a lot of a lot of my interactions, particularly at the federal level with federal agencies, like that, and, and things like that is, you know, putting together comments, if there's a notice in the Federal Register, for example, and providing feedback to policymakers who can potentially make changes to policies and programs at the federal level, but but at the state level as well, that can help make change. And so one of the things that we did, as an exercise with OpenTEAM is to put together some of these comments for submission to USDA is open RFP on equity. And reducing barriers to USDA programs. And so we took we Well, one thing also mentioned and which you you had mentioned that kind of jogged my memory about this is, you know, the fact that we were doing this as a team and that really kind of ever you know, all the various organizations were probably submitting, you know, their own form of recommendations or comments to USDA is open comment period. And so we all had things that we could bring together, and it really sort of helps that perseverance part of it and so, you know, being able to somewhat crowdsource a lot of great recommendations. You know, one of the things that we talked about in our working group is that not everybody knows everything, and so, being able to convene a group and taking great recommendations from lots of different stakeholders is just a naturally just a productive exercise, but just a meaningful one too. And it really a great learning experience. And we ended up putting together an awesome comment letter that we submitted to USDA for that open comment period. So yeah, I see Laura here. Would love to share those as well and certainly happy to share Yes, MCs as well. But yeah, that was that was a terrific effort and it keeps people going and keep you know, when we have that sort of finish line and you can see, you can see the impact and then of course, you know, USDA had just recently announced expansion of current programs and a few new partnerships that they're actually undertaking as a result of that open comment period. So you really see, you know, the, the response and know that the work that you've done is actually creating change, which is, which is awesome.
Yeah. Great. Other thoughts? Question?
Yeah, that was I just wanted to add that, that process of recommendation, you know, as we're talking about equity in practice, it's and you know, another example of equity in practice is endorsing recommendations from bipoc organizations, for example, within you know, our own recommendations within our own positions and so on and, and supporting the work that's already being done, as well, which I saw quite a bit of, and, you know, and within our discussions and how you know, how to do that and how to support it and so on and so forth, I think is really important. Point. To add to this. Yeah, thanks.
Yes. And just to note that along those lines, you know, we, I think, credited some of the recommendations from I can't remember the organization I'm gonna botch the name but of a tribal council but had their own right. Sorry. It was
cool. Yeah, the cult. Thank you.
And so amplifying the work of those already, really, who have who have done some of the thinking and strategizing. Yeah, that's great. And I can say from OpenTEAM perspective, we use similar comments more than once with other organizations who maybe are on Capitol Hill. And so like Andrew said, it really you can build that, that base and use it more than once. So great. Um, let's dig into a little bit then on coalition of large trips. Thank you. Let's dig into equity in practice as it relates to the tech ecosystem that OpenTEAM is building Nazma I think you sat in on some of our code design sessions with with the community platform. Would you like to tell us more about that?
Sure. I mean, I you know, I'd like to preamble with how excited I was about OpenTEAM To be honest, and it kept getting excited because it's about open source, you know, and also about the creating spaces and platforms, you know, to do this work, right, essentially, to you know, look at redistribution of resources and access and so on and so forth. And so, yes, the the Hylo platform, was fantastic. And I you know, I think Laura can talk a little bit more about it as well but essentially it was so much of the work and I don't want to speak for those of creating a platform essentially that has I'm trying to think of, of the word for some reason, it's left my head, but essentially, I kind of looked at it kind of like Facebook, which would probably be a horrible you know. Oh my GOSH, I've lost all my words.
Coordination. Yeah, yeah, that's
right. So essentially, what I loved about this conversation is looking at different ways of both integrating access essentially, for different farmers and farms, to to be able to also benefit essentially from some of the resources are already present, but that there's such a lack of access and, and working on that has been really amazing in creating this participation, essentially in supportive process. And of course, what's amazing about technology is that way, it can be on a global scale, right, which is very new. And so I think that because of that and platforms like Hylo, for example, it does give us an opportunity to open this access like, you know, whether it's through, you know, ecosystem services, connections, you know, finding ways to, to sort of build up the resources of folks that have been historically essentially dismissed from, from these processes. Right. And, and it wasn't, I mean, Hylo is one of the great examples that I was able to participate in, but also these, you know, concept of data sovereignty, for example, and, and really recognizing the importance you know, of ownership of your own data, you know, to avoid appropriation, you know, by especially by resource heavy secretaries, right. And so really looking at these things, in sort of a holistic approach, but also it's very tentative, and like we were talking and Andrew was saying, like, it is a constant sort of adjustment and, and, you know, as things come up, and then we're able to build, again, more access and so on, and it was the same kind of thing that I was sort of feeling with the environmental claims clearing house as well, right. It was again, it was like creating these platforms, right, for greater access and so on and so forth. And, I mean, for me, it was very exciting to be with a group of people that are like dedicated, you know, in systems shifts because we're, you know, it makes us all uncomfortable like Andrew said to you again, you know, like all of our Liberation's are tied together, which is, which is a quote from Lila Watson. Actually, he was an Aboriginal elder. And, you know, I use it often but that, I think the concept is if you've come, I don't want to mess up the quote, but if you've come here to help me, you know, you can go home but if your liberation is tied with mine, then let's work together, which is kind of the situation that we're in is that all of our Liberation's are tied together in creating a system that is equitable for everyone. And that does not mean equal either. Right? And so what are my needs are not the same as yours, and so on and so forth. And yeah, so yeah, I really have been very, very pleasantly surprised, I guess, in some ways, right? Because it's not in everywhere that we're seeing this litigation. With the work that OpenTEAM is doing. Great.
I'll mentioned that those with Hylo. In particular, you know, this community platform built on open source, working in community with other tech partners. To build the type of interoperability where data can be controlled by the farmer and still access additional benefits from it, right. That's what we're gearing towards. We're still in that CO design and development phase, and we're looking for cohorts of farmers and ranchers and land stewards, aspiring land stewards to participate in those design sessions and even to be compensated for that. So if anyone's interested, please feel free to to chat any of us and we'll put you in touch and we'll do this and do that in the next few weeks. So great, any other thoughts from Patty or Andrew as it relates to kind of the Ag tech ecosystem? Right, um, let's dive in. Then. Into and we're getting ready for some q&a. So if you have questions, we're looking forward to that conversation. So feel free to post them, put them in the chat or the q&a function. Let's move to really how you and your organization are implementing what you've learned through this process within your organization's let's start with you, Andrew. That's all right.
Yeah, sure. Um, this is actually really timely for us. We so I mentioned, yes, MC launched our working group on inclusion and racial justice back in 2020. And one of the goals that group was to set some milestones for our own internal esmc team to meet and so and these are milestones and goals. That are, you know, intended to increase participation in our program and in our governance in particular, and to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in throughout our organization and sort of everything that we do and so we the working group spent spent, you know, several months, close to a year developing some milestones and and sort of sharing them with with our own internal esmc team. We are now at the place where we are starting to put those put some actions to those milestones and to those goals. And so we are over the course of the next month and a half or so, we'll be meeting and dedicating specific time to this topic with our within our own internal esmc team. You know, based off the recommendations from the working group, which involves, you know, members from all of our member organizations, to give us feedback for our own internal purposes. So, we actually just created the agenda for that for our first team meeting on this and we'll be sort of meeting to give some context on these on these goals from the working group. Then our second meeting will be, you know, sort of coming up with a plan really, and dedicating specific resources to meeting those goals. And then our third, our third meeting will actually be looking at new opportunities to bring in additional resources and working with other organizations and partners to meet our goals. And so, I think what, you know, one thing that one of the things that happened when we were sort of starting off is we are really small organization, we're just about, you know, less than 15 people in our entire cohort in our entire organization. So, we are really sort of resource strapped and I think that was really intimidating, particularly for our leadership to say hey, you know, we've got this pretty small team, we've got so much to do, and, you know, where does this kind of fit in and, and I totally understand that, you know, everyone's under a lot of deadlines and a lot of other external factors and, like so often this this type of work can sometimes serve be pushed off to the side. So I think there was a little it was a little intimidating for us to sort of start off this path. But the biggest key for us is really just coming up with a really clear concrete plan on how we're going to execute this. And being honest about what we can do. And I think that's like the most important thing, at least for us, is being completely honest with ourselves and understanding that, like I said, we may not know everything, we may not do things the right way, but we are dedicated to continuing to try to do the right thing. And working with our members and and other outside resources to help build our understanding so that we can achieve those goals over time. So once we came up with like a concrete with a fully concrete plan about this is what we're gonna do. This is how we're gonna meet these goals. It was it was no longer intimidating to our own internal team, and to our leadership, and there's far more buy in I think everybody really agreed on the principles of what we needed to do, but they just weren't really sure how to execute and so you know, sticking with it and coming up with a with a plan that everybody understands and can buy into, will make those conversations go much smoother and will make you just more successful in achieving those goals over time. And so that was that was sort of our process. You know, I'm sure there will be additional challenges that come up as we're doing this work over the next the course of these next three internal team meetings, but we have the buy in of our group. And so when those challenges come up, I think people everyone will understand that, hey, this is all part of this work. This is this is not easy, and change doesn't happen overnight. So we just need to stick with it and be open with it with one another and be honest with one another. Eat
love to hear from Patty or nesma What have you been learning for your organization's through this process?
Yeah, they're all go. I think very much like probably before what Andrew said, is really the building the awareness and understanding where folks are on their journey. When they're thinking about what equity and practice means. And so building off of what we had in the collab a thon the way we structure that collab a thon was setting up front where Nedjma led us through a lot of the historical context and the terms around value and equity in practice and regenerative ag and all those sorts of terms that not everyone on your team may know fully or even completely aligned on what those mean. And so having information like that, to ground everyone kind of in that historical context is a really important first step. And then I think the other piece that came out of the collab a thon that we've been working on is is a set of tools that that can help you on your journey and with others to get buy in and to tell change stories, but framing them a little bit differently now in a really specific way around equity. You can all take your MBA tools and use them in any business context, but this is different, right? So why does building trust matter even now and how do you do it differently? Or really supercharge it when you're doing equity work? Or, you know, how do you influence those who who, you know, have broken trust with? So I think there's there are resources out there that we're trying to pull together that can help teams like Andrew's team, what you just described to get everyone kind of up at a base level before you're before you build that roadmap in that plan.
Thank you, Manish Ma. Yeah,
I mean, I think for me, it's the you know, the dedication to the work is really the first step, you know, in wanting to uncover, you know, the different barriers that are existent. And finding different ways and being okay with making mistakes and continuing but I think that I think that we talk often about long term implementation, which is really important as and as everybody's you know, saying is this work is very, is very difficult because we're up against a system that is already very well established. And it's also very somatic. It is very historical within her, you know, within our own identities and so on. And, and so I think that what I've loved the most about doing this work with OpenTEAM is also these, like I said, already present, the dedication was already there. And so there was this credit creation of huddles and working groups and continuing these conversations and willingness to do this work. And the work that we do. On you know, sort of the flip of what your ethics does is equity in practice essentially, which mostly, this point with many other projects, but is based on rights of nature, and indigenous sovereignty in different territories around where we are located and others. And, you know, the importance of slowing down, right. The processes that we have because we have these very deeply seated processes essentially it's almost, you know, we're not even able to, to recognize them without taking the time to stop and seeing if this is really like a natural process or if we're just kind of being pushed into a final product. And and I've loved the collaborative design and the openness of the process and looking into and again, the willingness and dedication to leave this as you know, this work is open, open to collaboration from everyone, you know, essentially and I know we'll talk a little bit more about the collab a thon as well and some of the, the outcomes that we're working on but I think that understanding that this work is continuous and that there are many resources and there are many people doing this work and collaborating and better understanding and digging deeper in you know, system shifts and finding these processes and prioritizing essentially equity, which is another you know, issue that that I think there's a lot of fear around because it seems insurmountable or or is difficult. So creating these support systems and doing this work is really, really important tonight, and I've very much appreciated the you know, the work that's been put into that at OpenTEAM. Yeah, for sure.
Thank you. I think we'll take well, we'll transfer to some q&a. We have a question. How have you engaged with tribes in the US and are there overlapping tech funding political goals amongst tribal governments, non tribal farmers and ranchers big question. I think I'll speak to it first, maybe as an OpenTEAM. staff member, that I think yes, we've engaged with a number of tribes. I'd say that one of the biggest barriers has been to support the the relationship the time it takes for relationship building, and the funding sometimes it takes for, for people to be able to participate in open teams process. So we have an open team process that's open and participatory. And I think one challenge to that with with diversity, equity, inclusion at work is people's time and compensating them for their time. And so we've been working towards that. I think there's a lot of alignment as far as the goals that I see working with tribal governments, in that we're taking a systemic look at how information and data can be shared. We want to preserve data sovereignty and that's at the individual level. I can see that really translating into a tribal level as well. Governmental level. Yeah, and I think national are coming back to to what you said about deeply seated processes. I think, working within systems where we're under grants, and grant timelines, we we work as much as we can to, within that be able to to do and prioritize equity work within that and also express that to our funders. And thankfully, that that has really, they positively responded to that being a priority within our work and understand that the access we try to give through a tech open source technology ecosystem is related and and supports more equitable outcomes.
I'll also just give an example of something that we've done at esmc. So one of the one of the goals of the working group was to include more BiPAC led our serving organizations, not only in our membership, but in our governance, so the members who actually make up our board and have votes in how our organization is governed. We reached out to several and we did end up inviting and and and bring on board of the National Indian carbon coalition. Brandon sippin is a leader in this space and sort of regenerative agriculture movement among native and indigenous people so and so. He's been a huge resource for us, and we were so honored to have them join our governance structure, but also we contacted other organizations that you know, maybe expressed some interest but at the end of the day, it just, you know, Amanda, I'm sort of understand that maybe, if it's, maybe it's a priority for us to have more inclusion and you know, and to have these sort of metrics that we're meeting but it may not be a priority for those organizations and, and we can't you know, you know, part of understanding that and the sort of historical context to have, you know, we're so ambitious to get to our goals and to show progress and it may not be a shared goal of theirs to be part of our organizational structure and so we respect that and understand that just because we have this, you know, great idea doesn't mean that it's something that is a priority for others. I remember speaking to some organizations and I was like, you know, we're trying to get this done and but it was during growing season, you know, they're busy on the fields. You know, like, getting the, you know, harvesting their crops and just conducting business and it's like, I don't really have time to like, do your, you know, do participate in your organizational equity goals and so, just need like being humble about that and just understanding that this is just because we've determined for us its priority does not mean it's necessarily a priority for all other people. It's not it's up. They're not beholden to, you know, basically achieving our equity goals for us.
Yes. Thanks, Andrew, for for those comments and also how you're working with the Indian carbon Coalition. We are coming to the close of this hour I knew would happen really fast. Are there any last thoughts from any of you that you'd like to share before we close and before we anyone leaves I'd love to share a few more things but ways that you can participate in OpenTEAM. Right,
for sure, the opportunity Laura thank you so much for the invite to speak there. This has been really a good conversation and you know, continues to be a great conversation with the the equity huddle and all the other things that we do together.
Means Yes, I wanted to say the same thing I really appreciate this opportunity to do this work and I I know that is very continuous work and that once you know when we build these relationships, you know, they lead us farther, you know, the more that we continue to to this work together. Yeah. So thanks again.
Oh, thank you as well. And I just want to thank Laura and Nazma and Andrew that you guys have have taught me a lot. I am early in my journey here. But thank you so much for all of the work that you do
in this space as well. All right, of course, we do this together. I wanted to mention, this year we have some dedicated funding for working with historically underserved producers and producer networks. In particular in support of a pilot that tests out the OpenTEAM tech ecosystem, integrates it into the goals of those farmers and that network. And we're doing four different pilots and each pilot will we have will have actually a fellow and OpenTEAM person to kind of support facilitation and connect them into our community and with our tech toolkit, so if anyone is interested in that, please feel free to reach out to me. Please, I think Santa is going to add some some different opportunities and ways to stay connected including through our newsletter, and upcoming orientation. Those are great ways to learn more and also to hear about how you can plug into opportunities like a pilot or Fellows Program. And of course we have our working groups. We have our equity and practice and technology working group that meets on a regular basis in our equity huddle. We've kind of subsided for the last two or three months but are going to kick them off again soon. Yeah, so with that, I think we will close out and I just want to say again, thanks to the panelists. Thanks for joining today. I know we have just a lot more work to do and we're excited for anyone who wants to join us on this journey of CO development and CO learning and doing an all in community. So
we also welcome everybody to join us for a post webinar coffee hour if you're looking to learn more I get connected. We have that Zoom link there that I just dropped in the chat. You'll be able to to kind of meet face to face if you feel like you want to do that that space is there and we'll be there right after this closes.
Yeah, and there's more all this information you can find on our website after after today as well. So
cheers. Thanks, everyone.