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All words are heavily paraphrased unless otherwise indicated. All errors and omissions are my own. Mchua


Not To Do list

Nikki, Tank, and I showed Chris our not-to-do list,, which came from a lunch discussion, so he could sync up with what we were talking about.

c: I like the parfaits.

n: You (Mel) forgot the granola (in the parfaits item). *fixes*

m: In my mind, the most important bit is the "if it's not documented, it didn't happen" one.

n: I'll add something that builds on that now. ("There is an answer, but it's hard to find.")

m: You didn't give a solution, though.

n: It's a point I wanted to bring up for discussion.

c: Sure, we have time now. I like the idea of having a public dialogue, but I'm not sure if we want all our meetings immediately available to the public. It could be misinterpreted by outsiders who weren't at the meeting. For example, if we were saying "we want to look into a partnership with X organization" someone might read that as a definite statement of interest even if we don't have contacts with them yet. I like the idea of having transparency, but there are some things that don't need to be public, at least immediately.

m: can we solve that by letting people say "this is off the record" at meetings, and just not take notes on that?

n: we can also edit the notes afterwards.

m: I vote for the first over the second, it's less of a bottleneck.

c: that sounds good, let's do it.

ILXO Statement of Purpose

c: To start off, let's go over our statement of purpose, and talk about why we're here and what we're doing. We have some on our website. What are we bringing to the IL area?

  • pull up*

c: We're giving OLPC grassroots groups support to get to the point where they can sustain themselves. We're connecting these communites together into a network.

t: It's important to let grassroots groups know that we're trying to make them self-sustaining.

c: Emphasis on the connections between groups part.

m: Careful of getting too meta.

c: I think it's a good general statement, and then we can go into the how.

m: Agreed.

c: In terms of how we'll do it, we're holding workshops about the XO, about repairs, about using the wiki, Sugar... spreading knowledge, things we already have.

m: Also serving as a model - here's how you can start an office, run a class, do a research project, we should share the resources we make for the classes we're teaching.

c: We also have our research projects that contribute technically to the OLPC project. Maybe IL-area groups can continue these projects after we leave, or we can bring them back to 1cc.

m: That's something to decide mid-summer.

c: Yeah. Also, we need to clear up communications channels... so grassroots groups themselves, between grassroots groups and between grassroots groups and ILXO, we need to transfer those connections to 1cc eventually.

m: Disagree! Grassroots-to-grassroots should be strongest.

c: Agree that grassroots-to-grassroots should be strongest, but grassroots groups should have a connection to 1cc also.

m: Can we make sure they're connections and not bottleneck points?

c: We can have liasons between regional communities at 1cc.

m: This implies the existence of someone at 1cc for them to liason to.

c: People at 1cc are often busy... it's something to consider.

m: If 1cc hires a community liason, or someone who is explicitly assigned to work with these grassroots groups, yes. In the absence of that, I hesitate. I'd say we hook them up iff OLPC hires a person to fill the liason role, else independence.

c: Sounds good. Anything else?

m: Any explicit revisions to the current statement of purpose on the site?

c: *reads statement of purpose on*

ILXO is an independent skunkworks lab for OLPC grassroots groups. We catalyze and support independent OLPC grassroots groups in Illinois as well as projects and collaborations involving them. We aim to be effective enough to render ourselves obsolete by September 2008.

In other words, we're a regional nucleation group, and our charter is to help other grassroots groups in the area thrive (not to build a big monolithic lump of bureaucracy downtown). Our philosophy is to seed lots of independent, diverse options, let best practices for grassroots groups emerge, and share these best practices with others.

Think of us as a team of full-time pro-bono OLPC consultants you can call on all summer to help with your OLPC-related groups, projects, events, and more. We have a wide range of research interests and areas of expertise, and we're here to build tools, resources, networks, contacts, and provide occasional catalytic kicks. Ultimately, we're here for the summer so that by the end of the summer, you'll all know more than we will about everything - if we're successful, by the end of summer, ILXO will have rendered itself unnecessary.

Because of this, we have an explicit sunset clause of September 1, 2008. In the weeks leading up to that date, we'll step back as a community and see where we are and where our individual, collaborative, and collective efforts might go next once the sun sets on ILXO V.1.0. Who knows? It could always rise again.

m: we could make things more specific now that we know what kinds of "tools, resources, networks, contacts" we are working on in particular.

c: we can jump to the 'workshops' agenda item.


We came up with a list of workshops we want to teach this summer. (draft list)

Ready to go right now (where by 'now' we mean June 20):

  • Intro to the XO / program / overview
  • Basic repairs
  • Intro to wiki (communication methods - also IRC, forums, lists...)
  • How to start a grassroots group
  • How to run a Jam

Ready to go when needed (curriculum-demos):

  • Music composition (Tank)
  • Green engineering and how laptops are made (Mia, with Chris and Mel)
  • Fractals and number theory (Mel)
  • Photography & filmmaking (Chris)
  • Inventors' Workshop (user-centered design, sketch prototyping, journalism) (Chris)
  • Self defense for kids (Nikki)
  • Origami (Tank)
  • Knit your own XO carry-strap (Tank)
  • Everything is a bathtub: Electronics with Etoys (Nikki, with Mel)
  • Turtle math: a romp through algebra and geometry with TurtleArt (Mel)

We should work on these:

  • Curriculum-making for the XO: what makes a good X? With options...
    • Content bundling howto
    • Activity development howoto (assume Python programming experience)

Other people should run these:

  • Intro to Programming in Python (ask local Python LUG to run this?)

m: notes that this list is really long - we should decide which ones are "run at any time" workshops, and which ones we need to just host/have once during the summer.

Also, Jams we should try to make happen:

  • Game Jam Chicago (can MVCC do this?)
  • Power peripherals Jam (can IMSA do this?)
  • Accessibility Jam (can Jacksonville do this?)
  • Curriculum Jam (iff there's a local teacher/pilot to do it for)

m: I'm going to project this. *plugs in*


m: SORRY SORRY *unplugs speakers*

t: how to advertise?

c: We can start a mailing list to get current groups that are active.

n&m: olpc-chicago list?

t: can we spam them with stuff?

c: is that sufficient?

m: it's the audience that will come anyway. if traffic grows, we can fork.

c: that brings us back to the question of how to reach out to these groups? We have these workshops that we're offering.

t: people are bad at telling each other what they're doing.

c: Have you heard back from people? (regarding Tank's query to olpc-chicago asking them what local projects are going on)

t: A few.

n: we heard back from 1 student.

m: wait let's get the final list of workshops.

  • brainstorm ensues, leading to final list that you see above*

TODO: Tank will get workshop descriptions up on web and emailed, and poke people to write their descripts.

Task tracking

t: Currently we have hiveminder, but we want to switch to something other people can access too (so they can do work so we don't have to). So I'm making a Trac instance for us on assembla.

TODO: Tank to send email to everyone on how to make accounts and use assembla.

Office update

m: working on it. we have a fallback, not yet a dream location.

n: no updates

Travel plans

m: we have them! booked us for a hostel, got parking in NYC... we'll figure out the rest of the route on Monday when we leave from NYC.


c: I have an excel spreadsheet. *shows* *everyone approves*

m: I made a spreadsheet for keeping track of receipts so we can get reimbursed.

TODO: Everyone bring in receipts

TODO: Mel gets us a bank account

TODO: Mel and Chris will write a funding request tomorrow. Take 30 minutes.



c: I talked with Richard Smith today and it was awesome. We came up with a list of deliverables to make, see

TODO: Chris will make us do things!


m: we have stuff to do by tomorrow, see - I will grab everyone for a brainstorm

TODO: Grab people for brainstorm tomorrow