This is a personal statement - the goal of the Mel. I speak here only for myself; I do not speak for any of the projects or people I'm working with. I found this to be useful when - as with most useful output I create - I was trying to explain something to someone else (in this case, what I was trying to do with all the stuff I'm doing). Cutting the prelude short, here's why I'm here and what I want. It's two sentences long; one's accurate, the other is my favorite. The accurate sentence is annotated (ostensibly for accuracy).
I want to maximize the amount of impact that independent, interconnected, small, local grassroots volunteer open teams have on enabling people to be self-directed learners and teachers, through example and invisibility. I want to make a world where makers make themselves.
Go, annotations, go!
specific names, projects, groups, and tools: are not present in the above sentence.
technology: isn't either.
impact: as measured by... metrics I don't know about yet, but they're not standardized tests alone. They'll probably more sociological-ish, both qualitative and quantitative, and I'll be conscious that they're models and not the things themselves.
independent: regardless of their ties to any central org(s), these teams run themselves and make their own decisions, and are accountable to who they choose to be accountable to.
interconnected: ...but they talk to one another.
small: I want teams, not working groups and unneeded hierarchies or bureaucracies. I think I've heard that optimum team size is somewhere around 7-ish, depending. I want to keep group sizes as low as possible to force ad-hocracy and the development of leaders.
local: when possible, avoid the Hand of God Reaching Down From Above. Sustainability and avoiding cultural imperialism are important. This will be a tough balance to strike, because I want to travel everywhere, as noted before... but maybe I should concentrate on what I can bring back home to share, rather than thinking I Will Fix Everything!!! when I go someplace.
grassroots volunteers: bottom-up, self-directed, driven by passion rather than profit, doing what they want to do. What the world needs is people who have come alive. (Gui knows where I got this quote.)
open: Open in the sense of open-source, but not just limited to technology. Content, curriculum, the legal bits of open licensing, and peer production are also packed into this term.
teams: see "small."
enabling: ultimately, the students are the ones that are going to make the learning happen; all we can do is shape the environment we think might help them get there.
people: primarily - and ultimately - young people and new learners, but not necessarily all; see "by example"
self-directed learners: "learning learning" and "teach them how to teach themselves", that sort of thing.
and teachers: it's bidirectional and generative! Mm, exponential growth! Also note that I haven't said what people are learning or teaching.
through example: all this stuff we want volunteers to do for learners, we need to do for volunteers - all the way up and all the way down the impact chain.
and invisibility: "When his work is done, his aims fulfilled, they will all say, 'We did this ourselves.'" --Tao Te Ching
There are many ways to optimize for this.
Also, as usual, this is wide open to feedback and subject to revision as I go along and learn more things myself.