Participation Guidelines

Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct outlines our expectations and requirements applicable to all participants including organisers, cohort call hosts, mentors, guest speakers, and experts, regarding activities in relation to any of our events. This code also details steps for reporting unacceptable behaviour.

We are committed to providing a harassment-free environment for everyone regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, or work experience. We expect cooperation from all participants to help ensure a safe environment for everybody. Therefore, we would like to ask that you carefully go through our participation guidelines and adhere to it in all interactions both on and offline.

When and where to use this Code of Conduct 🕒

Your participation is contingent upon following these guidelines in all our calls, discussions, mailing lists, chat channels, documents, group or person-to-person meetings, and any related correspondence.

Expected behavior 🌼

The following behaviours are expected of all participants:

Be respectful 👂🏽

Value each other’s ideas, styles, and viewpoints. We may not always agree, but disagreement is no excuse for poor manners. Be open to different possibilities and to being wrong. Be kind in all interactions and communications. Be aware of your impact and how intense interactions may be affecting people. Be constructive and positive. Take responsibility for your impact and your mistakes – if someone says they have been harmed through your words or actions, listen carefully, apologise sincerely, and correct the behaviour going forward.

Be respectful of people with different cultural practices, attitudes, and beliefs. Work to eliminate your own biases, prejudices, and discriminatory practices. Think of others’ needs from their point of view. Use preferred titles (including pronouns) and the appropriate tone of voice. Respect people’s right to privacy and confidentiality. Be open to learning from and educating others as well as educating yourself.

Be direct but professional 🗣️

We must be able to speak directly when we disagree and when we think we need to improve. Doing so respectfully is hard, doing so when others don’t seem to be listening is harder, and hearing such comments when one is the recipient can be even harder still. We need to be honest and direct, as well as respectful.

Be inclusive 🌈

Seek diverse perspectives. Diversity of views and of people on teams powers innovation, even if it is not always comfortable. Encourage all voices. Help new perspectives be heard and listen actively. If you find yourself dominating a discussion, it is especially important to step back and encourage other voices to join in. Be aware of how much time is taken up by dominant members of the group. Provide alternative ways to contribute or participate when possible.

Be inclusive of everyone in an interaction, respecting and facilitating people’s participation whether they are:

  • Remote (on video or phone)
  • Not native language speakers
  • Coming from a different culture
  • Require the use of their preferred pronouns
  • Living in a different time zone
  • Facing other challenges to participate

Understand different perspectives 💡

Our goal should not be to “win” every disagreement or argument. A more productive goal is to be open to ideas that make our own ideas better. “Winning” is when different perspectives make our work richer and stronger.

Lead by example 🙋

By matching your actions with your words, you become a person others want to follow. Your actions influence others to behave and respond in ways that are valuable and appropriate for our organisational outcomes. Design your community and your work for inclusion. Hold yourself and others accountable for inclusive behaviour.

Behavior that will not be tolerated ❌

The following behaviours are considered to be unacceptable under these guidelines.

  • Violence and threats of violence
  • Unwanted sexual attention, including sexualised comments, jokes, or imagery in interaction and communication
  • Derogatory comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity, and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, or work experience
  • Deliberate stalking or following
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other interactions
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviour

Consequences of unacceptable behaviour 👀

Bad behaviour from any members or participants, including those with decision-making authority, will not be tolerated. Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behaviour is expected to comply immediately. Violation of these guidelines can result in you being asked to leave an event or online space, either temporarily or for the duration of the event, or being banned from participation in spaces, or future events and activities in perpetuity.

Reporting 📝

If you believe you’re experiencing unacceptable behaviour that will not be tolerated as outlined above, please email Sara at If your report concerns Sara or anyone else from the task force, please report directly to X ( We are currently looking for volunteers to assume the responsibilities of the reporting body).

After receiving a concise description of your situation, Sara or X will review and determine next steps. They will involve other colleagues or outside specialists (such as legal counsel), as needed to appropriately address each situation.

Please also report to us if you observe a potentially dangerous situation, someone in distress, or violations of these guidelines, even if the situation is not happening to you.

Questions 💬

For all feedback and questions regarding this Code of Conduct, please email us at

License and attribution

This set of guidelines is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

These guidelines have been adapted with modifications from Mozilla’s Community Participation Guidelines (CC-BY-SA Mozilla), the eLife Innovation Leaders Code of Conduct (CC-BY-SA eLife Innovation) and OpenCIDER