Open for the 99%: Workshop for Inclusive Products + Communities

Global Innovation Gathering (GIG)
re:publica 2017


The open software you’re using isn’t African. Or Middle-Eastern. It’s probably not Asian, either. In fact 1% of the contributions on GitHub are from Africa and the Middle-East. There’s a relevance gap in how open software talks about itself, and what sticks in the 99% of the world that isn’t currently contributing to open communities. That gap gets really urgent when we think about OSS opportunities like financial services for the poor, identity for migratory populations and medical record interoperability for outbreaks. Projects need the voices of the people who’d use it. This workshop is about how to close that gap. If you design products, communities, content or growth plans, attend to avoid blunders in your approach.


We'll be ticking through battle-tested lessons from underserved and emerging markets, including:

  • Strategies for framing your community or offering

  • How to think about sharing in a global context

  • Metaphors and messages that resonate 

  • Best practices from platform marketing 

We will iterate through your current approach and you’ll leave with a design framework that’s poised for impact with your target audience.

Vanessa Gennarelli is an Instructional Designer at GitHub. She has over a decade of experience explaining hard things in an accessible way. Her clients and partners include littleBits, Mozilla, Scratch, and Wikimedia. She received her Master’s in Educational Technology from Harvard and was a former Intern at the MIT Media Lab.


Stage T
Montag, 8. Mai 2017 - 14:45 bis 15:45


Instructional Designer