November 8th & 9th, 2024
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Responding Thoughtfully to a Crisis

SeaGL 2021

Hopefully, you will never need this talk but if you do face a crisis you’ll want a plan – or at least a plan for making a plan. When a project hits crisis mode, often things will start to move very fast. Thinking about how you want to respond to emergencies and how you want to be seen at the end of the fiasco is worth thinking and talking about in advance. This talk is for folks who suspect that one day it could be their turn to handle a crisis and want to be as prepared as possible when it happens to them. These topics will be covered:

  • Preserving your organization’s image
  • How to work together as a team
  • When to bring in a specialist
  • Learning from what happened

Focusing on the big picture of your organization’s goals and thinking holistically about your relationships before you dive into the details, will help you free your mind from all the “what if we aren’t doing the right thing?” doubts that can creep in during crisis management. This talk will help you sort through your options so you can move forward and offer some advice on taking good care of your team-mates while things are tough. There are also some crucial actions to take as you get to the end of the current crisis that you’ll want to take care of before you declare things “finished!” so you can make sure you’re set up for future success.


Deb Nicholson

Deb Nicholson, SeaGL

Deb Nicholson is a free software policy expert and a passionate community advocate. She is the General Manager at the Open Source Initiative which stewards the Open Source Definition and works to raise awareness and adoption of open source software. She is also a founding organizer of the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference, an annual event dedicated to surfacing new voices and welcoming new people to the free software community. She lives with her husband and her lucky black cat in Cambridge, Massachusetts.