User:Walter/2011 position statement

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Position Statement for the November 2011 Oversight Board Election

My position on the board is expiring. After giving it some thought, I will be throwing my hat into the ring. My rationale is that while Sugar Labs has made great progress over the past three years, it still needs shepherding, particularly in regard to maintaining its focus—too often expediency takes precedent over consideration for the learner. The local-lab program is starting to finally take off, but it too needs some further shaping. And while there are numerous commercial entities taking interest in Sugar, our volunteer community remains at the heart of Sugar Labs—I plan to continue to advocate on behalf of the Sugar contributors. By way of example, it is the volunteer community that is leading the effort to migrate Sugar to GNOME 3.0.

For those of you who don't know me, here is a bit of background. I am formerly the director of the MIT Media Lab. I took a leave of absence from MIT to found One Laptop per Child with Nicholas Negroponte in 2006. I left OLPC in 2008 to establish Sugar Labs as an independent entity. (At the time, Nicholas had taken the position that Sugar was "the problem" preventing him from selling more laptops. I was of the opinion that what the children did with the laptops was more important than the hardware. Ironically, but not surprisingly, OLPC continues to ship Sugar with every laptop that they distribute.) At Sugar Labs, I wear many hats: I am the developer or maintainer of numerous Activities, including Turtle Art, Abacus, Portfolio, Measure, Dimensions, etc.; I contribute to the Sugar toolkit—most recently, the enhancements to the View Source mechanism; and the occasional patch to Sugar itself; I am an active member of the Design Team; the Activity Team; and the Learning Team. I was the principal author of the Sugar FLOSS Manual. When I am not writing code, I am advocating on behalf of Sugar Labs and helping out with deployments by running seminars and workshops for teachers and engineers. My blog about Sugar is aggregated at