A message from Karina van Dalen-Oskam, Interim Steering Committee Chair

Last November I asked the members of the ADHO Steering Committee (SC) and all others interested in ADHO and Digital Humanities to send me suggestions and ideas about possible guidelines for communication in such a culturally diverse global association as ADHO is becoming. I received wise and thoughtful input, and the SC made a good start with the discussion before the holidays, dealing with some of the suggestions. We are now continuing the discussion, focusing on diversity issues. We will deal with such issues as: What is the ideal situation we as ADHO would want? How does it relate to the ADHO mission (to be found on http://www.adho.org/)? By what means can we establish how far away we now are from our aim? In what ways do different constituant organizations (CO's) try to bridge the gap between the current situation and our aim and which of these approaches could be workable for ADHO as a whole? This discussion should lead to a list of possible approaches that will be discussed at the meeting of the SC in Krakow in July, just before DH2016.
 
In facilitating this discussion I will be helped by a small sounding board on diversity issues The members of this sounding board will, for instance, refer me to useful information and relay questions and worries of the wider DH world to me. In this way, they will help to make sure that topics that otherwise might be overlooked will be addressed in the discussion. The members of this Diversity Sounding Board are Diane Jakacki, Deb Verhoeven, and Barbara Bordalejo. Diane Jakacki is vice-chair of the current DH2016 program committee and PC chair for DH2017. Deb Verhoeven was PC chair of DH2015. Barbara Bordalejo is currently on the board of EADH, the European Association for Digital Humanities and one of EADH’s representatives on the SC. All three are in the middle of the ongoing global diversity discussion, and I am extremely glad that they are willing to help me in this.
 
I was referred to the website www.leidenuniv.nl/diversity-inclusion, that may be of interest in this discussion. And from the Union of International Associations (with its headquarters in Brussels) I received a reading suggestion that I heartily recommend to everyone: Riding the waves of culture, written by Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner (London/Boston: Nicholas Brealey Publishing, revised and updated 3rd edition, 2012). It gives a clear description of differing cultural orientations which in a business environment may lead to severe misunderstandings when people are not aware of them. The book is also useful for not-for-profit associations such as ADHO and its CO’s.
 
I am looking forward to a fruitful discussion.