July 20–24, 2015
Portland, OR

Constructive conflict resolution

Donna Benjamin (Red Hat Open Innovation Labs), Gina Likins (Red Hat)
11:10am–11:50am Friday, 07/24/2015
Craft E145
Average rating: ****.
(4.40, 5 ratings)
Slides:   1-PDF 

Prerequisite Knowledge



Conflict can be constructive.

Testing ideas by challenging them with alternatives is a useful process. But it can be uncomfortable and confronting for many people.

This session will outline the types of conflict we encounter in open source communities, and explore some techniques for using conflict as a positive force for moving issues forward and avoiding stagnation.

Learning to understand the nature of conflict itself and the ways different people respond to conflict is an important step toward building a strong, inclusive community. We’ve seen patterns emerge, it’s time to address them in a more systematic and constructive way. Can we harness the underlying passion that drives people to disagree into a force for positive action?

Let’s discuss how we can build a culture of respect to embrace the positive aspects of conflict and work together better.

Photo of Donna Benjamin

Donna Benjamin

Red Hat Open Innovation Labs

Donna Benjamin is the executive director of Creative Contingencies, an Australian micro business specialising in customised web services, research, and event management. She is a passionate advocate of free and open source software (FOSS) solutions for small business and education. Donna is a board member of the Drupal Association and chairs the Drupal project Community Working Group. She has also served as president of Linux Users of Victoria, as a board member of Open Source Industry Australia, and as an advisor to the Ada Initiative. She was conference director of Australia’s largest free and open source conference, linux.conf.au, held in Melbourne in 2008, and worked towards instituting a code of conduct for the Australian Open Source Developers Conference in 2010.

Photo of Gina Likins

Gina Likins

Red Hat

Gina Likins is part of Red Hat’s University Outreach team, which exists to help universities incorporate open source into their curriculum. Currently, she is driving a project that she hopes will make it easier for instructors to find open source projects to work with. Frenetic crafter. Sometime backup singer.