1st Annual AZChaserCon Recap

Last week, I had the pleasure of welcoming Christian Cleary (@monsoon_madness) and the Arizona Storm Chaser community to Gangplank to host the first (and hopefully annual) Arizona Storm Chaser Convention, or AZChaserCon.

Storm chasers play a key role in assisting intergovernmental organizations in understanding local weather events while they also help the local and national news report many of the fascinating Arizona weather events with their photos, videos, and stories. Arizona has some uniquely beautiful and fascinating weather events that are only known to the world by the work of these dedicated citizen scientists and their thrilling antics in the southwest deserts.

Christian Cleary, known best by his twitter handle @monsoon_madness, knows the power of community and collaboration in the tight-knit circle that makes up local storm chasers, government meteorologists, and news media. He was inspired to bring everyone together and found Gangplank to be the perfect host.

During the day-long event, held Saturday June 14th, Christian welcomed the likes of 3TV’s Royal Norman, 12 News’s Dr Matt Price, and National Weather Service’s Dr Ken Waters, as well as many members of chaser and citizen science community. They came together to collaborate, socialize, learn, and share the crazy antics of their hobby as they ready for another Arizona Monsoon season. There was community socializing, occasional jokes about haboobs, nerdy weather talk, and tons of great pictures of local storms.

I asked Chris to share more about his event and he wrote this for us:

Gangplank is the definition of community. When you walk through the door, the environment is uplifting, full with positive vibes and great people. And if you’re tech savvy, trust me, this is the place to be.

I live in Chandler and have a huge passion for weather. I storm chase the monsoon storms as well as tornadoes on the Great Plains. Recently, I decided to host a conference specifically for chasing the AZ monsoon that would bring weather enthusiasts, weather professionals, scientists, spotters, and storm chasers together to network, share experience, and inspire one another. A friend suggested I look into Gangplank as a possible venue.

I scheduled a time to meet with Chris L, who gave me a tour and invited me to host my event there. He also introduced me to Eileen K and the two of them helped guide me and set this conference up. On the day of the event, Jeremy S volunteered his time to host us and helped me with technical issues.

On June 14th, I hosted the first ever Arizona Chaser Conference at Gangplank, Chandler. The event exceeded all of my expectations. All of the people who attended the conference had nothing but great things to say. They enjoyed the facilities and the conference. Huge shout out to Chris, Eileen, Jeremy, and the whole Gangplank Community for making this possible. I can’t wait to host AZChaserCon next year at this amazing place. I hope that I can give back to the Gangplank community what they have given me. Without their support and sponsorship I would not have been able to host this event.

Well, Chris, let me give you and your people some praise too: you guys were a great group and gracious considerate guests. We loved having you join our community and share yours with us. We look forward to AZChaserCon ’15!

For more info check these out:

Summer Reading Material: Chandler’s Book Club Selections

On the second Wednesday of every month, Gangplankers gather in Chandler for a lively discussion on their latest reading material. However, this book club is a bit different. It is about the content. You don’t have to even have read the book. An interest in the topic and willingness to share fresh perspective is enough for us to welcome your presence.

However, we still get people who want to actually…read. In order to help people with that endeavor, we selected a few books in advance.

June – The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, And The Birth Of America by Steven Johnson

July – How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton Christensen

August – The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery

September – Anti Fragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

October (in honor of Food Day) – In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

November – Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

Have ideas for an awesome book to include next time? Let us know. We are always looking out for great books.

Chandler Community Meeting Notes 12/11

Community Meeting Notes 12/11/2013
By: Jeremy S.

START 4:11

NOTE: There were no meetings on 11/27 or 12/4.

Discussion on Email Discussion Groups: There is a general concern with some of the content recently discussed on the email group “chandler-community”.  It put us in a bad light, both in general, when certain people post things that can damage our outward facing community.  We affirmed that we purposely created an open discussion group for transparency and it shouldn’t represent us widely or individually when someone says something dumb, but we admit it can still happen.  That said, we unanimously agreed to remove the topic in question from our public archive, despite being anti-censorship and aiming for transparency.

We feel there are better ways to engage newer members of our community and feel the discussion group should be tailored for people very active.  We should introduce new people to “less-intense” options.  We know for a small period of time new people were welcomed to the group.

We recommend temporarily suspending the group until a solution could be found.

Dessert Potluck Next Week: Next week is the holiday dessert potluck, in lieu of the brownbag.

Brownbags Update: Jenny from Hiring Solved reports that we are scheduled until 3/5 on Brown Bags.  We have had some great Brown Bags this fall and hope to keep up the good work.

END: 4:35PM


Chandler Community Meeting Notes 11-6-13

Meeting notes (from Stephanie Liebold):

If you have a topic for a community meeting that you need more time to discuss, present the topic at a meeting and then be willing to facilitate it at an upcoming meeting (we can advertise the topic if desired).

Trish is giving an hour to Gangplank Chandler projects, such as cleaning, creating flyers, etc. Tuesdays at 5pm. If she’s planning to do a particular project, she’ll post it. Everyone doesn’t need to join, but you’re welcome to join her.

The CCCC food drive is going on now. Details are on the DCCP blog.

Rock the Block is this weekend. We need volunteers to give Gangplank tours, even if you can only be here 1 hr.

Upcoming events:
Desert Code Camp’s after party will be in the Itericom space. Need keyholder to be there.
AZEC is a week from today (11/13).
We’ll do a complete move out of the space – couches, everything will be moved to back, except arcade games, which will be moved elsewhere. Breakdown for this will start at 3pm 11/12.
If you have a desk, please plan to break down then. If not, we can still use help.
Basically everything else for Weds. is cancelled. You may be able to do Hacknight after 7pm. Kevin’s improv class is still on.
Move desks will go back in the main space Weds. night in a new layout.
Francine needs extra ice chests/coolers for drinks. Please bring them Tue. (GP has some buckets, but she may need more.)
Startup weekend doesn’t require move out.

Construction on 260: We are waiting to be cleared by the city to start.

Community Builders – The Future of Gangplank

Gangplank emerged from our desire to grow an amazing community of creative people and transform our city. Throughout the lifetime of Gangplank it has changed to adapt to new situations and rise to new challenges. As Gangplank continues to expand both in size and influence it is time to transform ourselves once again.

In the past, we have had titles such as Director or Anchor. Unfortunately those words have become bogged down in Authority, Entitlement, and Exclusivity. Gangplank has long valued decentralization of authority, openness, and sharing. The idea of establishing positions of leadership based on a title is an anathema to the ideals we seek to follow. Leaders of Gangplank are those who are building, growing, investing in the community. Leaders of Gangplank act with Intention and Integrity.

The future of Gangplank is the Community Builders.

The Community Builders is an authentic community committed to growing Gangplank communities. It is a model of the Gangplank way of leading, following, organizing, and participating.

To join the Community Builders you agree to live the Gangplank Manifesto and follow the Core Commitments.

  • The Gangplank Manifesto [1] defines our vision and our values. It describes why Gangplank exists as well as our core beliefs that define our culture.
  • The Core Commitments [2] are the constitution that gives us a common reference and shared commitment to each other.

If you want to engage with Gangplank at a deeper level, if you want to build better communities, the Community Builders is for you.

To take the next step, email info@gangplankhq.com.

[1] http://gangplankmanifesto.com

[2] http://www.mccarthyshow.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/The+Core+Protocols+3.03.pdf

Chandler Community Meeting Notes: October 2, 2013

As part of our growing efforts to share our activities publicly, here are meeting notes from our weekly community meeting in Chandler.  (Transcribed by Jeremy S.)

CORE Protocols Review

Trish G. introduces that the Core Protocols to us as a means to build a stronger rapport and usefulness of meeting.

Academy Initiative Brainstorming

Trish G. led us through some Academy brainstorming.

Academy Initiative

Recapped Academy Initiative as part of our recap of initiatives.

  • Educational component of Gangplank. Lots of overlap with other Initiatives.
  • Main activity: Brownbags. Jenny from HS is leading it. Needs more help scheduling and training.
  • Secondary: Academy… single and series type long-format learning. IE: Summer of Photography Series.
  • Academy Init Leader/Team: Trish & Jenny.
  • Promotion: needs advanced planning. Some great Brownbags recently, including Local Motors (today) and Jeremie Lederman’s (last week), but no .

Twestival Update

Chris L is reminding us of the Phoenix Twestival. Bunch of awesome drink and food vendors, including Pittsburg Willies. $20 ticket. 10/15, 1 week from Tuesday. Hit up Dragon.

Facilities Update

  • Red Bull Machine: is back. $1.50 per can, thanks to a donation from Ben H. to subsidize costs. Enjoy!
  • Water Cooler: is installed. In place in back.
  • Chandler Community Meeting Notes

    As part of our growing efforts to share our activities publicly, here are meeting notes from our weekly community meeting. (Transcribed by Jeremy S)

    Community Meeting Notes

    4PM 9/25/2013

    Facilities Discussion: Cooler/Drinking Water

    Water cooler is here. Its ready to be installed, just needs some basic plumbing. Timmus A is still lead. Ben H asked about location? Will be by bathroom, maybe need a sign. Brian L reminds us any excuse to get people to talk to us, the better. Will be done by this weekend.

    Facilities Discussion: Red Bull Machine

    Red Bull Machine. Machine will be stocked tomorrow. Price will be approximately $1.50 per, to cover costs.

    Facilities Discussion: Chairs

    Chairs. Jeremy S kicked off our meeting discussing chairs. First off we’ve been seeing conference room chairs running into the main space. While we maintain ourselves as an agile space, we have to maintain the functionality of our space, including ensuring rooms have chairs. In general, we do need more chairs for the coworking space. Shall we launch a “chair drive/fundraiser”? Trish G introduced the idea of colored chairs for hotdesks/seats. Want to be careful that people aren’t possessive of chairs!

    Facilities Initiative: Overview.

    This week’s Initiative Discussion of the week is Facilities Initiative. Jeremy S gave an overview of the current facilities initiative beyond what was already discussed.
    Facilities Ideas: Single Seat Phone Booth. Susan B. and Greg T suggest a phonebooth room or two.
    Facilities Ideas: Manifesto on the Wall. Need a volunteer for it!
    Pimp My Gangplank / Back Room Cleanup: We have an interior designer to plan our backrooms. Also will need to clean up 260.

    GP Jr Oct Event

    Need Machines that can be torn apart. Drop off tear-apart at Jeremie’s desk. He needs as much as we can!.

    Thanksgiving Potluck

    Need Organizer for Thanksgiving Potluck. Allie and Jenn volunteered to coordinate! Thank you guys.

    Post Event Report: ASU E-Ship Ecosystem

    Jeremy S talked about his collaboration with Vincent from GP Avondale evangelizing GPA & GPC. He explained how, not only was the opportunity useful to the audience, but he learned a lot too. In general, the conversation moved to GP evangelism being fun, educational, and worthwhile to participate in. We need to share these more and get more involvement.

    T-Shirts/GP Marketing

    Lets make some t-shirts… more promotion!!! We need them! History has Stephanie coordinating but cost was prohibitive. Lederman will lead up effort to get shirts in the space!

    End: 4:35PM

    Chandler Community Meeting Notes

    As part of our growing efforts to share our activities publicly, here are meeting notes from our weekly community meeting. (Transcribed by Chris L)

    Community Meeting Notes

    4PM Start 9/18/2013

    Wireless Network Status

    Jill R and David M have stabilized the system to a large degree but there are still some issues, including problems today with DNS. Everything going through a single controller, if it gets overloaded we’re running into problems. In the meanwhile, set custom DNS on your local machines’ network settings to Google or Open DNS servers.
    The technology in our system is 4-5 years old (from 2009), so we are looking into different systems now. System they spec’ed out is $900/Access Point, with controller-less A/Ps, which also does load balancing. This will automatically start pushing people to A/Ps in back.
    Looking at returning one we have. Spent $4K? on that. David M. seeing about returning.

    Drinking Water

    Tim spoke to the plumber. Doesn’t think that the bottleless coolers they’re looking at are going to make the water take any better. They’re looking at the filter stuff, just disposable filters. Not reverse osmosis (RO) any longer.
    RO has a lot of water waste so we would have to have a drain.
    Shaun can do if we are not going RO and just doing water source. RO and tapping into the drains requires a plumber.
    Tim will have Shaun go with him to the hardware store. Will look at Costco. We are going through 35 gallons a week. Need to be sure the unit can handle that.
    Also brought up that water will be back in the hallway past the bathrooms. We will need signage to direct people back there.

    Painting the back rooms

    Derek N & Jade M have offered to pay for paint in the back rooms. We are really interested in whiteboard special paint, stuff at Lowe’s/Home Depot is not good. We will look into other options. It was mentioned that CEI has the wall to wall whiteboards ad they work well so it may be worth contacting them to see their solution.
    Don & Kathy have volunteered to paint all the back rooms. Ron paints professionally. He has asked to paint them himself & not have help for safety reasons… so no Pimp My Gangplank 2. During painting, please keep the people out of the way. He’s very happy to volunteer to do the painting, but we will need volunteers to move stuff out of the way. We will block out rooms on the calendars.
    As far as colors, Jeremy S wants to do the color wheel – different color in each room. Will have him call a meeting for anybody who wants to have input as before. Will look to keep the whiteboard wall in each room if we can make it work white.

    Blog Post Series for Website – Where are they Now?

    Greg T contacted Chase G of Authority Labs and James A of Forty. He expects to have feedback from them soon and a first blog post ready. Trish G suggested to do comparison blog post on Hiring Solved, contrasting their current team with the old photo of just Trevor & Shon.

    Upcoming Gangplank Jr. Event

    Will be here in the main space on 10/26 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm and helping kids take apart dead or unwanted electronics. Jeremie L asked that people bring as many dead or unwanted components they have to donate. Anything you have. computers, laptops, toasters, radios, etc… we need it. We will also need adults to help out and ensure safety. Parents will need to be be there too. Suggestion to see if anything David might want of the parts for Labs purposes. Leftovers will be taken to city electronics recycling.

    TechShop Coming Soon

    A new maker space called Tech Shop will be located on the other side of the parking garage, 1 building over. It now has signs on it. Kind of like HeatSync or like our Labs initiative but bigger than our entire space.
    They will be here tomorrow through the 28th using one of our conference rooms to do interviews. Will be in the red room.

    Gangplank Studios Updates

    Monday Creative Nights had a couple of rooms going for first week. Good start. Will also be some stand up comedy activities. We have a tour of CRX Soundworks recording studio tonight shortly after meeting. Jeremie doing brown bag soon called Drawing is Easy.

    GP Website

    Its looking a little better! We are actively developing it with Susan B’s audience segments in mind: Manifesto Lovers (everybody cares about improving the community), Business Builders (those focused on improving/growing business), Facilities Fans (folks who appreciate GP for a place to work or hold events or equipment). Trish G is working with Susan B to try to ensure it works for the Business Builders segment. Happy for feedback to make site more applicable and open to Business Builders.

    Discussion: Initiative of the Week Business

    Initiative Leader: Doesn’t really have leader. Nancy organizing mentors. Said she’d take on initiative. Realized was a bit too much. Happy to still org mentors. We really do need a business initiative leader.
    Startup Weekend on 11/15 – 11/17: Being organized by Ben H, Shon B, Trevor O. They are meeting right after this to go over everything. Our budget should be good, like we did last year. We have a sponsor… Pagely. In total, we need about $5K, and $4K will come from tickets. No regular meetings schedule yet. Will publish when there is.Suggestion to hit up Intel for sponsorship. Hitting us up for conference rooms. Talk to Jade. He’s working out of Intel.
    Roadmap to Launch: Currently, none are planned. We are open for someone to organize future ones!
    Extreme Pitch: Also, none planned. Open for someone to organize.
    Bookkeeping and Beers: This is a great program for people to get together and work on non-urgent items. It doesn’t have to be bookkeeping. Anything people tend to put off. Your own marketing, blogging, any boring stuff. Asked if Quickbooks experts hanging out? Not necessarily. Talk about business things.
    Connecting with the rest of the startup ecosystem: Could use help with this. Trish G goes to alot of community events, and C Conrey used to. Isha also goes to a lot. We could use more people to go to those things.
    DCCP Lunch Club: Getting ready to do lunch club. Couple names under consideration. In the loop with DC. Will be 1st Tuesday of the month. Rotation of different businesses in Chandler. Support local businesses on day that’s quiet. Also day of get to know people. Inviting city folks.
    Chamber Relationship: Jill R is trying to build relationship with chamber to figure how chamber members can get more involved with Gangplank. Terry & Paige over there.

    Tomorrow is talk like a Pirate day!

    END 4:45PM

    My Week at Gangplank Tucson

    Gangplank Tucson recently moved from the Bookman’s warehouse in south Tucson to the first floor of the historic Pioneer building in downtown. This eleven story building was once the epicenter of activity in downtown Tucson. However, it now sits more than 50 percent vacant. Gangplank has taken on the task of trying to re-energize this historic gem.

    The transition has come with a rapid series of changes. In addition to the Gangplank Tucson crew working hard to fix up their facility, they started programming for all of Gangplank’s initiatives, and there has been an explosion of interest in Gangplank. This community that is literally years in the making is quickly coming together to be a hub of activity impacting their city in significant ways.

    Their renovations started with taking down built in cubicle walls in order to make the building fit Gangplank’s collaborative style of “no walls or physical barriers”. Then there was some new carpet and plenty of painting. I headed down about 2 weeks ago just for the day to pitch in with some of the painting.

    Last week, I headed down again to spend the week with the Gangplank Tucson crew. While there, I got to see the next step of renovations, the new concrete floors. Unfortunately, this meant that much of the activity in the space was limited so I only got to meet the hardcore group that came in during renovations.

    {Gangplank Tucson under renovation}

    I started out my week by getting dinner with several Tucson Gangplankers. They made my visit much easier by offering a room in their home for my stay and offering up a ton of advice on places to check out during my visit (thanks Bob and Therese!).

    {Downtown Innovation District Meeting at Maker House}

    True to the spirit of Gangplank, upon moving downtown, GP Tucson dove in and became very active in the downtown community. While visiting, I tagged along to a few meetings with fellow Gangplankers. I got to know many of the key players impacting economic development downtown including attending a meeting for the Downtown Innovation District. The meeting was held in the Maker house, a fellow innovation center that is soon to open. The Downtown Innovation District came about due to talks between Ganglank, Maker House and a few other local innovation oriented organizations. Much like us, Maker House is also working to renovate their space. I was fortunate to get a tour and hear some of the extremely unique history of their building. In a prior life, it was the Rocky Mountain Oyster Club’s building. Complete with a historic mural that needs restoration and 3 separate pools that have been filled in, this tour was one of the highlights of my week. There is no denying that Downtown Tucson is an exciting place to be right now.

    The best part of the week by far though was the people. There is no doubt that I enjoy being around Gangplankers regardless of their geographical location. I loved hearing their stories, laughing with them, and seeing how they are working to create a community that they are proud to live, work, and play in. I can’t wait to visit them again!

    The Manifesto Project

    Convening to imagine how we can create better communities is part of what we do at Gangplank. However, we hope to not stop there. Doing over saying is part of Gangplank’s manifesto as well. So when we were asked to host a Manifesto Project event as part of the Arizona We Want 2.0 we dove in. The Manifesto Project came out of the Arizona We Want 2.0. This event is intended to gather the voice of young leaders in asking how we can create communities that they desire to live in.

    At the Chandler location, we collaborated with several other local non profits and organizations in hosting this event including the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership, ICAN, and the Chandler Chamber.

    The Manifesto Project asks 3 questions. Listed below are the responses that came from Chandler participants:

    I will lead the change I want to see by…
    1) informing the public about issues occurring in their community and
    showing them how to create change
    2) joining a local govt board committee
    3) saying yes to the opportunities that allow me to meet new people
    and build friendships with them
    4) catalyzing people to build magnificent places and cities
    5)volunteering at my neighborhood school

    Our Generation is….

    2) Full of potential, passionate and driven, anti establishment
    3) Needs direction
    5) Connected and Caring about the world around us

    I would stay in AZ forever if…
    1) We had a vibrant community with better food, diverse culture, more
    public spaces, more affordable indoor activities.
    2) I could build meaningful relationships with the people and places
    in the community
    3) If Parents, politicians and educators worked together to create
    more creative, capable, considerate, community oriented children
    4)If we had a vibrant business ecosystem where active angel investors
    are available and accessible, business knowledgeable and resources
    support people from good idea stage to launch, red tape is eliminated,
    jobs are satisfying and sustainable
    5)Socially conscious culture that offers cutting edge solutions for
    social problems – environment, mental, physical, health delivery
    systems, youth, poverty etc

    We will be hosting one more Manifesto Project event tomorrow. If you didn’t get to a chance to join us in Chandler, join us in Avondale as we dream of a better future for Arizona.