Presented by

  • Josh Simmons

    Josh Simmons

    Josh Simmons is a community organizer, nonprofit leader, and open source strategist who builds up people, programs, communities, and organizations around the commons. Passionate about mission-driven work, inclusive organizing, and tackling systemic issues, Josh has worked across for-profits, nonprofits, and public institutions. Josh is a Partner in Open Chapters, Vice President for Petaluma Pride, Director of DEI for Independent Federated Trust and Safety, and Co-organizer of North Bay Python. He is best known for his six-year tenure with Open Source Initiative and leading the organization to a new stage of maturity as its President then Chair.


“Conflu” and “con crud” are nothing new to people who attend in-person conferences, and the tendency to come home sick has long been treated as unavoidable, and as an acceptable risk. The COVID-19 pandemic put a finer point on the health risks of in-person events, and presents executives, leaders, and organizers with a choice: Do we seize this opportunity to better understand our duty of care and run more inclusive events? Or do we fall back on a status quo that calcified inequities and excluded people with disabilities, chronic illness, caregivers, and those who live with them? The choice is clear. We aim to rise to the challenge of running safer and more inclusive events. Let’s draw on the lessons we learned as community leaders and influencers pushed Codes of Conduct into the mainstream, and raise the bar together – again. In this presentation, we will explore lessons learned amid the pandemic, dive deep on the evolving practice of Health and Safety policies, and prepare our communities for a world racked by the climate crisis in which contagious diseases are growing in number and frequency. Take heart: this talk is a hopeful one. Attendees will leave with a vision of a more inclusive future, mental models to navigate newfound complexity, and good examples to draw on for events of every size and shape.