On Thursday, March 23rd in Room 7 of UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, several organizations shared their stories about teaching refugees coding, computational thinking, and other skills they could use to build new lives. The international group expressed a need to coordinate efforts, to share knowledge, and possibly to leverage a consortium model to bolster long-term funding. The sentiment in the room was that some organizations felt isolated doing their localized work, that if there could be some additional orchestration it would be possible to build upon each other's successes and learn from each other's missteps.
For these reasons, participants expressed interest in creating a consortium called Room 7 that is open to partner organizations who would support each other’s local efforts.
This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) sets for the terms and understanding between partner organizations of the Room 7 consortium to share information, coordinate efforts where sensible, and to collaborate in an effort to accelerate the development and ensure the sustainability of similar organizations serving the educational needs of displaced peoples.
This MOU will provide expectations of mutual agreement relating to Room 7 and partner organizations. Room 7 does not exist for itself; it exists to support the efforts of its partner organizations.
Room 7 Core Values
Partner organizations of Room 7 share the following values:
A staunch commitment to the value of education in helping individuals and communities to improve their quality of life and the lives of those around them.
A focus on the unique potential of digital technologies and skills to empower individuals to build empathic communities, contribute to society, and to work toward peace.
An openness to sharing their expertise, lessons, and ambitions with other Room 7 organizations.
A willingness to contribute to the mentorship of others who are seeking to establish similar organizations (i.e. coding camps) in their own locales.
An enthusiasm for following and promoting the work of other Room 7 organizations.
Room 7 Structure and Commitment
As a consortium, Room 7 is greatly driven by the participation of its partner organizations. In addition, the work of Room 7 itself (see below) is the responsibility of a two Co-Directors and small support team. Room 7 agrees to the following:
Facilitate conversations and collaborations across partner organizations (i.e. via social media, newsletters, and website).
Proactively solicit and share updates on partner organizations’ work (i.e. regular outreaches to partner organizations for news and artifacts featuring their work).
Feature partner organizations on the Room 7 website, including periodic features of specific organizations’ efforts.
Identify possible strategic projects that partner organizations may wish to undertake or explore.
Seek out funding opportunities for partner organizations.
Partner Organizations Commitment
Partner organizations of Room 7 agree to the following:
To identify one individual who is authorized to represent the point of contact and representative for the partner organization.
To provide input to the planning and decision-making process as requested.
To share the news from Room 7 and partner organizations with others.
To read Room 7 updates and respond to reasonable requests within 48 hours.
This MOU is at-will and may be modified by mutual consent of Room 7 organizers and partner organizations via ad-hoc committee and vote.
This MOU shall become effective upon signature by the authorized officials from the partner organizations named below and will automatically renew thereafter.
For the current term, the roles of Co-Directors will be filled by Josephine Goube (CEO, Techfugees) and Tom Liam Lynch (Education Professor, Pace University).