coordinator: Donna Metzlar

I Network description

Genderchangers was initiated in 1999 in the ASCII hacklab in Amsterdam as a network for women, technology and freedom of information. Its first activities were knowledge-sharing courses provided by women, for women. Through the enthusiastic response to these early local activities (workshops and courses), the idea of an annual international meeting/event called the Eclectic Tech Carnival (/etc) was borne, and this event has successfully taken place each year since 2002.

Both Genderchangers and the /etc are organized or not organized in a collective and non-hierarchical manner, with locally-autonomous branches. Most activities depend on someone coming up with the idea and finding the will and support to implement it.

II Main Goal for Winter Camp

The products that we have identified as most useful to focus on at Winter Camp, with regards to the above strategy, are:

* the writing of a manifesto;
* the creation a slogan that succinctly encapsulates the spirit of our manifesto; and
* a list of requirements (needs analysis) for a re-build of the Genderchangers website.


The Genderchangers is a very engaged, even politicised group of women. We consistently get questions from both outside and within the group about why we do what we do. We feel it would be beneficial for both the current participants in our networks and for potential future participants to have a clear manifesto that guides our activities both locally and internationally. This manifesto becomes the essential content on our website.

Working on the manifesto will satisfy the need for discussion around how we have organized in the past, what has repeatedly inspired new women to become actively involved in our network/activities, what our aims and goals are, who our target audience is and how we want to continue.


We need a single sentence (slogan or tag line) that encapsulates the spirit of our manifesto. We would use this “”slogan”” strategically on our website to clarify who we are and what we do. Our slogan makes the essence of the Genderchangers crystal-clear to the net surfer. Anyone that only glimpses our site should feel it in a fraction of a second. The manifesto is the deeper exploration of this slogan, and our logo.

Essential to a widely dispersed network is an easy-to-use effective online communication and organizing tool.

We need to improve our website to become the tool that works for us. We already have a logo – an image that we feel portrays our essence. It needs the above mentioned slogan and manifesto. The current Genderchangers site is a pre-Web 2.0 one-way, static site. It needs to be upgraded to a CMS. However, as we have learned from our own sister projects, a CMS in itself does not guarantee participation. The CMS must meet the technical and socio-cultural requirements to be intuitive and effective for our user base and target audience. It must be rich enough for us to be able to manage our core activities, but simple enough that our audience can easily contribute and participate. It must also be built with the technologies that our current network can maintain and build on.

At Winter Camp, we will discuss how to improve the website, including:

* what sort of CMS and what components it will require to help us achieve our core mandate of knowledge transfer and sharing (e.g. blog, image upload, integrated chat);
* the benefits of text-based versus image-based informational structures;
* how to represent the essence of Genderchangers to people who have not heard of it before;
* how to give women the “Me Too!” feeling when going to the site – to instill in them a feeling of belonging and wanting to contribute;
* what empowering tools can be included in the website;
* what other people and networks can we tap into for mutual support;
* organizing the existing “how tos” – what works, what doesn’t, what is missing;
* clarify or define the relationship between the Genderchangers website and the website of the Eclectic Tech Carnival (/etc).

III Participants

* Aileen Derieg, Linz, Austria
* Amaia Castro, Madrid, Spain
* Audrey Samson, Amsterdam, NL
* Donna Metzlar (coordinator), Rotterdam, NL
* Petra Timmermans, Amsterdam, NL
* Reni Hofmueller, Graz, Austria
* Tali Smith, St. Johns, Canada
* Uschi Reiter, Linz, Austria
* Tatiana de la O

Participants not available to travel to Amsterdam but who will be online:

* Anna, Berlin, Germany
* Helen Varley Jamieson, Wellington, New Zealand