Akcela Incubator Community Code of Conduct

This code of conduct outlines our expectations for participants within the Akcela Incubator community, as well as steps for reporting unacceptable behavior. We are committed to providing a welcoming and inspiring community for all, and expect our code of conduct to be honoured by everyone.

If you breach this code of conduct, we will raise this on behalf of the wider community and it may result in you being asked to leave the incubator space.

Community Goal: Be Kind

Our community strives to be kind. This is the guiding principle for conducting oneself.

While kindness can be generally understood, we recognize that kindness in a professional setting means (but is not limited to):

Be friendly and patient

Be welcoming: We strive to be a community who welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to, members of any race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, color, immigration status, social and economic class, educational level, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, and mental and physical ability.

Be considerate: Any actions you take may affect users and colleagues and you should take those consequences into account when making decisions. Remember that we’re a  diverse community, so you might not be communicating in someone else’s primary language.

Be respectful: Not all of us will agree all of the time, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behavior and poor manners. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. It’s important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one. Your presence may not impact other’s ability to learn.

Be careful in the words that we choose: We are a community of learning professionals and we conduct ourselves professionally. Be kind to others both within the community and beyond the community. Do not insult, minimize, marginalize, or put down other participants, cultures, or sub-cultures. Contribute positively to the learning environment.

Be a professional: Practice the use of professional language when interacting with the community. Your actions are a reflection of your character, and should positively reflect a high level of professional integrity. Avoid the use of slang, innuendo, and profanity. Try to understand why we disagree: Disagreements, both social and technical, happen all the time. It is important that we resolve disagreements and differing views constructively. It is human to err; focus on exercising healthy conflict resolution techniques whenever possible. Harassment and exclusionary behavior aren’t acceptable.


We share a common understanding of what constitutes harassment, as it applies to a professional setting. Although this list cannot be exhaustive, we explicitly honour diversity in age, gender, gender identity or expression, culture, ethnicity, language, national origin, political beliefs, profession, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and technical ability. We will not tolerate discrimination based on any of the protected characteristics above, including participants with disabilities.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Offensive comments (or “jokes”) related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro-typicality, physical appearance, body size, race, age, regional discrimination, political or religious affiliation
  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment
  • Deliberate misgendering. This includes deadnaming or persistently using a pronoun that does not correctly reflect a person’s gender identity. You must address people by the name they give you.
  • Physical contact and simulated physical contact (e.g., textual descriptions like “hug” or “backrub”) without consent or after a request to stop
  • Threats of violence, both physical and psychological
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to engage in self-harm
  • Deliberate intimidation
  • Stalking or following
  • Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes Sustained disruption of discussion
  • Unwelcome sexual attention, including gratuitous or off-topic sexual language, images, or behavior
  • Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others, or excessive teasing after a request to stop
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease
  • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent, except as necessary to protect others from intentional abuse
  • Publication of non-harassing private communication
  • Sabotage of someone else’s work or intentionally hindering someone else’s performance We encourage everyone to participate and are committed to building a community for all. We seek to treat everyone both as fairly and equitably as possible. Whenever someone has made a mistake, we expect them to take responsibility for it. If someone has been harmed or offended, it is our responsibility to listen carefully and respectfully, and to do our best to right the wrong.


Here are some guidelines on acceptable conduct:

  • A mutual high-five is most welcome, as both parties are opting in. Avoid surprise hugs, back rubs, and general one-directional physical contact.
  • Our community constitutes people from a wide array of backgrounds. This is a great strength. Talk to people about their backgrounds and histories as a learner and a listener. “Tell me more about that,” is a better option than, “Well, that’s not what I experienced.”

Reporting Issues

Our community prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. We work to protect the psychological and physical safety of all members. If you experience or witness unacceptable behavior constituting a code of conduct violation or have any other code of conduct concerns, please report it by contacting us via james@akcela.co.uk, or another member of the Akcela team.  All reports will be handled with discretion. In your report please include:

Your contact information.

  • Names (real, nicknames, or pseudonyms) of any individuals involved. If there are additional witnesses, please include them as well.
  • Your account of what occurred and if you believe the incident is ongoing. If there is a publicly available record (e.g. Slack channel, a mailing list archive or a public IRC logger), please include a link, reference, or screenshot.
  • Any additional information that may be helpful.

After filing a report, a representative will contact you personally, review the incident, follow up with any additional questions, and make a decision as to how to respond.

If the person who is harassing you is part of the response team, they will recuse themselves from handling your incident. If the complaint originates from a member of the response team, a different member of the response team will handle it. We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse.

Attribution & Acknowledgements

We all stand on the shoulders of giants across many open source communities. We’d like to thank the communities and projects that established codes of conduct and diversity statements as our inspiration, like Todo Group, Python, Contributor Covenant, Geek Feminism, Code Fellows, Tech Educators and Citizen Code of Conduct.