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This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.

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This document is version 1.0 of the Workshop Discussion DRAFT of the Bamboo Program and shall be used as the basis for work in Workshop 4. The purpose of this document is to frame a dialog among participants and as such, share preliminary and provisional information regarding the Bamboo Program. This will allow institutions and organizations participating in the Bamboo Planning Process to help determine (1) the long term future of Bamboo and, most importantly, (2) define what activities Bamboo will carry out in its first three year implementation phase (from 2010-2012). Unlike previous versions, this draft is designed to solicit input from the participants taking part in Bamboo Workshop 4. Changes, edits and recommendations collected at and immediately after Workshop 4 shall be incorporated into the Bamboo Program Document v1.1.

Please note that we are updating this document frequently based on wide ranging input from the Bamboo community. These updates are indicated as ".1", ".2", ".3", etc updates. In addition, we will occasionally make major document revisions. These are noted as "1.X", "2.X", and so forth. Between major document revisions there may be some inconsistencies in language used between the sections of the document.

The content and direction expressed within the sections of this document shall be considered as provisional and will be subject to potentially substantial change between this version and the final edition of the Bamboo Program slated for release in Fall 2009.

5. Bamboo Labs

Table of Contents

Although a wide range of programs, technologies, and possibilities are outlined for Bamboo, these elements merely reflect the ideas and outputs individuals who work together across boundaries to enhance arts and humanities instruction, practice, research and scholarship. The diverse range of scholars and researchers, specialists and technologists who participate in and contribute to the community ultimately define Bamboo. That diversity is reflected in the organization that ties Bamboo together.

5.1. Diversity, Innovation and Labs

The model for the organization of Bamboo can trace several ideas to:

Within each of the larger organizations listed above are smaller communities that focus on particular projects, tasks, or dimensions that contribute directly to the greater effort. For example, in Wikipedia a small team may work together to manage  a set of content pages whereas in Kuali a subset of the larger community can represent a multi-institution effort to create a next-generation student system. What is important to note in both of these examples is that the larger entity (Wikipedia and Kuali) plays an organizing and administrative role whereas the smaller group (content editors and student system project partners) focuses on completing the project or managing a specifc activity in the manner that best suits the group of participants.

Bamboo, then, functions at the larger level by establishing and maintaining a community of individuals, projects, and institutions that are interested in working together. It also provides the administrative support and organizational context for ongoing effort. Within the larger organization are the individual projects and diverse activities that ultimately define Bamboo. These "labs" may be organized around the first implementation phase of Bamboo, could represent a small community of scholars working together to develop a service for sharing digital image references in art history, or be a team of computer scientists and choreographers looking to use shared services in support of virtual performance.

What is important to separate between the larger effort of Bamboo and the labs are the ideas of innovation and exploration. Just like efforts in Apache and the IEEE, some labs will succeed and others will not. The idea of structuring collaboration around the lab model is to encourage discovery and innovation with as little administrative overhead as possible. If a lab is successful and the outcome contributes to the broader Bamboo Community, then Bamboo itself shall have mechanisms to evaluate and transfer research and development into something more mature for all to use.

Finally, Bamboo itself can be thought of a lab - an effort that is continually evolving to meet the next wave of challenges facing researchers, educators, students, and technologists.

5.2. An Ecosystem of Projects and Initiatives

Bamboo is much more than a cyberinfrastructure, e-research, or e-infrastructure initiative; it represents a range of interlinked activities, individual projects, and related endeavors that form an ecosystem of collaborative effort. It exists within an even larger macroecology of academic disciplines, professional fields, and technical environments. As such, it is important that Bamboo strives to fit in wherever possible as it is a component of a larger array of systems and ecologies.

As an ecosystem, Bamboo will inevitably be affected by forces both within and external to the environment and at times, beyond its control. Resource availability, disciplinary interest, the financial climate, member participation, agency investment, and community readiness are some of the myriad forces that may be in play within the Bamboo ecosystem at any given time. Because of this, the organization must be flexible enough react quickly when forces shift, yet solid enough to withstand a major change without collapsing. To accomplish this, the community should adhere to a common set of principles to guide the ecosystem's growth and maturity. That said, Bamboo should:

  1. promote innovation through sharing and collaboration,
  2. respect the diversity of its members,
  3. seek consensus,
  4. implement solutions for the common good, and
  5. evolve as needs and interests change.

5.2.1 Levels of Engagement

Bamboo incorporates a number of interlinked layers of activity from a wide range of individuals, projects, and organizations. It can reflect the work of a single scholarly endeavor, share the collective energy of a global community, do both or present something in between. Each of these layers can be characterized by a level of engagement within Bamboo. Bamboo Community

The Bamboo Community consists of individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions that have expressed interest in staying connected with Bamboo or using freely available services and resources delivered by Bamboo. For example, this would include all individuals who subscribe to any Bamboo mailing list, RSS feed, Flickr feed, or Facebook group, as well as anyone who chooses to use a service or capability delivered by Bamboo. Through taking intential action to connect with Bamboo, one expresses their material interest in Bamboo and as such, joins the community. The community would consist of everyone engaged with Bamboo which could include:

  • arts, humanities, and social sciences faculty;
  • computer scientists and software engineers;
  • library and information scientists;
  • information technologists;
  • content developers and providers;
  • representatives from industry, projects, and consortia;
  • members of foundations and agencies; and
  • others who have a material interest in advancing arts and humanities research and scholarship Bamboo Members

A Bamboo Member is a project, group, organization, or institution that is active in the Bamboo Community and formally commits resources toward the growth and development of Bamboo. In brief, members:

  • coordinate activities within the community,
  • undertake and promote projects,
  • shape and refine the scope and direction of Bamboo,
  • liaise with other organizations, and
  • lead Bamboo-wide initiatives.

In addition, members can take full advantage of the Bamboo Exchange by listing and exchanging services and resources with other Bamboo members. Finally, members have the opportunity to participate in the leadership and governance of Bamboo. Bamboo Affiliates

A Bamboo Affiliate is a commercial organization that is has a material interest in Bamboo, its vision, scope and program, and is willing to participate in Bamboo as a Member.

5.2.2 Investment

A breadth of expertise and resources are needed to enable Bamboo to build connections across the community, foster joint projects, and sustain efforts and activities over time. Therefore, an ongoing investment in Bamboo is essential to sustaining the community and the ecosystem around it.

There are two dimensions to investment: financial and resource. A financial investment takes the form of annual membership dues whereas a resource investment can take a number of forms that include (but are not limited to):

  • financial
  • project-specific staffing
  • technical investment such as storage or computational capacity
  • community coordination
  • annual donation of access to content for the community

A resource investment is expressed as a financial equivalent of either the resource or time. As an example, a member may contribute both server virtualization and storage capacity to Bamboo, and that would be expressed as equivalent dollars over the membership period. In the case of an individual's time, that would be expressed as a full time equivalent (FTE) rounded to the nearest single decimal or tenth.

For both Bamboo Members and Affiliates, a combination of a financial and resource investment is required for membership. Bamboo Community

To participate at the community level, no resource commitment beyond an individual's personal interest is required. Bamboo Members

Financial Investment: to be discussed

Resource Investment: to be discussed, but may include access to experts, time, software, hardware, staffing, storage, hosting, etc. Bamboo Affiliates

Financial Investment: to be discussed

Resource Investment: to be discussed, but may include access to experts, joint research, time, software, hardware, staffing, storage, hosting, etc.

5.3. Structure

There are multiple structures and layers that coexist within the environment of Bamboo. Some structures define classes of activity or methods of collaboration whereas others identify layers of contribution. As outlined in the "Scope & Work Plan," Bamboo is structured around three clusters of activity: Bamboo Explore, Bamboo Plan, and Bamboo Build. These three structures provide the context for labs to be created, sustained, and delivered.

To encourage coordination of effort and open collaboration, all labs shall undergo an organizational approval process at the Leadership Committee level (see 5.5.1 below) and if authorized, be formally organized with an appropriate charter, have a reasonable reporting requirement, and be announced openly within the Bamboo Community.

5.3.1 Bamboo Explore

Bamboo Explore is responsible for developing, growing and nurturing the Bamboo Community. Explore observes and analyzes the community's adoption and use of Bamboo services, tools, and programs and recommends ways in which Bamboo can evolve and adapt to changing needs. Explore:

  • observes and reacts to community needs,
  • connects activities, and
  • contextualizes action and use.

Given its close relationship with the broader Bamboo Community, Explore shall be actively engaged with the various activities of The Forum.

Labs within Bamboo Explore may include (but not be limited to) the formation of special interest groups around textual analysis or data mining; joint projects to investigate models for educating graduate students about shared services and resources; workshops on evolving models of shared digital scholarship; exploring new ideas for shared gadgets and services; or hosting activities to gather information and ideas on the latest models of technology-enhanced research and pedagogy. The output of Explore Labs can directly benefit the Bamboo Community by coordinating activities (such as the workshops) or directly influence the direction of Bamboo itself by coalescing community-wide ideas into recommendations for Bamboo to further develop. In the latter case, such recommendations would be passed along to Bamboo Plan.

5.3.2 Bamboo Plan

Bamboo Plan is responsible for planning infrastructure, formally expressing Bamboo standards, guidelines and practices, and liaising with other consortia, societies and organizations. Plan:

  • acts on input from Explore,
  • filters recommendations, and
  • prioritizes action.

In addition, Plan shall be actively engaged with and ultimately define the elements of the The Cloud, including the architecture, standards, and the appliance model.

The fundamental perspective of Bamboo Plan is to enable innovation in research, teaching and learning through interoperable shared services and technologies that respect the needs of scholars. This perspective shall be balanced against usability, scalability, and sustainability. Because of this, Plan shall operate in a formal manner where decisions, recommendations, etc. are documented and shared openly with the Bamboo Community.

Plan Labs focus on translating ideas from Explore into something for the community as whole either through formal adoption or further development by Bamboo Build or evaluating options and determining an appropriate course of action either within Plan or Build or through a liaison. For example, an Explore Lab acting as a special interest group around textual analysis may recommend the modification of a particular markup scheme to make it easier for a class of problems to be tackled computationally. Passing the recommendation on, Plan takes up the recommendation and determines if Bamboo should undertake the recommendation to develop something, pass it on to a liaison organization, or to examine the recommendation to see if it fits within another Bamboo activity. Plan may take the recommendation and jointly create a lab for the textual analysis lab, members of Plan, and representatives from a liaison organization to work together to incubate the idea into something of potential benefit to the larger community.

5.3.3 Bamboo Build

Bamboo Build is responsible for creating the components deemed essential to the Bamboo Community, implements software components of Bamboo infrastructure and shared services, and manages the technology layer of Bamboo itself. Build shall work closely with Plan on the development and maintenance of The Cloud.

Acting on the direction of Plan, Build Labs concentrate on adopting, transforming, or creating technology for the Bamboo Community. Given the appliance model behind The Cloud, one Build Lab will focus on the Bamboo Appliance which shall be a joint effort with Plan.

5.4. Liaisons

An important aspect to Bamboo is its ability to formally liaise with other organizations, consortia, projects and initiatives in order to share ideas, minimize duplication of effort, and promote the use of already established standards, specifications, and practices. Although numerous informal connections undoubtedly exist between participants in the Bamboo Community, formal liaison relationships are necessary to connect Bamboo activities with the work of other groups.

A Bamboo Liaison is a special role for a Bamboo Member where the member takes on a formal representative relationship with a specific organization on behalf of Bamboo, its members, and the community. Formal communication between the organization and Bamboo is passed through the liaison to ensure that Bamboo adheres to the processes and procedures of the other organization, and that issues raised by the other organization are officially heard and potentially acted upon by Bamboo. For example, an organization may require three months advance notice along with supporting documentation for a topic to be raised at a meeting. The Bamboo leadership may not be aware of such a requirement, but because a member is the designated Bamboo Liaison, she can ensure that the proper steps are taken to add an item to the other organization's agenda and when the time comes, she could present on Bamboo's behalf if necessary or lead a larger Bamboo team in a joint dialogue.

Bamboo Liaisons shall be formally recognized and authorized by the Bamboo Plan Leadership Committee. That said, the liaison relationship with an outside organization may intersect and engage with a specific activity or function anywhere within Bamboo as appropriate. Plan simply needs to authorize and manage the formal relationship; what is most important beyond that is the open line of communication between the appropriate place within Bamboo and the outside group.

5.5. Governance

The governance model for Bamboo is based on a moderately decentralized approach of three leadership committees (one for each area of Explore, Plan, Build), a Bamboo Board that has representatives from the leadership committees and the broader community, and an executive director that is part of an overall Bamboo Office.

5.5.1 Leadership Committees

There shall be three leadership committees that will be responsible for coordinating the activities and programs in each area:

  • Bamboo Explore Leadership Committee
  • Bamboo Plan Leadership Committee
  • Bamboo Build Leadership Committee

The Leadership Committees shall collaborate as needed to ensure the smooth transition and coordination of projects, plans, activities and initiatives between Explore and Plan as well as Plan and Build. In addition, the Leadership Committees shall act as coordinating entities around and among the various labs within Bamboo.

5.5.2 Bamboo Board

Representatives of each Leadership Committee, an elected set of Members-at-Large, and the Executive Director shall constitute the Bamboo Board. The Bamboo Board shall determine policy, strategy and direction for Bamboo. The Board shall work together to ensure Bamboo is headed in appropriate direction and provide guidance to the three leadership committees as necessary.

5.5.3 Bamboo Office

One institution shall administer the business-related activities of Bamboo and appoint the Executive Director to be responsible for those activities. Such work may include (but not be limited to) managing the finances for the organization; planning and coordinating community-wide events; assisting with regional activities; coordinating programs and initiatives; handling community development, marketing, and communications; assisting with grants and initiatives that want to engage with the Bamboo Community; and acting as the project sponsor for ongoing Bamboo infrastructure efforts.

In addition to the business-related functions, the executive director shall formally represent Bamboo when needed, act as a neutral party in Bamboo leadership meetings, and chair the Bamboo Board.

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  1. Unknown User (

    Section 5.3.1 Bamboo Explore - do current working groups like Scholarly Narratives, Tools and Content (including Recipes) continuing as Explore Labs?  Also, how are Explore Labs subdivided/organized - by activity/interest?  by geography?  by discipline?  by institution/consortium?  or ???

    Section 5.3.2 Bamboo Plan - similar questions - does Shared Services working group (for activity definitions) continue as a Plan Lab?  How are Plan Labs subdivided/organized - is it along the lines of section's 11 work areas?

    1. Unknown User (

      Good questions – no answers yet. Still refining the lab concept and it may be easier to articulate in something more concrete like the implementation proposal rather than the big long-term vision.