Code of Conduct

Freedom of thought and the open exchange of ideas are key to the future of work and central to Office Optional. That kind of exchange can happen only in a lively learning environment that recognizes the value of each person and fosters mutual respect.

Put another way: if we create an atmosphere in which anyone can say anything, we have not fostered an open exchange of ideas, because conference participants who don’t like or can’t tolerate offensive comments and hateful behavior won’t participate. To help ensure that conversations at Office Optional are focused on distributed teams and that the atmosphere encourages participation from as wide a range of attendees as possible, we do not tolerate harassment based on race, gender, religion, age, color, national origin, physical appearance, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

When we say “harassment,” we’re talking about unwelcome or hostile behavior, including speech that intimidates, creates discomfort, or interferes with a person’s participation in the conference (speaker presentations fall under this category and should not use images or examples that would violate the code of conduct); unwelcome physical contact; unwelcome sexual attention; deliberate intimidation; and stalking. Sponsors should not use sexualized images or activities, and sponsor representatives (including volunteers) should not use sexualized clothing/uniforms/costumes.

If you’re a conference participant—whether attendee, speaker, exhibitor or volunteer–and you violate these basic standards, we may take any action we deem appropriate, including expelling you from the conference, without a refund, at our discretion.

If you’re being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact our executive producer Heather McGough, heather@leanstartup.co or 415.857.2479. All reports will be kept confidential among our host and staff, who have been trained to respond to violations of this code of conduct.

Let’s blow up Twitter with a stream of great ideas, not a riot about how we treat each other.

PS. If you’re wondering why this in necessary, we wrote about it last year.