Code of Conduct

VENTURE CAFÉ FOUNDATION, INC.

COMMUNITY CODE OF CONDUCT AND GUIDELINES 2018

The mission of the Venture Café Foundation, Inc. (“Venture Café”) is to broaden, connect, and support an inclusive innovation community through a public network of spaces and programs to help anyone with an idea have the opportunity to succeed.  We believe anyone with an idea has the potential to be an innovator, and that innovation is present everywhere. Our vision is to create a network of empowered individuals and communities who feel confident in their ideas and have the resources to achieve them. By providing spaces, programs, and connections, we can strengthen our local and global communities to tackle problems with creative solutions.

As part of our mission to connect the community to further innovation, we seek to provide supportive and constructive environments for conversations and meaningful connections. We post this Community Code of Conduct and Guidelines as guidance that we expect our guests and partners to follow.  Should any community member make you uncomfortable or fail to comply with this Community Code of Conduct and Guidelines, please alert Venture Café staff immediately using the contact information set forth below.

We are here to keep this a comfortable and safe place for all. To support the Venture Café’s mission to enable productive conversations and to act as a community hub, we reserve the right to dis-invite and remove any individual that Venture Café management feels, in their sole judgment, detracts from achieving its mission or infringes on our Community Guidelines.  Any acts of discrimination, harassment or other failure to comply with this Community Code of Conduct and Guidelines may result in the immediate expulsion and banning from all Venture Café sites.

We expect all guests in our spaces and programs to:

  1.   Observe the platinum rule. Treat others as they would like to be treated.

Contribute in a positive, valuable way. Respect the social norms of conversation and engagement, respecting others’ desires to interact, or not interact, based on the context of the situation. Be honest and straightforward in all dealings. Make yourself comfortable and be kind to others. Our open, friendly atmosphere is exemplified by our community.

  1.   Refrain from hard selling.

It’s okay to say what you do, but don’t sell. Initiate and cultivate meaningful connections rather than pitching your product or service. If it feels like selling, it probably is.

  1.   Respect the space and the people around you.

Venture Café provides meeting, collaboration and sometimes workspace to the public at our sites. All are welcome at Venture Café.  Please respect this community events and space — clean up after yourself, dispose of all trash, and keep noise at a moderate level.  Treat all individuals with respect while utilizing Venture Café sites and programs, including refraining from unwelcome interactions or harassment.

  1.   Be an active participant in our community.

The Venture Café is an expanding and dynamic organization. We rely on our community to contribute to make the organization what it is. Please join us and share the love with a little creativity and collaboration! We constantly try new things to improve your interactive experience in this unique space. We encourage you to provide constructive feedback and share your ideas.

  1.   Connect responsibly.

Behave professionally. Café Nights and our other events at Venture Café Foundation sites should be considered community gatherings, not bars (when alcohol is served). If you wouldn’t do it in your office, don’t do it here. Communications of an unwelcomed, harassing, or sexual nature are not appropriate.  All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds.

  1.   Keep Venture Café spaces free of harassment.

The Venture Café Foundation is dedicated to providing a harassment-free and welcoming experience for everyone, regardless of and not limited to gender identity or gender expression, sex or sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, color, national origin, age, military service, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment in any form.  Please respect everyone’s background and comfort level.

The following behavior and language is considered unacceptable:

  • Violence, threats of violence or violent language directed against another person.
  • Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, classist, or otherwise discriminatory jokes and language.
  • Posting or displaying sexually explicit or violent material.
  • Personal insults, particularly those related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, or disability.
  • Inappropriate physical contact. You should have someone’s consent before touching them.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention. This includes, sexualized comments or jokes, inappropriate touching, groping, and unwelcomed sexual advances.
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following (online or in person).
  • Sustained disruption of community events or our sites, including talks and presentations.
  • Making other guests and participants feel uncomfortable, threatened, or otherwise unwelcome in the space.
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.

It is our sincere goal that you feel safe in and enjoy the spaces, programs, and conversations hosted by Venture Café Foundation.

If you find yourself in or witness a situation in which you are feeling uncomfortable or threatened, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team. We are here to support our community, and will do everything within our power to do so. We ask that if you have any concerns you please let us know – we want to be here to support every member of our community, and also rely heavily on community feedback in order to constantly improve the way we operate and facilitate our mission and values.

We have listed ways to report a violation, reach out to our staff, and other local resources below:

Reporting a violation of the Code of Conduct:

While attending a meeting or event at Venture Café sites:

We recommend that you first contact your event organizer. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, please see Venture Café staff, contact us via this online form, or contact us directly via the email addresses below.

Suggested Email Template for Incident / Harassment Reporting:

SUBJECT: Safe Space alert at [EVENT NAME]

I am writing because of incident / harassment at a Venture Café event, (NAME, DATE OF EVENT).

You can reach me at (CONTACT INFO). Thank you.

Venture Café Contact Information:

Please report via this form or send us an email at the addresses below:

  • Venture Café Foundation – Kevin Wiant – Executive Director – kevin@vencaf.org
  • District Hall – Becky Donner – Director – becky.donner@vencaf.org
  • Roxbury Innovation Center – Kevin Wiant – Executive Director – kevin@vencaf.org
  • Venture Café Kendall – Chandra Briggman – Director – Chandra.briggman@vencaf.org

Additional Local Resources:

  • Boston Police, non-emergency: 617.343.4200
  • Cambridge Police Department’s Non-Emergency number (617-349-3300)
  • Boston Emergency Medical Services: 617.343.2367
  • Boston-Area Sexual Assault Resources: http://www.barcc.org/help/services/
  • Boston-Area Sexual Assault Hotline: 800.841.8371

Metro Cab (Local Taxi) 617.782.5500: http://boston-cab.com/