The Open Innovation Studio (OIS) was transformed on Tuesday evening. Our caterer Carise arrived with the most amazing spread of snacks, dinner and dessert, which was set up on tables in the lounge area of the OIS, amongst pretty flowers that us ladies (Heather, Carine and myself) had arranged in different sized glass bottles. Bottles of wine were opened, and the beer in the fridge checked on to ensure it was properly chilled. The OISers chatted amongst ourselves as we waited for our first guests to arrive.
It wasn’t long before the OIS was buzzing with our FHSST volunteers. Drinks were served and the snacks enjoyed, whilst everyone chatted amongst themselves and got to know each other further. There were some new faces present, but others that had previously come to the OIS to edit, and so were reacquainted.
Before dinner was opened, Mark stood up and gave a short speech and thanked everyone for their valued contribution to the FHSST books. He explained the idea behind FHSST and how it all came into being, as well as the plan for printing with OpenPress (website coming soon) and the concept of economies of scale (the more orders placed, the cheaper they become). If we receive an order for 4 000 textbooks, the cost of each book comes down to about R30. This is due to the price of the books only costing what the printer’s fee is, and no editors’, authors’ or publishers’ royalties as they are under the Gnu Free Documentation License.
After this we unveiled the beautiful feast that was dinner and everyone tucked in. I think everyone’s life was complete once the dessert was found – you can’t go wrong with lemon cupcakes, eclairs with caramel cream and strawberries dipped in chocolate!
Our guests continued chatting and either sitting or standing around in groups that constantly shifted and mingled. Debates on different mark up languages and programming languages abounded, as did conversation about education and people’s involvement in FHSST. Before we knew it it was 11pm, and time to start clearing up plates and glasses.
The Siyavula team thoroughly enjoyed the evening and getting to know the volunteers that joined us for the celebrations. We were really pleased to hear from people again how much they enjoyed offering their services on FHSST, and that they would like to be involved in future activities of the books. Thank you to everyone that came, we hope you had a great evening!