Seeding Continuity/alx

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Seeding Continuity
Contributors Anne Bartilla, Christian Köppe
Last modification May 16, 2017
Source Bartilla and Köppe (2015)[1]; Bartilla & Köppe (2016)[2]
Pattern formats OPR Alexandrian
Learning domain

Also Known As: Chain of Actions (Chain of Actions)

You created some Awareness Seeds (Awareness Seeds) and the first leaves start to grow.


As daily tasks will continue and other issues will arise, awareness of the diversity situation will fade away and be replaced by other relevant issues. This will be of negative influence on the effect of your activities to change the situation towards a more diverse one.

The gender imbalance won’t change by a single intervention. The priorities of people change often and are mainly determined by short-term goals and the tasks at hand.

However, there’s often not much time to spend for actions that (re)create the awareness on the topic.


Therefore: Continue with planting awareness seeds on a small but regular and reoccurring base. Remember: constant dripping wears the stone.

Identify opportunities for planting the next awareness seeds or refreshing old ones. Plan ahead the activities that are required for realizing them and make sure that all involved people are up-to-date too. However, it needs to be clear that these activities should be naturally seen as part of the normal work and not as additional tasks.

Continuity shows that there really is a long-term issue which cannot be handled through one-time activities. Furthermore, creating the awareness on a continuous manner costs less energy (compared to the overall results of the activities) than doing it occasionally, but in larger terms.

The more people continuously are aware of the topic, the higher is the chance that they also will participate in—or support—change actions.

It can be frustrating if the first activities do not lead to an observable change and one could become less motivated to continue with awareness seeds. Still, it is important to continue with them. However, if it shows that no change is happening because the awareness seeds do not trigger interest or awareness in some people, then one should think about other ways of planting the seeds.

Seeding Continuity (Seeding Continuity) is a more specific version of Sustained Momentum (Sustained Momentum)[3] A kind of task force or active support group—including both men and women and ideally also members of varying organizational hierarchy levels such as supporting staff and management—can help with ensuring and facilitating the Seeding Continuity (Seeding Continuity).

At the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, they were able to increase the percentage of female students in only one year from 6% to 30% because of a broad change of the perception of computer science in Norway (see [Lagesen 2011]). However, after they stopped the campaign (assuming that the critical mass has been reached and therefore the problem has been solved), the percentage immediately dropped again. It became clear that a one-off intervention is not sufficient in changing the situation, so a long-term inclusion project was initiated (the “Women and Computing Initiative") and numbers increased again and became stable.


  1. Bartilla, A. & Köppe, C. (2015). Awareness Seeds for more Gender Diversity in Computer Science Education. In Proceedings of the 20th European Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (EuroPLoP 2015). New York:ACM.
  2. Patlet mentioned in Bartilla, A., & Köppe, C. (2016). Organizational Patterns for Increasing Gender Diversity in Computer Science Education. In Proceedings of the 10th Travelling Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (VikingPLoP 2016). New York:ACM.
  3. Manns, M. L. & Rising, L. (2005). Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas. Addison-Wesley.