CrisisCommons Interim Governance Introduction

We’ve been getting some questions over at the governance committee about our current activities. People have stepped up to help us with our tasks and offer their input and experience from other ventures to assist us. Our committee consists of David Black, Pascal Schuback, Aaron Huslage, Jeannie Stamberger, and Willow Brugh.We are pleased that people are showing interest in the group in supporting the governance process in building the CrisisCommons to be a long lasting organization supporting this and many other communities. It is important that we all take the appropriate time, openness and collaboration in structuring and building out the operation of the CrisisCommons. The following actions will help the CrisisCommons move forward in creating its organizational identity and eventually its near future operational structure. This will include the ability to maintain grant projects, expand to additional unknown future projects and increase our funding steps from many other sources.

The CrisisCommons governance group is putting the final touches on a plan to manage the process of developing a permanent governance structure to serve the needs of the Commons. It will be a methodical process for which we hope for much input from the Commons community and it will take some time, measured in months.

So in the meantime, in parallel, we have been discussing with the current temporary core team a way to formalize an interim decision-making process. The purpose behind this is to move a step ahead of where we are right now fairly rapidly, so we can focus on the longer process.

Because we are moving quickly with the interim model we expect it to be fairly simple and agile. It won’t be perfect, but we plan to introduce it with a sunset clause in something like 6 months to a year, or whenever we are ready to convene a CrisisCongress to ratify the more formal long-term governance model, whichever comes first. Also, we will propose that the interim group have limited powers, as we won’t have significant enough accountability built in to the simple model. Again, it won’t be perfect, but it is temporary and should fit our needs in the short term. We do, of course, want to hear opinions as this will help us in the development of the long term structure. It is important for the community to participate and share their opinions.

We think that the current organization of the working groups addresses much of our short term needs so we propose not to make changes to the structure at this time. However, we have a number of vacancies and are inviting people to step up and help with the leadership. Currently, what has been referred to as the Core Team consists of 5 working groups plus the 3 founders. The working groups are Communications, Projects, Infrastructure, Governance, and Community. Each working group, or committee, is supposed to have 2 co-leads that represent the working groups within the Core Team for a total of 13 people.

Recruiting Working Group Co-leads/IMT Members

Right now we have 6 vacancies as follows:

2 co-leads – Projects, 2 co-leads Communications, 1 co-lead Infrastructure, 1 co-lead Community. We propose to fill these roles and refer to the accepted full team as the Interim Management Team. This new name reflects the stewardship role that the team undertakes. Once again there are vacancies and this is your opportunity to participate.

We are asking for people to join us by sending an email to pascal@schuback.com signaling their interest and their preferred roles by 6pm UTC Wednesday October 26th, if we have more than one person interested in a single position the governance committee will work to talk through a solution with the interested parties. If that does not result in agreement a draw will be held to chose the names.

While we will not give preference to anyone, we encourage city leads and international representatives to step forward.

If you want to help but are not able to commit in a lead role all work groups are open for people to contribute to and they are a place to have your voice heard.

What does the Interim Management Team do?

The IMT meets monthly, possibly more in the beginning by conference call. The Chair of the meeting will rotate through the working group leads alphabetically and will follow a consistent agenda template to be created by the governance committee. A volunteer will be sought within the IMT to take notes, if no one volunteers the person slated to chair the following meeting will take notes. Notes will be distributed to all participants within 4 days of a meeting adjournment.

The IMT is a forum to coordinate the activities of the work groups and make decisions that are related to the day to day operations. Additionally;

  • Maintain standards agreed upon by Interim Management Team
  • Present/Represent the CrisisCommons at an Interim Management Team level.
  • May need to meet in person.
  • Possibility of other additional duties as developed

Further guidelines for operation of the group are forthcoming from the governance group.

Working Group Members

Infrastructure
Current Leads – Deborah Shaddon, Chris Foote (Spike)
Contributing Members Andrew Turner, Ted Han
Current Scope
  • Establish CrisisCommons Infrastructure at OSL
  • CCIWG Working Group Team Building and Culture Cultivation
  • CrisisCommons Digital Strategy (Technology)
  • CrisisCommons New CCIWG Projects
  • Ongoing CCIWG Admin, Support, Gardening, Management, and Documentation

Communications
Current Leads – OPEN
Contributing Members Heather Blanchard, Becky Boutwell, Chad Catacchio, Todd Jasper, Joanna Lane, Andrew Lih, Melissa Elliott
Current Scope
This is a workgroup which support CrisisCommons and its projects such as CrisisCamp to effectively communicate to the public and our volunteers.

Community Development
Current Leads –  Chad Cattacchio, OPEN
Contributing Members – Open
The Community group is focused on helping CrisisCamps and individual volunteers have the best experience to collaborate and communicate. Our first goal for 2011 is to build the CrisisCamp in a Box (CCIAB).

Projects
Current Leads –  OPEN
Contributing Members OPEN

Governance
Current Leads David Black, Pascal Schuback
Contributing Members Aaron Huslage, Jeannie Stamberger, Willow Brugh

Current Scope
The scope of the governance committee is to research, develop alternative models, make recommendations and lead the discussion within Crisis Commons on the most appropriate governance structure that will facilitate the vision and goals of CrisisCommons.

In order to make sound recommendations that best suit the organization’s aspirations a framework strategic plan outlining first year goals and objectives will be prepared.

The committee acknowledges that the first strategic plan will have significant flexibility as it will be based on many assumptions and cannot be formally adopted until after a decision-making body is officially defined through the governance-building process itself.

Once a governance model is chosen the committee will oversee the development of bylaws and present them for approval.

Founders
Heather Blanchard, Noel Dickover, Andrew Turner

Once again, please let us hear your voice.  Email pascal@schuback.com and let us know.
Prepared by the Governance Working Group – October 19, 2011

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