Tue 11 Oct 2016 3:24PM

Time to reaffirm our decision making & governance principles!

F Francesca Public Seen by 20

Dear Connectors,

After a phase of having taken a break from working on OuiShare governance on a globel level, I think now is an important moment to clarify, re-affirm and re-confirm our general decision making principles. I propose this because I have increasingly seen a demand for clarity on the part of newer Connectors, who are not familiar with our governance principles and practices (which have become quite natural and implict for many of us).

In short, in this post I would like to:

  • clarify, re-affirm and re-confirm our general decision making principles
  • propose the adoption of a precise decision making framework for global day-to-day decisions, which corresponds with the framework we recently agreed upon in France.
  • put in place a process to assure that newcomers are informed of these decision making principles when they join as Connectors.

The good news is that most of what I am propsing here is not new, but practices that we are already using daily on loomio - they are simply not written down clearly at the moment nor communciated regularly to newcomers.

As Connectors, please take a moment to read and reflect on this proposal, as it is at the core of who we are as a community and organization. Your opinion counts!

A. General decision making principles

Here are also some general decision making principles that have been on our wiki or common practice in OuiShare since the beginning, which I would like to remind everyone of and re-affirm. If other long term OuiShare members have additions or don’t agree, please comment.

1. Autonomy of projects

All OuiShare projects manage their budget and decisions completely independently. Their only obligation towards the organization is to contribute 10% structure costs to their local OuiShare non-profit.
We rely upon the good judgement of the project leaders to know when a decision about a project could have a large impact on the rest of the organization and / or brand and thus make it necessary to consult the rest of the Connectors community before.

2. 3-Connector rule:

All day-to-day decisions (that are not project related) without impact on budget or the OuiShare brand can be made by 3 Connectors together (arguably, this is not the case that often anymore). Example: a OuiShare meetup in a new city.

3. Avoid voting if not absolutely necessary

All discussions related to decision making take place on Loomio to get reactions and comments on planned actions.
When an aspect emerges that cleary needs a decision, **a lazy consent vote is held* (not consensus!). Lazy consent means that you do not need a specific % of people to vote on a matter for the result to be valid. Silence is the equivalent to supporting a decision. Attention: we are using consent, not consensus, meaning that if you vote yes, that may not mean you necessarily agree, but you can live with the decision and don’t veto it.

For reference, see this decision making framework we presented at the London summit in 2014 (it is slightly out of date):
Decision making framework

B. Decision making framework adopted for OuiShare France

Please read here the decision making framework that we adopted in France in August. For simplicity reasons, I would like to propose we adopt this same framework on a global level.

Important: the scenario 3. “Budget Allocations” is not very common on a global level anymore, since we have separated our budgets. Therefore any OuiShare members asking for funds needs to respect the decision making framework of the local non-profit it is asking for funds from. Example: Ehab and Asmaa asking for funds from OuiShare France to cover travel costs to the first OuiShare event in Cairo.

Feel free to add your comments in the doc.

C. Tracking local budgeting

Instead of creating its own subgroup, it has been agreed in France that for now, all of our local operations will be funded through the “global” Cobudget group, to:

  • provide more transparency between all communities
  • avoid having many cobudget groups with little activity, but concentrate all activity in one to create more engagement and show good examples to other communities of how it can be used.

This helps remove the physiological differentiation between local and global activities.
To make sure we don’t loose the overview of buckets, we are adding codes like [FR] in the titles to differentiate countries. I propose to break into more cobudget groups over time as activity increases.

How do other communities with budgets feel about this? Spain, Montreal, Germany? Ping @alexmtl @albertcanigueral @davidwe

Next Steps

  1. Validate the governance principles and decision making framework above
  2. Update / rewrite the wiki accordingly (Alternative currently in discussion: move everything to a handbook, example: Enspiral: https://handbook.enspiral.com/)
  3. Include a step in the Connectors on-boarding process where they must validate that they have read and understood the OuiShare governance principles

Khushboo Balwani Mon 24 Oct 2016 3:46PM

It is very clear @francesca , thanks. Since in Brussels we don't have a local non-profit nor there is a big team, I'm often unsure of a few decisions, especially when I work with other collectives (makesense, Hackistan) here on a new project and want to use OS brand name as a coorganiser/contributor:
-Should I make a loomio post to ask the whole community to agree or not on a project?
-In case we start the project and there is a revenue, the 10% structural costs goes to?

Sorry for a late response. But I totally agree with the governance principles so i'll vote yes already.


Lucía Hernández
Tue 25 Oct 2016 9:16AM

Super Francesca, we are going to try our first cobudget after the Ouishare Fest, I agree on differentiate different communities putting the code at the title. We will explain you how it will be. :) Thanks for this necessary work. Muack


Tue 25 Oct 2016 8:30AM

Thanks! Very useful. Also agree for the common Co-budget channel as this is something that we need to get practice on


Albert Cañigueral
Tue 25 Oct 2016 7:17AM

I want to be as clear as you are with concepts when I grow up :) clear and agreed! so far it works well!


David Weingartner
Mon 24 Oct 2016 2:19PM

As usual, all very clear - Thanks Fran! :)
For Cobudget I completely agree that having one for all makes for now most sense regarding best practise and transparency


Myriam Bouré
Mon 17 Oct 2016 7:01AM

Thank you @francesca for this post, I like the handbook idea, it might be clearer than the wiki one.


Magali Pagnon
Sun 16 Oct 2016 9:51AM

Thanks @fran for this clarification, very useful for me as a newcomer!


Thomas Dönnebrink
Sun 16 Oct 2016 8:50AM

Thanks Fran, sound good.


Elena Giroli
Wed 12 Oct 2016 9:50AM

thanks @francesca! that's look great!


Wed 12 Oct 2016 6:36AM

Thanks @fran for taking the time of rewriting this; It all sounds good to me!

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