Proposal: Restart the finance working group (with a new app!)
TLDR, I propose:
We elect a three-member Finance committee, which requires two approvals for every expense
We use a new app called the Metagov Gateway to approve expenses
In the process, we a pilot for a new approach to facilitate governance in virtual co-ops like us
For just about the entire existence of Social.coop, I have been the Finance committee. This has basically meant that I have sole responsibility for approving expenses and distributing the precious contributions of our membership. We technically have a Finance committee, but functionally it is pretty much just me. Not a good look! This is a proposal to change that.
I propose that we create an actual finance committee so that no one person has sole discretion around approving funds. It's not a lot of work, but it's important work, and I think it should be done by people who are actually approved by the membership and who can look over each other's shoulders a bit.
A three-member committee should do it, with any two members necessary to approve an expense in Open Collective.
But wait, you say: Open Collective doesn't have a system for community governance and multiple approvals! How would that work? Would we have to create a new proposal in Loomio for every expense that shows up in Open Collective? That's annoying!
Well, have I got an app for you. Fans of the Open Collective blog might have noticed the recent post, "Govern Your Collective with Metagov Gateway." This is a tool that facilitates online community governance, and it now works with Loomio and Open Collective (as well as Slack, Discourse, and others). With this, we can design a policy whereby expenses posted on Open Collective automatically create a new proposal in Loomio, which the Finance committee members can then vote to approve in Loomio. If the proposal passes, the funds are automatically released on Open Collective.
Pretty nice, eh? Even nicer are the broader range of possibilities that might emerge when you can connect Loomio to governance events of all kinds on different platforms. That's what we're piloting here.
I'm on the Metagovernance Project team behind the Metagov Gateway, so I can help with getting the technical stuff working. @Matthew Cropp has generously offered to volunteer with me to help pilot this approach on the new Finance committee. Anyone else want to join us?
From here, I anticipate the following:
Feedback on this idea? Let's discuss here!
Based on feedback, I'll make a formal proposal to establish the more formal Finance committee
We'll run a little election to select the committee members
Poll Created Mon 22 Nov 2021 11:02PM
Are you interested in joining the finance group? Closed Thu 25 Nov 2021 10:01PM
5 people expressed interest! We'll go ahead and run a quick election.
Briefly: We have been neglecting our finance group, and we want to get it started in earnest with at least 3 members. This is an opportunity for exploring new approaches to overseeing Social.coop finances.
See the associated thread for context.
5 of 145 people have voted (3%)
Mon 22 Nov 2021 11:02PM
Yes, would love to participate and see if we can use the money in ways that both helps us grow our community, deepen member-to-member relationships and support the wider cooperative movement.
Caitlin Waddick, @CaitlinWaddick@Social.Coop
Mon 22 Nov 2021 11:02PM
I am willing to join this committee. Honestly, I may not have time. Since the pandemic began, I haven’t had my own space to work (and aim an introvert). And, I am traveling to too-many-countries in the next few months. Include me anyway, and I’ll try to join meetings and read message threads. I suspect I can’t give it my undivided attention.